Re: Human extinction

From: Keith Henson (
Date: Mon Jan 16 2006 - 19:47:58 MST

At 12:19 AM 1/17/2006 +0000, you wrote:
>On 1/16/06, Keith Henson <<>>
>>Any number of things dependent on advanced technology. Rapture or
>>simulations with 72 virgins for example. Or something as benign as a
>>product of Chinese nanotech, a bidirectional portal into a simulation
>>space. Originally grows from a seed planted outside ever village in
>>Africa. You walk in, it does a complete infiltration of your body and
>>uploads you to local simulation space while your body is cleared of
>>parasites and otherwise patched up. When your meat body is cured you can
>>go back into the real world, but inside is nicer so after a few times in
>>and out most people just move over. They can still come out and the system
>>keeps their meat memories tracking what goes on inside so there is no loss
>>of continuity from going in and out.
>> >>In an environment where the pull of whatever had cause the crash still
>> >>existed, how would you keep up a human (meat body in the physical world)
>> >>population of even 60 million if a remnant human population was seen
>> to be
>> >>desirable? (Like saving the ferrets from extinction but worse.)
>> >
>> >Depends on what caused the crash in the first place.
>>If you could freely move in and out, but inside was just a more rewarding
>>place by human standards . . . .
>>What can you offer to keep people carrying on in the real world when it
>>would be so easy to duck out?
>I think you greatly overestimate the number of people who'd want to upload
>themselves into a simulated world, or even see it as something other than
>suicide. Sure, lots of people would, but there'd also be plenty who
>wouldn't - try doing an informal poll (among normal people, not us
>technogeeks) and see what percentage of yes and no you get.

If you stated it that way, sure. But this is a hypothetical *medical*
gadget, in some places it is the only medicine you can get. It doesn't
disintegrate your body or anything, it just runs a simulation updating your
meat memories in real time while your body is being repaired. I think you
would be amazed at how few people would turn down nanotech medicine of this
type where the interface was just a door you walked through.

You could (I suppose) have an option to stay unconscious and out of touch
while being repaired or even the option of a rent a body to keep
interacting with the real world. Nanoscale medical repair work takes from
weeks to a year to complete from the estimates I have seen on cryonics
patients. (Though really advanced might be able to repair without being
plugged in.)

The point was not the exact technology that will come along, but any of the
class that would offer people subjectively improved "living
spaces." *Really* interactive games where you put your bod in a closet for
a week of princess rescues. If one or more in this class caught on and
some significant fraction of the population went that way almost all the
rest would have to go as the population in the physical world dropped below
some critical feedback level.

Without *serious* physical support from AIs or similar level automation it
would rapidly become very hard to live in the physical world in any
comfort. We have problems with rising population. There is no reason to
expect fewer problems from a falling one. For social reasons alone the
population would have to withdraw to areas where there was enough density
to maintain the active infrastructure.

Japan may actually do this on the birth rate crash alone.

Keith Henson

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