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Ask LW: Why no reproductive human cloning?

I think that many people have aversions against elites seeking some form of immortality for themselves. Reproductive cloning would only enable a relatively weak for of immortality that might not be available to everyone. Therefore, some people could argue that reproductive cloning creates intolerable relative advantages for a relatively small group of people who can afford that procedure.

In the case that reproductive cloning could be afforded by virtually everyone people could still draw some kind of connection between cloning and incest, as both acts can be seen as diminishing genetic diversity. Less genetic diversity could decrease the overall level of immunity against diseases. But perhaps you could compensate for that with some genetic treatment before the implantation process.

Additionally, those who create a clone of themselves could be seen as egocentric, because they don't seem to be ready to mix their genetic material with someone else and prefer their own undiluted genetic code.

What would you do with infinite willpower?

My plans wouldn't drastically change. I would still work on the projects for which my participation yields the the greatest increase of the probability of a sufficiently positive outcome of a technological Singularity. But having infinite willpower would have the surprising disadvantage that I couldn't experiment with increasing my willpower anymore. So, my advice when it comes to willpower increasing would be pretty bad (unless I know how to generate infinite willpower of course).

Basically, I would just get more important stuff done. I would forgo all purely recreational activities, as they aren't as important as improving the world and securing its existence and quality.

What are you working on? June 2011

1) I'm working on producing content for my new personal development blog Become Unrestricted ( http://becomeunrestricted.com ). Besides the usual stuff it also incorporates some philosophical thoughts and my most effective methods for improving my own life - most prominently life quantification and gamification.

Why? This year I had the realization that people behave in a rather suboptimal fashion not primarily out of stupidity, irrationality, or lacking benevolence, but rather because of a lack of self-management capabilities which restricts their potential and makes them resort to actions which look pretty bad from the outside. From my perspective already existing personal development sources don't solve this problem in a sufficiently systematic fashion.

2) I also started working on a science fiction story about a highly sophisticated planetary civilization in which artificial intelligence and intelligence augmentation are prohibited (this is enforced by a planetary AGI), and in which people are sent to the mysterious Beyond, if they reach a certain threshold of momentary emotional suffering.

Why? Actually, I wanted to continue my work on Storytellers' Chronicles, a post-Singularity science fiction story. The first part can be read on my personal site http://Radivis.com . However, I found that it was lacking a more human character, so I will use that previous story to introduce him into the Storytellers' Chronicles plot.

The deeper reason is to explore some kind of wildly optimistic and partially conceivable post-Singularity scenario. I think this is needed for several reasons, especially for creating some kind of positive vision which can serve as provisional blueprint for creating a future which is worth living in and for.