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RECENT POSTS IN THIS TOPIC

James Blodgett: on 6/7/14 at 2:37am UTC, wrote Hello Randal I agree with the importance of thriving of humanities '...

Petio Hristov: on 6/5/14 at 7:01am UTC, wrote Hello Randal, As an appeal for correspondence and exchange of ideas...

Margriet O'Regan: on 6/5/14 at 0:32am UTC, wrote Hello Randal ~ The phrase 'human thriving' pricked up my ears immediately...

Randal Koene: on 6/4/14 at 20:57pm UTC, wrote Thank you, Jim! I will look for your essay! Cheers, Randal

Randal Koene: on 6/4/14 at 20:56pm UTC, wrote Hi Peter, thanks for the super positive review! And yes, I'm afraid the AI...

James Hoover: on 6/4/14 at 20:44pm UTC, wrote Randal, "Humanity needs to survive and continues to exist, and it succeeds...

Anonymous: on 6/4/14 at 15:42pm UTC, wrote Randall, I knew from the first line of your abstract that I'd like your...

Randal Koene: on 6/4/14 at 6:18am UTC, wrote Hi Pete! Good to hear from you once again. I'm going to go find your essay...


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FQXi FORUM
November 22, 2019

CATEGORY: How Should Humanity Steer the Future? Essay Contest (2014) [back]
TOPIC: How should humanity steer the future? Humanity must benefit the thriving of its constituents! by Randal A Koene [refresh]
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Author Randal A Koene wrote on Apr. 29, 2014 @ 13:57 GMT
Essay Abstract

Using historic developments that are perceived as progress we derived reliable requirements for a positive future. Humanity needs to survive and continues to exist, and it succeeds by helping its constituent members thrive in terms of fairness in the availability of opportunity for development, achievement and expression. With those goals, we analyzed humanity in terms of risks and proposed applicable solutions. The solutions have a set of common requirements that need to be emphasized: Human adaptability, Access to technological developments and trust through Transparency.

Author Bio

Dr. Randal A. Koene introduced the multi-disciplinary field of whole brain emulation and is lead curator of its scientific roadmap. He is Founder of the foundation Carboncopies.org and neural interfaces company NeuraLink Co, and Science Director of the 2045 Initiative. Dr. Koene’s publications, presentations and interviews are available at http://randalkoene.com.

Download Essay PDF File

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James Dunn wrote on Apr. 29, 2014 @ 18:55 GMT
I disagree whole-heartedly because we must actively avoid uncontrolled population growth.

Introducing a simple technology like a coal burning stove and heater has resulted in wiping out mountain gorillas and the related rain forests. While also increasing the number of people starving, though there is a growing population.

Serving people over eco-systems is not the solution.

However, I see some valued points you are making.

1) we can potentially learn from our ancestor's mistakes

2) genetic algorithms and neural networks .. might be useful in detecting trends

3) the overall broad health of humanity, to include risks, can potentially

provide important information related to the future survivable nature

of humans.

I worked briefly with Dr. Hugo de Garis and his work regarding evolutionary computing. Non-relativistic quantum computers will likely make such evolutionary processing practical.

Human Adaptability requires the creation of self-sustaining eco-systems, and the ability to think in those terms.

Access to Technological Developments without broad understanding of the systems of consequences from their introduction often kills off eco-systems.

Trust through Transparency is a pie in the sky component unless corruption (unethical allocation of resources and/or opportunities) is actively controlled.

Ethical oversight of the NSA, and NSA publishing corruption taking place publically

http://eliminate-all-corruption.pbworks.com

What you outline is feasible, but many support systems need to be identifies and actively put in place while guarding against incorporating corrupting individuals (Articles of Incorporation structured for eliminating corruption)

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Author Randal A Koene replied on Apr. 30, 2014 @ 04:34 GMT
Which eco-system are you most worried about, Earth's or that of some other location in space? If Earth, then doesn't it stand to reason that a humanity equipped to be adapted to life elsewhere would not need to strip the Earth of its ecosystem supporting resources? For example, if humanity can instead inhabit space-worthy forms... we would not need to consume forest lands, etc, because we would be diversified for fitness outside of the Earth biosphere. So, I don't quite understand your complaint as to why greater adaptability of humans would be a wrong turn. Are you advocating taking the risk that humanity becomes extinct instead? Would that truly be a direction into which to steer? Perhaps I don't understand what your proposed alternative was.

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Denis Frith wrote on Apr. 30, 2014 @ 04:16 GMT
This discussion of human behavior does not take into account that the decisions people make are very dependent on the available service, transportation, communication infrastructure. Humanity can only steer the future with the continuing availability of some of this infrastructure.

