RE: Will there be time to Relax?

Billy Brown (
Tue, 26 Oct 1999 13:16:25 -0500

Aaron Davidson wrote:
> Will we really have time to enjoy life in the future? Or will we be
> constantly struggling in an intense battle to keep up with the trajectory
> of future change.

The latter certainly seems more likely. The very best minds in society probably won't have this problem, but everyone else may.

> The fact of the matter is that if some people want to spend a little time
> relaxing and enjoying their new freedom, others will be out getting a head
> start dismantling the matter in the solar system to build j-brains. When
> comes time for those that weren't in such a hurry, we'll need to leave the
> solar system, and be years behind the advancements made by those in a
> hurry. From a survival standpoint, it would be foolish not to try and keep
> up.

True enough. If group A upgrades itself half as fast as group B, it won't be long before group B has the power to eradicate group A on a whim. Depending on what the ultimate limits of technology turn out to be the gap might also become permanent at some point. All in all, not a good situation for group A.

> Does anyone have a plan to both surf the wave of
> and still *enjoy* some of the other things life has to offer?

Since you probably want a few hundred years of moderately enhanced existence, I don't think there is any realistic chance of pulling this off at an individual level. I suppose that after you become an SI you could always spawn off a few thousand instances of human-level consciousness to enjoy life in various VR paradises - though the exercise would probably seem pretty pointless by then.

The best option I can see is social specialization. Find someone who is intent on riding the wave as fast as possible, and who you feel you can trust to look out for you while you vacation. They keep the posthumans from disassembling you by accident for a few hundred years, then they help you get back on the upgrade path. Of course, this still involves some serious trust issues and a great deal of uncertainty.

Billy Brown, MCSE+I