Re: A world without Pain

From: John M Grigg (
Date: Fri Jun 16 2000 - 14:47:46 MDT

Lee Daniel Crocker wrote:
In a world where everyone is a trillionaire, the guy with ten trillion still gets the girl, the better spaceship, the asteroid in the better neighborhood, more friends, and more opportunities. The very concept of "enough" is ridiculous, with no place in Extropian thought. It is at odds with conservation of mass-energy and the desire to expand.

Keeping up with the Jones' could really get rediculous!

Eliezer wrote:
If intelligence remains voluntary, then those who choose to stay human will never run out of ways to make themselves miserable. The _Diaspora_-class uploads will compete for social status, snub each
other, and punish nonconformism; all the tension and fear that humans now invest in money will simply be redirected, rather than destroyed. The Amish will keep farming.

I recently saw a show on PBS where a researcher who focuses on baboon social life said that these animals suffer from heart disease and other ailments due to the terrible emotional pressures they experience living in their troops. There is not much physical violence but the mere threat of attack and further loss of social standing eats away at them constantly(especially the animals with the lesser social standing). The scientist pointed out the corollary between baboons and humans.

you continue:
I can still hope for a world in which good wins *completely* and forever, by strictly ethical means, because there might well be some blatantly obvious way to do it. That's the miracle of intelligence. I
can hope for a world that is totally without suffering, even the suffering of existential ennui or boredom, because that is the Standard Sentient Quest and there will be immense intelligence turned to making
it so.

Still, I would regard the _Diaspora_ scenario - in which pain, death, coercion, and stupidity still exist, but are voluntary - as a "win".

This reminds me of the Hedonics Imperative website of Donald Pierce(a favorite of mine). I would love to live in the world you describe. I am personally very tired of my own emotional suffering over failed romantic relationships and failure to reach certain goals in my life. The negative thoughts and pain stay with me and is very debilitating. They strike at me like a red hot needle to the head.

I realize you are not advocating people becoming "lotus eaters" but instead having an extremely resilient emotional makeup so they can move on, be happy and achieve their goals.

you continue:
It's tempting to say that voluntary suffering would no longer be my concern, but suffering is suffering. Even as a posthuman, I'd probably still care about the Amish. It's nice to think that theists must
necessarily have made a conscious choice to turn their back on rationality and therefore deserve what they get, but that's just not the way the world works. If you're raised with a particular set of beliefs, it requires a mental action to modify them, not the other way around.

I think to be fair to the Amish young people, at a certain age(maybe sixteen?) they should be shown close-up the opportunities in the larger and posthuman world. It would than be their choice whether to leave their Amish community or stay.

I could see some Amish communities adapting to the extent of at least extending their lifespan but I could be wrong on that. How about Amish space colonists? They might have to go somewhat high-tech to leave the posthumans behind.

you continue:
At the end of my road lies a world in which suffering has either been eliminated or decreased to the irreducible minimum, and in which those who choose are completely free from suffering - free even from guilt
over the continued existence of that irreducible minimum.

Eliezer, again I must say I look forward to living in that world. I have a feeling that adversity and pain may not be as easy to escape as you think though.

I'm experiencing some serious pain right now! Missing the Alcor Life Extension Conference makes me feel sick to the core. I only have half the money I needed to attend saved up. It would have cost me one grand and I have half that in the bank. I try to tell myself there will be other conferences but I feel sick about it still. The transcripts/videos of these conferences never seem to be made available to the public either.

I would love to hear firsthand Natasha speak on breaking perceptions about extreme life extension. I would also like to hear the talk about the improvements in suspension 21st Century Medicine has made. Sometimes I feel so frustrated living in Alaska(as beautiful as it is) when I am so isolated from the incredible things going on in the lower 48. I hope to at least in the end hear from some of you how the conference went but I dearly wish I could be there in person.


John Grigg

P.S. Have fun James!! :)

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