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My half-finished thoughts


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#41
funkervogt

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AIs will think this sort of human behavior is incredibly weird. 

https://www.liveleak...qyNN_1565313536



#42
funkervogt

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In the future, we will throw things out less often, and there will generally be less waste. This will happen for several reasons:

 

1) We will be superintelligent and will know how to fix things by ourselves. 

2) Things will be engineered better. Again, because we will be superintelligent, we will be able to analyze manufactured things for design flaws and defects, and will spread the word to others. It will also become widely known if certain manufactured things are hard to repair. There will be much more convergence in designs for all types of products. 

3) Because of the demand for engineering optimization and because we will choose function over form, manufactured things will not change to reflect changing styles or tastes. This means spare parts will be easy to find for long periods of time. 



#43
funkervogt

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Fears over the decline of the English language (or any other) are overblown, not just for the reasons listed in this article, but also because posthumans and AGIs will be fluent in every language, including defunct ones, so 20th century English will never "go extinct." I predict that ultimately, the spoken languages we use today will fall out of common use and be replaced with a more efficient, machine-based binary language.

 

https://www.theguard...nglish-language

 

At the flick of a switch, we could all speak Shakespearean English. 



#44
funkervogt

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In the future, we will throw things out less often, and there will generally be less waste. This will happen for several reasons:

 

1) We will be superintelligent and will know how to fix things by ourselves. 

2) Things will be engineered better. Again, because we will be superintelligent, we will be able to analyze manufactured things for design flaws and defects, and will spread the word to others. It will also become widely known if certain manufactured things are hard to repair. There will be much more convergence in designs for all types of products. 

3) Because of the demand for engineering optimization and because we will choose function over form, manufactured things will not change to reflect changing styles or tastes. This means spare parts will be easy to find for long periods of time. 

Items 2 and 3 will be driven by what Michio Kaku calls "perfect capitalism":

 

 

Capitalism is private ownership, with prices determined by supply and demand. However, this is imperfect today, since we don’t really know how much it takes to make a product. With all these AR, VR and AI devices, we will know exactly who has the best and cheapest product. Furthermore, the retailers will know exactly who the buyers are and their preferences. Using targeted marketing, they will know precisely how to reach the customers. So supply and demand will be perfect.

 

Who benefits under perfect capitalism? Everyone. The consumer gets better products at a cheaper price. The retailer gets to know the customer and reach out to them via data mining, big data and targeted marketing. And society benefits because of increased efficiency and lower prices.

https://medium.com/t...ce-e975e77b7c8e

 

Note what I underlined in the passage. "The best" is distinct from "cheapest," hitting home the important fact that a product's value is determined by two different variables: its quality and its price. 

 

The technology we have today already makes it very easy to compare prices of the same product sold by different retailers, or to compare prices of similar products. However, determining a product's quality is far mushier since it is a more holistic quality than price, since quality is harder to quantify, and since relying on online user reviews is a flawed practice. 

 

As I said, I think posthumans and AGIs will, owing to their superintelligence, be much better at determining a product's quality and at sharing the information without distortion. For example, imagine if you were an experienced automotive engineer and materials scientist, you had a photographic memory, and you could see things at the microscopic magnification level, which are abilities that posthumans and AGIs will commonly have. You would be a car salesman's worst nightmare since you would only need to examine a car for a few minutes to find all of its flaws, probable flaws, and design inefficiencies. You could mentally crunch all of the numbers right there, matching the car's strengths and weaknesses with what you will use it for (not every driver has the same needs), considering the price, and doing an opportunity cost calculation, and see right away if it were a good deal or not. 

 

In a world filled with beings of such intelligence, I don't see "bad cars" selling at all. Thanks to superempowered consumers, the invisible hand of perfect capitalism will push bad cars and bad products of all types into extinction. The products remaining in the market will simply be better-made and priced more fairly. 



#45
funkervogt

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Conservatively speaking, in 200 years, intelligent beings will look back on today's humans as being tragically, incomprehensibly limited in the following ways:

 

1) Arbitrarily limited lifespans. Living with the knowledge of inevitable decline and death. 

2) Very low and almost fixed IQs. Lack of mental plasticity and upgrade potential. 

3) Inability to control thoughts, emotions and pain sensations. Today, these characteristics manifest as mental illness, emotional outbursts, or even something as small as trouble sleeping. Obsession with sex and food will someday seem like a huge waste of time. 

4) Fixed personality traits. Inability to edit one's own preferences and behaviors. Lack of awareness of how our personality traits and other ingrained qualities shape and limit our behavior and thinking. 

