Re: advantages of uploading

Rick Knight (
Fri, 13 Jun 97 10:31:29 CST

Hal Finney wrote:
>So if the future world is one in which competition is a significant
>factor, there will be pressure to run your brain as fast as you can.
>This is too bad, because actually in most ways the quality of life
>will be worse for the super-fast brain.

Then Robin Hanson replied:
An analogy is the transition from nomadic herding to farming. Farming
was a worse life style by most accounts -- including worse food and
harder labor. But it was a vastly larger economic niche, and most of
us are descended from people who filled it. =20

And I comment:
So history (or a cultural trend) should repeat itself? No thanks.
There is already pressure on humans to multi-task and process faster.
I heard once (from Dustin Hoffman on Larry King Live: take it for what
it's worth but it's an interesting notion) We process more info in a
day than most pre-WWII Eastern Europeans did in their lives.

I crave information but it is sometimes exhaustive. What we need are
a) technological intelligent agents to be our major domos for
retrieving information.
b) physiological improvements (thru nutrition? training? drugs? shock
treatment? <G>) that facilitate better brain processing.
c) better organization of the information. It's a haystack out there
and the needle of my focused attention is going to take a while to
find until someone invents needle locators.

BTW, the herding-->farming analogy is great. However, for an
interesting slant on that (ecological/anthropological/sociological)
have a look at the book "Ishmael" by Daniel Quinn or some of the
futurist/archetypal studies by Joseph Campbell or Jean Houston. Also,
"A Brief History of Everything" by Ken Wilber.

The beginning of agriculture is the beginning of great things and
not-so-great things. Agriculture ultimately gave us time to ponder
the universe once we had stockpiled enough. Of course, the first
banks were created to safeguard grain supplies. On the down side,
hording, imbalance and exploitation were agricultural byproducts that
have had quite a negative impact on civilization as well. The
"dominator" culture as it is referred to by Quinn. Archetypally, Cain
(the farmer) slew Able (the herder) so there's a long-term association
of agriculture with violence/exploitation/dominance.