[extropy-chat] death will be overcome claim yet on foresight exchange.

brent.allsop at comcast.net brent.allsop at comcast.net
Wed Jan 18 22:23:46 UTC 2006

I’m surprised that there is no death will be overcome claim yet on foresight exchange.
I’m trying to think what such a claim might be like.
Here is a first stab I’ve attempted.
Please let me know what you think!
Brent Allsop
Trading symbol:         ndeath
Short description:       The end of involuntary death by 2200.
Long Description:
The general spirit of this claim is that the singularity will occur around 2050, as Kurzweil predicts in his book “The Singularity is Near”.  And that one of the most important defining points of this singularity will be no more involuntary death.  This claim is that there will be no more involuntary death some time before the end of this century (before Jan 1, 2200)
But it is very difficult to define such an event – since even after death has appeared to be overcome in general – there could still be a catastrophic event or significant down turn resulting in more people dieing.  So I propose the following definition for this claim:
This claim will be judged true if there is a 1 year period in which there is no known involuntary permanent termination of any human level or greater sentience.
In the future there will likely be something along the lines of “uploading” of people’s sentience into artificial platforms or brains and abandoning of the previous brain leaving it to die.  Many may argue that something like this would fall within the definition of “death” and or there is something of significance lost in the process – even if something does survive in the artificial platform or whatever.
For the purposes of this claim, most of these kinds of disagreements that would exist today are deemed to be because we do not yet have a complete understanding and agreement of what sentience is and/or don’t have the ability to engineer, augment, or eff (subjectively share the ineffable) such.  In other words, we can’t yet agree on what being immortal will be.  Part of this claim is that we will achieve this kind of understanding and such abilities in which all (or at least a significant majority) will be able to agree on what immortal sentient life is and what is required to achieve it.
As long as there is any kind of a majority of sentient beings that believe something significant is still being lost – this will be defined as death and the claim cannot be judged as true.  But, if the clear majority of people, because of whatever technological understanding and development, believe that nothing important is being lost – then this will be defined as successful avoidance of death.  When the first year of time is completed where no such involuntary death occurs, and if this is done before the year 2200, this claim will be judged true.
Another possibility is that there might be some kind of “backup” technology.  For example a person could have some kind of brain scan every month.  Anything like this that could be used to completely restore the particular sentience should an accidental death occur will suffice.  In such a case, the most that would be lost would be the less than one month of memories and experiences between the most recent backup and the death.  For this claim, if any known sentience permanently looses more than one month of experience and or memory, this will be defined as “death”.  If there is a one year period where more than this is never lost for anyone, involuntarily, then death will be judged to be eliminated as required for this claim to be judged true.
Note: Immortal soul considerations.
Many claim we have an immortal “soul” or an “essence” that goes on to some kind of “afterlife”, “reincarnation”, or whatever.  If such turns out to be true and verifiable, then this claim can be judged true.  But, currently, there is clearly some kind of significant majority of people that believe something is being lost in this death process.  For example, I am unable to physically talk with my “dead” grandmother so feel there is a loss.  As soon as there is some kind of development (like say a “second coming”?) which enables the clear majority of sentient beings to agree upon such: that our “souls” do not really die, then this claim will be spontaneously judged true since most everyone will finally agree there is no such thing as “death” of sentience.
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