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On whhhhhhWhy extinction of dinosaurs & humans is good



To wrap up my views on CyberEvolution for now, the following.

Of course it will probably be possible for billions to downloand their minds
into cybersystems in the next century. Once the first conscious artifical
minds are constructed, they will so superior in mental power and
interconnections that they will quickly be doing SciTech at speeds and levels
we can barely imagine. The crude industry of this century is a misleading
guide to the future, cyberdriven nanotechologies will probably be super
efficient and cheap. As A.C. Clarke says, it will appear magical to apes like
us. It will be a classic evolutionary punctuated event in the manner of but
dwarfing the Cambrian revolution. As for the resources needed by the
CyberRevolution and its environmental impact, each of us uses as much energy
as a HiMR sauropod, 3rd world folks as much as elephants. We have used vast
amounts of materials to build up residential and industrial structures, and
converted much of the arable lands into croplands. Cyberminds will be far
more energy efficient and not need one acre of farmland, or one fish to eat,
nor much in the way of housing. More importantly, they will move off planet
to where the big energy for really interesting projects is. Those who assert
that - at a time when cybersystems are expanding in power and sophistication
exponentially - that humans will remain competitive and stuck in human form
well into the future are as much on the nonsense fringe as those of us who
argue otherwise! All bets are off on the future. One O-L person said that 100
yrs ago he/she would not have invested in aircraft stocks.  Too bad for them.


Reading the reactions to the cyber future, it is interesting and predictable
that some do not like the idea. Seem to think that being human and keeping us
going is important. Odd position for those who study evolution to take. In
evolution, stasis gets no one where. It is change that makes evolution useful
and productive. Take nonavian dinosaurs. We all miss them, but isn't it great
they are extinct? Otherwise we would not be here to love em. (Actually, a
case can be made for the evolution of primates into some human-like form in
the presence of Cenozoic meagdinosaurs, but that's another topic!)     

Take your DNA. Please! It's a manipulative little quaddigital computer that
does its darndest to reproduce its self, and then dumps YOUR mind as it
happily continues on into the future! We are so used to this trick that we go
along with it. It should be minds that reproduce themselves into the future!
Being human just will not do. Because we soak up so much resources and space
on planet Earth we will always have a profound impact upon it. Because
putting apes in space is far more expensive and even less useful than sending
them to Antarctica, space does not offer an escape for people. Besides, being
a genetically engineered immortal is bound to get dull after awhile. What is
the point of being a cyberbeing? Aside from the immortality, the mental
abilities of a thousand Einsteins (and able to remember a telephone # for
more than a minute), sensory and sensual systems beyond the imagination  of
mere mortals, being in graceful morphing bodies of power and intricate
sophistication far beyond biological systems, that never suffer pain and
disease (I'm tired of risking my life every time I cross a street), and able
to travel with ease to the stars, etc, etc, etc, heck if I know.

(George O., your comments on various cyberbeings are pertinent)

The comment asking what is the point in having one's mind being on a disc
[aside from being inaccurate] is just as pointless as asking what is the
point in having one's mind in a wet piece of carbon etc. The common SciFi
misrepresentation of robots as articulating monsters of cold metal and
unemotonal minds obscures the fact that our minds are trapped in limited,
failing articulated machines whose goal is the replicate the DNA. A real
cybermind's possibilities will be immensely greater.  

The neo-Luddites are taking what I call the Homo erectus position. Had the
tribe that produced the first H. sapiens been aware that the latter would
eventually do them in, for sure there would have been erectus-Luddites that
would have wanted to kill off the new and more intelligent system before it
was too late! They would have been wrong of course, and so are the postmodern
neo-Luddites. What evolution does is upgrade the performance of leading edge
systems. It is natural. We humans have had are run as the leading edge
system, have done surprisingly well considering how we are the first, Rube
Golbergian SciTech producing systems. We are bumping into our limits, so it's
time for a change, a really big change. Trying to ensure our survival long
into the future is as sensible as trying to save every species that has ever
lived.  

As for my "counting" on cybertech to "save" us, simply not true.  If that
were true I would say cut down the rainforests, shoot the spotted owls,
harpoon the whales, produce more freon, and elect Newt president. I do not. I
am pointing out that the common environmentalist creed that humans have done
worse to the planet than "nature" is demonstrably false, and arguments that
the ecosystem is about to collapse are very  probably exaggerated - to the
point that credibility is being lost so much that the right wingers are
exploiting the rhetorical wholes environmentalists leave for them to drive
through. I am arguing that it looks like the coming CyberRevolution will
render the issue moot sooner than we think anyway, and IF it does happen to
happen it certainly is the best way to return the planet to a nonhuman
condition without killing off intelligent minds.

By the way, I cannot enjoy the peace of deities when almost certainly none
exists. However, it is probable that cyberlife will take over the universe
and convert it into what we little creatures would call a god. Don't bother
worshipping it though, will make no difference.

Well, all will be explained in BEYOND HUMANITY when it comes out late this
year. I promise it will be the strangest book you have ever read - and I
throw in dinosaurs whenever I can squeak them in!   

So let's get back to important stuff, like why sauropod necks suggest they
had high metabolic rates, why nasal turbinates are virtually useless for
diagnosing the metabolisms of extinct beasts, and how to pronounce pterosaur
(one newscaster had a cool concept when she said Peterosaur, and to me
ceratopsians will always be pronounced like Sarah)! 

GSPaul