[ExI] A suicide note

Jebadiah Moore jebdm at jebdm.net
Mon Sep 27 00:12:26 UTC 2010

On Sun, Sep 26, 2010 at 2:18 AM, spike <spike66 at att.net> wrote:

> I was surprised that this had gone as mainstream as it appears.  So now the
> question for Bryan and the other younger set: is there in your opinion a
> general awareness of the singularity, uploading, technological lifespan
> extension etc in the current teenage and twenty something crowd?

>From my experience, there's a limited one.  I'd guess that 25% of people at
my college are familiar with these terms, and at least 60% have at least
heard of and considered some of these concepts.  There seems to be less
awareness of the actual technology involved, and more focus on the
philosophical implications of these technologies (there was a recent student
lecture which talked a bit in transhumanist terms about telecommunications
and the sense in which we "live on" through the extensive artifacts we leave
behind, and somebody in the Q&A brought up the concept of
data-based resurrection).

Then again, I go to a small (<400 students) liberal arts early college (Bard
College at Simon's Rock) where Ben Goertzel got his Bachelor's in
mathematics.  Then again again, I don't think most people here have heard of
Ben, though a lot have heard of Ray Kurzweil.  He's presenting at Bard in
the near future and a lot of people seem to be going; there's also an
upcoming conference somewhere nearby on posthumanism (in the transhumanist
sense) that a lot of people from here seem to be going to.  And I've
definitely heard people talking about uploading and whatnot without me
initiating the conversation.

But again, not really a representative sample; we're probably one of the
least mainstream schools in the country.

On the other hand, more normal people that I know from "back home" also seem
to have at least a passing awareness of some transhumanist concepts, and may
even have considered their implications (especially with regard to uploading
and life extension thanks to Hollywood), but seem to generally perceive the
actual development of these technologies as being either impossible or in
the distant future (at least 200 years away).

Jebadiah Moore
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