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My half-finished thoughts


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#21
funkervogt

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One handicap to doing "ancestor simulations" to understand past events better is that it would be unethical to create "virtual humans" who would suffer and die inside a computer. But here's a possible solution: have AIs and posthumans voluntarily stand-in for the virtual humans in the simulations. 

 

Here's how it would work: Assume that the year is 2219, and not 2019. You aren't actually "you"--you are either a posthuman lying in a Matrix pod or an AGI. In either case, you agreed to have your memories temporarily blocked and your personality temporarily altered so you could live a lifetime as your current "human" self inside a computer simulation of Earth, circa 2019. After careful thought, you agreed to bear the burden of suffering for one human lifetime, for the sake of supporting a realistic ancestor simulation, and because you thought the experience of being "human" would enrich your understanding of the universe and make you more grateful for what you have. After your virtual human character dies in the simulation, you will be revived in the real world of 2219, and have your old memories and personality traits restored. However, you will also retain the qualities of the virtual human you once were. 

 

This would solve the "suffering" problem since no virtual humans would need to be created. Only posthumans and AGIs who had the strength of character and selflessness to endure one human lifetime of suffering would be in the simulation. 



#22
tomasth

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funkervogt ,

Why does "memories temporarily blocked and your personality temporarily altered" doesn't count as a new person ?

 

Why not have the virtual humans have an experience of strength of character and selflessness after they finish their role ? (maybe even add a flash of realization that this is a simulation , before they die)

 

Or

Have the virtual humans gain something from the suffering. (A citizenship in the real world ?)



#23
Alislaws

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One handicap to doing "ancestor simulations" to understand past events better is that it would be unethical to create "virtual humans" who would suffer and die inside a computer. But here's a possible solution: have AIs and posthumans voluntarily stand-in for the virtual humans in the simulations. 

 

Here's how it would work: Assume that the year is 2219, and not 2019. You aren't actually "you"--you are either a posthuman lying in a Matrix pod or an AGI. In either case, you agreed to have your memories temporarily blocked and your personality temporarily altered so you could live a lifetime as your current "human" self inside a computer simulation of Earth, circa 2019. After careful thought, you agreed to bear the burden of suffering for one human lifetime, for the sake of supporting a realistic ancestor simulation, and because you thought the experience of being "human" would enrich your understanding of the universe and make you more grateful for what you have. After your virtual human character dies in the simulation, you will be revived in the real world of 2219, and have your old memories and personality traits restored. However, you will also retain the qualities of the virtual human you once were. 

 

This would solve the "suffering" problem since no virtual humans would need to be created. Only posthumans and AGIs who had the strength of character and selflessness to endure one human lifetime of suffering would be in the simulation. 

A bit off topic but this is almost the same as one of my theories for why a Christian God, who is all powerful, and all loving would create a world which contains suffering. It comes from trying to apply logic and reason to religion, so its a bit silly, but was my attempt to make a Christian religion that actually explains what the point of everything is. 

 

My theory was:

  • Essentially when you're dead you are in communion/communication with God. 
  • God made sapient life because he is bored and wants someone interesting to talk to. We are not very interesting at the moment, but we're getting there (very slowly, but God has plenty of time). 
  • God made us by starting a universe and waiting several billion years for us to evolve. It seems like a weird way to do it to us, but god just started the process *click* and then has been mostly chilling since then, God has plenty of time.
  • Every life on earth basically begins with a soul in heaven going "hey God I don't understand this thing you're talking about, could you explain further?" and God goes "oh ok!" and suddenly that soul is living 85 years on earth experiencing all sorts of stuff without any seeming message to it.
  • With all memories removed you are completely open minded so you are able to see things from an entirely new perspective.
  • When you die, your soul pops up back to god and he says "you understand now?" and you go "oh yeah man wow, that makes perfect sense!"
  • Over billions of years of this, the human* race may eventually become interesting for god to talk to.  

 

*assuming God isn't also reincarnating us as random aliens as well as humans here on earth. But he probably would because more varied perspectives would be important probably. In which case we're not human we're souls and humans are one of the forms we can get stuck in.



#24
funkervogt

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funkervogt ,

Why does "memories temporarily blocked and your personality temporarily altered" doesn't count as a new person ?

 

Would you count as a "new person" if you agreed to participate in a medical trial for a hallucinogenic drug that would simplify and alter your personality for a day, and leave you with no memory of what happened? 



#25
tomasth

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But its not a simplified personality (like a dream ?) , its the same as a real person.

#26
Alislaws

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The question is: "Do you have the moral right to volunteer your future (memory wiped) self for unpleasant experiences". 

 

I'd say yes. If you cant give permission then no one can. And ultimately if you as a sane consenting adult want to live a whole life of unpleasantness in an ancestor simulation, then you should be allowed to. Its not like it is hurting anyone else?



#27
funkervogt

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When people have wall-sized TVs in their houses, I predict it will become popular to use them to display "virtual backdrops" of exotic or appealing locations, complete with surround sound from those places. Examples could include Parisian cafes, Asian night markets, jazz clubs, beaches, and deep inside forests. Any boring suburban home or small apartment could transform into something else. 

 

https://www.thesun.c...ase-date-price/

This would be an awesome, live-action virtual backdrop. Your robot chef could complete the experience by making you sushi. 

https://www.intrepid...s-locals-guide/



#28
funkervogt

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Posthumans and intelligent machines will be impervious to serious injury from organic, non-human life forms, (e.g. - snake venom won't work on robots, and an elephant stepping on your head won't kill you if your skull is made of diamondoid material), so the former will be able to roam the Earth without fear. 

