Re: Upload Economics (WAS: RE: No AI for Nano/No Nano for copyloads)

From: Robin Hanson (
Date: Sat Jul 15 2000 - 18:54:47 MDT wrote:

> > I'm not sure we know much about how nanotech changes the relative rates of
> > progress.
> Not in detail, no. But that doesn't mean we can just dismiss the subject,
> ... Until we have a better picture ... it is going to be very hard to
> assess the plausibility of any particular technology scenario.

It seems as it you are trying to dismiss my analysis of uploads by saying that
since nanotech advances will happen first, and we don't understand what that
implies, we can't talk about uploads. Recurse this argument (e.g., we don't
understand the internet, so we can't talk about nanotech) and we can't talk about

> > ...
> ... you analyzed the effects of rapidly adding uploads to the labor pool
> in considerable detail. However, your analysis focused exclusively on the
> supply side of the equation - there is no consideration of the fact that the
> uploads also contribute to agregate demand, which would tend to offset the
> downward pressure on wages.

See also: or .ps When you fully include this
effect, you still get the same result.

> I also think that your 'fast, cheap copying' assumption is an artefact caused
> by projecting a very advanced technology into a world that is otherwise
> unchanged. If uploads actually existed today, copying one would be a
> multi-million dollar operation involving weeks or months of work by a team of
> highly-paid specialists.

I don't understand this. We're talking about uploads as software that runs on
artificial hardware. Software is quickly copiable even today. Scanning a brain
to create an upload would take a lot of work, but copying an uploadsshould be very
easy given another copy of the same hardware to copy into.

> ... It is also a world right on the verge of full-fledged mental modification
> technology, which takes us beyond the realm of easy prediction.

Again, if you recurse this argument, you also end up not being able to talk about

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