Living Forever

From: Anders Sandberg (
Date: Fri Jul 27 2001 - 12:10:50 MDT

On Fri, Jul 27, 2001 at 03:52:59AM -0400, wrote:
> Well, its hard to imagine ourselves as a continuous, rational and emotional
> artifact; that would stay sane for millions or billions of years. At least
> that is the way it seems from today's vantage. However, there certainly seem
> to be alternatives to constantly being awake throughout astronomical or
> cosmological time.

Immortality, or at least vastly extended lifespan, seems to necessiate
personal change and growth if you want to avoid various less-than-optimal
states. Even a slow rate of personal change over a long time will lead to
future selves that are extremely different from your current self.

Some people take this as an argument that immortalism is pointless - you
will die eventually, it will just be that it is by a process of changing
into a stranger rather than actual dissolution. I disagree, although this
is of course again an example of how different conceptions of selfhood and
individuality will lead to different consequences. I view myself as a
pattern perpetuating itself forward through time, a human process striving
for various goals and values. That this process will evolve into something
unlike its past is not strange or unwelcome, rather the opposite - I was
once something very different from that I am now, and this will continue to
hold. That I am changing doesn't mean that every important aspect of me
must eventually be reversed or changed into something I might not value
today. It is possible to retain one's identity and yet become something

> 5. Dyson View: Things will get less energetic, so your thoughts will get
> slower and
> slower throughout cosmological time. You won't notice this, because all
> others
> will have the slows also. Sig Transit Gloria Cosmos.

But notice that in his scheme, everybody gets to experience a potentially
infinite subjective lifespan. The outside universe quickly fades, but in
the virtual Olympus the party goes on forever. Pass the ambrosia, please.

> Point: Its probably a smart idea to consult with a neuroscientist regarding
> what biological processes induce feelings of satiation and/or boredom. If
> you have a bio-body that doesn't get bored (satisfied?) or you become an
> uploaded computer program, in a Uber-net, would you experience satiation, or
> boredom? If the answer is no, would we humans seek to pursue this focus? Do
> we have alternatives to the Big Sleep versus some kind of Obsessive Program
> Artifact (OPA)? Should we be de-fragged?

Regular defragmentation of your mind is always recommended, although some
newer models claim they do not need it.

Boredom is adaptive: without it you would end up in infinite loops too
often. So what we need is either the ability to regulate boredom, or even
better to deliberately make sure we fill our lives with rewarding,
interesting and challenging experiences. It is more an issue of mindset
than boredom/no boredom.

I have realised that I have a fairly low threshold to boredom, but I am
never bored because I have so much wonderful things to do (right now a
tempting book lies beside the computer, I know I could program that neat
program I want to write, I have several papers to read in other windows, I
could go out for some sushi and I have a big worldbuilding project I could
think of - wow! Pure ecstacy! :-) Instead we have to handle the frustration
of infinite choices, but that is much nicer. I think I can spend a few
billion years with that.

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

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