[extropy-chat] A future fit to live in? (was: Robert Anton Wilson)
robert.bradbury at gmail.com
Sat Jan 13 19:39:04 UTC 2007
On 1/13/07, John K Clark <jonkc at att.net> wrote:
> Robert Bradbury Wrote:
> > Though I would like to see what the future looks like I have yet to see
> > probable future I would actually like to live in
> I can't say I agree with you, but there is no disputing matters of taste.
> am however curious about what disturbs you;
Laws of physics one would hope are fixed (at least in this universe), or if
not, they are changing along vectors which we can calculate (if they were
changing quickly the long term organization of matter would be at risk).
Our current path is *still* on the path of understanding the laws of physics
and understanding what they have created to date. I have little doubt that
in a current/post singularity era that the laws of physics plus what
semi-random evolutionary processes are capable of creating will be well
understood. So the trajectory of humanity (and/or other species more
advanced than ours) will be different. We cannot simply conquer the
frontier (that is "simple"), instead we have to both create it and explore
it. Not that that is difficult (SecondLife may serve as an example) but
there are clear cost/benefit tradeoffs.
Would I want to wake up in an environment where I am clearly obsolete and
where the material in my body (or the computer hosting my mind) might
clearly be dedicated to purposes more useful than that which I am likely to
I mean if you don't like the newfangled ways you could always become the
> future equivalent of the Amish. And whatever the future holds you must admit
> it won't be dull.
No, dull, certainly not. Pointless would be the question one confronts. To
exist, simply to consume energy in the universe (being entropic) seems
rather counterproductive. To be extropic you have to be on the cutting
edge. We tolerate the Amish currently because we are not up against the
limits. To tolerate them in the future you have to argue (a) that the
limits will never be reached; or (b) that they have value. I would argue
that value fades over time.
> how many cryonics suspendees would choose to be brought back into reality
> > with a lion about to rip out their throat?
> It seems unlikely to me that a society that has mastered nanotechnology
> the reanimation problem is unable to master the lion problem.
The "lion" is metaphorical. Given the likely rates of development on the
singularity curve, when we have the technology for reanimation the
reanimates are likely to be classed as antiques. Of course in our current
society we value antiques (presumably because they represent something from
whence we have come or something we can learn from). When the future
determines that antiques are no longer relevant, on what swampy ground do
the reanimates stand? [This is the crux of the "Lions at ones throat"
Mind you, *I* didn't create this track (other than in outlining the
feasibility of Matrioshka Brains and their capacities). The foundation lies
in the work of Robin Hanson ("If uploads come first") and in the work of
> How do you guarantee [.] [snip...]
Agreed. There are no guarantees. But the future one prepares for (and
potentially tries to create) presumably reflects understandings as to the
outcome of the odds. If you are going to "prepare" for a future, e.g. being
reanimated as a prior suspendee, then presumably you should be (a) working
towards creating that future; (b) working against futures which would be
As I see the current future, there will be little respect for the Amish
(current cryonics suspendees). They will be as cockroaches currently are in
NYC. To argue the contrary you have to argue the emplacement and
maintenance of a moral system that values cockroaches in the shadow of the
singularity. [Please bear in mind that morality may be context dependent.]
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