Re: We're stuck with each other

From: Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Date: Tue Jan 22 2002 - 16:37:20 MST

Arona Ndiaye wrote:
> I still find it hard to believe that more than a little portion of the total
> population would be willing to be 'left behind'. At the 'beginning' people
> might decide to be 'left behind'. Nothing new there, it's the old 'scared of
> change' attitude. After a little while ( assuming we're still at 150k
> deaths/day, which is really optimistic ) a few more rapes, murders, Bin Laden
> III ( the return of the revenge of...) etc... I'd expect a sensible increase
> in the number of people NOT wanting to be left behind. If someone willingly
> chooses to be left behind, great for them. I'll be very gone....

In an odd sense, it's almost a pity that immortality WON'T be expensive.
If people were afraid of being "left behind", more of them might be
inclined to take up the offer when it becomes available... people who'd
turn down immortality if you offered it to them for free would probably
scream to the high heavens if only the wealthy could buy it.
Unfortunately I can't think of an ethical and practical way to make use of
this kind of reverse psychology. Those who maunder on about the "digital
divide" may be doing the job for us, but they probably accomplish far more
harm than good.

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

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