Recent posts by vikaTae on Kongregate

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Why do LIEberals still worship OBUMMER???

Mafefe in a position of responsibility? ::shudders::

Other than that, your points are apt, SirPhilly. Besides, Mafefe, you’re claiming Obama hasn’t kept any promises? Really?

#Note: That link goes on for twelve pages, so you’ll have to do a lot of clicking and scrolling.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Looks like this forum is dying

Post your thread Implosion, it’s a good idea. I’ll think of some threads to post tonight. Lunchbreak is not really long enough for anything in-depth. They’ll prolly be tech or sociotech based, because that’s how I think. Sorry in advance to those who loathe such discussions!

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Looks like this forum is dying

We’ve had dry stretches before, and doubtless will do again. Nothing new there.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / What will happen when lab grown meat becomes cheaper than "natural" meat?

Originally posted by Ruudiluca:

If this lab grown meat did become available at a reasonable price, I should give it a go as long as it is nutritionally worthwhile.

Well… It would definitely be nutritionally worthwhile. Muscle flesh is the only naturally occuring source of vitamin B12, which is a nutritional bonus to eating meat, as well as the various trace elements that are easier to get out of muscle flesh than plant matter.

However, you bring to mind an interesting point. In traditional butchery, the animal is broken down, because different cuts of meat from different parts of the animal have different properties.

As the above shows, the type of meat you get differs radically by the part of the animal it comes from. Some are very fatty, some are fairly stringy; some areas have been exercised heavilly over the course of the animal’s life and others have barely been exercised at all. The texture, consistency, and quality of the resulting meat varies widely.

In an artificially grown slab of muscle, that diversity isn’t going to exist. All the meat from the same slab will taste the same; an undiffertiated mass of muscle. It may well be that it has a unique taste of its own because of this.

Another difference comes from the cruelty involved in slaughtering animals. Did you know that having the animal be in abject terror in the minutes before it dies, actually alters the flavour of the meat? A surge of adrenaline actually toughens the meat. Whilst the result isn’t liked by everyone, it is a very different flavour and constituency that would likely be lost if ranching goes the way of the dodo thanks to lab meat.

Personally, I’ve no problem with this, as I strongly dislike inflicting cruelty on another species. To the point I’m likely to inflict cruelty on the human doing so, if they’re in my presence at the time. However, it does illustrate that the range of tastes and textures occuring in meat in our supermarkets and butchers today may be greatly reduced in a world of artificial muscle flesh.

After all, how do you induce a level of stress response in something that lacks a nervous system? How do you change the consistency of some of the meat in an otherwise undifferentated slab of flesh?

The major problem with artificial meat would be the fear factor that a lot of people would have due to it being ‘weird’ or ‘different’.

That’ll be a generational thing at most, same as with he other highly disruptive technological waves we’ve seen in the past. Those around at the time the change hits are the least likely to adopt it, but successive generations are likely to have fewer and fewer problems with the ‘change’ as to them, it’s all they’ve known.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / The Giver recently became compulsory reading for 6-7th graders in Hungary

Please, be aware that Jhco has routinely misunderstood the definition of socialism, to the point where it is a running joke with him. He doesn’t actually understand what it is, but applies that label to anything he feels is ‘left’.

Also, how does the book promote socialism? It seems to me that the character is breaking away from socialist/communist ideals in the book

I would tend to agree to a point, but it’s the implication you cannot have a communist ‘utopia’ unless you eliminate emotion that I have the greatest difficulty with. I can see the case for restricting the intensity of emotion the brain can produce, such as the extremes are no-longer present, but removing them altogether?

It just feels like a knee-jerk reaction to the perils of intense emotion, by going from one extreme to the other. Both extremes being equally bad ideas, for different reasons.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / What will happen when lab grown meat becomes cheaper than "natural" meat?

Originally posted by ImplosionOfDoom:

Also I didn’t realize that they found a way to make spiders docile enough to be farmed on an industrial scale. Can you link me a thing about that topic, I’m a bit curious about what a large scale spider farm looks like.

