Randall Randall (
Sun, 25 Oct 1998 02:57:13 -0500 (EST)

Shaun wrote:
> Eliezer wrote:
> >
> >By the year 2050 at the absolute latest (assuming no civilization-destroying
> >wars) I expect that there will be nothing recognizably mortal, much less
> >human, in our Solar System. It's a matter of positive feedback.
> Out of curiosity, what parameters are you basing this hypothesis on?
> True, technological progress is being manifested at a rapidly quickening
> pace, but the moral mindset of this planet's human habitat is generally
> stubborn, pessimistic and myopic. Given the opportunity of "right here,
> right now" transcendence into a higher form, it is doubtful that every
> single mortal would want to upload. There is far to much human stigma.

Dunno what Eliezer would say, but here's my two cents:

Yes, it is unlikely that the greater part of humanity will ever upload. However, the extraordinary conpetitiveness of even fast human level intelligence (say, faster by a factor of 10) will mean that if a small percentage of transhumans intend to compete for the Earth's resources, some other transhumans and all humans will lose. IOW, upload or else.

> Furthermore, the assumption that technology will have progressed *that* far
> in the next fifty years is not an extrapolation that I would care to gamble
> on. Though I would honestly love for this claim to be true, my optimism
> wanes in the face of my realism. Show me good, hard, *tangible* evidence
> for your hypothesis and I will probably believe it as well.

The only technology required for that assumption is nanotech, and that seems to only be 5-20 years away. Curiously, the people most knowledgeable about nanotech predict the shortest times until we have it (e.g. Zyvex' website claims that they will have an assembler within 5-10 years). If so, and if the resulting machine is replicating, then posthumans could exist within weeks of that point.