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Re: immortality for all

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  • Mark Gubrud
    ... At least you re not against immortality if it can be for all. Suppose the development of an immortality technology would require a period in which some,
    Message 1 of 3 , Aug 1, 2001
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      > I meant to write "Immortality for everyone or no one at all!"

      At least you're not against immortality if it can be for all. Suppose
      the development of an immortality technology would require a period in
      which some, but not all, lives could be saved. So some people would
      die before the technology advanced to the point where all lives could
      always be saved. Would you be against the development of such a
      technology? Even if it meant saving more and more lives, and eventually
      making everyone immortal?

      > Every time individuals in some advanced country promotes the idea that
      > some new technology is going to bring prosperity to the world....
      > well, we all know what happens!

      Oh, you're very right to be skeptical of claims that technology by
      itself
      will bring prosperity to everyone. But the problem, then, is not with
      technology but with the social structure. So why then would you condemn
      the technology?

      > The world is too small, ecological system too fragile and there are
      > too many people in the world for a few self-righteous and wealthy
      > countries to act like they owe nothing to anyone but themselves.
      > No one wants jihads but unless the increasingly limited resources of
      > the world are distributed in a way that is fair we risk more wars,
      > ecological degradation and guilt!

      Good points, but I don't see why you would reject the possibility that
      new technologies could be helpful in addressing the problems you point
      to.

      > There is an expression that comes from a group of people in Africa -
      > "The poor man shames us all."

      Yes, that is a very good saying.

      > The Western lifestyle is simply not going to be sustainable for much
      > longer.

      Clearly we are going to have to change our patterns of consumption,
      but perhaps we can do this without giving up a high standard of living.

      > Listen to scientists! The greenhouse is going to cause big problems
      > for us very soon.

      Actually, the scientific consensus is that global warming is going
      to cause big problems for us fairly later on if we don't change the
      rate of CO2 emissions fairly soon. Some people believe that before
      the big problems hit, we'll have technologies that can cope with
      the problems and arrest or even reverse the effect. That's too big
      of a gamble, in my opinion, but it does give us a basis for hope.

      > If nanotechnology can help solve these problems, good. But if
      > nanotechnology is merely going to be used to preserve and enhance the
      > lifestyles of those fortunate enough to be born in certain wealthy
      > countries then I question the reasons for its development.

      Why would you assume it could not be used for both purposes? I would
      not assume that it WILL be used for both, but that is a different
      matter.

      > I don't want to die.

      Good. Me neither.

      > But I probably will one day.

      Yeah, me too, probably.

      > I just hope that I ive a happy and healthy life.

      Well, best of luck.

      --Mark
    • Steven Guy
      ... My idea is that someone lets loose an immortality plague! ;-)) ... I guess I wonder what immortality means? I mean to say that the universe itself isn t
      Message 2 of 3 , Aug 1, 2001
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        Mark Gubrud wrote:

        > I meant to write "Immortality for everyone or no one at all!"

        At least you're not against immortality if it can be for all.

        My idea is that someone lets loose an immortality plague! ;-))
         Suppose
        the development of an immortality technology would require a period in
        which some, but not all, lives could be saved.  So some people would
        die before the technology advanced to the point where all lives could
        always be saved.  Would you be against the development of such a
        technology?  Even if it meant saving more and more lives, and eventually
        making everyone immortal?
        I guess I wonder what immortality means? I mean to say that the universe itself isn't immortal.
        I sometimes get the feeling that people I talk to (off this list) haven't really thought it through. Do they mean living an extra few thousand years? Or until the sun leaves main sequence? Or until the Galaxy uses up all its fuel? Until all the protons in this universe decay?
        I am not sure what people mean when they say "immortal".
        I wish someone could work out a way of bainishing sleep when we need extra time!
         

        > Every time individuals in some advanced country promotes the idea that
        > some new technology is going to bring prosperity to the world....
        > well, we all know what happens!

        Oh, you're very right to be skeptical of claims that technology by
        itself
        will bring prosperity to everyone.  But the problem, then, is not with
        technology but with the social structure.  So why then would you condemn
        the technology?