Yea, I thought they had. Turns out the company that was doing that, is doing so no-longer. Wasn’t viable.

What I did find was two of the companies playing with the spider genome are still going strong and have moved to other animals.

  • Kraig Biocraft have inserted the gene sequences into silkworms, so the silkworms produce dspider silk en masse.
  • Spiber have inserted the gene into bacteria. Specifically e-coli, and collect the threads that way. The threads are much, much smaller than usual, somewhere on the order of ~250 being combined together to create a normal thickness strand of spider silk.

Originally posted by Ruudiluca:

I am also interested on how vegetarianism and veganism will be affected. As a vegetarianism myself, I feel weird about eating artificial meat. Ethically, I have no reason to not eat it (as far as I can think). Depending on the nutrition of the artificial meat compared to my vegetarian substitute, I may switch over.

Ruudiluca, have you eaten any of the artificial meat Quorn? It’s a fungus-derived ‘meat’, that is already on the market. There’s no actual meat in it, and it has a distinct taste all of its own. It is certified for vegetarians and addresses many of your concerns. It’s not suitable for vegans, because milk and egg are used in the process.

With the lab-grown meat the thread’s really talking about, you’ll have to decide what drives your vegitarianism. After all, lab grown meat is still animal tissue.

Are you against the suffering / wholesale slaughter of farm animals, and this is the reason you are a vegetarian? If so, lab-grown meat would be perfect for you.
Are you against eating animal flesh itself? If so, lab-grown meat would not be for you.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / What will happen when lab grown meat becomes cheaper than "natural" meat?

Originally posted by ImplosionOfDoom:

Ah, very true about the risk of infection / cancer spreading through such a facility. At the very least you can replace cultured tissue much more quickly and easily should you ever have to ‘clean out all your equipment and start over’ (Really you’d just need to keep some back up samples somewhere in case such an event occurred, and you should be able to grow the next batch in less time than it takes to gestate a whole calf)

This is my same argument really. I’m not referring to having calves instead of lab grown meat, but rather growing the meat in blocks, separated from one another by containing walls of one type or another with separate nutrient and waste feeds. So that, should something go wrong with the organism, all you’ve lost is one however many tonne block. All the others you are growing in parallel are fine.

Use this same method for any non-meat products as well, so each dedicated organism is separate from the others, rather than just having one humungous organism.

I suppose it’s easier to keep a sterile environment if you’re not dealing with multiple whole organisms (particularly livestock that can’t be house trained).

It’s easier for a different reason, though. You’re not dealing with sentient animals. You’re not dealing with anything with a brain. So there’s no animal welfare angle, no movement-based (locomotive) exercise requirement, no requirement to clean the cages of waste skin or excrement.

Instead the ‘brain’ is an external computer system not doing much more than regulating life support and ordering the flesh to contract rythmically. Exercise is in-situ, and the organism’s been engineered to emit waste in predictable ways, using orifices literally designed to interface with a suction pump. So, there’s no mess to clean up. Likewise no actual mouth means the primary access point for forign contaminants is not there. No sensory organs whatsoever to serve as entry vectors for pathogens.

although we’ll probably have to grow some bone marrow, lymph nodes, etc to give the system blood cells, and a working immune systems

Why?

If we’re saturating the blood plasma directly, what use is there for red blood cells? The organism is never going to move of its own accord, isn’t going to tire, or ever change its nutrient requirements, so there’s no necessity for the added capabilities red blood cells offer.

Same for an immune system. If it is entirely sealed away in a nutrient tank, in a completely sterile environment, why bother to give it an immune system? The only diseases its at risk of if everything goes right are genetic disorders and cell division/death disorders. The immune system won’t help with any of those and is just another system to potentially go wrong.

It would be essential if you had one giant organism, to have a functional immune system, as some parts of the organism would invariably end up exposed to naked atmosphere. But if they are separate, each one submerged in a carefully monitored and controlled nutrient solution, why bother with an immune system?