5) Need to sleep. Spending 1/3 of your life unconscious and unproductive will be considered as bad as being disabled. 

6) Fixed physical form. Inability to change number of limbs, body layout (can't turn into a giant spider and can't ever experience self-powered flight), or overall size. 

7) General physical frailty. Tripping and hitting your head on the corner of your own table can be lethal. Breaking your little toe can cause debilitating pain even though the other 99.9% of your body mass and bones are fine. 

8 ) Inability to share thoughts and to merge minds with other beings. Our inherent loneliness will be considered a tragic flaw. 



#46
funkervogt

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When solar panels become paper-thin, lightweight, and cheap, it will make sense to cover cars with them instead of paint. 

 

Also, in future full of posthumans and AGIs, cars won't need windows since passengers could just sync with their cars' exterior sensors to see what is outside. That means windshields, side windows and rear windows could be made of opaque solar panel films as well. 

 

This makes me wonder if posthumans and AGIs will choose to coat the surfaces of their bodies with solar panels. There's utility to being able to directly generate electricity for personal use. I can't say if the costs would outweigh whatever downsides there would be. 



#47
funkervogt

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When we have achieved Kardashev Level "1.5" civilization status, we will be able to control the Earth's climate and reverse any global warming damage through use of Dyson Swarms. The Swarms can be thought of as large solar panels floating in space, orbiting the Earth or the Sun. 

 

Some number of panels comprising the Dyson Swarm would position themselves between the Sun and Earth to control the amount of sunlight reaching the planet, and where the sunlight hits. Parts of the planet experiencing heat waves could be cooled down, other parts that were too cold could be heated up with space mirrors, and the overall amount of sunlight hitting the planet could be grossly controlled to affect planetwide mean temperature. 

 

The techniques could get advanced enough to allow control of weather patterns, and to forever eliminate droughts and large floods. Hurricanes could be dissipated, steered off-course, or weakened by changing how much sunlight the ocean around them receives. 

 

In fact, I think the Dyson Swarm will begin this way--as a constellation of solar panels and mirrors meant primarily to service the Earth. In time, it will expand to service the off-world population. The L1 Lagrange Point would be an ideal site to park a small swarm. 



#48
funkervogt

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Fears over the decline of the English language (or any other) are overblown, not just for the reasons listed in this article, but also because posthumans and AGIs will be fluent in every language, including defunct ones, so 20th century English will never "go extinct." I predict that ultimately, the spoken languages we use today will fall out of common use and be replaced with a more efficient, machine-based binary language.

 

https://www.theguard...nglish-language

 

At the flick of a switch, we could all speak Shakespearean English. 

I just realized that Michio Kaku also made this prediction about languages being preserved forever in his 2011 book Physics of the Future

 

If BOTH of us think the same thing, then it's gotta be true...



#49
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. 

In addition to this, posthumans and robots will have cloaking abilities thanks to simple technologies that let them change the appearance of their skin (or clothes) to match their surroundings. They will also have vastly superior senses than humans. This means posthumans and robots will be Super-Apex Predators that can detect animals and normal humans at long distances, but remain invisible to them if they choose. 

 

Note: Rendering yourself invisible really isn't hard and isn't barred by any laws of physics. You would just need to wear an outfit that covered 100% of your body (jacket, gloves, pants, shoes, ski mask) whose outer layer were made of something like fiber optics. The outfit would be studded with pinhole cameras that would see the surrounding environment and signal the clothing to change appearance to match it. 



#50
funkervogt

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When the technology is ready, we should build 1:1 computer simulations of the great battles in military history and then put AI generals at the helm and see what alternate strategies they come up with. It would be really interesting to know if the South could have won the Battle of Gettysburg, and to know which past generals employed winning strategies that were the closest to being optimal. 



#51
funkervogt

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A benefit of having an electric car is that you'd be able to plug it into your house and use it as a power source if the municipal electricity supply failed. This ability would be especially useful if you lost power during a hurricane or bad storm, your sump pump shut off as a result, and your house started flooding. That thin lifeline of electricity sent to that one, simple device for a few hours could save you huge amounts of money and grief. It's the sort of thing your personal assistant AI will recommend you do in the situation. 



#52
funkervogt

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If you believe you'll someday plug your brain into something like the Matrix and share your thoughts with machines, you should be prepared to face justice for any part crimes you committed but got away with. Your own memories of those events will be shared and used against you.

#53
Yuli Ban

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^ The question then is "what will constitute as crimes in such an age?"

