[ExI] tech influence

Adrian Tymes atymes at gmail.com
Tue Feb 11 23:00:21 UTC 2014

On Feb 10, 2014 6:39 PM, "John Grigg" <possiblepaths2050 at gmail.com> wrote:
> I wonder if some mid 21st century nations will decide to pay healthy
people to donate sperm and eggs, so that facilities full of thousands upon
thousands of artificial wombs, will produce the young citizens they will
desperately need.  But then between that and the need for high tech and
well-run "orphanages," the costs of playing "Brave New World" would be

At what point does it become economical to train, license, and employ full
time child rearers, in this scheme where there are many more "nobody's
children"?  Would the results get a dramatic boost over children raised the
traditional way, or would the lack of dedicated continuing adult support
and connections - a traditional "family", where it is not replaced by just
their siblings - be a major problem?

Further, what exploits would be too tempting not to do?  Biasing them
toward military service so we don't lose so many soldiers with families?
Genetic engineering, where terminating failures at 5 years old becomes more

> I suppose that with the rise of A.I. and advanced robotics, that the need
for relatively robust human populations may shrink, as machines take up the
slack, and excel in ways that humans may not.

Not necessarily.  Consider what the "need" is, aside from just laborers of
various sorts.  Part of the reason CPUs are so cheap is that so many are
needed, enabling economies of scale impossible when the world had under a
billion people - not that long ago, compared to the span of human history.

What things are not now economical to do, that might become practical with
a market of one trillion users?  And how much faster might the scientists
among that trillion push things forward, than all the scientists around
today do?  (Not all of them will be, of course, but more people with the
same per capita resources means more scientists.)

I've done some stories along this line - not yet published, for want of a
good venue (including marketing and editing to let me know how to bias the
stories for better public uptake) to publish them in.  (It's one thing to
seriously explore a topic, but another to do so in a way that many people
will read.  I've considered going the comic book route, if I could find a
good illustrator I could work with.)
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