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I believe in and dream of a future without limits. In these communications I want to explore why I think it is possible and desirable and perhaps instill in you the same belief. Let us explore together and see if this wild crazy optimism is justified.
There is a dread disease stalking humanity. No, not COVID-19. It is a disease that kills every single human being. Its ravages begin about as soon as most people reach their prime of ability, competence and confidence. Year after year it deteriorates every organ and function of your body. Year after year it saps strength and degrades the immune system. Year by year it takes away vitality and beauty. Year by year it eats away at focus and energy and even zest for living. Eventually it kills – ALWAYS.
I am speaking of course of aging, or rather of deterioration by aging.
Imagine if this was not so. Imagine that you and everyone could live at the peak of your health and ability and vibrancy for as long as you wish. Imagine staying young or at the age you prefer forever! Imagine making the old youthful again. Imagine a world where the accumulated knowledge, experience and skill of every human being is not lost in a generation or two.
I will in video, written and blog form explore AntiAging, Longevity and immortality. It is a huge subject area. As a lay person I can only give a taste of a portion of it in my “grasshopper mind” style. A grasshopper mind leaps about widely taking a bite here and there and seeks over time to digest or integrate it all. It may not be your mental style. But you may find it entertaining and useful even when it elicits groans at my inevitable errors or lack of depth.
Some may object saying that there would not be enough resources or there would be no chance for the next generation. But this is of course scarcity thinking. It assumes severe limitation of resources and of opportunity. But here we will talk about the real possibility of Radical Abundance.
Imagine a world where disease was no more and everyone was always in perfect health and any injury could be healed almost instantly. Transhumanism seeks to make that imagining actual. It upholds this as a very real possibility and focuses on achieving it.
Imagine you and everyone else is financially free. – that all of your and everyone’s needs and many of your dreams are met with a small fraction of productive capacity and abundant resources. I believe this is quite possible. Many in Transhumanism do.
Imagine that you can be as brilliantly intelligent as you wish to be and that everyone can. I believe this is quite possible – this and more intelligence than we have ever seen in any human to date by orders of magnitude if desired.
Imagine that recycling of the vast resources that we humans do not “use up” but simply cycle to landfill was fully developed and as, or far more, economical than starting from the best of mines on earth’s surface and refining and processing? I believe this is quite possible. The ones that solve this will be trillionaires.
Imagine the explosion of resource abundance when we mine near earth asteroids! Some of these, even of modest size, can contain trillions in precious and useful metals. Others contain clays, water, and vast quantities of useful chemicals and volatiles. Many contain useful structural materials. All are waiting for humanity to take that admittedly large step of building the space infrastructure needed to claim and utilize them. There is no shortage of resources. There is more of a shortage of imagination and of willingness and of vision.
Imagine human and other life spreading beyond this one planet of our birth and out into the surrounding solar system and beyond. Imagine bring life to the lifeless worlds and to space itself. Imagine large portions of humanity migrating to space and much of industry being done off planet.
It is within our power through technology fully developed to turn our birth planet into a pristine veritable Garden of Eden cleaning up pollution and damage and developing technologies that are inherently not so polluting by design. This is especially so if we fully develop nanotechnology. Nanotechnology along with exploding knowledge in genetics, biochemistry, biology and so on along with vastly increased intelligence and sensing (IoT) allows us to do these things.
Imagine that we not only increase human intelligence both with our computational and communication devices, external and increasingly internal, but bring more Intelligence into existence in the form of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and especially Artificial General Intelligence (AGI). Today’s AI is still narrow in ability although very deep in many cases and much better than human’s at many of these narrow tasks. The “G” in AGI is “general”. That is Artificial Intelligence is capable of fully generalized learning and transference of learning across as wide a range as humans are and like a wider range than humans. I believe this is completely possible and that it is possible. I believe it is possible to achieve AGI that is orders of magnitude more intelligent than today’s humans. Humans of course need not stand still. We will grow, transform, and integrate with and interoperate with AGI.
With enough intelligence and enough resources there is very little that cannot be done. I do not believe there is any limit on intelligence or resources we are likely to be stopped by for a very, very long time. The theoretical limits according to what we know through science are many orders of magnitude beyond what we have achieved so far.
A very big question is what is our Vision? Where is it we want to go? What are the roadblocks in the way? What are the closest opportunities? What are the dangers and how can they be addressed as well as the opportunities?
