Re: Rambling Rant was Re: Its Over

From: Samantha Atkins (
Date: Wed Jan 09 2002 - 23:41:46 MST wrote:

> observed:
> <<More or less my own feelings on timing; be great if it happens, but it's
> not
> something you can gamble on. But asking people to believe it might not
> happen in time is asking people to work and think about death. Very
> unpopular, those topics.>>

I think that quite a few of us would work just as hard toward
Extropian goals even if we knew that we would not make it to
Singularity or indefinite lifespan ourselves - even if we knew
that cryonics would not work for us. Personally I would still
want it for what is left of humanity and for my own children
even if I could not make it myself.

Sometimes I get a bit worried about this movement because it is
possible that we have an achilles heel in being so deeply
concerned for personal survival, perversely enough. People who
are extremely bent on survival at almost any cost can be more
easily threatened and coerced. They will not necessarily "go
the distance" in old monkey talk. Now an extremely rational
extropian will do everything possible to exercise all options
and support all causes ve believes in without risking death to a
significant degree. But I still worry that the deathists have a
bit of an edge in brinkmanship.

> <<The Singularity tomorrow thing is so much like a religion in far too many
> ways. Quite likely suicide too, if enough people adhere to it. In a way it's
> going to be real annoying to have them tell you "I told you so" after
> (insert number here) years of hard work by the rest of us have brought the
> Singularity about while the lazy ones lazed around just *believing*.

Actually, I think most religions are too much like Singularity!

> Perhaps because they believe that its just around the corner, contributes to
> such fervor or enthusiasm? My dyspepsia is technological forecasts concerning
> vast changes in the human condition, have tended to err on the
> hyper-optimistic. We, as a species and individuals, do need an 'insurance
> policy,' even if we are denying that we do.

Vast changes in humans that remain humans is very doubtful. But
humans that transcend humanness? We shall see. I don't think
it will come easy and I certainly don't believe it is
"inevitable". Much too much can throw a spanner in the works.
And I don't think most of us have really considered how deeply
we will have to change psychologically to cope with going beyond
the human.

- samantha

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