Re: Trans- vs. Non-human

Eliezer Yudkowsky (
Sat, 07 Dec 1996 23:17:13 -0600

> Do you mean no humans will survive? There are going to be a lot more
> people than just the amish who have no desire to transcend. Probably a
> majority won't want to, especially if nano has already defeated the mean old
> grim reaper. Are the laggards to be squashed like bugs?

The Gentle Seduction of Humanity:

"How would you like a better memory?"

"You're really missing a lot of obvious stuff, you know. Wouldn't you
like a few more neurons?"

"Well, you just can't understand THAT unless you let us install this new
cognitive module."

Think of it as pushing crack in reverse.
You don't necessarily have to Transcend or perish - in the short term.

After a thousand years... or a billion years... or 10^100 years ...
or 10^(10^100) years... or 3^^^3 years ... or 3^^^^3 years...
(Arrow notation explained at -
3^^^3 is equal to an exponential tower of threes 3^(3^(3...))) seven
billion threes tall - or more precisely 3^27 threes tall.)

After 3^^^3 years you've either Transcended or gone into an eternal
loop. After 3^^^^3 years it doesn't matter if you're only mortal
because the background hum of your neurons will have Transcended.

Immortality means just that, living FOREVER and EVER and EVER...
If you don't do it as a Power, your soul would burn away after the first
few billion years, maybe even sooner. I don't even want to think about
living for any *real* length of time - say Graham's number of years - as
a mortal. What a horrible thought. Death might be preferable.

In the long run...
The *really* long run...
Humanity just isn't an option.

--       Eliezer S. Yudkowsky

Disclaimer:  Unless otherwise specified, I'm not telling you
everything I know.