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IEET > Life > Access > Enablement > Innovation > Implants > Health > Vision > Futurism > Technoprogressivism > Staff > Hank Pellissier

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What Would Transhumanists Do With 100 Extra Years of Life? Space Travel? Alien Sex? Helping Others?


Hank Pellissier
Hank Pellissier
Ethical Technology

Posted: Aug 13, 2012

Radical Life Extension / Immortalism is a primary goal of the vast majority of transhumanists. But what, specifically, do we want to do with the extra time? (Terasem Survey, Part 2)

I recently conducted a survey - funded by Terasem Movement Inc., and fiscally sponsored by World Future Society - that queried hundreds of transhumanists on this question.

Additional information on the Terasem Survey is at the end of this essay

The following statistics and comments are in response to my question:

“What would you do if you had 100 extra years of life?” 

We presented eight choices to the respondents, and asked them to rate each choice as either “very likely”, “somewhat likely”, “unlikely”, and “very unlikely.”  The replies were also given a “Rating Average” that calculated a value derived from sums in each category. 

There were 787 responders to this question, significantly more than there were to a previous question about wanting or not wanting immortality (only 667 responders).

Here are the results:

#1 Travel. Rating Average 3.75 with 80.3% of responders selecting it as “very likely.”

#2 Read and Write. Rating Average 3.73 with 77.7% of responders selecting it as “very likely.”

#3 Help Other People. Rating Average 3.50 with 62.3% of responders selecting it as “very likely.”

#4 Pleasure. Rating Average 3.46 with 56.8% of responders selecting it as “very likely.”

#5 Sex. Rating Average 3.46 with 51% of responders selecting it as “very likely.”

#6 Relax. Rating Average 3.22 with 48% of responders selecting it as “very likely.”

#7 Spend Time With My Family. Rating Average 3.19 with 46.7% of responders selecting it as “very likely.”

#8 Seek Powerful Positions in Society. Rating Average 2.53 with only 23.5% selecting this choice as “very likely.”


I believe this data is extremely important because it provides guidance in creating the future that we want to live (eternally) in. I am optimistic that the survey information will be used by the recently-formed international Longevity Party.

What does the data tell us? Here’s a few bits of guidance:

* Travel is pre-eminently favored, therefore, we need to dedicate ourself to maintaining and creating myriad places for travelers to venture.

* Seeking Power received few votes as a desirable option, so it appears that creating an egalitarian society might be advantageous.

* Sex remains very popular with a majority of transhumanists, so it’s sensible to develop a future with copious amounts of it.

* Spend Time With My Family is less popular than Help Other People, so the latter should be prioritized over the former.

* Etc., etc.

Additionally, there were 117 comments pertaining to this question, with many people suggesting activities that my list failed to include. I apologize for the survey’s lack of certain categories, especially “Creating Art.”

Many of the answers were quite wise and perceptive; I recommend reading them all. I’ve listed them all below, unedited:

Comments


I don’t have a prediction for the distribution of my time amongst these activities as the nature of our society and culture 100 years hence is itself unpredictable.

Seek for “spiritual” growth

To the greatest degree possible each moment, strive to advance the happiness & well-being of all sentient creatures

tonglen

Hopefully there will be no need of “powerful positions in society”

Until such age is open to everyone, of all levels of wealth and status, those who do have should avoid using it to gain advantage or power over those who do not.

Do or be something for which it is necessary to have 100 extra years of life.

Continue my biomedical research

start long term research projects

Actually start a savings program…

Try to change the world into a better place.

science, solving problems (including finding ways to get even more years of life)

transform our society

I will study Mathematics and other subjects.

Learn as many knowledge as possible.

Learn and Investigate

learn

Help to advance mankind

Global task: to develop, to distribute consciousness, get the Universe alive

Learn about other disciplines

Eat lots of strawberry ice cream

Work towards affordable deep space flight. If we’re working towards immortality we’re going to need to get off this rock.