 

Take online piracy as an example: what once could get you jail time and very hefty fines isn't even prosecuted these days and the legality of the matter is shifting. As technology advances further, copyright law in itself might come into question (i.e. Stallman Was Right). 

 

It's more clear cut for things like murder and rape, but does intent to commit a crime also count? What about ignorance of a crime committed? 

What if something we do nowadays without thinking about it becomes a crime? Like eating slaughtered meat, for example. 

Political correctness can also assist with changing the times— hate speech used to be much more tolerated, whereas if you unironically say the word "nigger" to someone today, your professional life could be over and, with further changing tides, you might even one day be prosecuted for inciting hate. Would half of everyone alive before 1990 then be rounded up by a machine god for breaking the law, or are they grandfathered in? 

 

If laws change enough to accommodate copyright and if digital minds become enough of a thing, it might be possible that you'd need a paid subscription just to keep your memories of copyrighted media and, if you don't have that subscription, you'd be breaking the law and liable to have your memories erased to protect content creators (in a world where content creation is as easy as willing it into existence). But you didn't expect this world and had no idea that you shouldn't have been listening to all that music or watching all those movies until the tech was there to make sure you paid for every last minute of it. After all, you paid for it all the first time, right? Why should you have to keep paying for it just to keep it? Because the law says so!

 

 


And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.


#54
funkervogt

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Murder, rape, theft, child abuse, etc. I don't see those crimes becoming legal for any reason in the future.

#55
CharlesHewitt

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Murder, rape, theft, child abuse, etc. I don't see those crimes becoming legal for any reason in the future.

Of course, I have not read all your correspondence, but your last message is quite intriguing.



#56
funkervogt

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A useful trait for posthuman bodies might be bones that can attenuate their hardness. They would be made of a meta material that could switch from being ultra hard to floppy as rubber, and anything between. The posthuman could alter its bones at will.

#57
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If you value knowledge, then by extension, you must attach intrinsic value to human life, since each human has a unique set of memories of events that are not in official historical records. Additionally, the ways in which humans perceive the world, process inputs, and subjectively feel on the inside, are probably unique from person to person, meaning the loss of a human life represents the loss of some irreplaceable perspective. 

 

This logic also applies to many animal species. 



#58
funkervogt

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In the distant future, I predict that a every part of the Earth's surface will be inspected and "cleaned up" for the purposes of scientific knowledge, archaeology, and environmental restoration. I'll call this project "The Megasurvey." 

 

I imagine crews of human and/or robot workers would slowly move over every acre of land. Larger objects like rusting car hulks, ruins of old buildings, and piles of trash would be easily spotted, and could be cataloged and then hauled away for disposal by humans or bigger machines. 

 

...Many historical mysteries would be solved thanks to the Megasurvey, as the skeletons of long-dead missing people and every plane that disappeared in the dense jungle or mountains would be found. 

 

Related: https://www.bbc.com/...canada-49677843

 

"Google Maps shows sunken car where missing man’s body was found"



#59
funkervogt

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If we evolve into posthumans and we become entirely utilitarian in our mindsets and dispense with any thought to aesthetics, then we will commonly build structures whose roofs AND exterior walls are covered in solar panels. We'll want to capture every bit of power. 

 

https://www.solarpow...ed-solar-trend/

 

In the long run, as existing structures reach the ends of their lives and must be replaced, we'll probably build new ones that are oriented in a way that maximizes sunlight exposure. 

One building in Anchorage, Alaska has solar panels on its south-facing wall and its roof. 

 

https://www.anchorag...arbuilding.com/



#60
funkervogt

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The basic component of a Dyson Swarm will probably be a flat, equilateral triangle floating in space, with one side covered in solar panels and the other side having some kind of apparatus for converting as much of its thermal energy into useful power before radiating it into space. Ideally, everything would be consumed, and the backside of each triangle would be the same temperature as deep space (2.73 Kelvin), but I don't think that level of efficiency is possible.  

 

The geodesic sphere shows that the equilateral triangle is the simplest shape that can be combined with identical units to create a fully enclosed spheroid. 

 

A question I can't answer is what the ideal size of each triangle would be. If we assume that each triangle has an AGI living on it, then I'd imagine the dimensions would be at least somewhat determined by the AGI's clock speed and distance-imposed lag. 

 

A Dyson Swarm is preferable to a Dyson Sphere because the Swarm's parts could maneuver themselves out of the way of asteroids and other space debris to avoid being damaged. A Sphere would constantly have holes punched in it. 






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