Re: Malthus and transhuman v. human competition [Was inadverdent media

Elizabeth Childs (
Thu, 03 Jun 1999 23:43:30 -0700

First, if anyone is interested in a thorough trouncing of Malthus, read Julian Simon:

(I heard from a reliable source that Malthus faked his data, but I've never been able to confirm this. Does anyone know more?)

Secondly, there is this idea that some people will use the coming advanced technology to become transhumans, while other people will not use this technology and will remain regular humans. Yet, the historical pattern is that nearly all technology gets adopted by nearly everyone very quickly. In first world countries, 99% of everyone has a phone, and 98% have a TV set, both technologies less than two generations old. One in four Americans has internet access, after only five years of the web.

Yes, whenever anything new is introduced, there is anxiety, but then the invention becomes accepted. Even the most technophobic people will have most of the modern conveniences that they can afford, and all of the ones that were invented before they were thirty.

I would think the only people who would not take advantage of technologies would be a few holdouts, analagous to the Amish. Some people who are already past 30 when the particular technology is invented might not adopt these technologies, but they will die (much more quickly if they refuse life extension) and their children certainly will use whatever was around when they were born.

The Amish use computers, gasoline powered generators, and phones, all invented within the last two generations, yet they are the most technologically backward group of people in the US. I think we are all going to be transhumans.

> Sounds good, but humans adapt every niche in the ecosystem to their own
> use. Humans _don't_ partition niches. Neither would transhumans, or
> other
> _intelligent_ nonhumans. By simple Malthusian principles, wars of
> exterimination are inevitable between intelligent species. Ecologists
> have already establisehd that when two species 'share' a niche, in the
> long term they either partition it, or one goes extinct.
> Ray Van De Walker