Seek a way to ensure all the answers to the above are possible to experience.

Meaning to seek immortality so that the above answers can be experienced.

creative ventures other than writing

Achieve mastery in multiple subjects - from surfing and blossfechten to nanomachine design and rocket engineering; psychology suggests that’s one of the most rewarding tasks known to man.

estudiaría e investigaría las formas del conocimiento necesarias para entender nuestro universo

Find ways to add even more years after the extra 100

doing researches

Education

Gain more knowledge & wisdom - Very Likely, help society - VL

1000 years is enough to pursue all of these subjects.

do science, innovate and design new tech

Spirituality and enlightenment

learn everything I can

research

I have a unique ability to synthesis huge bodies of conceptual information. That is the blessing of my mood disorder - I can discover patterns and connections on a very large scale. By its nature, that is a talent that improves over time. If I can remain cognitively young, and able to do that, it would be a good thing. It’s a pattern of cognitive processing that should be left to run longer than 100 years.

If such positions seemed natural, then yes, but I don’t believe in straining against one’s personal skillset for the sake of power, and a will to machivaelian kind of power does not rank highly within my own personal purpose in life. However, I do understand that there needs to be order and forms of leadership within society and think that those who are best suited for these positions should do this. Power to love, create, and help others is good for me….

Learn

use it to get 1000 and that 1000 to get 100000

Study, acquiring knowledge

Spread knowledge and breed rationality in people. Very likely.

Learn new skills

make art

I would try to get to college and university. I Would like to learn physics, medics, chemistry, psycology etc. I would try to understand our beatifull world as good as I could. For me it is allso pleasure.

If I add 100 extra years of life, I can reach immortality, because singularity is going to happen before. My interests will change completely

To help end war, poverty, greed, and destruction of our environment.

LEARN???

I honestly have no idea what i’d do or just as importantly, what the world would be like.

Teach, scientific research, find treatments for my special needs son

Learn, study.

Work: in enjoyable jobs, and towards reaching another 100.

Help create a new type of world with creation, design and technology at the forefront of a new age.

Perfect my physical health so that another 100 years is pretty well secured, learn every language, acquire two or three advanced degrees-worth of more knowledge, visit another planet

Invent new augmentations

I am already doing all these things. A more interesting question is what one would do with an extra 10 million years.

Work

More of everything

All things I enjoy now.

I would make sure I have another 100 years and then another and another and so on until I will know I could be immortal

Assuming that this time was enough for dragons to be created, I would advocate for dragons to be seen as equal members of society.

Retake this entire survey on my 888th birthday then die happily retired with my 999 year old wife.

Help science to enhance lifespan.

Invent/Discover/Bring into existence something great for humanity

See #1

everything

I would basically continue to do what I do now.

Get knowledge mostly about science

actually, I would spend most of my time inventing cool stuff and discovering new things.

Work on my art.

Work out how to get an extra 100 years beyond that!

I would add, “Work hard, save money and build up substantial wealth.”

study

Consume as much culture as possible.

learn and explore

Ensure I get at least another hundred before my time is up. The post I.L.E. world will be a ruthless place where the rich live on, and the poor die. You work and fight for life, or you are DEAD. There will be little time for pleasure.

learn, explore, maybe try to add another hundred and have as much fun as post-humanly possible

Fuck the soul of a beloved/fusionned waman, be laid by her lovers physically and else

Gather wealth so I don’t have to live in destitution

I would study and explore new ideas

smash the state

expand my abilities

study Quran, Insh’Allah!

I would probably review my priority list.

scientific research

research and development

Become a polymath.

explore options to advance space exploration

Learn, master as many languages as possible, contribute to the scientific communities

Increase education

Get more things done!

Work towards getting the next 100 years

With so much time, why not do everything!

Attain perfect mindfulness and therefore be free of suffering in the Buddhist sense.

I would use it to engage whatever opportunity presented itself for me to do good to others and make beauty for society, by whatever means is available and appropriate at the time.

education.

