RE: human augmentation, putting it into perspective

From: Ben Goertzel (
Date: Sat Jul 28 2001 - 15:11:01 MDT

> Ben Goertzel wrote:
> >What I'm imagining is someone, in 1850 or so, saying
> >"Bird augmentation is much more promising than airplane
> construction. The
> >starting point is way ahead of where airplane constructors are starting."
> You should have stated a goal in order to qualify what was mean by "more
> promising." Without stating a how you are comparing the viability of one
> solution to another your conclusions are somewhat vacuous.

Sorry, I thought that was implicit. The goal of my imaginary commentator
from 1850 is human flight -- boosting people up in the air, and moving them
around a while once they're up there. The goal could be quantified further
but you probably get it onw ;)

It could be done by genetically modifying eagles until they're big enough to
carry people, but that's not the approach that's worked best so far.

> I would not risk trying
> to predict which would be more successful in the medium (ie.
> couple decades)
> or long term (ie. centuries) - I do not value my intellect so highly. I
> suspect that in the medium and long-term what we view as alternatives may
> become less distinct from each other and thus this argument may be moot.

I'm sure what you're saying is true in the LONG term, but I disagree about
the medium term.

We still don't have airplanes that flap their wings, or a complete
understanding of how bees fly, and it's a long time since the Wright
Brothers. In another 1000 years, though, we'll likely have both.

-- Ben G

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