[ExI] [New_Cryonet] Dead immortalists in 1978 Omni magazine article

Anders Sandberg anders at aleph.se
Thu Sep 26 21:02:58 UTC 2013

On 2013-09-26 16:27, Eugen Leitl wrote:
> Ironically several people referenced in this article have died by now, including the article's author, Kathleen Stein; the writers Robert Anton Wilson and F.M. Esfandiary; and the scientists Paul Segall, Bernard Strehler and Roy Walford. The self-confidence of these deceased people in the 1970's that they would "become immortal," or at least live for several centuries, by arbitrary dates which have already come and gone, strikes me as remarkably sad. Yet I see many of today's "transhumanists" falling into the same delusional way of thinking, only they've just added another 30-40 years to the previous range of dates.

I assume you have seen Stuart Armstrong and Kaj Sotala's excellent paper 
about why AI predictions are lousy? 
Their analysis of why there are no experts on the future of AI seems 
applicable here too: too little feedback, no good background theory, 
people do not decompose their theories and scenarios into chunks that 
can be analysed and criticised meaningfully, and so on.
(This is also why I respect Aubrey - he has at least tried to decompose 
his theory.)

In fact, it makes me interested in making a copycat paper looking at 
life extension claims in the same way - anybody know a convenient 
database of them?

Dr Anders Sandberg
Future of Humanity Institute
Oxford Martin School
Oxford University

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