Keep in mind, factory farms are having such a problem with sanitation and monitoring the health of individual livestock that they’ve resorted to mixing low doses of antibiotics into the feed, which in term has resulted in multiple strains of bacteria becoming resistant to various antibiotics.

Yup, and that directly impacts human health, as we’re fast running out of antibiotics that still work.

Oh and this is a weird little aside, but part of the reason we engineered ‘spider-goat" (that goat that produces spider silk proteins in it’s milk) is because when we tried farming spiders, they were so territorial they all ended up eating each other.

Spiders are still farmed, but the solution was to tinker around in the spider genome. That’s what ‘artificial’ spider silk actually is. Spider silk from spiders whose genome has been tinkered with to increase output and curtail aggression.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / What will happen when lab grown meat becomes cheaper than "natural" meat?

Originally posted by ImplosionOfDoom:

Do you think they might end up finding ways to ‘culture’ entire organ systems detached from the whole animal?

Possibly, but what would be the benefit? It’s still going to demand most of the major organs are present, just to keep it alive and healthy. As you increase the size of that artificial animal, you’re going to increase the need for larger and more powerful primary organs – larger hearts or multiples in parallel. Larger, more efficient lungs or again more of them. Multiple chamber stomachs, larger volume capacity intestines, livers and kidnes en-masse, etc.

It makes more sense to go the other way, I suspect. Smaller animals and more of them. Perhaps gene tweaked silkworms or spiders, able to produce the wool required. Bacteria colonies excreting milk-like products, etc.

Flesh for leather I can see being produced mechanically, in cultured ‘slides’ several meters across, fed nutrients and attached to a mechanical frame to keep it stretched taut as it grows – but skin is a very, very simple organ, and the nutrients it requires can be provided in a ‘bath’ form, just as they can for artificially grown muscle.

I could imagine a facility having all of its ‘cultured flesh’ running on a huge single circulatory system (Well one giant circulatory system per species of cultured flesh, otherwise there would be some ‘compatibility issues of course.

One single blood-bourne infection and you’ve lost the lot. If cancer metastases, likewise all the tissue is contaminated, whereas if there are multiple organisms, you’ve only lost a portion of the herd to infected feed or an air-vector pathogen.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / How old do you want to be when you die?

Why specifically 92, Andy? Just being sassy, or do you have a reason you’d like to share as to why that particular age?

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / What do you think the impact would be if Serious Discussion were to receive more regulars from Off-Topic?

Increased activity is no bad thing, SirPhilly. All we really ask is that users who come here try to post serious thoughts, and explain their reasoning.

You can joke around a bit if you’re prepared to do that, but nothing like the level OT reaches.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / What will happen when lab grown meat becomes cheaper than "natural" meat?

One major advantage of cheap meat, would of course be that even in poorer areas, eating meat regularly would be possible.

Another would be the freeing up of vast areas of arable land for other farming uses. Using arable land for meat production is among the least efficient uses of it. Turning much of that land over to plant-based aggriculture will actually considerably increase the world’s food production, and have a real effect in those countries where arable land is already under pressure.

After all, if lab grown meat is cheaper, it will likely be used more often in cut-price food industries, and even though meat ‘off the bone’ will still be in demand, the demand will slowly decrease, freeing up more and more of that pasture land for other uses.

One potential negative is it may have an adverse effect on farming other materials off the animals. For example, sheep farms will face reduced demand for the meat of the animals, and this will put pressure on the financial side of things – can they survive by selling the wool alone, or will they have to reduce the size of their flocks to compensate, ultimately driving up the price of wool? Dairy farms will face similar issues. Same for chicken farms and egg production.

Ironically the net impact of cheap lab-grown meat could then be scarcity factors in milk, eggs, and wool products, meaning alternative methods for producing those or subsidies to farmers to produce them, might have to be found.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / What do you think the impact would be if Serious Discussion were to receive more regulars from Off-Topic?

