Dan Fabulich <email@example.com>:
> So, let me get this straight: if we don't switch to an authoritarian gov't
> that literally opiates the masses (or barbiturates, or
> crystal-methamphetimates the masses) and organizes everything from the top
> down, people are going to to get smart enough to build horrible weapons,
> and then people are gonna USE those weapons and blow us all up.
Not all, just the memeset carriers who insist on paying taxes and are unable to be reprogrammed into enjoying freedom and liberty. Mr. Veteran refuses to give up HIS (Host Indentification Syndrome) and cannot stand the thought of his HAM Radio frequencies being used by Libertarian digital microcellular. He falls asleep and wakes up in a VR simulation. His 4x4 and Gun Collection get melted.
> their incentives. And ethically? Well, I happen to be a utilitarian/
> libertarian. Maybe I won't even bother to open this can of worms here.
Ethics? It's unethical to rearrange the atoms in coffee beans to make expresso. Unfair to the poor weak chemical bonds that insist on remaining in the bean state. Fried chicken? Steak? Pork Chops?
> If you're right about your predictions, (and you'd have a hard time
> convincing me of this in the first place,) then I don't think a top-down
> economy is going to fix things. You see, in a top-down hierarchy, those
Agreed. But to dismantle the top down hierarchy in a nonviolent way, you need to work from the top down. Kind of like a dissolution of big brother starting at the top. The King says "servant, YOU WILL be free now, but first tell your servants to pass the message on down the hierarchy".
> Maybe not. Either way, the total obliteration of humankind would be
> inevitable. The longevity we transhumanists are striving for would be
> utterly pointless, and we'd all die.
Not necessarily total oblivion, just replacing evolution with designed outlasting of human form. Why is it that anthropologists have such a hard time tracing human evolution back on the tree of life? Maybe we get to a point where our intelligence outgrows our natural forms, then we clean up the mess, upload to nano-scale distribute forms watching vicariously through the next evolutionary outgrowth. Remove all evidence of technology, then watch through the eyes of squirrels are monkeys, waiting to see who gets nanotechnology next. Then, right before that species gets nano, we intervene, upload, and eliminate all evidence of that species' existence. (Leaving small traces and clues in the literature and mythologies).
> To sum up:
> If you're right but we don't listen to you, we die.
> If you're right and we listen to you, we die.
Incorrect. You get to reach nanotechnology, and enjoy interplanetary travel and immortality. You get to join "The Watchers" and patiently sculp the evolution of the next species.
> If you're wrong and we don't listen to you, life is (relatively) good.
Well, maybe a compromise: we could make an industry of swapping the gasoline burning engines with non-polluting engines, then retrofit the cars with autopilot systems that operate when these heavy steel vehicles are operating in proximity of lightweight hybrid flywheel/electric motor driverless shuttles. We can't have heavy human controlled cars sharing the roads with lightweight electric cars. It's understandable how people are attached to the feeling of control that a steering wheel, break pedal, and accelerator pedal produces. However, human control can't be permitted on automated shuttle based transportation systems. Rather than retrofit, it's probably easier to scrap the human controlled gasoline burning vehicles, then replace them with electric cars.
For those who are so attached to controlling their cars that they won't go free without a fight, we can bribe them with hydrogen or alcohol burning systems that have both autopilot and human control modes. Then they can stock up on water or alcohol when they feel like they might need to "head for the hills". ;)
> If you're wrong but we listen to you anyway, life sucks a lot.
Only if you listen to *me* only. There are plenty of people out there to listen to in addition to me.
> Transhumanists have an interesting take on these "end of the world"
> scenarios, no?
> -GIVE ME IMMORTALITY OR GIVE ME DEATH-
What's the difference? You sleep don't you?