Re: Stewart Brand's The Clock of the Long Now

From: Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Date: Tue Jan 16 2001 - 16:40:15 MST

Stewart Brand wrote:
> Life extension is not youth extension, except maybe biologically.

Translation: "It doesn't matter whether your body is stable at 22, if
your mind is a thousand years old."

I would reply that it seems very unlikely that a human mind could age a
thousand years without requiring some cognitive-level changes, regardless
of how healthy the body and the individual neurons are - the human
mind-software is not designed to last that long, or to accumulate that
amount of experience.

But then, what are the beautiful qualities of youth that we would wish to
preserve through infinity? Is inexperience or naivete or lack of social
position really a factor - or is it youthful brilliance and quickness of
thought that we love, readiness to accept change and new ideas? Can you
be young forever if the number of neurons in your mind keep growing with
each year, instead of slowly declining?

-- -- -- -- --
Eliezer S. Yudkowsky
Research Fellow, Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence

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