Tuna comes in green. John West tuna :P

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / What do you think the impact would be if Serious Discussion were to receive more regulars from Off-Topic?

Originally posted by petesahooligan:

Just as relevant, what’s better: Yellow or blue!?

Green :P

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / (Obama,Bush,isis and False flag wars)There is more shit in the world than we ever thought.

Originally posted by Mafefe_Classic:

what about crow do u miss????

His brainpower for one thing. You haven’t split your brain equally between alts. Crow got the lion’s share by far.

Tended to troll less lazily too.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / How old do you want to be when you die?

It’s not Mafefe’s own work, Pete. The automatic complaint letter generator’s work is easily identifiable once you have seen a few.

All Mafefe did was put my name in there, ticked the female gender pronouns box, and selected ‘10’ paragraphs of output from the dropdown. Then copy-pasted the result here.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / The Mysterious Mr Enter speaks out against the hate group Autism Speaks

I’m not sure I would go as far as to call autism spectrum conditions a ‘blessing’. Depending on the degree of deviation, autism spectrum brains possess a radically different way of viewing the world to how the baseline is set up. Different doesn’t imply better, any more than it implies worse. It’s just different. Doubtless there are some checkmarks in the plus column, and some in the minus column.

That said, some conditions and some degrees of autistic development are likely influenced by curable factors. Some studies have identified certain types of gut bacteria as potential contributive factors in how the embodied brain develops, for example. Removing these triggers would likely lessen the degree to which a given brain develops down an autistic path.

Still, once the neural pathways are laid, they’re laid. Not much is going to shift them, and as they increasingly interconnect with other pathways, the number of methods to shift them that don’t also involve massive permanent braindamage or death to the patient become vanishingly small. There’s no disease to cure. That’s just how the tissue has formed, and who the person actually is.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / What do you think the impact would be if Serious Discussion were to receive more regulars from Off-Topic?

We’ve had regulars here from OT for years. Some highly valued regs of times gone by had first come from OT, and continued to interact in OT in parallel to thei time here.

So long as the individual recognises that SD is not OT, nor should it be OT, then all is fine. The same as [most of] our regs here recognise that OT has a different culture and we should behave differently if we go there to how we do here, so regs from OT would be expected to realise that the same is true if they come over here.

Everyone’s got multiple facets to their personality, and so long as they recognise different situations call for different behaviors, everything is fine.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / How old do you want to be when you die?

The rhythm of my own work ethic is that change is as good as resting. It’s why I flit all over the place on a regular basis, why my mad science-esque personal projects exist, and why the one video game I do allow myself to play with any regularity is a heavilly, heavilly modified and expanded business simulation. It’s all about stimulating your brain in different ways, so you never fall into the trap of thinking in the same tired old ways. A bit like exercising muscles; if you bodybuild, you end up very narrowly focussed and weak outside of a narrow range of activities, but if you exercise those same muscles in a variety of different ways, you end up far more flexible and less likely to break something.

If I really, really require downtime, my partner’s there to take my mind off of things and engage different activities. Most of those activities invariably eventually boil down to my not being able to walk properly for a few days, but I’m not planning to go into detail there. Suffice to say, it helps.

I would challenge that by countering that any limitation on your life-expectancy is going to produce the same constraint.

That constraint is always going to be there though. The next superbug pandemic could lay me low. Or a war when I’m unfortunate enough to be in one of the participating countries at the time. Or a terrorist strike, or a simple road traffic accident, or mugging. No matter how much we extend life, it doesn’t make life any less fragile. Even backing up the mind won’t save the original.

Is there a particular threshold that you would feel more comfortable “letting go” of your life’s work than what you expect to be able to accomplish in your natural lifetime?

I think for me, that would be the point where I realise I’m getting diminishing returns. A point we reach where the science is increasingly alien to me, and I’ve not been able to keep up for a while, or I’m struggling to wrap my head around basic concepts that are intuative for newcomers. That’s the ponint to seriously consider stepping away.

