[ExI] shoes and boots: tanstaafl

BillK pharos at gmail.com
Tue Apr 7 22:00:39 UTC 2015

On 7 April 2015 at 20:18, Anders Sandberg  wrote:
> 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.

That sounds as though you don't need much enhancement!  :)

Better eyesight is an easy choice. And a baldness cure.  ;)  And most
cosmetic changes.

Though for present day humans physical enhancement for daily
activities would possibly be bad for us. Physical exercise is
life-extending. The modern 'couch-potato' lifestyle is not healthy.
Reminds me of the contradiction of people driving in comfort to the
fitness centre instead of just cycling or walking and avoiding the
need for extra exercise.

Enhancements / replacements for the disabled, of course. And possibly
enhancements for specific tasks that are beyond normal capability.
e.g. lifting heavy objects.  But robots may soon do all the heavy
dangerous jobs.

Intelligence enhancements could be useful. But I would be cautious.
What are the side-effects? Will ordinary life become too boring? Will
ordinary people become too boring? Will high IQ people stop having
children? Will mental problems develop?

History shows that almost every change in society has unexpected
consequences. It is a universal human experience that often if they
had realised that y would happen then they wouldn't have done x in the
first place.
(This is rationalised by saying that you can't make an omelette
without breaking eggs).


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