Re: Re : Polemics for longevity

From: Robert Bradbury (
Date: Tue Jan 18 2000 - 18:52:14 MST

On Tue, 18 Jan 2000, Joao Pedro de Magalhaes wrote:

> (commenting on my comment that the world is pretty empty)
> Do you think an end of aging tomorrow would be good for the human species as
> a whole? I know extropians don't have any ecological concerns but I thought
> you were different. Do you really think space is the only boundary to
> population increase?

If we ended aging *tomorrow* (January 19, 2000), the population growth
rate would only increase marginally. It would take decades for the
increases to get compounded into a serious problem. By that time
I expect that (a) people would discover en masse the validity
of reasons for vacating the planet, or (b) why longevity is not
such a good idea.

Now whether ending aging tomorrow would be "good for the species as
a whole" depends a lot on whether you think having your expectations
of your future life *ripped* from your mind and sliced and diced
on the meme-cutting-room-floor. *Most* people would consider that
bad. Of course I'm not very interested in "dying" for "most" people.
(After all, what have they done for *me* lately....)

I disagree, that extropians don't have "ecological concerns".
I consider myself a highly "ecological" person in that, if possible,
I don't want to have to expend resources tomorrow cleaning up
any mess I made today (unless someone can show me concretely
that "tomorrow" cleanups are cheaper than "today" cleanups).
As I expect that analysis is problematic, it makes sense to
me to cleanup today and enjoy the "good life" tomorrow.

Re: population increase, a lot comes down to the degree to which
either individuals want (a) unlimited self-copies or (b) cross-pollenization
between individuals producing offspring in a simple and "inexpensive"
fashion. Real, physical reproduction is going to be horribly
slow vis-a-vis the growth in the resource base per person
unless (a) or (b) arrives to unbalance things [As Robin has
discussed in his papers.]

If the bodies are physical, the limits are more "real" than if the
bodies are virtual (primarily due to the fact that "suspending"
virtual bodies is easy, while "suspending" real bodies is problematic.

Ultimately even the virtual body count runs into matter and energy limits.

But overall, I think we transcend this planet, long before we
reach its carrying capacity (with "state-of-the-art" technology).

If that doesn't respond to your questions, I'd ask you to
rephrase them.


This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Thu Jul 27 2000 - 14:02:22 MDT