Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Benefits of radical life extension

An Egyptologist remarked in shock after hearing about uploading for the first time at the 2003 Accelerating Change Conference that it is "unbelievable, humans have not changed in 8000 years; the cult of immortality still rules." This comment illustrates the conventional wisdom, that aspiring to radical life extension or immortality is hubristic, puerile and otherwise unwarranted.

However, aspiring to immortality is natural, appropriate and inevitable. At minimum, it would be hypocritical not to support human immortality given the myriad ways that humans influence nearly all other aspects of life and the environment.

Some assumptions are part of accepting the aspiration to immortality such as that the quality of health would be excellent (as compared with today's elongated periods of inferior health prior to death). Also there would need to be ways of refreshing mindsets, beliefs and values, preserving the beneficial aspects of the dying out and rebirth in the traditional life cycle. It has been a step of progress when the incoming generation supersedes the outgoing generation in thoughts, norms, ideas, culture, etc. As human consciousness expands beyond the current unit of the self, it will be great to incorporate many more individual and group ideas.

Resource consumption is also not a worry. First, before considering the impact of immortality on fertility, the current resources of the world and likely improvements in efficiency of resource consumption and (re)generation will be sufficient. The newly immortal will have more time to work on projects such as extra-terran colonization and asteroid mining. Second, assuming an initial continuation of the biological substrate, the fertility rate would probably further decline initially as people got used to immortality, and then since resource consumption is much more of an issue to an immortal, the fertility rate could increase again as people feel comfortabe with resource planning and want to have fun, experiment and create more brain power.

Filling those now truly endless days should also not be a concern. Humans are already learning to be responsible for generating their own happiness and fulfillment as mortals, so this would be extended and many more and different activities could be tackled with immortality.

2 comments:

David Roman said...

It is great to see a fellow Singularitarian. While so many people feel the need to casually deny and ridicule the idea of an enhanced life and an enhanced body, mind spirit, I feel it is mostly out of fear. Our blogs seem to be running on parallel but difference tracts. I would think it good to link to your blog on ours and vice versa. My brother and I have been singularitarians for a while but just started to post due to the obvious misinformation and dehumanization of the theories that lie underneath. Check us out at yoursingularity.blogspot.com We can talk more later. Thanks.

LaBlogga said...

Hi David,

Thank you for your comment and your blog is quite interesting also.

I am surprised by how many people support a variety of other "out-there" ideas but not radical life extension and the desirability of immortality.

The Immortality Institute has a great documentary discussing immortality from many stances; scientific, physical, societal, religious, etc.
http://www.imminst.org/film.php