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‪Will We Still Have Sex After the Singularity?‬
Ray Kurzweil   May 26, 2012   Big Think  

Once humans and machines merge—in 2045, according to Kurzweil—reproduction will no longer be a biological necessity. So why and how will we continue to have sex?




COMMENTS
One question. If you can no longer reproduce, how do you expect humanity spread across the galaxy? Even if our population reaches 9 billion that is relatively sparse for any possible colonization spots inside and outside of the solar system.
Gotta have something to gather over.
@ Bodyne

"Gotta have something to gather over."

I don't get what you mean by that.
@ christian corralejo

Could be used as a incentive to get together and swap/trade information/resources with one another.

divvy>gather
Hi Christian,
I haven't watched the video but I guess he's assuming we can decouple sex from reproduction. In fact we already can with today's technology: sperm banks plus IVF, no physical contact required!

By the way, what do you think of my idea that the battle between genes that has been the hallmark of life since its emergence is now being replaced by the battle between ideas (memes), i.e. that they are replacing genes as the unit of replication? It's something I've been discussion on some other threads.
@ Peter Wicks

Unfortunately I fail to see how the "battle between ideas" would result in offspring. I guess the closest thing that can be done is combining key aspects of two consciousnesses into a single consciousness and give if a body. Also if DNA computing becomes widely used, the computing process used in the new body could be based of the combined DNA of both parents to add a physical aspect.
"One question. If you can no longer reproduce, how do you expect humanity spread across the galaxy?"


Who would necessarily say humans as we know them today will spread across the galaxy?
BTW, Chris, know what the best sex is? when a couple is so excited they both have heart attacks, keel over and that's the end of them-- but what a way to go 😊
@Christian
It goes to my point about technology. Technology is basically the operation of an idea, and the decoupling of sex from reproduction that is already possible even today is a result of technology. The fittest ideas survive, so if technology allowing us to decouple sex from religion turns out to be "fit", that is to say outcompetes other ideas in propagating itself, then such practices will become more widespread. Sex without reproduction is already much more commonplace than it was; reproduction without sex is only really just getting out of the starting block, but it's definitely a horse I'd be prepared to bet on.
@ Peter Wicks

I'm not sure if we're on the same boat when talking about reproduction. I'm not just talking about propagating a part of yourself such as an "idea", I'm talking about a person's actual children. A genuine living, breathing version of that person and the one they love. A living, physical part of them that that they can raise, protect, teach, inspire, comfort, be comforted by,find joy in, love, and be loved back by. That is why I want to be a father. For me, an idea or even technology is simply not good enough. Its too disconnected. Besides, how can an idea carry on the work and dreams of its ancestors and create new dreams for itself, and make its own discoveries, find it own joys and wonders in the universe it inhabits. Hasn't it been humanity's dream to venture out into the stars?

Sorry, I was going on a bit of a tangent there. I guess it is just one of things that bother me about transhumanist. Most of them seem to have a depreciation for such things and personally the thing that bother me the most is when people have nothing sacred to them.
@Christian

It's true that many secular transhumanists have a problem with the word "sacred", but in reality we all need something we find "sacred", or at least meaningful, and transhumanists are no exception. No-one would bother to be involved in something as apparently esoteric as transhumanism if it wasn't because it touches (positively) on issues that we find sacred.

But of course, what you find sacred is not necessarily what I find sacred. I do not necessarily want to have biological offspring. We can talk about the whys and wherefores if you want, but my main point is just that: what we find sacred differs from person to person.

That said, no I understand that when you are talking about reproduction you are talking about actually, like, having babies. But if you actual want a "genuine living, breathing version" of yourself then two points need to be made. First, you need to clone yourself, because no children conceived naturally (in the sense of pre-technologically) have ever been genetically identical to either parent. Half of sir chromosomes will come from their mother, not from you. And secondly, talk to any parent and they will tell you that there is absolutely no guarantee that your biological child will necessarily carry on the work and dreams his or her ancestors.

Anyway, the analogy I'm making is not between ideas and people, but between ideas and genes (as units of replication), and between people as replicators of genes and people (and other entities, such as corporations) as replicators of ideas. So far I haven't replicated any of my genes, and that's fine. But I've sure been replicating my ideas. I do so every time I comment on this blog, for starters.
Sex is... to put it BLUNTLY... Well...

Sex is "fucking fun."
(Pardon the language, I was trying to be specific).

Sex isn't going anywhere, and it will likely just get more complex and interesting.

Procreation is a separate issue from "sex."

I have had sex thousands of times... Yet only once out of those many thousands of instances of sexual intercourse did any conception occur (and it was intentional on her part - I had no knowledge of it until close to 20 years later). I know others, from my same generation and demographic who have had sex even more than I (People in bands tend to have a lot of sex, people in bands who have gold and platinum albums tend to have more sex than can be described), yet did not reproduce at all.

So, sex is already split from reproduction, and has been for some time... Yet it all the more popular because of that fact.
..and what about drugs (beer), and Rock and Roll?

"If I can't dance, I don't want to be part of your revolution." Emma Goldman
Well... Drugs certainly aren't going away.

But what we call "Rock and Roll" is in a dire state.

Basically Rock is dead, having been killed by Hip-Hop (which itself is no small surprise - Popular music in the USA, which tends to drive popular music around the globe, has usually been driven the popular music of African Americans).
"Basically Rock is dead, having been killed by Hip-Hop (which itself is no small surprise - Popular music in the USA..African Americans"

Two very astute points. It is sad that almost any piece of music >30 years old is of higher merit (IMHO) than anything currently being pushed by the labels. I had thought the trend away from major labels (towards MP3's) might be the death of hip-hop, but even we futurists have an obscured crystal ball from time to time. So as not to sound "stuffy", there is some very meritorious 21st century stuf -- Moby being one example. There just isn't MUCH of it.

Interestingly, in the past, I have seen popular culture as a HUGE export item for the US-- go to Europe and American movies and music are everywhere. I think that will even out rapdily this century. Actually, a lot of good stuff comes from not African Americans, but Africans these days-- Tinarawen, Toure, Khaled etc.

Sorry for going excessively off-topic!

:(
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