> I've read their entire "civilization", but not "Lessons of History."
> I think that the conclusion overlooks the likelihood of altruism
> among the potential immortals. If even one of the immortals has
> even the slightest amount of altruism, then the technology will
> be be disseminated to the populace as a whole.
Assuming that the other immortals allow it (there could be a codex against proliferation of transhuman tech, much like the current one against the proliferation of nuclear weapons). Violators could face destruction, which is a horrible threat to a (potential) immortal. With(near-)perfect surveillance being easy for posthumans, any "illegal" development on earth could easily be nipped in the but.
> The argument against
> this assumes a zero-sum game in which a gain by the unwashed masses
> equates to a loss by an immortal. Information doesn't work this
Information is power, and by allowing millions of people to become god-like too, you multiply the risk of something going wrong by (approximately) the same amount. To the already fully autonomous posthumans this might not seem like a very good idea; there's more to lose than to gain.
No, posthuman altruism (if there is such a thing) would probably result in (covert) uploading of "normal" humans, and letting them "dream" their own version of a "perfect" future, while the original uploads guard reality.