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Possible side effects of immortality.
Posted: 28 September 2008 01:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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I should add that that arc would be flattened considerably if we mandated that each couple could only ever have two children. Then by the year 3000 we would have:

6 billion x 50 x 2 or 600 billion people on earth, if my math is correct.

Jimminie Christmas. What would we do with all the garbage? Where would we grow the food? Either we would learn how to totally transform our physical reality in 1000 years (and probably most of us living in extensive networks of beehives), or we would be screwed. Or both.

And to repeat, this assumes that a draconian governmental regime could assure that on average youthful and fertile couples would only ever have two children during 1000 years ...

It’s fun to fantasize, but one does have to be careful in considering the costs and benefits.

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Posted: 28 September 2008 01:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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Brain cells die, overtime you would lose old memories and replace them with new ones. It would sort of be like your riding on a wave of memories; even though waves travel long distances the molecules of water within the waves are changing all the time.

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Posted: 28 September 2008 01:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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Wow, those are some pretty big unsustainable numbers.

Just a thought, if we (as humans) extend our lives to 300 or even 1000 years. That would give people in the research field another couple lifetimes, or more, to research things like space colonization.
As well, I think that only people who can afford it would live so long and ultimately make a bigger distinction from rich to poor. It could even crate a new form of bigotry in our world.

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Posted: 28 September 2008 01:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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“If the population growth and the increase in the consumption of electricity continue at their current rates, by 2600 the world’s population will be standing shoulder to shoulder, and electricity use will make the Earth glow red-hot. ... If you stacked all the new books being published next to each other, you would have to move at ninety miles an hour just to keep up with the end of the line. ... there would be ten papers a second in my kind of theoretical physics, and no time to read them.” (Stephen Hawking, The Universe in a Nutshell,  P. 158-159)

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Posted: 28 September 2008 01:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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mckenzievmd - 28 September 2008 12:43 PM

There are several decent sci-fi novels written about “post-mortality” human life, and it’s fun to speculate on, but I agree that it’s so improbable as to be a pretty pointless exercise beyond the entertainment value.

That pretty much sums up the majority of form discussions. It’s Sunday it’s raining and your right, this is entertaining.

Sci-fi, that reminds me of that star trek episode in which they use the transporter to revert Dr. Polansky DNA to a previous state. That would be immortality. If you could save restore points true immortality.

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Posted: 28 September 2008 01:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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dougsmith - 28 September 2008 01:00 PM

I should add that that arc would be flattened considerably if we mandated that each couple could only ever have two children. Then by the year 3000 we would have:

6 billion x 50 x 2 or 600 billion people on earth, if my math is correct.

Jimminie Christmas. What would we do with all the garbage? Where would we grow the food? Either we would learn how to totally transform our physical reality in 1000 years (and probably most of us living in extensive networks of beehives), or we would be screwed. Or both.

And to repeat, this assumes that a draconian governmental regime could assure that on average youthful and fertile couples would only ever have two children during 1000 years ...

It’s fun to fantasize, but one does have to be careful in considering the costs and benefits.

Well availability, even for the ones that want it, would be slow to come and that in itself would cause problems, however I think it’s pretty clear that even among more secular populations only a fraction would embrace it. Many just can’t see what they would do with even another 50 years. I don’t see that as a valid reason, how many failed suicide attempters go on to live a life they obviously couldn’t have imagined?

So I think your math is based on a false premise and a thousand years is a really long time, even I don’t try and think that far ahead. You know 92% of all the scientist that ever lived are still alive, so we’re just getting started.

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Posted: 28 September 2008 01:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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By the way populations are not the only thing to grow exponentially. The rate at which we accumulate knowledge would grow as well.

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Posted: 28 September 2008 01:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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Grayscale - 28 September 2008 01:54 PM

By the way populations are not the only thing to grow exponentially. The rate at which we accumulate knowledge would grow as well.

Rate of knowledge: Current human knowledge doubles ever 18 months.

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Posted: 28 September 2008 02:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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Amos - 28 September 2008 01:13 PM

Wow, those are some pretty big unsustainable numbers.

Just a thought, if we (as humans) extend our lives to 300 or even 1000 years. That would give people in the research field another couple lifetimes, or more, to research things like space colonization.
As well, I think that only people who can afford it would live so long and ultimately make a bigger distinction from rich to poor. It could even crate a new form of bigotry in our world.

