Re: freedom vs even distribution

Anders Sandberg (
11 Jun 1999 15:38:35 +0200

Cynthia <> writes:

> Dan Clemmensen wrote:
> > I think that the conclusion overlooks the likelihood of altruism
> > among the potential immortals. If even one of the immortals has
> > even the slightest amount of altruism, then the technology will
> > be be disseminated to the populace as a whole. The argument against
> > this assumes a zero-sum game in which a gain by the unwashed masses
> > equates to a loss by an immortal. Information doesn't work this
> > way.
> It may very well be possible that the average person will not be able to
> handle the enhancements necessary to become 'immortal'.

This is the problem of Bank's Culture novels: the Culture could rush in with super-AI, nanomachines, matter-energy conversion, genetic engineering and a lot of wonderful stuff to neighboring but less developed civilizations, but that would not work since they could not handle the technology or would become just poor imitations of the Culture. So it has to sneak developmens in, ideally let the civilizations make their advancments themselves but help them around dangerous pitfalls (which of course in itself is tremendously hard to do - this is really what produces most of the plot in the novels).

Also, not every human might want to reach the highest levels of transcendence. I know several who might settle for living like Greek Gods.

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y