Re : Polemics for longevity

From: Joao Pedro de Magalhaes (
Date: Wed Jan 19 2000 - 06:01:21 MST


>If we ended aging *tomorrow* (January 19, 2000), the population growth
>rate would only increase marginally. It would take decades for the
>increases to get compounded into a serious problem. By that time
>I expect that (a) people would discover en masse the validity
>of reasons for vacating the planet, or (b) why longevity is not
>such a good idea.

That's an hypothesis -- a bit debatable but let's not go into that.

>Now whether ending aging tomorrow would be "good for the species as
>a whole" depends a lot on whether you think having your expectations
>of your future life *ripped* from your mind and sliced and diced
>on the meme-cutting-room-floor. *Most* people would consider that
>bad. Of course I'm not very interested in "dying" for "most" people.
>(After all, what have they done for *me* lately....)


>I disagree, that extropians don't have "ecological concerns".
>I consider myself a highly "ecological" person in that, if possible,
>I don't want to have to expend resources tomorrow cleaning up
>any mess I made today (unless someone can show me concretely
>that "tomorrow" cleanups are cheaper than "today" cleanups).
>As I expect that analysis is problematic, it makes sense to
>me to cleanup today and enjoy the "good life" tomorrow.

That's a more sensible view. But I doubt you would find many fans around the
extropians. Or perhaps you might even find fans but I'm sure we would
disagree in what would the threshold be for deciding if some messing up
wouldn't be able to be cleaned tomorrow.

>If the bodies are physical, the limits are more "real" than if the
>bodies are virtual (primarily due to the fact that "suspending"
>virtual bodies is easy, while "suspending" real bodies is problematic.
>Ultimately even the virtual body count runs into matter and energy limits.
>But overall, I think we transcend this planet, long before we
>reach its carrying capacity (with "state-of-the-art" technology).

Perhaps, let's wait and see.

Best wishes.

Joao Pedro de Magalhaes
The University of Namur (FUNDP)
Unit of Cellular Biochemistry & Biology
Rue de Bruxelles, 61
B-5000 Namur BELGIUM

Fax: + 32 81 724135
Phone: + 32 81 724133
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