I took it a step farther than class separation, how about species separation. Hey maybe that’s what we’ll eat.:-B

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Posted: 28 September 2008 02:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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danlhinz - 28 September 2008 01:40 PM

“If the population growth and the increase in the consumption of electricity continue at their current rates, by 2600 the world’s population will be standing shoulder to shoulder, and electricity use will make the Earth glow red-hot. ... If you stacked all the new books being published next to each other, you would have to move at ninety miles an hour just to keep up with the end of the line. ... there would be ten papers a second in my kind of theoretical physics, and no time to read them.” (Stephen Hawking, The Universe in a Nutshell,  P. 158-159)

Excellent, good quote. That’s sort of what I’m after. Things that can’t go on forever typically don’t.

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Posted: 28 September 2008 02:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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—Grayscale—

Like some sort of crazy 1000 year old “Homo Genome Saipan” who feeds on the flesh of the Homo Saipans? ..... survival of the fittest, eh? smile

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Posted: 28 September 2008 04:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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dougsmith - 28 September 2008 02:36 PM
danlhinz - 28 September 2008 01:40 PM

“If the population growth and the increase in the consumption of electricity continue at their current rates, by 2600 the world’s population will be standing shoulder to shoulder, and electricity use will make the Earth glow red-hot. ... If you stacked all the new books being published next to each other, you would have to move at ninety miles an hour just to keep up with the end of the line. ... there would be ten papers a second in my kind of theoretical physics, and no time to read them.” (Stephen Hawking, The Universe in a Nutshell,  P. 158-159)

Excellent, good quote. That’s sort of what I’m after. Things that can’t go on forever typically don’t.

“Things” are not guided by enlightened self interest like humans. Hawking makes the huge assumption that the only thing to change in 600 years would be the population. I mean come on, people standing shoulder to shoulder, power lines crisscrossing the planet and paper still being the storage media of choice. That’s just astoundingly short sighted. I haven’t read the book are you sure he wasn’t joking when he said that?  If he wasn’t he should stick to theoretical physics.

In 600 years will have built 1000 story self contained buildings that house millions, underwater cities, orbital cities, terraformed at least two other planets in our solar system and could even have man made planet sized cities orbiting our sun. There’s more than enough resources in our own solar system to accomplish this and it really wouldn’t require any wild sci-fi advances like warp speed or energy too matter conversion, just smart self replicating robots. No problem will probable have those in our life time.

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Posted: 28 September 2008 04:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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If significantly longer life were achieved with the obviously concommitant population growth, society would have to allow removal of members to maintain a stable total population.  Either people would have to take a wide bank of periodic tests, physical and mental, such that the lowest ranking members would be killed, or there could ba an annual lottery that determined who would be killed that year.  Neither of these seem particularly palatable.

While the age at death is increasing, it is doing so far more slowly than the increase in computer capabilities.  I suggest that long before humans have managed much improvement in lifetime, the computers will have become sentient, much more capable than humans and will decide humans are a waste of time.  Thus obviating any need for increase in life or, in fact, any need for humans. 

Occam

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Posted: 28 September 2008 05:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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Occam - 28 September 2008 04:17 PM

If significantly longer life were achieved with the obviously concommitant population growth, society would have to allow removal of members to maintain a stable total population.  Either people would have to take a wide bank of periodic tests, physical and mental, such that the lowest ranking members would be killed, or there could ba an annual lottery that determined who would be killed that year.  Neither of these seem particularly palatable.

While the age at death is increasing, it is doing so far more slowly than the increase in computer capabilities.  I suggest that long before humans have managed much improvement in lifetime, the computers will have become sentient, much more capable than humans and will decide humans are a waste of time.  Thus obviating any need for increase in life or, in fact, any need for humans. 

Occam

Slow to start yes but I think once we get past a few hurtles it will happen quite fast. Another question would be if it was determined that a cure for death would be too problematic how would you stop it? How would allowing people to continue dying when we have the ability to save them any different than population culling?

Whatever form of consciousness arises from AI I feel we have an unfounded tendency to anthropomorphize it. Even if we attempted to pull the plug so to speak it would be illogical for this consciousness to take any action beyond making sure we can’t pull the plug and that assumes It would have any instinct for self preservation at all. As far as we know this is only a characteristic of biological life forms, we have no way of knowing how it might behave and no reason to assume it would act anything like us. Hopefully it won’t understand how to hold a grudge.

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Posted: 28 September 2008 11:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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I don’t suggest that the sentient computers will hold a grudge, merely logically realize humans are inefficient, unnecessary and a waste of resources.  Therefore, expendable.

Occam

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