Re: The Poor Masses

Dan Clemmensen (
Sun, 29 Sep 1996 18:22:55 -0400

Robin Hanson wrote:
> Hara Ra writes:
> >Back to basics, folks. Every country which has a good standard of
> >living, where survival in one's old age is not dependent on the number
> >of one's offspring, has had a slowing of population growth. In the
> >USA, we would see a population decrease if there were no immigration.
> >If the Extropian vision is a positive one, the goal will be increased
> >quality of life for one's children, which will always be costly, and
> >increasingly so.
> This recent trend is nice, and gives us more breathing space, but I
> don't think we should pin too many hopes on it. There are
> subpopulations of rich countries with large birth rates, and over the
> long term they should come to dominate. You might pin more hopes on
> the idea the soon our economic growth rate may exceed any feasible
> population growth rate, given the familiar technology of having
> babies. But with uploads, this limit should go away.

Robin, could you please explain your concept of "upload"? Mine is
perhaps a bit vague. I've always thought of an "upload" as the digital
continuation of a "meat" personality. With this definition, I don't
see how uploads are produced more rapidly than "meat" humans. I also
think of an upload as using less physical resources than a "meat" human,
not more.

Now, if you want to talk about machine-based intelligence in general, I
don't see a real difference in resource use between a society of
uploads and any other machine-based intelligence.I've always assumed
any machine-based intelligence, however internally constituted, could
expand nearly instantly to occupy the entiore available computer
resource, and
could shortly thereafter convert the rest of the available mass into
additional computer resource.