You only live once: a reframing of working towards posthumanity

by [anonymous] 7y4th Apr 201220 comments


Let's say you recently purchased a new computer game. Reviewers like the game, but they say that the game itself pales in comparison to a massive, difficult-to-access secret area near the end. Bizarrely, this secret area contains over 90% of the content in the game. It's also rumored to be a lot better designed.

If you're like most gamers, you'll probably play through the game normally a few times, and go for the secret area on your second or third try. But what if the game was real life, and you died as soon as your first try ended?

Edit for clarifying points:

  • Posthumanity is definitely an area within the game. It's not prohibited by the laws of physics. The relevant questions are how difficult it would be to achieve and whether it would be enough fun to be worth the effort.
  • The reframing is meant to deal with the issue that humans tend to be bad at thinking about unprecedented events (black swans).
  • But the reframing is not perfect. For example, it ignores the fact that posthumanity may be achieved without your help. It also ignores the fact that by achieving posthumanity, you are helping more people than just yourself.
  • If no effective plan for achieving posthumanity exists, you'll have to think of one one in order to access the proverbial secret area. This isn't about any specific plan.