RE: FAQ Additions (Posthuman mind control)

Nick Bostrom (
Thu, 25 Feb 1999 21:48:56 +0000

> Nick Bostrom wrote:
> > den Otter wrote:
> >
> > > Better yet:
> > >
> > > In the first case, we should make sure that such entities are *us*.
> >
> > Yes, that would be nice. Especially if we could make sure that all of
> > us (who wanted) could be an SI. It is less pleasant to
> > imagine that just one or two persons in the world get to be in the
> > first generation of SIs. Could we trust them?
> What do you mean, "them"?

If they are very few, then (lets' face it) it's extremely unlikely you or me would be would be one of them.

> How about a race - the last one over the top has
> to nursemaid the stay-behinds!

If we could have a reliable arrangement to that effect, it would seem fairly ok.

My point is: Who would we trust to transcend first?

Nobody, I should think.

If there is a very gradual development, then this will not be such a problem. But in the hypothetical case where the development is very abrupt, I think we should be satisfied with nothing less than having many people transcend *simultaneously*.

Nick Bostrom Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method London School of Economics