[ExI] ?Risks: Global Catastrophic, Extinction, Existential and ...

BillK pharos at gmail.com
Thu Mar 8 21:55:03 UTC 2012

2012/3/8  Natasha wrote:
> If we consider radical human life extension,  what type of risk might there
> be?  (Extinction risk is obvious, but I'm wondering if extinction risk is
> more relevant to a species rather than a person.)  So, I started thinking
> about the elements of a person that keep him/her alive: foresight, insight,
> intelligence, creativity, willingness to change, etc. I also thought about
> what might keep a person from not continuing to exist: depression/sadness.
> Then I thought about what someone else might do to keep me from
> existing: inflicting his/her values/beliefs onto my sphere of existence that
> would endanger my right to live. I arrived back at morphological freedom, as
> understood by More on one hand and Sandberg on the other, which pertains to
> a negative right --  a right to exist and a right not to be coerced to
> exist. But again, here the behavior of morphological freedom is a freedom
> and does not answer the question of what could a risk be that reflects a
> person's choice/right to live/exist?

Humans have no experience of radical life extension. e.g. 1,000 year lifespans.

So we are guessing what it will be like. Asking 80-90 year olds is not
much help because they will mostly have ageing health problems to cope

I expect boredom and 'seen it all before' attitudes to appear in a lot
of cases. Ennui is a good word.

Now I know that this claim will immediately have all the 20-30 year
old list members protesting that they will *never* get bored and will
always find something new and interesting to occupy their time. But
from the 70 year POV youngsters are already noted for having strange
and impractical opinions.  ;)

And, of course, Exi list members are not much like your average member
of the public at large. It won't just be transhumanists that live
longer. Joe six-pack will also be faced with 1,000 years of ball games
and X-factor shows.

Western society is already pretty heavily medicated to get through
life, so long life spans could well need chemical and psychological
mental support. But if we have the tech to increase lifespan, then
with a bit of luck we will also have the tech to enable people to
survive the experience.


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