As with likely any cutting edge field, it’s always a struggle to keep up with everyone’s pertinent advancements, and I do a slapdash job of that at times now, but I have full working grasp of all the principles involved, and can follow how A leads to B leads to C leads to D leads to E. Everything makes sense, and I could replicate it if pushed, once I grasp how they’ve done what they’ve done. However, there is going to come a point where one of the links in that chain is completely incomprehensible to me, and then a point where a few of the links are, and then many of the links.

My brain is extremely powerful, but it has its limits, and with extreme longevity I’m going to be bashing my head against those limits more and more often, unless I migrate away from it, shedding any pretense of humanity along the way. That’s a possibility, but a remote one; at this juncture it’s going to take a long, long time for that to be possible. Almost certainly outside my natural lifespan.

Are you holding out for self-regenerative “smart cells” that regrow lost tissue? (In other words, is your holy grail expected to occur well beyond your natural lifetime?)

No. I’m a prostheticist, and I’ll go with the results of my own work, far more readily than I’ll go the ‘replace the telomeres with new ones’ route. I can see far too many things going awry with that route, and frankly, it’s a bit squicky for me.

I’d likely start replacing bodyparts now if the interface was ironed out, and the long-term implantation communication problems could be solved without resorting to multiple follow-up surgical procedures or greatly increased risk of infection/tissue damage as is currently the case.

I would spend my superlife first on personal enrichment and later on public enrichment.

Different strokes for different folks.

Personal enrichment side, what do I desperately need that I don’t already have? Answer: Not much, and those elements that are needed, don’t yet exist anyway. I’m happiest when I reap the rewards of something I’ve done for another, such as seeing a child walk on new titanium legs, or giving a severely disfigured woman the opportunity to participate in sex with her husband for the first time in years.

There’s personal gain in both cases; I’m the one getting the endorphins after all. But it’s these little cases of making a difference, a permanent difference to someone’s life in a positive way, that are the diamonds that make all the crap worthwhile.

That’s not going to change, if I’m in the position where I’m likely to have a lot longer to do it. It’ll just increase the amount of change that gets done.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / How old do you want to be when you die?

Originally posted by karmakoolkid:

Lacking an understanding of vika’s intention of sate of the fear of death, I’m going to go w/ an ABATEMENT of the fear of death is likely not so much a factor of the road-of-life has become a longer one as it is one of HOW LONG an amount of time it has been traveled … the amount of life experiences acquired along the way.

Sate means to satisfy, to feed until it no-longer complains, so in this case sating a fear of death is to reassure it to the point that fear ceases to exist.


Originally posted by petesahooligan:

I think a lot of people are missing the bigger question here. The easy question is “how long would you hope to life” and the difficult question is why?

A very long life expectancy doesn’t guarantee long life, so if a person were to desire a ridiculously long life, would that really give a person more time to do what they wanted to do?

Oh yes, absolutely.

I was there close to the birth of my field, can remember when TMR was first created, have permanently damaged the nerves in my arms trying to aggressively map their neural codes… I wanna see where this thing goes. It will easily take longer than a single human lifetime for this field to fully mature, and we haven’t even begun to fully visualise its potential.

Besides, I’m good at this stuff, and thorougly enjoy pummelling away at the barrier at the far edge of our capability until it cracks under the strain. Mainly because each time, my/our creations can reach a little further and do a little more. I get endlessly frustrated at not being able to help enough, and seeing friends in pain I know I should be able to fix.

Time is the great limiter. There’s never enough of it, never remotely enough. By giving myself more time, I can push the boundaries back a lot further, and hopefully realise my life-goal of making physical disability an extinct memory. We also have plans in the relationship side of things that aren’t currently possible to do, no matter how much money you care to throw at them. Long-term enough plans that could easily benefit from a few hundred years’ more life.

If we were to declare our life expectancy to be 900 years, would our hopes and dreams scale accordingly? I don’t think so. As such, I think 800 of those years (those years that were in excess of a normal life span) would largely be wasted on trivial stuf.