 

Camping in the middle of the woods alone will be much less scary knowing that no animal can kill you. Having highly augmented senses (super hearing, thermal vision, super sense of smell, etc.) will also make it nearly impossible for animals to sneak up on you. You'll know exactly what the rustling in the bushes is without having to turn on a flashlight or walk up to it. 



#29
funkervogt

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The human habit of spending hours a week exercising to build or maintain muscle mass will be so alien someday. 

 

1) Posthumans won't have to exercise to keep their bodies strong and sculpted, and intelligent machines won't have organic body parts, so their physical strength and form will be under their complete control. 

 

2) Most people in rich countries exercise to look attractive to potential sex partners, because they are unsatisfied with the appearance of their own bodies, or because they want to lengthen their lifespans. Posthumans and intelligent machines will have probably evolved beyond sex, either won't share current human aesthetics about the ideal body or will be able to alter their bodies at will and with little effort, and will have indefinite lifespans irrespective of their daily physical activity levels. 



#30
Outlook

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Exercise can also be sought for its own pleasure, the feeling of adrenaline and control over one's body brings it about.

Outlook's secret song of the ~week: https://youtu.be/GMYezR1cwFA


#31
funkervogt

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Our situation, in which people can't understand how most of the technology around them works so it might as well be magic, will prove temporary because intelligent machines and posthumans will be smart enough to understand all of it. 



#32
funkervogt

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The tow truck industry is another that will be practically destroyed by the rise of autonomous cars since the latter will never park illegally and will very rarely get totaled in accidents. 



#33
funkervogt

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Our situation, in which people can't understand how most of the technology around them works so it might as well be magic, will prove temporary because intelligent machines and posthumans will be smart enough to understand all of it. 

Likewise, the government will one day cease to be synonymous with slowness and dysfunction once machines run it. 



#34
funkervogt

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Maybe the solution to the Fermi Paradox is that, once intelligent life forms reach a certain level of science and technology, they figure out a way to transform themselves into non-physical entities. In other words, they can exist as pure energy, and live in the void of space or in the very fabric of space-time. They are all around us, but at present, we lack the ability to detect them. 

 

Maybe existing on a physical substrate is comparatively inefficient, limiting, and dangerous, explaining why we don't see any alien space ships flying around or any signs of industrial activity on other planets. 



#35
funkervogt

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The site would then undergo progressively finer and more time-consuming levels of analysis, including scanning it with metal detectors and digging up all small pieces of metal, and chemically analyzing the soil and removing any toxins. I imagine the latter tasks could be done with small, specialized machines like (don't laugh) robot groundhogs and robot earthworms. They could unobtrusively burrow through the soil, chemically analyze it as they went, and find bigger objects that the surface crews couldn't see (those objects might be worthy of excavation as well). 

It just occurred to me that genetically engineered plants could be used for this purpose as well. Imagine some type of generic shrub that has been genetically tweaked to suck specific types of elements into its roots (e.g. - mercury, uranium, whatever) and transport them up their stalks and to their leaves. The shrubs could be planted in an acre of land to cleanse the soil of trace elements that are only there due to human activity. The shrubs would be cut down once fully grown and sent to processing plants to have the elements extracted, purified and concentrated. 



#36
funkervogt

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Advances in material science will greatly benefit the RV (recreational vehicle) industry (I note these are called "caravans" for all you Britons), and make it much easier for people to permanently live in RVs instead of houses. Future materials with very high strength-to-weight ratios and high heat insulating properties will make it possible to build voluminous but lightweight RVs that could be towed by small cars or even motorcycles, putting RV ownership within reach of anyone with a motor vehicle. Nearly every component (chassis, carriage/shell, interior walls and doors, furniture) could be lightened. 

 

Flexible materials with high heat insulation ratings could also make pop up camper trailers much more viable. 

https://youtu.be/5MZAvmxKspQ



#37
tomasth

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"permanently live in RVs" connected to VR 24/7 ? IV for food ? Robot cleaner and supplies deliveries ? Mobile nuclear plant ?

#38
funkervogt

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"permanently live in RVs" connected to VR 24/7 ? IV for food ? Robot cleaner and supplies deliveries ? Mobile nuclear plant ?

 

By the time the necessary advances in materials science have happened, VR should be very advanced, so yes, average people could adopt lifestyles where they lived in RVs full time and spent a lot of time in VR. However, I'd hope that they used their RVs to travel and to explore interesting places in the real world. 

 

Instead of mobile nuclear power plants, I think future RVs will get energy the same way that today's RVs do: by plugging power cords into the local electric grid. At RV campgrounds, each vehicle has a unique parking spot that comes with a stanchion bearing an electrical outlet. Often, there is also a water spigot into which you can plug a hose that goes back to your RV to supply water for the bathroom and kitchen. 

 

Better solar panels and batteries will also allow future RVs to function longer when off-grid. Water supplies might become the time-limiting factor. 



#39
funkervogt

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In the far future, default font sizes for written characters will probably be smaller because robots and posthumans will have superhuman eyesight. Display screens will also have 16K resolutions, so pixels will be microscopic, and it will be possible to render images of tiny characters without any blurriness. 



#40
funkervogt

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Something that most of us will live long enough to see:

 

Robot spouses whose looks and personalities you can customize. They will get smarter and their behaviors more complex as AI improves each year until they are intelligent. If you wanted to have a child "with the robot," you would find a human sperm or egg donor that looked and acted like your robot spouse and have a surrogate (or if you're a woman, you) carry it to term. The offspring would look like you and the robot. 

 

In the farther future, it will be possible to heavily engineer donor eggs or sperm to match your robot spouse's qualities even more strongly. 

 

I just wonder what would happen to your robot spouse after you died...






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