Re: We're stuck with each other

From: J Corbally (
Date: Wed Jan 23 2002 - 17:22:51 MST

>Date: Tue, 22 Jan 2002 18:37:20 -0500
>From: "Eliezer S. Yudkowsky" <>
>Subject: Re: We're stuck with each other
>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

Perhaps it should be insanely expensive at first, then pretty cheap after
that. Like mobile phones were initially. In the early 90's, people
despised the Yuppies for their extra appendage; they said it was vain,
showing off their financial excess, too expensive to justify. Within a
decade the whole damn place has one, and everyone thinks their very handy
and not a bit "showy" or vain. People who would have been embarrassed with
the very idea of answering such a phone in a crowded street now happily
whip out and dial away.

My guess is that people don't yet realize how "handy" indefinite lifespan
will be. But once the Youth Yuppies show it up, they'll get the message.

I sometimes think that some of the people who speak so strongly against
extended life are the people who are most afraid of the temptation to try
it, because they know they won't be able to resist.

My feeling is that it'll be the ladies who come to the rescue of indefinite
life. While most of them don't realise it yet, they are the most public
group with the desire for "eternal youth", and not just in terms of surface
appearances. Women's beauty products are being sold with "anti-ageing"
compounds that "delay the signs of ageing". The beauty queen of the future
may not be stick slim, but she'll be 50+ and looking like she's 21.


"If you can't take a little bloody nose, maybe you ought to go back home and
crawl under your bed. It's not safe out here. It's wondrous, with treasures
to satiate desires both subtle and gross. But it's not for the timid."
-Q, Star Trek:TNG episode 'Q Who'

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