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)
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:
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
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
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
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
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….
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.”
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.
research and development
Become a polymath.
explore options to advance space exploration
Learn, master as many languages as possible, contribute to the scientific communities
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.
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
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
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.
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.