[ExI] The ultimate test of your transhumanist convictions...

Brent Allsop brent.allsop at canonizer.com
Fri Jun 25 01:38:45 UTC 2010

On 6/24/2010 3:44 PM, Ross Evans wrote:
> Productive deployment of capital now will always beat passive 
> investment for the future. Pensions plans are the only way a person on 
> average income can ever hope to accumulate a fund big enough to 
> provide a meaningful retirement income. These plans basically involve 
> playing the stock market, and as such their performance cannot be 
> guaranteed. The reality is that people on average incomes cannot 
> afford to set aside a sufficient amount of capital for a retirement 
> plan that does not resort to casino capitalism to make returns. The 
> whole pension system is predicated upon actuarial assumptions that no 
> longer hold true; it was never envisaged that people would live 20+ 
> years beyond their retirement age, and this flaw now represents a risk 
> of systemic failure in the pension system, especially in Europe. I'd 
> say if you're 30 years or more from pension age, putting capital into 
> a pension is likely to be a bad financial decision.

I've heard other transhumanists have this plan.  I think most people are 
making several critical mistakes in their thinking.  First off, you 
said: "their performance cannot be guaranteed", which is completely 
wrong if you invest in the entire world stock market.  Always when there 
are long periods of stagnation in any one country, like Japan durring 
the 90s and the US durring the 70s, and Europe before that... this is 
only because some other country is eating their lunch, or undercutting 
their labor prices, and gaining on them, and so on, for the time being.  
Whenever there is a 'crash' the stock market always always always comes 
back, to continue it's exponential long term constant reliable 
exponential growth.  After the depression it took about 50 years to 
recover.  During the 70s, for the US, it took about 25 years (while the 
rest of the world exploded by undercutting our labor costs).  After dot 
bomb, it took 6 years.   And we're well on our way at beating this time 
interval, even though this one was much deeper than dot bomb (but 
nothing even close to the depression where we learned what not to do 
during such crashes) was.

And thinking about how long you will be 'retired' and worrying about 
running out of money is also completely the wrong way to think about 
it.  The whole idea is to become 'financially independent', and making 
more from your capital than your living costs, plus some for an 
exponentially growing lavish and capable future, so that you no longer 
have to be a slave to some employer to pay your living expenses.  You 
work first, to pay your basic living expenses forever, and get this done 
as soon as possible, then you play at things like bringing about the 
singularity for the rest of eternity, with your exponentially growing 
financial assets.

I'm now 50, and we almost had enough to quit my day job before the crash 
started.  It was exciting to be that close.  This crash will just make 
it so I have to work 5 or 10 more years, then I'll finally be there - 

Brent Allsop

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