3 of 5
3
Possible side effects of immortality.
Posted: 29 September 2008 05:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  342
Joined  2008-06-23

I think it’s more likely that we will see a fusion of man and machine rather than a distinct dichotomy of man or machine.  We’re already seeing it start to happen and I think it’s likely to continue to the point where it becomes useless to or we become unable to make the distinction between human and robot any longer.

 Signature 

“There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere.”   

..............-Isaac Asimov

Profile
 
 
Posted: 29 September 2008 06:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  15305
Joined  2006-02-14

The other factor here is genetic engineering, which effectively blurs the distinction even more. When we think “machine” we usually think of something made of a solid material like metal or silicon. But cells are machines too, and exceedingly complex ones at that. As genetic engineering really gets going, there is a lot more blur that could happen ...

One basic question, however, is how much “fusion” the average person will accept as time goes on.

 Signature 

Doug

-:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:-

El sueño de la razón produce monstruos

Profile
 
 
Posted: 29 September 2008 10:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  342
Joined  2008-06-23
dougsmith - 29 September 2008 06:38 AM

One basic question, however, is how much “fusion” the average person will accept as time goes on.

Exactly.  However, given how accepting people are of the current use of silicon…erm…implants, I have a feeling that people will find justification readily available should the benefits become clear.  I mean, it’s already out there in the form of brain implants that give people sight or hearing back or chips that allow paralyzed patients to directly interface with computers. 

“By connecting intimately with computers, we will take the human brain to a new level,” [Kennedy] says. “If we can provide the brain with speedy access to unlimited memory, unlimited calculation ability, and instant wireless communication ability, we will produce a human with unsurpassable intelligence. We fully expect to demonstrate this kind of link between brain and machine.”

... The spectacular successes of brain implants in primates has paved the way for new human trials, including one at Brown University, where neuroscientist John Donoghue is moving ahead with BrainGate, a minuscule array of tiny, spikelike electrodes implanted in the motor cortex. Candidates are quadriplegics, with all four limbs paralyzed due to ALS, spinal cord injury, or brain stem stroke. So far, three patients implanted with BrainGate can voluntarily modulate several dozen neurons sufficiently to type on a screen, move a prosthetic hand, or control a robotic arm.

... In February, for the first time, Ramsey heard the synthesized vowels he was “saying” in his head (consonants are harder and will come later) played back in real time, as he was thinking them. He heard the phonemes blare from computer speakers and, at the same time, could see his neural signals directing a cursor to the symbol for the sound (like “ooh” or ?“aah”) on the screen.

Guenther and Brumberg flew in from Boston for this groundbreaking experiment. When the computer “spoke” for Ramsey for the first time, whoops of delight could be heard in Kennedy’s lab. “It was incredibly exciting,” Guenther says. “We finally all knew this was going to work.” Ramsey’s brain is already changing as his neurons learn to fire in specific ways that better control the synthesizer. “We are now convinced we’ll be able to give him rudimentary speech within not too many years,” Guenther says.
Source: Discover Magazine, “The Rise of the Cyborgs”

While people may at some surface, knee-jerk level be opposed to the idea, when it comes down to it I don’t think many would turn down a nano-scale chip that effetively grants people extended memory or increases the “processing” power of the brain.  I think more people would be concerned over who gets them rather than any kind of moral reservations.

 Signature 

“There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere.”   

..............-Isaac Asimov

Profile
 
 
Posted: 30 September 2008 05:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4142
Joined  2008-08-14
Shawn - 28 September 2008 11:21 AM

You may have misunderstood what I wrote. I am saying that I have embraced and accepted the fact that I will die. I have not ‘filed that awareness away’. I use it to help me understand and appreciate the world in which I live, as opposed to some who ‘live’ in fear of death.

Exactly Shawn!When I read that statement from above I immediately did a doubletake.Awarness of death has no bearing on “Perceived Acheivements”.When I was about 13-14 and started to realize mortality and atheism. I became convinced that life is to short to get caught up in some rat race.There is no meaning to life,and in the context of mortality there are no winners or losers.
In the context of comforts,there are winners and losers.

 Signature 

Row row row your boat gently down the stream.  Merrily Merrily merrily merrily life is but a dream!

Profile
 
 
Posted: 30 September 2008 05:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 35 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4142
Joined  2008-08-14
dougsmith - 29 September 2008 06:38 AM

The other factor here is genetic engineering, which effectively blurs the distinction even more. When we think “machine” we usually think of something made of a solid material like metal or silicon. But cells are machines too, and exceedingly complex ones at that. As genetic engineering really gets going, there is a lot more blur that could happen ...

One basic question, however, is how much “fusion” the average person will accept as time goes on.

Doug,if this “fusion"is part of the evolutionary matrix,(and why couldn’t it be?)then there is no accepting or rejecting.
Remember,where do we start the fusion of man and machine?HAND HELD TOOLS.MINERAL BASED JEWELRY AND FACE PAINT?I think so.

