[ExI] shoes and boots: tanstaafl

Anders Sandberg anders at aleph.se
Tue Apr 7 19:18:16 UTC 2015

BillK <pharos at gmail.com> , 7/4/2015 7:08 PM:

That's the problem with transhumans trying to improve the human body. 
Get better at some things and get worse at others. It's a tricky 

Not if you know what you will be doing. 

Yes, planning for surprise eventualities has a place, but most of our modern lives are fantastically predictable. I know to the minute when I will wake up tomorrow, when I will be moving where, a large chunk of the tasks I will be doing (and what cognitive, technical and emotional faculties I will be using for them). I can predict the kind of environments I will walk in (home, pavement, airport, office building) and the kind of physical tasks I will do (mostly handing people slips of paper and plastic, lugging around a rucksack of a well-defined weight, and reading from a pile of papers). Much of this would be astonishing to a hunter-gatherer who rarely experienced routine and standardization. This is why I would be able to boost myself tremendously by specializing my body temporarily for these tasks, even if that made me far worse at handling the wilderness, woodcarving, free-form debate, swimming or broad attention. 

As our ability to predict what we will need to do or be improves, we will likely improve. The main limiting factors are unpredictability and the speed/cost of shifting to another specialization. 

Anders Sandberg, Future of Humanity Institute Philosophy Faculty of Oxford University
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