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Shut up and do the impossible!

Hi Eli,

First, complements on a wonderful series.

Don't you think that this need for humans to think this hard and this deep would be lost in a post-singularity world? Imagine, humans plumbing this deep in the concept space of rationality only to create a cause that would make it so that no human need ever think that hard again. Mankind's greatest mental achievement - never to be replicated again, by any human.

I guess people then could still indulge in rationality practice, the way people do karate practice today, practice that for the majority of them, does not involve their life being at stake, isshokenmei. But what you are doing today and what they would doing later would be something like the difference between Krav-Maga and Karate in today's world. The former is a win-at-all-costs practice and the latter is a stylised form based thingy, no offence to any karatekas.

But I understand why you have to do this - survival of humanity is more important than more humans reaching that depth in rationality. Best wishes to your "Krav-Maga of the mind".

Mere Messiahs

Hi Psy Kosh,

The souls you refer to in Buddhism are called Bodhisatvas. They are compassionate souls who instead of attaining Nirvana and ceasing their birth and death cycles choose to remain within those cycles to liberate others.

Living in Many Worlds

Taking inspiration from Mike Blume's point, how many human beings should have lived for there to be a reasonable chance say 75% that one of them is immortal in our universe?

But There's Still A Chance, Right?


For people who have a cryonics contract, or intend to get one in the future, fate may literally be hanging off a thin probability. The probability of a revival, maintaining sufficient memory continuity and of a subsequent life worth living are small. The reason that people go in for cryonics (even when the technology was not very advanced) was because small though the probability is, it is not zero. So, I would be very wary of using a epsilon = zero argument.

And about evolution, isn't it just a matter of time before we will be able to genetically work backward from any of today's species to the original ancestors? We know the genome, we can work out the theoritical mutations, we can test and see which of these possible mutations had a high probability. I personally don't worry about creationists for too long because we will have genetically engineered evidence of evolution re-created and irrefutable.

regards, Prakash

Superhero Bias


Examples where some lives might have to be sacrificed is placebo groups for potentially life saving drugs. If you don't have the placebo group, the efficacy of the medicine cannot be known for certain, putting lives of many people potentially at risk. But those in the placebo group are goners, for sure. Correct me if I am wrong.