X-Message-Number: 24953
Date: Sun, 31 Oct 2004 00:50:21 -0700
From: James Swayze <>
Subject: Re: For Jonathan, Thomas, Randy & Dave
References: <>

>Message #24942
>Date: Fri, 29 Oct 2004 14:44:40 -0400
>From: "Jonathan Hinek" <>


> Some may even romanticize it as part of a 
>bygone era,

More than merely romanticize we'll be able to enjoy any world that we
wish historical or imagined in absolute full immersion VR. We'll even be
able to experience all manner of danger and even death and ascendance to
some heaven of our own design as a means to reset the game for the next
go or back to reality. With vastly enhanced intelligence and if I have
my way our own embedded AI we'll be able to live out entire lifetimes of
some adventure over the space of real time a coffee break takes while we
let the AI handle mundane life.

> > We wouldn't want
> > to produce children in such unions, of course.

With all due respect I disagree Thomas. It may well be that we decide it
is better left to individual choice what enhancements new people choose
after a reasonable period of learning so that they may make an informed
decision. All the enhancements we talk about will, by means of advanced
nano molecular manipulation be able to be affected 'on the hoof' so to
speak and so no child need to be genetically manipulated except for the
case of ameliorating disease. This skirts the bugaboo issue of, to some,
parents unethically choosing for the child their future. Why choose
genes for your child to grow taller than his peers or stronger or
smarter when after reaching adulthood the child may choose or not these
things for themselves and without resentment for not being allowed the

I think we'll go on making new people and they'll be born possibly in
new ways and conceived in both old and new ways but born as fully human
in my opinion. I'd like to see a time when children can *be simply
children* and be raised in an idealic paradisical existence free of work
or school or hardship. Still of course learning life's lessons but
through guided play activity and not needing to learn the mundane things
until a time when it can all be simply downloaded. They'll see the
godlike adults around them and marvel at their powers and yearn to grow
up and choose their own.

I think this is a good way to set aside some of the fears of the bio
luddites that abhor genetic germline manipulation. However, as I pointed
out yesterday some of them are already clever enough to note that
advanced nanotech trumps all cloning and gene manipulation via crude bio

Why would we choose this way? I think it makes better sense if we are to
after all have enhanced people at all how better to handle children than
to deny them the enhancements until they've learned some morals and
responsibility? Try and imagine teenagers with for all intent and
purpose all the enhancements an adult might have. Size and age matter
even less so how would we keep such *creatures* from destroying
themselves and other through foolishness from immaturity? Possible? Yes,
but why make it so difficult in the first place. Just let kids be kids
and live a magical childhood utilizing all the virtual reality toys we
will muster. They'll learn valuable lessons and be better prepared to
blossom into adulthood, a truly magical adulthood indeed. And why keep
making people?

I used to ponder a particular question that I was wont to ask of my
literal bible believing folks. "Would there be sex in heaven? "No",
they'd say, "the bible says, "the former things are past" and they'd add
their own little wishes with "besides there'll be something much better
in heaven"". "Better?", I'd ask, "better than having children and loving
children and seeing them have and love their own?" I thought, "how
unfair for the children not yet old enough to have children that get
sucked up to heaven on judgment day! They'll never know such joy."

Do you get my point? Besides if my druthers come true there'll be plenty
of room for them as we spread throughout the galaxy and maybe even beyond.

>This is an interesting thought. Do you think that we would 
>surpass/overcome ideas of commitment or loyalty? Would all dissolved 
>relationships be amiable? Would ideals about trust differ as well?

I happen to think that for many, but not all, polyamory will rule the
day. I cannot see attempting to insist my lover/lovers be true to me
only for the unforeseeable future which may be millions even, hopefully,
trillions of years. I wrote about this in "Joy of Sex Forever", an
article for Physical Immortality magazine issue #1. If you don't have
the magazine and wish to read my article if I get enough requests I'll
post it on my website, unless my editor and fellow advisors/directors to
the magazine would rather I not in lieu of a online PI version possibly

Suffice to say I feel it would be the height of cruelty to expect
totally loyalty to me only for time ad infinitum. Much of what drives
jealousy and feelings of demand for fidelity will be supplanted by all
the myriad and necessary consequences of Physical Immortality. In the
past and currently we worry for the loss of a loved one to death or loss
of love and want them to be loyal to us alone because life is so short
and so much is invested in finding and keeping the ideal mate. Some of
the things involved in finding and keeping a mate are closely tied with
things like wealth, status, beauty, personality, virtue and a host of
things that themselves won't be so scarce for each individual in the
future because of the necessary consequences of PI and so the emphasis
on them will be lessened greatly.

