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🎨 Creative Anti-transhumanism as a viable faction?

Rupert

Active member
Validated User
"Human casualties" doesn't have the same dread if we're talking digital AIs and uploads who believe that recent backups are an adequate solution to instance-lethal incidents.
Quite possibly until they are the instance that is about to die. It's all very well to claim that you're fine with the risk, sitting in your nice solid and heavily shielded mainframe on the Moon. It's quite another when you're now in a little wee portable in some robot on Mars, with marginal shielding and altogether shitty safety regulations. You aren't backed up. Someone not unlike you, but from yesterday, gets all your stuff if you die. That sounds like a shit deal to me.

I think a lot of people think about immortality via backups from the perspective of the backup, not the copy that's going out and dying. Without real-time backup (which is likely to be pretty bandwidth intensive, even assuming it's possible to just hook someone up to a datalink and do this, when you die, you die. Someone else, more or less like you, but with a chunk of missing time, wakes up and takes your place. They are no more actually you than if they were already up and about, your clone including mentally, like in some Star Trek episode.
 

Arethusa

Sophipygian
RPGnet Member
Validated User
....you're a ridiculous strawman? Also, where did you get an Amazonian desert?
We’re working on it. Give us time.

Fun facts. The Amazon soil is not as rich as one might expect, given the rainforest, and once the rainforest is stripped away and the land farmed, the soil depletes fast and does not recover.

There is strong evidence that this is what happened to Australia, which has very similar soil and was covered coast to coast by lush rainforest until some time after humans arrived.
 

mindstalk

Does the math.
Validated User
All transhumanism threads converge on backup/continuity debates. It's Transgodwin's Law.

But what matters isn't whether it's "true" that backup is a good solution for death, what matters if enough people believe it is to get a functional group going. And since digital minds can be copied, all you really need is *one* such person who is flexible enough to pick up expertise in various copies.

Note that 'good solution' can include "yes, this instance obviously will die, but losing my fragment of consciousness and its short accumulation of unique memory is worth it for the greater good of the Me-collective", like Lugatha in Girl Genius.

There is strong evidence that this is what happened to Australia, which has very similar soil and was covered coast to coast by lush rainforest until some time after humans arrived.
Source? I've never heard "coast to coast rainforest in human times".
 

Arethusa

Sophipygian
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Source? I've never heard "coast to coast rainforest in human times".
Nope, I’m wrong, my error. Looks like I misunderstood a source and conflated some things.

Hundreds of millions of years ago, long before humans evolved, let alone showed up on the coast, Australia was covered with rainforests. But by the time humans arrived in the Pleistocene much of Australia was already drier. Isotopic traces of diet preserved in flightless birds’ eggshells suggest a climate of “tree/shrub savannah with occasionally rich grasslands” which “was converted abruptly to the modern desert scrub” after humans arrived.

Source: https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/ddea/a341e9188c289800ef4e75fc377f8ca4a3c7.pdf

The paper goes on to suggest that the ecosystem collapse was precipitated by human-caused clearing /burning away of vegetation, which had catastrophic effects on the weather. Forests are engines of the water cycle and draw more rain into continental interiors by a feedback cycle of evaporation and condensation. Once enough woodlands were removed even the monsoons failed, leading to further rapid continent-wide desertification and the extinction of the Australian megafauna.

The other thing that tripped me up was evidence of relatively recent rainforests in now-arid regions. A few years ago a fossil tree kangaroo was discovered in the Nullarbor Plain, implying that as recently as the Pleistocene the area was a rainforest (but of course the Pleistocene goes considerably farther back than human habitation).

So not as stark a picture as I painted it. But perhaps still a warning about deforestation in the Amazon.
 

Ulzgoroth

Mad Scientist
Validated User
Note that 'good solution' can include "yes, this instance obviously will die, but losing my fragment of consciousness and its short accumulation of unique memory is worth it for the greater good of the Me-collective", like Lugatha in Girl Genius.
As Schlock Mercenary shows, you don't even have to be into a "Me-collective" concept for that to work to an extent. People dealing with 'laz-5' (the setting's term for being dead with both brain and in-body backups lost, requiring restoration from an off-site backup) tend to not claim much identity across the gap between post-backup self and post-restoration self, but still very much favor being restored nonetheless. (And in at least one already on-the-edge case seems a bit more okay with dying when he's not going to leave a him-shaped hole in the world.)
 

Ulzgoroth

Mad Scientist
Validated User
Seriously? These are game ideas we're talking about. Nothing I said deserved an insult like that.
You in my post is the same as you in your post. The hypothetical person "proposing to turn the Amazonian desert into computronium". Not Rose Embolism Rose Embolism , which would be a very weird formulation of a personal attack. EDIT: Though the 'you' in the second sentence might have made that more ambiguous than it should have been, I apologize for that.
 

Q99

Genderpunk
Staff member
Moderator
RPGnet Member
Validated User

Guidance:

Things seem to be getting overly hostile in here. Dial things back and keep things civil, I don't want to start handing out infractions.
 

Rose Embolism

Registered User
Validated User
You in my post is the same as you in your post. The hypothetical person "proposing to turn the Amazonian desert into computronium". Not Rose Embolism Rose Embolism , which would be a very weird formulation of a personal attack. EDIT: Though the 'you' in the second sentence might have made that more ambiguous than it should have been, I apologize for that.
I apologize myself. I should not have overreacted like I did. My jet lag must be worse than I thought.

Anyway, to actually focus on the idea, note that space is "harder and more expensive". Not impossible. So it can definitely come down to overarching goals. To bottom line focused Transhumanists space exploration may well come down on the negative side.

There's also this; high performance comes at the cost of narrow margins. Transhumans optimized for say, intellectual hence and speed of processing (got keep up on the Reputation microtrades) may find seconds of
light speed lag unacceptable. As well as the various shielding and support systems needed for space.
 
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