Re: Uploads and betrayal

Harvey Newstrom (
Tue, 30 Nov 1999 14:05:54 -0500

Jeff Davis <> wrote on Tuesday, November 30, 1999 4:36 am,

> I call it the Henny Penny Syndrome ("The sky is falling! The sky is

I agree totally. I would also expand this to cover other traits of the unknown.

Humans have long had a habit of exaggerating the consequences of the unknown. It either our savior or our destroyer. We have had both doom and utopian expectations toward agriculture, industrialization, electricity, computers, space exploration, genetic research, AI, etc., etc.

Some people predict that each new breakthrough will dawn a new age of paradise. Other predict that each new breakthrough will bring about the end of the world as we know it. Thus far, these predictions are always extreme. Statistically speaking, the truth is usually somewhere in-between.

Now for my heresy: None of the topics discussed on this list will dramatically change humanity, bring about more freedom or free time, or will result in mass deaths. We will adapt, and everything will stay the same according to human nature. Yes we have evolved a long way thus far, but the future will be the same only faster. We will use computers instead of camels. We will move planets instead of piles of rock. We will dispute rights to subspace quantum frequencies instead of freespeech. We will argue whether AIs have rights rather than race relations. Everything will be faster and on a grander scale, but basically the same. We will adapt to new technology, just as we upgrade our PCs or game systems to a new version without much thought. A few weeks later, we forget how different the new system was, and go on with our lives.

Yes, we have come a far way from living as nomads in the desert, but our cities with computers and networks and health advances, are still basically the same. We have politics, crime, debates, problems.


Harvey Newstrom <mailto://>
Author, Consultant, Engineer, Legal Hacker, Researcher, Scientist.