        I never blame technology - I am very much in favour of the development of advanced technologies - I'm on this list aren't I? ;-)) I want a future for my children which is challenging, stimulating and astonishing. But I also want a future where humanistic, ethical and compassionate behaviours are treassured.
         

        > The world is too small, ecological system too fragile and there are
        > too many people in the world for a few self-righteous and wealthy
        > countries to act like they owe nothing to anyone but themselves.
        > No one wants jihads but unless the increasingly limited resources of
        > the world are distributed in a way that is fair we risk more wars,
        > ecological degradation and guilt!

        Good points, but I don't see why you would reject the possibility that
        new technologies could be helpful in addressing the problems you point
        to.

        I am hoping that nanotechnology will eventually benefit everyone. I hope.
         

        > There is an expression that comes from a group of people in Africa -
        > "The poor man shames us all."

        Yes, that is a very good saying.

        > The Western lifestyle is simply not going to be sustainable for much
        > longer.

        Clearly we are going to have to change our patterns of consumption,
        but perhaps we can do this without giving up a high standard of living.

        Well, if nano-machines can clean up all the excess CO2 then we are in business!
         
        > Listen to scientists! The greenhouse is going to cause big problems
        > for us very soon.

        Actually, the scientific consensus is that global warming is going
        to cause big problems for us fairly later on if we don't change the
        rate of CO2 emissions fairly soon.  Some people believe that before
        the big problems hit, we'll have technologies that can cope with
        the problems and arrest or even reverse the effect.  That's too big
        of a gamble, in my opinion, but it does give us a basis for hope.

        I tend to think that we need to be more decisive and act now. Okay, if we are wrong then we haven't lost much.
         

        > If nanotechnology can help solve these problems, good. But if
        > nanotechnology is merely going to be used to preserve and enhance the
        > lifestyles of those fortunate enough to be born in certain wealthy
        > countries then I question the reasons for its development.

        Why would you assume it could not be used for both purposes?  I would
        not assume that it WILL be used for both, but that is a different
        matter.

        I hope that nanotechnology can be used to benefit everyone - those who choose a "western" lifestyle and those who choose something else or something new.
         

        > I don't want to die.

        Good.  Me neither.

        > But I probably will one day.

        Yeah, me too, probably.

        > I just hope that I ive a happy and healthy life.

        Well, best of luck.

        --Mark
         

        Thanks, Mark. Life ain't always easy. Let's just hope that we can leave a decent place for our kids!

        Cheers,
        Steven

      • Chris Phoenix
        ... From our current point of view, it s hard to tell the difference between immortal and a few million years. If I live to be even 200, I ll have more than
        Message 3 of 3 , Aug 2, 2001
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          Steven Guy wrote:
          > I guess I wonder what immortality means? I mean to say that the
          > universe itself isn't immortal.

          From our current point of view, it's hard to tell the difference between
          "immortal" and a few million years.

          If I live to be even 200, I'll have more than doubled the current human
          lifespan. And at that point, technology will give so many more choices
          that any decision I make now will be meaningless.

          > > Clearly we are going to have to change our patterns of consumption,
          > > but perhaps we can do this without giving up a high standard of
          > > living.
          >
          > Well, if nano-machines can clean up all the excess CO2 then we are in
          > business!

          Um, nanomachines will be made of carbon! Cleaning up excess CO2 should
          be pretty trivial.

          > I tend to think that we need to be more decisive and act now. Okay, if
          > we are wrong then we haven't lost much.

          Yes we have. We've lost all the money that it costs to act now. And
          all the things we would have done by burning that fuel.

          It could easily cost billions if not trillions to cut our energy
          consumption significantly--and still only make a partial dent in the
          problem. That much money could make nanotech happen five years sooner,
          thus giving us five extra years of *no* problem.

          Chris

          --
          Chris Phoenix cphoenix@... http://www.best.com/~cphoenix
          Interests: nanotechnology, dyslexia, caving, filk, SF, patent
          reform... Check out PriorArt.org!
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