The one thing that remains is uniqueness of personality and inner beauty
which I fervently believe we'll all have in abundance. How better to
spend eternity but to have a few thousand years for each to be with and
love eventually everyone, in whatever capacity one is comfortable with,
which is the essence of polyamory. It is not all about sex. Love
relationships are both sexual and non sexual and regardless of gender or
worries over crossing societal gender barriers. Such barriers themselves
will be moot for a number of reasons. First among them is I hope we'll
all have become enlightened out of homophobia. Secondly, we'll
eventually live in a time where anyone can daily pick whatever gender or
combination thereof they wish as easily as changing coats. This second
one makes essential the first if you see what I mean, otherwise one will
be constantly paranoid of whether one's lover was originally a pure
whatever, something I find stupid and abhorrent. More emphasis will be
placed on loving personalities rather than the package it comes in.

>Message #24943
>Date: Fri, 29 Oct 2004 21:13:05 -0400
>From: Randolfe Wicker <>
>Subject: Life without romance?

>He is certainly more than optimistic about an immortal lifespan making a person
less likely

>to hurt others of do evil to them.  I know some people who have indeed become 
more decent as

>they aged.  However, I know others that have turned into uglier and more 
hateful beings each
>day they lived.

I think that open ended life spans will have a tendency to lessen one's
aspirations to do wrong, however that definition of right versus wrong
evolves. The reason is simply that no one individual is an island and no
matter how powerful an individual may become they could not oppose the
greater majority that may align against them. It will be in everyone's
self interest and hopefully extended to "enlightened self interest" to
get along and maximize potentials for safety and survival. Believing in
a life after death and believing that life is necessarily short makes
life cheap and a throwaway commodity bought and sold for desires proud
and profane. But how many will sell their life or that of their loved
ones so easily and cheaply if they could possibly have many thousands of
years of life to miss out on? Gradually as prophetic wishes and dates
are surpassed with more and more ever expanding time and reason rules
the day through enhanced intellect the old eschatological religions with
their hopes for heavens unreachable but through death will necessarily
wane and with it one more aspect that cheapens life will fall by the
wayside. Other religions may arise but hopefully without the price
*death* their major tenet.

>His idea that immortalists would lose interest in history because they would 
increasingly have

>been part of it does not withstand close scrunity.  Look at how passionately 
people today argue

>over the Vietnam War that they all experienced.  I think history would be even 
more interesting

>to most people because each would have his/her own interpretation of those 
events, which overlapped
>their own lives.

I think that history will be preserved as a means of retaining one's
identity. Reviewing it periodically to remember and experience again who
one was and what were one's motivations will be both a means for self
actualization, improvement and anchoring. Losing history is a recipe for
repeating past mistakes. Losing history is a means to lose one's
identity and pass through time rudderless. Learning to live with past
mistakes being able to face them, own up to them, take responsibility
for them and not seek to forget them is a means to true enlightenment,
fore understanding what oneself is capable of helps one develop empathy
for the human, even post human, condition. We have and grant mercy
because we know we too are capable of the deeds that require granting it.

>However, Donaldson clings to the idea that two people (or a larger group) would
produce a child

>"not just from their genes but their ideas about what a new human being should 
be like".  And
>These groups would occur independently of any pairing for sex".

This is an interesting concept. There may well be certain groups that
choose such a path. It need not be exactly as I posed above because the
one thing that I think will be universal is that nothing will be
universal. In other words, diversity will be the way of life and no one
way will be the only way to live, reproduce or otherwise.

>Personally, I don't see life inside of cyborg devoid of bodily cravings, joys 
and satisfactions as
>being such a promised land.

I happen to agree to a point and wish to remain capable of feeling and enjoying
all the carnal and otherwise delights the human body is capable of even if I
slowly develop along the lines of a partly machine body. There is a
Bjork video for her song, "All is Full of Love", where two androgynous
but sporting breast like bumps, hard non pliable plastic bodied robots
make love to each other. It at once evokes feeling of repugnance and
longing that both could actually sense what we can sense. That may well
be possible through simulation but I hope what we do instead is develop
soft cyborg/robotic bodies fully as pliable as the originals but
possibly capable of instantly opposing force with instant transition to
damage avoiding rigidity. See the video here on MTV online, look for it
about a page down, must sign up however:

>Immortalists should consider "eternally youthful healthy bodies" as the 
capsules in which to spend

>countless years.  Reproduction?  Why does reproduction take two or more.  One 
can simply reproduce a

>later-born twin (a perfect social companion and family member) through cloning.