Have you ever tried doing ‘trivial stuff’ for any length of time? It’s bloody hard work. That itch to be doing something, anything productive gets under your skin and grows rapidly worse on a geometric scale. Make-work is horrible for the same reason.

There’s an old saying: “Mind over matter. If you’ve got no mind, you don’t matter.” I would extend that by adding “if you have a mind but don’t use it, you might as well not have one at all”.

More time means more chances to put that mind to work, more chances to make a positive difference, and one that lasts. Without old age being a variable on the table, there’s no gradual physuical decline either, and you can keep right on making a difference right up until the day you die, working at your peak the whole of that time.

It’s a good deal, I would say.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / How old do you want to be when you die?

Originally posted by Redem:

Old age dementia and other related illnesses are the main thing I worry about when it comes to practical life extension tech. There’s no point in living a life of terror and confusion of the sort that I fear progressive dementia will result in given immortal bodies.

I tend to agree, in that the mind is actually you. If that goes, you have departed and all that is left is simply meat.

I tend to use that approach to a lot of things, and it’s a large part of why I view the body as just a carry case for you; integration of embodiment be damned.

There are several potential routes to go to mitigate that risk, though I doubt we will ever lose it entirely. Would you be molified a little by the prospect of a ‘backup’ of your mind being available, or does that just make the whole thing creepier?


Originally posted by petesahooligan:

It’s a very philosophical (and madly hypothetical) to speculate what the role of mortality has on a person’s work ethic, intrinsic curiosity, sense of deliberate urgency, and so on.

A person with a life expectancy of 900 years may feel like a child at 50, with all of the same urgency and need for accomplishment. Meaning, that “young” 50-year-old may approach scientific inquiry, and career or personal development, a lot more casually than a person with a traditional life span. “Write my memoir? What’s the rush?”

The rush is that removing the guarantee of an end to age-based mortality still does not confer immortality. You can have an accident and die, you can get sick and die, you can malnurish and die, you can be killed by another. They’re all vectors of mortality, and I have my doubts we will ever completely remove all four of them, even if as seems likely, we can remove age-based mortality.

Based on my own understanding of human nature and instinctual behavior, I doubt that removing age-based mortality will make one lick of difference to the individual’s fear of death. Potentially living longer is not going to sate that fear at all.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Yahoo says Domino's is best pizza

Ended up getting ingredients today, to make a pizza wrap on Fri, so thanks to this thread for the idea.

Going to make a 9" square pizza, with butternut squash, onion, leek, parsnip, cherry tomato and carrot. Top it as normal, then roll it up like a swiss roll, and bake it. Slice it and serve with mash. Should be quite enjoyable, and will definitely be something different for what is expected to be a very wet day.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / (Obama,Bush,isis and False flag wars)There is more shit in the world than we ever thought.

Sounds like you’re just waking up to the complex realities of politics. You’ll find that many of the more worldly-wise setions ofthe population are very much aware of just how many problems we’ve brough on ourselves, or made worse for others through self-interest meddling.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / How old do you want to be when you die?

Depends on the individual I suppose, Pete.

The average long-term tenured professor is more about unassailably entrenched and long-dated opinions than they are about any research that is actually worth a damn. They’re safe and secure in a job that is guaranteed until they retire, certain of their own self-importance. As such, all they really tend to contribute to a project is their name on the paper, and as a source of harassment to the post-docs.

Whereas someone who actually has a vested interest to keep pushing the bleeding edge of their field, tenure or no tenure, will make the time to keep themselves up to date with the latest breakthrough in their field, and will keep their hand in in the lab environment.

Someone who is used to ‘bottom-up’ development processes and a rapidly moving industry, will continue to innovate for as long as they can. Whereas someone in a more traditional ‘top down’ development system will become sedimenatary in thought processes and more administration-optimised as they mature. That creative spark isn’t a benefit to them any more, so they slowly lose it.