 Signature 

Row row row your boat gently down the stream.  Merrily Merrily merrily merrily life is but a dream!

Profile
 
 
Posted: 30 September 2008 07:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 36 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  15305
Joined  2006-02-14
VYAZMA - 30 September 2008 05:47 PM

Doug,if this “fusion"is part of the evolutionary matrix,(and why couldn’t it be?)then there is no accepting or rejecting.

I don’t know what you mean. Clearly, if genetic engineering mucks with the germ line (and gets reproduced) then it will become part of “the evolutionary matrix”; it will be artificial selection for humans or post-humans instead of natural selection.

But what I was referring to would be non-germ-line alterations of living humans, e.g., by surgery, injections, etc. It’s not clear to me how much of that an adult human will accept. Yes, if it is intended to treat disease, there is little doubt that most will. But if it is for some version of ‘human enhancement’, there may be questions. That’s because I very much doubt that these enhancements will come without side-effects; at least not for a very long while.

VYAZMA - 30 September 2008 05:47 PM

Remember,where do we start the fusion of man and machine?HAND HELD TOOLS.MINERAL BASED JEWELRY AND FACE PAINT?I think so.

Well, that’s something qualitatively different. We can have tools and face paint without surgery, and tattooing is purely decorative.

 Signature 

Doug

-:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:-

El sueño de la razón produce monstruos

Profile
 
 
Posted: 30 September 2008 07:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 37 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4142
Joined  2008-08-14

I meant that we have been incorporating machines into our bodily functions/motorskills/mechanical enhancements(tools)for a long time now.The logical progression is implants,bionics etc…(genetic engineering is aside from this).Esthetically there is no difference between a hand carved bone pick or flintrock scraper or a titanium bone replacement.This is an evolution of sorts.I think your projection is right about what the future will hold,but I can’t see too much regret.Just as we don’t regret having evolved into are current species.Now,including genetic engineering which we have also been doing for hundreds and hundreds of years(agriculture and stock breeding),this is all part of a natural progression.(maybe evolution).We are inevitably moving towards genetic engineering regarding the human race.Who’s gonna regret it?The cloned people?The person who has their disease cured.

I went back and read some more of the thread.
Right,diseases and such.But,you said"a very long time”.That’s my point.It’s already part of the time arrow which started before the dawn of homo-sapiens.(tool use)These genetic enhancements that may seem repugnant now will be a non-issue in the future,because it’s not like the movie 2001 where you can look back at time and see the dawn of tool use in apes.If we had a time machine we could never pinpoint any first use of tools in any living thing,it just slowly happened.Sure there are inventions along the way,but they are all improvements on some preceding tool/function.This is the time arrow or evolution of the “fusion” thing you guys were speaking of.

[ Edited: 30 September 2008 07:37 PM by VYAZMA ]
 Signature 

Row row row your boat gently down the stream.  Merrily Merrily merrily merrily life is but a dream!

Profile
 
 
Posted: 30 September 2008 07:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 38 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2422
Joined  2007-09-03
Grayscale - 27 September 2008 08:03 PM

I’m with Aubrey de Grey in believing that this is the last mortal generation.

I remember Arthur C. Clarke in “Profiles of the Future” estimating immortality by 2100.

I think the current popular concept is that we will understand and duplicate the brain so we can download our ‘mind’ and store it indefinitely. This is not exactly the same thing as staying 20’s trim for thousands of years like in the Star Trek episodes.

Jonathan Swift of Gullivers Travels imagine people old and infirm but immortal—sort of a downer….

Profile
 
 
Posted: 30 September 2008 07:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 39 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4142
Joined  2008-08-14
dougsmith - 30 September 2008 07:12 PM
VYAZMA - 30 September 2008 05:47 PM

Doug,if this “fusion"is part of the evolutionary matrix,(and why couldn’t it be?)then there is no accepting or rejecting.

I don’t know what you mean. Clearly, if genetic engineering mucks with the germ line (and gets reproduced) then it will become part of “the evolutionary matrix”; it will be artificial selection for humans or post-humans instead of natural selection.

But what I was referring to would be non-germ-line alterations of living humans, e.g., by surgery, injections, etc. It’s not clear to me how much of that an adult human will accept. Yes, if it is intended to treat disease, there is little doubt that most will. But if it is for some version of ‘human enhancement’, there may be questions. That’s because I very much doubt that these enhancements will come without side-effects; at least not for a very long while.

VYAZMA - 30 September 2008 05:47 PM

Remember,where do we start the fusion of man and machine?HAND HELD TOOLS.MINERAL BASED JEWELRY AND FACE PAINT?I think so.

Well, that’s something qualitatively different. We can have tools and face paint without surgery, and tattooing is purely decorative.

Ahhh…but is there any difference between artificial selection and “natural” selection.I know you know what I mean without having to extrapolate.Natural selection is a nice word to sum up evolution,but what are we doing now that is “unnatural”?If a zillion years ago,some fish were looking at their cohorts and saying"what are they doing now?hanging around too close to the beach for their own good!Its unnatural to be swimming that close to land.”

