[ExI] [ZS] [cryo] Nick Bostrom, Anders Sandberg, Stuart Armstrong to be frozen after death

Gregory Lewis gjlewis37 at gmail.com
Wed Jun 12 22:53:47 UTC 2013

[New person: Pre-emptive apologies for inadvertent breaches of 
listequette etc.]

I think it's at least controversial whether indefinite life extension 
(or any life extension) would be a pro tanto good thing from a 
utilitarian perspective. Although extension does avoid upfront 
'investment costs' in terms of making a new human, and limits the 
incidence of the badness of death if everyone lives longer, there are 
come concerns in favour of not extending lives and having more rapid 
cycling of persons under a given resource constraint.

1. Given we time discount, and possible 'low hanging fruit' concerns, 
lifespan may have decreasing marginal value. So (depending on investment 
costs, and degree of decay) many short lives might be better than a 
single long life, even on strictly aggregative consequentialism.

2. If you're a prioritarian (hold that a given increment of value is 
better given to someone with less value than someone with more, all else 
equal; or that the welfare to value function is concave), then you might 
prefer many shorter lives over one long one even at the expense of some 
total value. It might be generally fairer/better to package lifespan in 
many small packets than one large one, so fewer potential people 'miss 
out' on the goods of having existed at all.

Obviously, lots of complicated ethics (esp. population ethics) underlie 
all of these (should we value those who *could exist* with similar 
weight to those who actually do? Is not-existing harmful, or bringing 
into existence beneficial?) And all sorts of empirical things can change 
the calculus (AIs, rejuvenation, etc.). Despite all that, there seem a 
fairly large plurality of scenarios where life extension is not a good 

On 12/06/13 11:37, Florent Berthet wrote:
> 2013/6/12 Eugen Leitl <eugen at leitl.org <mailto:eugen at leitl.org>>
> If you need other arguments: t takes about 30 years to
>     produce a borderline usable human, and then she dies
>     and you have to start from scratch again. That's
>     wasteful.
>     In terms of IPD, sticking around longer results in
>     nicer people overall. You like environment? There's
>     more incentive to keep this planet in good shape.
>     Etc.
> I agree, and this is the kind of arguments I'm asking for. Thanks for 
> bringing that up, and while I'm at it, thanks to Anders for his 
> explanations and honesty. If there is a place where I expect people to 
> be able to debate freely and without having to justify every word they 
> say, it's this one. Let's keep it that way.
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