Re: Suspended Animation

Anders Sandberg (
Mon, 2 Dec 1996 16:27:47 +0100 (MET)

On Sat, 30 Nov 1996, Eliezer Yudkowsky wrote:

> Zero. With the tech it takes to revive a terminal frostbite victim,
> it's as easy to grow the body back as to repair it. Besides, this is
> all going to be post-Singularity and all costs at that point are
> effectively zero.

OK, it is time for my bi-monthly reaction: I HATE THIS SILLY MEME!

Recently, there have been far too much singularity-worship here on the
list. Many extropians unfortunately see it as inevitable, easy and Destiny
itself. It isn't. It is a neat idea invented by Vinge that has caught our
imagination and fits in with *some* trends we see. There is IMHO no more
real support of it than the inevitability of the dictatorship of the
proletariat; if there are, I would like to see a well-researched paper
about it.

But back to the animation problem: thinking that as soon as we get
nanotech/uploading/AI all problems will be solved and we will happily
transcend is plain wishful thinking. It is in a way similar to the old
pulp sf idea of the lone inventor building the first spaceship in his
backyard - in reality it took a huge program and involved thousands of
engineers, scientists and workers. Even if we are in truth moving towards
a singularity, there is a huge difference between cell repair (hard,
requires mature nanotech and a good understanding of medicine) and the
singularity (requires... what?). We should not mix up what can be
estimated using theoretical applied science from what is pure speculation.

I'm sorry for this somewhat heated response, but I feel we have to tend
our memetic garden so that it will not become a tangle of weeds. The
singularity is an interesting concept, but it is not a fact and not a
central tenet of extropianism.

Anders Sandberg Towards Ascension!
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y