 Signature 

Row row row your boat gently down the stream.  Merrily Merrily merrily merrily life is but a dream!

Profile
 
 
Posted: 30 September 2008 07:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 40 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  15305
Joined  2006-02-14
VYAZMA - 30 September 2008 07:46 PM

Ahhh…but is there any difference between artificial selection and “natural” selection.I know you know what I mean without having to extrapolate.Natural selection is a nice word to sum up evolution,but what are we doing now that is “unnatural”?If a zillion years ago,some fish were looking at their cohorts and saying"what are they doing now?hanging around too close to the beach for their own good!Its unnatural to be swimming that close to land.”

Well, there is and there is not a difference.

Clearly they are both selection, so at some basic level there is no fundamental difference between them.

But for artificial selection, one has to do the selecting, which is (in this instance) to engage in eugenics. Many people have very deep ethical disagreements with any sort of human eugenics that is not focused on treating disease. I am not saying that it won’t happen, I am only saying that there are some very profound issues that will need to be confronted in the future as people contemplate mucking with the human germ line.

 Signature 

Doug

-:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:-

El sueño de la razón produce monstruos

Profile
 
 
Posted: 30 September 2008 08:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 41 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4142
Joined  2008-08-14

Doug,I hear you.I oppose most of this new genetic” mucking”.Personally,I think we’ve come far enough.No matter what,we will never be able to “select” out the negative aspects of being life forms,naturally or artificially.New ones will always arise.So why not just leave it here,where it is.Of course that leads to my point…we won’t leave it where it is,we will continue to seek new technologies.This is a naturally occuring aspect of the human mind.And by extension,all the “advancements”,(see,they are even called advancements,a chronological term)are also natural.
This,again is the “fusion of man and machine”,which I believe is evolutionary.Evolution becomes clearer the farther you look back at it,or the further we hypothosise into the future,but it is not so apparent when you look at evolution in a present context.Nonetheless,it is still happening.Evolution is change brought about by reaction to environment.We are now reacting to an environment which is increasingly man-made,and we can now react to this environment with man-made tools.This is the “fusion”.

[ Edited: 30 September 2008 08:13 PM by VYAZMA ]
 Signature 

Row row row your boat gently down the stream.  Merrily Merrily merrily merrily life is but a dream!

Profile
 
 
Posted: 30 September 2008 08:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 42 ]
Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  122
Joined  2008-06-20

I have a question…. If we are going to be immortal, what age will we be? Will I be an immortal 5 year old? 100 y/o? Would kinda suck not to have a vibrant healthy body with a well developed mind….

 Signature 

I’m not sayin’....
I’m just sayin’....

Profile
 
 
Posted: 30 September 2008 10:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 43 ]
Jr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  71
Joined  2008-09-18
Occam - 28 September 2008 11:35 PM

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

I didn’t mean to suggest you did, That was me trying to be sarcastic.

Sorry I’ve been offline for a while. I think my computer became self aware and decided it wasn’t going to do my bidding anymore. I had to wipe it’s memory and reinstall the os.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 30 September 2008 10:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 44 ]
Jr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  71
Joined  2008-09-18
dougsmith - 29 September 2008 06:38 AM

The other factor here is genetic engineering, which effectively blurs the distinction even more. When we think “machine” we usually think of something made of a solid material like metal or silicon. But cells are machines too, and exceedingly complex ones at that. As genetic engineering really gets going, there is a lot more blur that could happen ...

One basic question, however, is how much “fusion” the average person will accept as time goes on.

Your right, when people hear something about man merging with machines they see the borg. In reality we’d probably be merging with biological machines and that wouldn’t have to change the way we look at all. I think people would accept a great deal of mod’s as long as they were invisible. As long as we still look human will always have our humanity.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 30 September 2008 10:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 45 ]
Jr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  71
Joined  2008-09-18
VYAZMA - 30 September 2008 05:42 PM
Shawn - 28 September 2008 11:21 AM

You may have misunderstood what I wrote. I am saying that I have embraced and accepted the fact that I will die. I have not ‘filed that awareness away’. I use it to help me understand and appreciate the world in which I live, as opposed to some who ‘live’ in fear of death.

Exactly Shawn!When I read that statement from above I immediately did a doubletake.Awarness of death has no bearing on “Perceived Acheivements”.When I was about 13-14 and started to realize mortality and atheism. I became convinced that life is to short to get caught up in some rat race.There is no meaning to life,and in the context of mortality there are no winners or losers.
In the context of comforts,there are winners and losers.

I’m not saying everyone reacts the same, I’m saying that for many successful people it’s a motivator and a big reason for their success. Of course you would have to be someone whom wants to be successful, beyond just being comfortable. Why do you think we have a “rat race”? What do you think we’re racing against?

Profile
 
 
   
3 of 5
3