Re: Genetic transition to posthumanism

From: Samantha Atkins (
Date: Mon Apr 30 2001 - 21:36:36 MDT wrote:

> >If you fully believe in the potential or rather, if you fully
> understand
> >the potential, then you know that what I wrote above is NOT fantasy.
> Attempts to predict the future of technology are usually only
> successful on a
> short term basis. AI, uploading, ubiquitous nanotech, etc. are so far
> in the
> future that no one can accurately predict what will be feasible and
> what will
> not.

Ah, you really don't understand, do you? Nanotech is within a
generation or just a hair more. Not in the far future. Ditto for AI.
Uploading may take another generation. If we don't start preparing
ourselves as best we can for this rate and kinds of change we will be
caught [more] dangerously flat-footed.

> We know there will be nanotech, but what will it's limitations
> be?
> There WILL be some. Nanotech is not magic.

Compared to today's technology? It is pretty darned magical. Enough so
to stand the entire industrial and agricultural basis on its head in the
few decades after its general availability. Enough to change utterly
the face of medicine.

> And AI.......well that
> could be
> a century away or more and even then who knows?

Your timetable is seriously askew and perhaps skewed to serve your

> Genetics is tried and
> proven
> and a path that any tranhumanist currently alive will have to take.
> No one
> has ever come close to anything like an AI or uploading. The number
> of
> pitfalls are horrendous. I am not saying that eventually these will
> not come
> about but I feel that for myself, and anyone remotely my age, that
> their
> best bet for a continued existence is through genetics. I won't even
> get
> into the sociology of people turning themselves into robots. I myself
> like
> being human. What would you be without your humanity? Something
> more?
> Maybe, but then again maybe you'll end up a lonely lost set of data
> in a
> make believe world that some AI programmed. What is the point in
> that?

If that were the best we could come up with rather than your own limited
characterization of the near endless possibilities ahead of us, then
there would be no point.

What do you mean by "robot"? If you mean a walking toaster then I don't
think anyone here has any such plans. If you mean being able to pick
and choose embodiments to suit your purpose and needs at the time then I
very much look forward to the day when we have such freedom and I strive
to be around to see it.

Genetics does not give continuing existence for you personally.
Genetics will enable us to produce healthier, more intelligent and
longer lived children. By the time they are adults a couple of decades
will have past of ever accelerating progress. They will see ubiquitous
computing before their first decade (equivalently, being continuously
wired to the degree one wants to be). They will most like see nanotech
flowering by age 15 and human level computer densities commonly
available a decade earlier than Kurzweil predicts, by the time they are
20. They will have the option in their child-bearing years to have
general or not, the natural way or not (unless politics bars it).
Before they are 50, death by known disease will be no more except for
those who elect to shun the treatments that cure all the diseases.

They will probably look back at even my crystal ball gazing and be
amazed by how pedestrian some of my predictions were compared to what
really happened.

- samantha

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