Re: sex, yet again ~%6 (was Re: ; - )Neanderthal Miracles)

Max More (
Tue, 5 Nov 1996 10:29:05 -0700 (MST)

At 01:39 PM 11/5/96 +0100, you wrote:
>On Mon, 4 Nov 1996, Max More wrote:
Thanks for your clarifications Eugene. I see that you were not advocating
abolishing sex, you were thinking that it was inevitable for evolutionary
reasons. There's only point I want to address:

>> pleasurable and expressive activities if they are not tied to survival or
>> material gain (if these are the values you see as central for uploads)?
>I don't think the uploads will be able to afford conventional (simulated
>flesh) sex much longer. If we assume resources to be limited (unless
>computation can be detached from the material carrier and we start
>engineering our designer universes) _and_ we admit Darwinian evolution in
>[snip] we'll wind up having scarce resources, more sooner than later. Some
of them
>being time (attention devoted, etc), computation, whatever.

Rich had suggested I'd misunderstood you, and that you were saying not that
sex would be abolished, but that it would take more subtle and controllable
forms. From your response, it seems that you *were* indeed talking about
abolition. Sex will go because we won't be able to afford the resources.

This is the point that I find highly unlikely. I agree that many posthumans
may choose to use their computational resources for other things ("sex? --
been there, done that"). However, I seriously doubt this will be due to
Darwinian competition leading to scarce resources. The trend has always been
to effectively *less* scarce resources. As technology continues to develop,
I see no reason to expect that trend to reverse.

Actually, I can see that *maybe* the first uploads might not be able to
afford to simulate bodies and bodily experiences, though soon that would
become affordable. Even with early uploads, I suspect (but cannot
demonstrate) that simulating much of bodily experience in some form will be
desirable and probably necessary. Psychologically, most people will *want*
to have the experience of bodies when they first upload, even if they later
feel comfortable changing that. (Even they will no doubt avail themselves of
the ability to select which bodily sensations they experience, when, and to
what degree.)

So, my basic disagreement is with your view that resources will be scarce.
If at all, I see that as plausible only for the first early uploads. I see
computational resources gettting less scarce over time.


P.S. Hey, Eugene, do you know about the conference on the Future of the
Senses in Berlin in January/February? I'll be speaking, as will Hans
Moravec. It would be great to meet you.

Max More, Ph.D.
President, Extropy Institute
Editor, Extropy magazine