[ExI] Digital Consciousness .

Anders Sandberg anders at aleph.se
Thu May 2 07:11:23 UTC 2013

On 02/05/2013 06:54, Kelly Anderson wrote:
> I'm hopeful that computational bandwidth availability is a 
> meritocracy, not a rich win everything.

Meritocracies do have some nasty sides (remember that the word was 
originally used in a dystopian novel) - in a non-meritocracy your social 
position is often due to factors that are not your fault. In a 
meritocracy you only have yourself to blame for where you end up. Stressful.

The diversity of minds in an uploading society will depend as I earlier 
pointed out on the cheapness of scanning (the entry point) and whether 
it is possible to train-tweak minds into doing almost all tasks. I 
suspect the later is not really true: I would be a lousy organiser even 
with fairly extensive tweaks, but I do know I am a great researcher in a 
lot of different domains without any tweaking. So unless scanning 
remains very expensive for a very long time I would bet on a fairly 
diverse set of minds.

The winner take all issue might be more about overall wealth 
distribution. If nothing changes, then we should the post-uploading rich 
to own a sizeable fraction of the total astonishing wealth. I have seen 
arguments for why this fraction might go up (there are a few portal 
techs you might invest in, and very rapid growth of invested capital) 
and why it might go down (much larger economy, harder for individual to 

But I'd rather be a peon in a super-wealthy posthuman civilization than 
a well-off medieval burgher: the personal possibilities are likely to be 
so much better.

Anders Sandberg,
Future of Humanity Institute
Philosophy Faculty of Oxford University

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