Why is almost every other transhumanist I meet online utterly batshit? I mean, the most famous transhumanist on this website alone has some kind of human pet fetish.
I don’t think I’m crazy
Wait, you’re transhumanist, too? Ah, so that makes you pretty much the only other sane transhumanist I’ve met over the internet so far.
My biggest statement/sentiment is “Never gonna die”, either through technological lengthening of centomeres, the digitization of the mind (Yes, I know that I have a 50/50 shot of actually living forever with that method, but it’s still me), or the replacing of organic components with technological ones.
My biggest reservation is the matter of security.
I’m a transhumanist and the concept of extended/infinite life for human beings is absolutely terrifying. Bring on the cyborgs and cool prosthetics and personhood for artificial intelligence and all that jazz, but when humanity overcomes aging we are absolutely fucked as a species. We will see inequality the likes of which we cannot even fathom today, and there will be no end to it.
The march of progress treads on the back of death and it will grind to a halt. Violence will be not just a valid political tactic but in many cases the only tactic. Sustainable living will be impossible; human economy will be based by necessity on endless growth. Innovation will stagnate as fresh perspectives fade away; undoubtedly, the loss of aging means a decline in the birth rate. Along with that, the youngest generation will be more powerless than ever before, and the oldest generation more entrenched in power than they could ever dream of today.
The good will still die young, and the bad will live forever. People do not understand how beneficial it is to humanity that all men must someday die. Seriously. It’s not worth it. The adult lifespan of a human being is already very long, just make it count.
You’re presuming that technological limitations will only be lifted for death. They would also be lifted for hunger, for fuel, and for other requirements.
Robotic bodies don’t need food, just energy. Solar powered society down to the individual level, in the truest sense.
Even in a world that doesn’t go Star Trek economics, there is a rapid commercialization of space travel, which will itself lead to a commercialization of space itself. The fundamental problem of capitalism on earth would be lifted by the fundamental promise of infinity.
Also, a lot of people think they want to live forever, but I don’t think most of them actually would if given the option. People would definitely want to live longer than they do now, probably many centuries longer, and I imagine the vast majority of people would want to avoid ageing altogether or at least age a lot slower and with none of the truly awful aspects of growing old, but I think most people would eventually want to die or at least transfer their consciousness to some other form of existence, such as a virtual reality “afterlife” or some kind of storage.
This could still present problems if these advances in life-extending technologies happen significantly before the advances in technology that allow for meaningful expansion into space and a truly post-scarcity economy (which they may well, there are already respected scientists looking into potential treatments to prevent at least the worst effects of ageing and in terms of developed nations at least, tackling the problem of ageing is the inevitable next step in medical advancement and soon everyone’s going to realise this). So yeah, basically, physics and engineering people, get on with bringing humanity the technology to colonise space before us biomedical scientists accidentally bring about the collapse of society in our efforts to make everyone better.
My argument is that the people most likely to want to live forever (and those who could actually accomplish it) are those who anyone else would least want to be given that power. Imagine a world in which Margaret Thatcher remained in power for a thousand years. Look at the world we live in today. Who’s going to pay for this “virtual reality” afterlife that Joe Everyman retires to at the ripe old age of 1,356? The super-rich are the only people who could afford to bankroll such advances, and they would be the first to reap the rewards of them.
The normal logic that “new technology will get cheaper and more available to everyone” doesn’t really follow there – why not just patent eternal life and use it to secure your death grip on world politics forever? Say goodbye to the Supreme Court – anyone future-Trump nominates will be there until they are murdered. Antonin Scalia could have ruled on that court forever if old age had not claimed him. Look at the stark divide between young and old in how people vote. Imagine if the older vote never diminished in the natural course of time – they kept voting against progress forever.
If such a thing is invented, we’re not going to see a cyber utopia as a result. It’s going to be a cyberpunk dystopia worse than anything fiction has ever come up with (just like people are already saying about our world as it is now). Space travel isn’t going to save us and that’s the wishful thinking of transhumanist nerds (a phenomenon you probably haven’t experienced much but is quite insufferable in places like Silicon Valley over here). We can’t look outward to solve all our problems. We need to fix things at home, or we’re just going to spread them to other planets.