I would want to have the highest impact possible to create a utopia/paradise from the universe we live in so every conscious being can live forever in harmony

space bitches!

do art and music

learn new languages; become proficient at playing various musical instruments; discover and pursue several other hobbies;

Assist humanity to coexist more amicably.

Invent & engineer sustainable systems and then advocate them

Complexify romantic companionship. Develop AGI. Perpetually augment.

help the earth; create an economically sustainable food forest where people could live in contact with nature

Build AGI and Augment

What wouldn’t I do? I’d likely be less rushed.

Change careers every five years

pursue goals important to me

acquire expertise in oher areas of interest

Why did you leave out creation??

Learn more musical instruments, write and record more music. Do athletic stuff.

help evolve humanity

Seek continuously higher levels of cognitive ability/awareness

I’d rather seek powerful position in education

study

Become a leading voice of human, transhuman and posthuman potential.

create a new path of knowlege

Space colonization. The safe and cautious kind. Take my time.


——————————————-

 

Note: Additional Information on the Terasem Survey

The Terasem Survey was conducted via a surveymonkey poll that was set up by my project collaborator, Teresa Dal Santo Ph.D., a Research Associate at University of California San Francisco, with expertise in conducting qualitative and quantitative studies, and specialties in research methods and statistical analysis.

Getting transhumanists to complete our poll was easy; we garnered a total of 818 respondents very quickly. My thanks to everyone who assisted us, especially:

David Orban, who notified his 2,798 Facebook friends, his 3,480 Twitter followers, and his 5,732 Google+ people-in-whose-circle-he-is
Alex Lightman who notified his 5,000 Facebook friends and his 3,500 subscribers
Rachel Marone, editor of hplusmagazine.com, who made our survey the feature article on July 12.

IEET also permitted me to post an announcement.

Amara Angelica declined to post a link to the survey at KurzweilAI.net, where she is Editor, due to various reasons, such as concern about privacy issues and the methodology of the survey.

The completed survey left me with 500 pages of raw data. I will be delivering all of this info to the funder, Terasem Movement Inc., plus I’m preparing a summary for one of the Terasem Journals online. Additionally, I will be publishing statistics and comments from the survey in multiple short sections, at IEET and the World Future Society website.

————————-

 


Final Note: Thanks once again to Terasem Movement Inc. for their generous support of this project.


Hank Pellissier was IEET’s Managing Director on January-October in 2012, and an IEET Affiliate Scholar. He’s the author of two e-books, Invent Utopia Now and Why is the IQ of Ashkenazi Jews so High? He is currently at BrighterBrains.org
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COMMENTS


The 8 questions from the poll are pretty typical things for people to favor and they are great things to pursue. Are they necessarily the things to bend the future around, or are people still waiting for a progressive/holistic redefining, a reform of the way people approach enjoying life? Instead of those things, why not approach life via the big picture and then go from there? Now that the frontiers are opening up in that further way, I can’t see why we wouldn’t. How do we get a grasp on, sum up, the big picture of existence though?

We could be wrong, but a lot of debate, thinking and time has gone into this unofficial index of sorts to the big picture of existence: https://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/531567_4124983043546_907075928_n.jpg

I like the notion of listing the more detailed things there are to do to like you do. Another nice list like it is here: http://www.longecity.org/forum/topic/5394-the-first-1000-things-to-do-before-you-die/page__st__60__gopid__528920#entry528920





From reading the comments you posted, the other thing transhumanists want to do with an extra 100 years of life is to learn more things in general.  Personally I’m surprised spending time with family and loved ones is relatively low on the list because you would think you wouldn’t want to live longer without them.  1# and 2# are very understandable and 2# would probably what I would do with and extra 100 years.





“why not approach life via the big picture and then go from there?”

Maybe because a) people in western society and too preoccupied with their own personal lives to know what the “Big Picture” is and b) pretty much everyone else in the world are still just trying to live.  Maybe its important that we focus on quality of life before quantity of life as they say.





