Re: Leslie's "The End of the World" (was Re: Does anybody know these organisations...)
Wed, 12 Aug 1998 10:07:18 -0700 (PDT)

Doug Bailey [] wrote:
>The book describes the Doomsday Argument
>which basically states "we're a young species and odds are we're
>going to off ourselves."

Is this the same Doomsday Argument which has been mentioned here before? Basically that we'd expect on average to be born half-way through the human race, so half of us must have been born by now?

In that case there are easy answers. Firstly if we dramatically increase our lifespans and reduce our birth-rates, then we could be born half-way through the human race and still have billions of years to go. Secondly, if AI is hard and uploads are easy then most future life will originate from uploaded humans. In that case, even though the vast majority of life has yet to be "born" (i.e. forked off from another upload) many of those SIs will probably originate from people already alive; we'd only be half-way through the *organic* human race because any SIs would have memories of once being organics.

In fact I could take this argument to extremes and point out that since I'm currently inhabiting this body I must be the person fated to become the first SI and take over the universe (if you believe that is inevitable).