Re: 5,000,000,000 transhumans?

Randall R Randall (
Sun, 9 Aug 1998 15:30:41 -0400

On Sun, 09 Aug 1998 13:37:15 +0200 den Otter <> writes:
> wrote:
>> In a message dated 8/8/98 10:53:00 PM Central Daylight Time,
>> writes:
>> > What is the motivation to offer them
>> > transhuman status? Brotherhood? The same brotherhood that spreads

>> Somehow the wealth appears to be spreading.
>Yes, but this is fundamentally different; godhood isn't something
>that one would sell (or give away) like one would do with minor
>technological advances such as phones, TVs cars etc. Just like nukes
>were (and are) only for a select few,

The fact is that nukes are easily buildable by private individuals and groups; the fact that none have been detonated by private groups is evidence that only sociopaths want them.

>so will hyperintelligence,
>nanotech, uploading etc. initially be only available to a select
>group, which will most likely use them to become gods. There is
>no rational reason to distribute this kind of power once you have

The "power" you speak of is *trivial* compared to all the things that nanotech will be able to do; why would someone who could do nearly anything they would like want to play god to a few morons? On another note, if you could lift your pet's intelligence to that of your own, would you? I think a lot of people would, and how much more, then, other humans?

>Powerful businessmen still need others to make and buy their products,
>and dictators and presidents still need their people to stay in power
>& to keep the country running, but a SI needs NO-ONE, it's
>supremely autonomous.

This is my point.

>I can't imagine why it would share its
>awesome power with creatures that are horribly primitive from its point
>of view. Would *we* uplift ants/mice/dogs/monkeys to rule the world
>as our equals? I think not.

Yes, of course! Why *not*? It would certainly be interesting, and we lose nothing in the deal, except our boredom. :)

>But then again, we can only guess at a SIs motivations (but I
>wouldn't count too much on its benevolence). In any case, we
>should all work hard to be among the first SIs, that's the only
>reasonably sure way to live long and prosper.

I agree here, but for different reasons. I don't think that there is any point in worrying about some small group or individual getting nanotech and preventing everyone else from it, because I don't know that there is anything that can be done about that. The other possibility is that it will be available to everyone, more or less without cost, and that opens the door to other problems fairly quickly, such as runaway replication. Therefore I think that one of the things we ought to be doing now is designing an easily built (by assemblers) launch vehicle/escape boat, to molecular specifications, for wide distribution via the internet.


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