So what is the plan for exploring all of this? We will dance across these topics taking roughly one major topic area a month with some topics extending a month or two to do a bit more justice to sub areas. Here is the rough outline. Focusing on one topic a month or so will allow us and especially a grasshopper mind like myself to avoid too much distraction and overwhelm. There are of course many intersections between these topics.
- Vision: Abundance For All, Wide Open Future
- Abundant Resources
- Abundant Energy
- Computational Abundance
- Longevity, Anti-Aging, Rejuvenation
- Longevity Approaches & What Causes Aging
- Survey of Current Supplements, Drugs, Protocols
- Gene Therapy
- Knowledge/Information Abundance
- The Intellectual Property Conundrum
- Abundant Intelligence
- Intelligence Augmentation
- Artificial Intelligence
- Space Infrastructure
- Space Resources Acquisition and Utilization
- Space Migration
- Ethics, Philosophy
- Importance of Freedom and Non-Coercion
- Extropy – Perpetual Improvement
What happened to all the gung-ho hyper-optimistic transhumanists, myself included? When and how and why did we lose our wild deep optimism?
Perhaps some of for many of us that were around for the hyper-optimistic 90s and early 21st century we simply got older. But this doesn’t seem accurate. I see younger generations much more subdued in hope and expectations as well.
Perhaps we did a bit of a pump and dump on ourselves – we had such far out dreams and expectations of what was just around the corner that a crash was inevitable when few of those expectations were realized quickly. I had a nagging feeling in those days that too much was seen as inevitable with super-human AGI supposedly just around the corner. I even knew some younger folks in the movement that thought going to college was pointless and superintelligence would far outshine them. Too many seemed to think that all matter of milk and honey was just around the corner and was indeed inevitable.
It didn’t help that we had 9/11 and the crash of 2008 to deflate our wild optimism and that of many others. More recently 2020 has certainly not helped anyone keep their best and happiest visions for what is possible in mind.
There is something else that I think may be part of it. I saw so much and participated in a lot of wild eyed technological optimism and focus on technology. That was cool for a hyper-geek like myself.. But I felt even back in the mid-90s that there was en element missing. It seemed to me that there was a missing spiritual or consciousness raising element. It seemed to me that we were missing a compelling deeply inspiring Vision of where we wanted to go. Perhaps without that there was not the unifying uplifting core that was needed to fully gel as a movement and as a community.
In my opinion it would have helped tremendously if we had a vision of Everyone Makes It. A vision of such Radical Abundance that there was no reason to leave anyone behind. I think the hardest challenge is of our evolved psychology, deeply steeped in assumed scarcity, dealing with the overheating of accelerating technology. It is hard for us to conceive of actual abundance. We so deeply assume scarcity. This bleeds over into all our institutions.
It is hard for us to accept and fully utilize and incorporate into our lives and institutions the Abundance that is already ours. We have a device in our hand that can give us near instant access to all the knowledge of humanity! Yet much of it is locked up behind various paywalls, middlemen and IP laws that assume at their base scarcity – that the only way to have enough is to put up pay stations across such knowledge and access to it.
Those same devices enable us to have near photographic memory for all we see and hear. But that also breaks a lot of IP laws. If our electronic devices are true extensions of our minds or ever can be such then why settle for partial lobotomy of what our increasingly extended mind is capable of apprehending and doing? The why is again the assumption of scarcity.
I am not trying to blame here but to point to where we are. We are in a transition period between scarcity being honest and realistic and it becoming far less so – sometimes gradually and sometimes in some areas all in a rush. We are caught flat-footed. Old business models no longer make sense and the people involved feel threatened. People fear becoming obsolete and their way of “making a living” going bye-bye. They don’t know what comes next. Their fear is not unjustified as we try to navigate into the uncharted waters of accelerating change.
I think part of what happened to us is the reaction of what is to such radical notions of what could be. And to be honest much of it was not at all grounded or reasonably thought through. I also have a sneaking suspicion that an even harder question was waiting in the wings.
“How must we ourselves change to reach the future of our dreams?”
Both how we as individuals need to confront our evolved psychology and transcend some highly limiting parts of that and how we need to change our institutions to ever get to and live in and enjoy Radical Abundance. I think many shied away from such deep questions. It is indeed hard to think of them from within old comfortable paradigms.