Re: Military Friendly AI

From: Gordon Worley (
Date: Mon Jul 01 2002 - 20:13:36 MDT

On Friday, June 28, 2002, at 08:32 PM, Ben Goertzel wrote:

> Interestingly, in many conversations over the years I have found that
> more
> women want to die after their natural lifespan has ended, whereas more
> men
> are psyched about eternal life. I'm not sure if this anecdotal would
> hold
> up statistically, but if so, it's interesting. Adding some meat to the
> idea
> that women are more connected to Nature, I guess... ;)

I don't think that it's anything quite so mystical.

Women's reproductive ability runs out long before men's. Despite our
tendency over the past several millennia to break evolution, one thing
that I think has evolved differently in men and women is the tendency to
want immortality. For some millennia, women have lived long enough to
be unable to bear any more children. At that point, they cannot spread
their genes any more than they already have, so a logical choice would
be to die in the event of a lack or resources so that their children
(their genes) could live. Men, on the other hand, have never been able
to live long enough to get beyond their ability to reproduce until
recently (IIRC it stops being possible somewhere in their 70s). Hence,
men have not evolved this same idea as women that dying may be
beneficial to their genes, thus men are more likely to want to live
forever (which is exactly what all genes want to do).

To be fair, this is mostly speculation. I don't have any hard proof to
back this up, and your observations may not be accurate, but this is a
plausible answer if it is true that women statistically want to die
when `their time is up' more than men do. I'm sure some evolutionary
psychologist has already written an interesting paper on this subject if
it's possible (or not, in which case if I ever switch majors I won't
lack research ideas).

Gordon Worley                     `When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty            said, `it means just what I choose                it to mean--neither more nor less.'
PGP:  0xBBD3B003                                  --Lewis Carroll

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