[ExI] YES! Hard-core transhumanist splinter groups yearning for cyber-heaven

samantha sjatkins at mac.com
Thu Jun 17 22:06:41 UTC 2010

Gregory Jones wrote:
> --- On *Wed, 6/16/10, samantha /<sjatkins at mac.com>/* wrote:
>     Gregory Jones wrote:
>>     --- On *Wed, 6/16/10, Damien Broderick /<thespike at satx.rr.com>/*
>>     wrote:
>>     >...every atom and every photon somehow participating in the
>>     activity of thinking and creating.
>     > Is thinking and creating all there is?...
>     Ja!
Are you thinking or creating per se when playing with your child or 
doing many of the things you do and enjoy every day?  I don't think you 
can say that all you love to do or experience is thinking or creating. 
>     >  Is it enough for you to be happy?...
>     Thinking and creating makes me happy.  The computronium would
>     think about ways to be happy, and create new ways to be happy and
>     have fun.  Compare the world we have now to the one that was 300
>     years ago.  Why is it so much better now?  Because we have
>     information, we have so many cool things that the old ones didn't
>     have.
Thinking and creating make you happy but I doubt very much they are the 
only things that make you happy.  There are many many ways to have fun, 
enjoy, experience, be.   Some things are not that much better now than 
they were before simply because they did not require modern tech to be 
wonderfully enjoyable then or now.

>     >   Why involve every atom and photon?
>     I see no point in wasting them.  I don't like to see things dead. 
>     I want everything alive, as alive as it can be, thinking, playing,
>     creating fun!  Life is good, fun is good, so more of it is better,
>     and as much as can be had is best.

What do you mean "waste"?  The universe is utterly beautiful and most of 
it is not busy thinking and creating as far as we can tell.  I don't 
consider that a "waste" particularly.   Now and then I have to remind 
myself "Go outside.  The graphics are utterly mind blowing!"  :)

>      >  That seems rather pointlessly absolutist to me...
>     It seems rather pointfully absolutist to me.  {8-]

Nice throwaway without addressing what I am talking about.
>     >   And it will never ever happen anyway without breaking the
>     speed of light barrier...
>     Hmm, I don't propose anything illegal.  Obeying the known natural
>     laws, my endgame vision is using everything we have to maximize
>     sentience.

If you cannot do superluminal communication and travel then there is no 
way that any statement of harnessing every atom and all energy of the 
universe for thinking and creating makes sense.   This is part of why I 
say that the statement itself smells a bit funny.
>     >   What about the 96% of all that is that isn't atoms and
>     photons?  - s
>     We lose that.  For now.  Unless or until all that computronium
>     figures out how to make use of it to create more computronium, in
>     which case the fun is multiplied by a factor of 25.
>     Look at it this way.  If we consider all the real thinking going
>     on in this solar system is happening in the minds of humans, and
>     there are about 6e9 of us now, and on average we are about 70 kg
>     each, that's about 4e11 kg participating in human level
>     sentience.  The mass of the earth is about 6e24 kg, so less than 1
>     part in 10^13, less than a tenth of a part per trillion is really
>     having fun, and there is probably about another couple orders of
>     magnitude of metals in the solar system outside of earth, so one
>     part in a quadrillion in the solar system is participating in
>     human thought.
Sure.  I have no problem with getting as much room for creation, 
thought, experience, consciounsness and so on as possible.  Or for 
expanding the possibilities we can explore as much as possible.  But I 
don't believe that requires changing everything in our light cone to 
computronium.  Maybe we decide to do that and maybe not.   

>     Most of the sunlight that falls on the earth is wasted, but lets
>     ignore that painful fact for very conservative estimates.  The
>     radius of the earth is about 6400 km, so area of an earth
>     sized disc is about 1.3e8 km^2, and out here at 8 light minutes,
>     the area of a sphere of that radius would be about 2.8e17, so
>     about 1 photon in every 2^e9, less than half a part per billion
>     emitted by the sun, ever hits the earth.
>     So what if we could increase our energy use by 2 billion and our
>     amount of matter participating in thought by 10 trillion? 
>     Wouldn't we have fun with that?  Wouldn't that be like having 10
>     trillion Anders Sandbergs, 10 teraAmaras, 10 teraMax?  Oh
>     my, would that sim whoop ass, or what?

Sure, it could be grand indeed.  But we might just as well become lotus 
eaters once we use all the energy of the local star.   Time will tell.   
The fact that no other species appears to have done so or be doing so 
gives me a bit of pause as to whether this simple vision is the only or 
best or the one post singularity species generally take.  
>     And even that scenario vastly underestimates the case, because the
>     mass of a human is appallingly underutilized in thinking and
>     enjoying.  Some of our mass is just hair, nails, flab, stuff we
>     don't need.  Most of our mass is stuff we don't need, or wouldn't
>     need if we were not preoccupied with feeding ourselves to maintain
>     tissue that we don't need.  If we put everything to work, progress
>     could proceed jillions of times faster, better, cheaper.  We could
>     figure out ways to go get that other 96% and all the rest of the
>     galaxy, and all the other galaxies too, for there is no point in
>     wasting all that energy, just shining out into cold dead empty space.
Actually a lot of that useless mass is full of very yummy nerves and so 
on.  :) Yes, you can do better in a theoretical future computational 
space.   But where do you take a breath and enjoy and fully appreciate 
what is?  If you only keep running to more and More and yet MORE do you 
remember to smell the roses fully before you digitize them? 

>     This is my transhuman endgame vision, the vision that guides
>     everything I do, everything I think, everything I am and hope to
>     become.

And I largely share it with some caveats and occasional need to ask 
questions as to what is really meant and what we really want and why.  

- samantha
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