“Personally I’m surprised spending time with family and loved ones is relatively low on the list because you would think you wouldn’t want to live longer without them”


Chris, a world that could ‘give one’ an extra hundred years of life, could possibly encourage chosen family (those you pick to be your family, i.e. best friends) so that one wouldn’t need/want biological family. What’s the problem with loved ones? You are 21, right? so you don’t have many—or any—nonfamily loved ones of 15 years ago in your life anymore.
True, biological family are biologically irreplaceable, for now at any rate, but not loved ones. From a spiritual perspective, people in our lives should not be interchangeable- but they are. At a college/university, they often play musical beds like children play musical chairs, and who is to say they, over the age of 18, are wrong? The world is filled with Merry Go Round relationships. On off, in out, hello goodbye. There’s no accountability—no rhyme or reason that one can see.





@ Intomorrow

“a world that could ‘give one’ an extra hundred years of life, could possibly encourage chosen family (those you pick to be your family, i.e. best friends) so that one wouldn’t need/want biological family.”

If that is the case why would Ray Kurzweil want to bring his dad back?

“The world is filled with Merry Go Round relationships. On off, in out, hello goodbye. There’s no accountability—no rhyme or reason that one can see.”

Sometimes yes, but not always.  I’ve know couples, close friends, etc in and out of my family that have maintained bonds with each other for decades (50 years give or take if I recall correctly).  They’ve had their ups and downs but they’ve always managed to go through it all.  Come to think of it, you’re post to me what the Main antagonists from my novel series says: “Never love anything, you only lose it in the end.”  If transhumans end up accepting that, then I openly oppose them.





“If that is the case why would Ray Kurzweil want to bring his dad back?”

Perhaps Ray’s dad was an extra-special guy.
There is a dualism involved, Charles Manson fathered children- do you think after he dies his kids would want to reanimate him? Maybe.. but if they decide they do not want to do so, who would blame them for it?
As for your someday possibly opposing transhumanism, you might wind up encouraging transhumanism by opposing it; you must have notioced by now how reactive things are.
And also, you don’t know what goes on behing closed doors: the people who appear to have rtheir faith reposed in each other may have secret lives you know nothing of. At any rate, you are 21—when you are 121 you might not know the same people.





“when you are 121 you might not know the same people.”

Guess its a good thing I’m currently single (haven’t had a girl friend yet).  BTW, I’ll be 21 next month.





Only thing for certain is nothing is certain: the biosphere might be destroyed or severely damaged, no one can predict the future, it is educated guesstimates. You can’t count on knowing the same people decades from now; they move away, drift off to other friends, die, etc.
Knowing the same people your whole life would be an exception to the rule of our being shuffled like cards in a deck, that’s how things change (WWII ended the Great Depression and them rearranged the world; we can agree in the abstract negative change doesn’t have to be the way life changes, but it does change that way—pressure builds up and there are explosions, the Arab Spring was evidence of such right on your TV).

I don’t even think there are are genuine friendships, only alliances.





“Guess its a good thing I’m currently single (haven’t had a girl friend yet).”

Though it is none of my business, it might be better to have a ‘bot girlfriend, the dating scene is insincere, which relates to change: in the ‘50s a couple could live a relatively utopian (small case ‘u’) life; today there is too much dislocation—and it has been that way since the ‘70s. The ‘70s was the first decade of thorough-going dislocation, and was it ever a mess; I remember it as a comedy, a farcical sitcom (e.g. ‘Three’s Company’).
Don’t know if religion is a positive, btw, however religion isn’t much relatable to technopressivism. I like religion/spirituality for two reasons: having been brought up in a more religious time; and because, frankly, less intelligent/educated people still appear to need religion to cope. Religion can and does keep families and couples together—yet this is making a virtue of necessity, it is saying we can’t cope with change, complexity-complication and dislocation, so we need religion/spirituality to filter reality for us.





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