Re: Can You Live Forever? Esquire article

J. R. Molloy (
Wed, 12 May 1999 15:27:54 -0700

From: Anders Sandberg <>

>"J. R. Molloy" <> writes:
>> Don't forget that most of the world seeks to rise to the level of
>> per capita populations. To do so, they'll have to deplete five times more
>> resources than developed nations have already done.
>That does not follow, since it is not really a function of per capita
>income but rather technology. If you build a steelwork or chemical
>factory based on modern principles rather than old principles it
>becomes more efficient and less polluting. That means, if developing
>nations get the chance to build these modern systems (which do not
>necessarily have to be much more expensive), then there is no need to
>deplete much.

I hope for your sake you use accurate figures. (The current state of my health precludes worrying about it.) The scenario you describe doesn't seem to have worked out very well in Rwanda, Bosnia, Haiti, etc.

>Maybe the best thing to do for the environment would be to export or
>give China, Indonesia, India and similar nations as much advanced
>technology as possible, making them jump past the most crude and
>polluting stages. Partially this appears to have happened in some of
>the south-east asian countries, but never completely. And of course a
>lot of politics gets in the way - I guess most Americans would not
>want to see their nation *help* another become a great power, even if
>they would in the long run gain on it.

The technology the US gave to Japan 70 years ago didn't really play out all that well. (Remember Pearl Harbor?)
Yes, politics continues to subvert the scientific mindset.

>> >Depends on what you consider to be the box. I like being human, so much
>> that I want to be more human, even a perfect >human as I see perfection
>> be. I do plan on augmenting my brain for greater intelligence, knowledge
>> retention and for >communicating better, faster, more; achieving
>> immortality, correcting the genetic flaws I've inherited. Technology is
>> meant >to serve the human, not the other way around. THAT, IMHO is the
>> essential flaw of the borganist's argument, just as the >essential flaw
>> the socialist is to assume that the purpose of the individual is to serve
>> the community.
>> I'll drink to that! I think you've nailed the essential difficulty
>> and the dangerous part of the hypertechnocratic experiment. To the extent
>> Homo sapiens serves technology, rather than the reverse, we risk
>> a Frankensteinian superorganism.
>So who are we arguing against? If we look at the extropian principles
>or transhumanist statement, it is clear that neither approves of
>humans serving technology. Technocracy goes directly against the
>extropian style.

We pancritical extropian rationalists argue against congenitally selfish exploiters everywhere. 8-)
(No matter what banner they hide behind.)

>> Real science continues
>> to rely on peer review, critical analysis, and the occasional reality
>> or wake up call. Wilson notes that scientists use imagination to create
>> science, and level-headed reason to test it, to verify it, and to make it
>> into knowledge.
>It would be nice to see this approach applied to other areas more,
>both economics, politics and society as a whole. Just imagine the
>results when people could empirically compare the effects of different
>policies in a clear manner.

"Nice" you say? It would constitute a major change in human societal evolution.
If you imagine the results when people empirically compare the effects of different policies in an objective manner, you imagine consilience.


--J. R.
CEE CEE Rider:
Conservative Existential Empiricist
Consilient Extropian Environmentalist
(with a pancritical rationalist predilection)