[ExI] The denial of death, transhumanism, and the abolition of embodiment

Keith Henson hkeithhenson at gmail.com
Sun Jun 12 13:16:26 UTC 2011

On Sun, Jun 12, 2011 at 12:29 AM, Anders Sandberg <anders at aleph.se> wrote:
> Keith Henson wrote:
>> On Thu, Jun 9, 2011 at 3:39 PM, Anders Sandberg <anders at aleph.se> wrote:
>>> I think bodies are best described as the interface between our minds and
>>> our
>>> surroundings, and are not necessarily very distinct or bounded objects.
>>> Picking up a staff changes the dimensions of egocentric space in the
>>> brain
>>> (as shown by neuroimaging);
>> That's really cool, I didn't know.  Not the least surprising, but very
>> interesting.  I wonder if holding a staff makes someone feel larger in
>> a social standing sense as well?  It's also interesting that the word
>> has also come to mean a group of people who are extending a leaders
>> capacity to get things done.
> I wouldn't be surprised. There is a study showing that reminding people
> about times when they held power over others makes them worse at
> distinguishing what they know from what others know ("Boss telepathy" - the
> boss thinks everybody knows what he wants and have planned).

Hmm.  Give the boss a neural interface, and people can read his mind.
Near term, maybe a personality simulator that lets everyone talk
directly to a simulation of the boss?

> This even
> affects how they draw a letter on their forehead when asked to: people with
> 'power' tend to use an egocentric direction (i.e. as if they were seeing the
> letter from the inside), people without tend to use an allocentric style
> (readable by somebody standing in front of them). There are a lot of odd
> interactions here between the social and spatial.
>>> People do a lot of things for social status, including art and
>>> technology.
>>> This motivation would remain. That it might originally have evolved
>>> because
>>> of the peculiarities of human reproduction, family formation and group
>>> interaction, doesn't mean the motivation would not remain even when the
>>> evolutionary pressure producing it disappears.
>> Indeed, it is one of the few motivations I think would be safe to give
>> AIs.
> So first they make themselves our social overlords, and then they spend all
> their superintelligence on fashion? :-)

Perhaps.  A world dominated by AIs that were subject to fashions
sweeping through on a frequent basis would be weird even by my

But social status is more about being respected for doing stuff and
having good relations with people.

Though it is also about power over them.  Judges for example.


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