So it’s going to depend on the individual to an extreme degree as to how flexible their mind stays as they live longer and longer. Unless they’re willing to keep chalenging themselves, and keep pushing themselvs, they’re going to fall back into habitual patterns, yes. But for those who do keep pushing, the extra years will be just as productive as they were at their best, before.

One of the major plusses about radical life extension, is that by its very nature, most physical disabling conditions become solvable, such that they don’t impact the person’s quality of life to any significant degree. The very ability to swap out old, broken bodily components and swap fresh ones in, means that over time, even their neurological makeup will eventually forget the person ever had a disability.


Originally posted by beauval:

I’m so glad I don’t live in Pakistan. I’d expect to be dead next year.

It’s more about health than years. Family history suggests I’ll make it to about 90. I’ll settle for that as long as I’m still reasonably mobile and don’t go gaga in the meantime.

My maternal grandmother currently has dementia, at 98. Her mother lived till she was 115. My paternal grandmother died in her 80s, perfectly fine in mind. The men don’t live long into old age in my family, but the women seem to practically go on forever, in high states of physical and/or mental health.

It’s one boon I’m glad of, as it means I’ll likely be sticking around for some time myself, and gives much more chance of radical life extension truly being a thing within my likely natural lifetime. From this point forward, I’ve got 60-70 years of likely health to play with, as a stopgap to actually being able to extend life to something far more satisfying.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / The Giver recently became compulsory reading for 6-7th graders in Hungary

Depends on the situation, Pete.

If I’m running a training course for inductees to the company, I’m going to gear the course to bring them up to speed as quickly as possible, and focus most heavily on those who show they can rapidly integrate the material, and think outside the box in proposing solutions.

Those will be the firm’s long-term employees. Those less capable will be shunted to less demanding positions or ultimately let go. They’re not the sort of mind we really desire. The education program’s purpose is to identify those minds which would really thrive in the environment, and stimulate them to the point where they’re quickly really invested in our work.


If however, I am instead running a teaching environment for general members of society, I’ll layer the content, focussing as best as possible on providing an individual learnintg experience tailored to the capacity of each child. Most likely that won’t fully be possible, so I’ll test them early on in the course, to see how their minds work, and divide them into groups based on aplitude and ability, giving each group a slightly modified curriculum to match their ability, and regularly testing the knowledge level of the children to move individuals between groups as required.

The curriculums will overlap, teaching the same material in essence, but approaching things from a position of increased, or reduced complexity as the ability level requires. The best students will be shown the full complexity and encouraged to explore further. The least capable students will just get a simplified overview.

The goal is to give everyone the same basics, but reward different ability levels, such that nobody is actually left behind, but many of the students are allowed to race ahead, without disrupting the whole course by doing so.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / How old do you want to be when you die?

About 500 to a thousand years, max. That would be realistic for me, I think. I would not wish to live forever, as there is a limit to how much you can grow as a person, how much you can change, before you reach a point of complexity where you cannot realistically grow any further, and society as a whole has moved on without you.

I’m a sensory integration specialist, so I have quite some scope for seeing how my field progresses and how it will touch so many lives, but still, there’s only a finite amount of knowledge to be gained, and if I outlive my field of study, it would leave me lost, with no clear path where to turn.

One absolute mandate would be that those I love also live similar lengths of time. I can think of few things worse than knowing you will far outlive your partners; those you love with all your heart. Outliving friends and enemies alike on top of that, until you’re the only one left, and everyone you ever knew is decades long dead.

Originally posted by Wave_Rida:

Are you still yourself when everything on you has been genetically modified, re-implantated and grown in/on another human’s body, or in a laboratory?

Yes.

Even if your mind is uploaded digitally to a machine and your physical body is mulched completely, you are still you. It is your memories, your experiences, and your way of seeing the world that make you, you. The only mandated element would be that you maintain a continuity of thought throughout the transfer. That you actually do move across, rather than just spawning a copy. A discrete instance of you, is after all not you in the true sense of the word, but a copy that appears identical to everyone except you.