Question for Randy, I once asked this of the people gathered with me to
debate the cloning issue on a local "Town Hall" TV show. To break the
ice just before air time I said to everyone. "Well what I truly think
we're all here to figure out is the over abiding question, 'If one has
sex with one's clone is it incest or masturbation?'" Everyone cracked up
and the laughter was very much welcomed as we got ready to discuss the
situation with Dolly and what may come. However, I would not be
surprised if the most indulgent of narcissists found this to be the only
way to find a suitable life partner. Would we condone or call it perversion?

Most of us there for the debate were in the affirmative for cloning in
general. However, one vapid headed PETA person was asked point blank by
the moderator -- a local semi celebrity news anchor -- and she sat right
next to me, if she would oppose the cloning of tissue to help me walk
again. Cruelly and to me ignorantly and stupidly she consigned me to
ever be disabled in this life and her sole reason was to protect some
poor mouse or mice from the experimentation to perfect the process.

>For that matter, romance, aided by technology, might help solve the population 
problem by enabling
>"two people in love" to literally become one. 

There will not be a population problem first of all and second what
happens when they have irreconcilable differences and seek a divorce?

> If we can turn back the clock, why couldn't we find a way to merge and 
solidify instead of
>constantly dividing and multiplying?

>All this is far out for Cryonet.  However, would anyone want to spend an 
eternity as a prisoner in

>a paralyzed body like Christopher Reeve did for years?  Would one want to live 
on forever with

>terrible arthritis pain or irritable bowel syndrome?  No, the quality of life 
is just as important
>as  its duration.

No and No, but... These are moot points because if there is ever a
capability to, in the first place, turn back the clock -- I assume you
mean aging, or whatever else consists of making us long lived beings to
necessarily consider and ponder the imponderables of of lives so long,
we'll surely have the technology to free one from any and every malady
causing bodily imprisonment through disability or pain or otherwise.

>Cryonicists should simply want to be brought out of suspension, have their 
illnesses corrected, the

>aging process reversed and to live on in the body they know with all its 
capacities for pleasure

This is true but what then? Do we stagnate there, end up dying again,
possibly in such a manner as to not make further cryopreservation
possibly, or do we seek to go further?

I was recently asked if I personally believe in Physical Immortality and
this was/is my answer. " As to physical immortality, no I don't think we
can achieve it, unless we discover how to manipulate time. I don't
believe a copy or sim of me will do, I don't expect to be able to dodge
every danger there is. I just want to live as long as I can. When it
comes to a time that I have no choice but to upload or enter the
transporter beam I will bid my duplicate a good life and see for myself
if oblivion is forever. Something that once represented some part of me
may see the end of the universe but there on that day, noting that time
references such as days, hours, etc., will have little meaning, so at
that moment that entity will learn, unless able to escape to the past,
that as all of existence fades *no* one is not immortal."

All the above said is fine and good but to sum up, I think Physical
Immortality is something to strive for and for myself I might be able to
get my head around a soft upload or gradual, I am still unsure. However,
I see this as a learning process still in the works and there is time to
learn more. Perhaps some day I'll be able to relinquish my idea of a
self centric identity of me in here looking out. Maybe after enhancement
of intellect and if possible as I've mentioned so many times sharing my
mind with an AI self I'll become to feel more distributed in my identity
or more shared with others and so begin to believe less in the
importance of this original *me* continuing with solid unbroken
continuity through all of time. We'll see!

>Message #24944
>From: "David Pizer" <>
>Subject: Most people DO desire immortality

>If you count all the traditional religious people who want to live forever with
God in Heaven,
>I think that is about 65% (or more) of the people on earth.

I'd say closer to 85% or higher. Non believers of any kind of after life
whether traditional religion or whatever are actually quite a small
minority so far, but there is hope!! ;)

>Those people who *say* they would not physical immortality say so because they 
either believe they

>are going to live forever in Heaven or they don't believe physical immortality 
is possible, and so
>they think it is silly or stupid to admit they want it.

Peer pressure even invisible is a strong incentive to resist anything
new and unfamiliar. One doesn't want to appear crazy or eccentric and
thereby endanger social or monetary status.

>IF the truth were available, I would venture that 99% of the people who have 
healthy happy life
>don't want to lose it --- ever.  That is the same as wanting immortality.  

Excellent point. When I get a negative reaction from someone or am
asked, "Why would you want to live forever?" [keeping in mind the
individual is projecting forward the hard life they know so far and
expected decrepitude with aging having no imagination or exposure to the
possibility of youthful rejuvenation or enhanced living] I simply reply,
"Do you like breathing? Don't you want to continue that as long as you
can? Don't you expect to wake up tomorrow?" Then I introduce them to the
ideas of not declining into decrepitude and other joys that we dream of.


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All comments on any subject in this email are solely my own opinions only and 

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