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Author Randal A Koene replied on Apr. 30, 2014 @ 04:36 GMT
Denis, there is a whole subsection in the essay that is devoted to infrastructure and its importance is repeated again in the economy subsection. Consequently, I don't understand your otherwise very welcome critique?

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Jayakar Johnson Joseph wrote on May. 5, 2014 @ 08:05 GMT
Dear Randal,

Exactly true that humanity is in Holarchy.

Besides, 'mind' is a function of time of living and in that Holarchical reference-time from 'present' is explicable with 'Compartments of mind', whereas the cyclic actions in the dynamics of molecular substrates is causal for the conservation of memory. Thus defining 'time', is prime for 'steering the future'.

With Corpuscularianism, there is technical constrains with observation devising in synchronising the signals of bio-matter. Thus, restructuring of atomic analogy is imperative to improve our perceptions on molecular dynamics; in that matters of universe is ascribed as eigen-rotational one dimensional string-segments, that form three dimensional T-brane structures.

With best wishes,

Jayakar

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Author Randal A Koene replied on Jun. 4, 2014 @ 06:10 GMT
Jayakar,

Thank you. While I'm unfamiliar with some of the terminology you used, I strongly appreciate your support. :-)

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Joe Fisher wrote on May. 6, 2014 @ 13:53 GMT
Dr. Koene,

Your anti-human, erroneous abstractions filled essay was frightening to read. Reality is unique. Each real person is unique. There is no such thing as a “sub-set” of people.

Mapping the brain of any person is futile, because each brain is unique. It has taken thousands of years for the unique human brain to evolve. For anyone to attempt to build a brain out of material dissimilar to that of a unique human brain is immoral, and insane.

Nervously,

Joe Fisher

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Author Randal A Koene replied on Jun. 4, 2014 @ 06:08 GMT
Hi Joe,

I wonder if perhaps there was a misreading or something of that sort. If you've followed any of my work (which is easy to find by Googling my name), you'll know that I'm more than aware that each mind is unique. That's why my interest is in allowing each individual human to have a shot at facing future challenges and humanity as a whole to adapt to new challenges - rather than, for example, rely entirely on the advancement of other intelligence (e.g. AI).

I'm surprised that you think of the essay as "anti"-human when the whole premise of my essay was the need for ways to allow humanity to continue to thrive even when circumstances (environment, challenges) do not stay the same. They obviously cannot stay the same, just as they never have stayed the same. It baffles me how helping humanity be more adaptable could be considered anti-human unless you somehow managed to skip most of the essay?

As for making brains from other material... the proof will have to be in the pudding. Clearly, no one can claim with 100% certainty at this time that it is possible, since we haven't made such brains yet. That said, no one has demonstrated a reson why it wouldn't. If you think trying to build brains from other materials is "insane" then what must you think of AI developers, and above all what must you think of Ted Berger and his team creating neuroprosthetic replacement parts that are meant to help and rehabilitate those who have lost cognitive functions! It seems to me that you have your ethics a bit backwards on this, no?

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Anonymous wrote on May. 7, 2014 @ 13:45 GMT
Randal -

Thank you for a very well-crafted and well-thought out presentation - one of the best in the competition (I've read about 2/3rds of them so far). We are, after all, talking about steering the future for humanity, and your suggestion that human thriving be the central goal is clear and simple. You’ve offered some very practical considerations for implementation as well in “the shared requirement: Adaptability, Access and Transparency.” I would be interested in your thoughts about my essay The Tip of the Spear, as I tackle many of the same issues and end up, I believe, in a similar place.

I was very interested in your distinction between evolutionary processes “where the constituent components (cells) serve the whole with no prioritization of individual thriving”and your call for an evolutionary process for human civilization where individuals are “not subject to out-selection in competition with successors.” I agree that a human civilization that leaves many of its members behind as un-fit while rewarding only a subset with a thriving future is morally reprehensible. But I wonder if individual cells, if they were conscious, might not enjoy a sense of community and thriving from their role in the success of something larger than themselves. Many might even be willing to sacrifice themselves for the good of the whole.

Thanks and good luck! - George

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George Gantz replied on May. 7, 2014 @ 22:38 GMT
Sorry for the "anonymous" posting - I do not know why that happens. This is George Gantz

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Author Randal A Koene replied on Jun. 4, 2014 @ 06:14 GMT
Hi George,

Thanks for the support! I will try to find and read your essay (the link in the above does not work for some reason, so I'll search for it).

About whether cells might be willing to sacrifice themselves for the good of the whole: If you can imagine a system where cells could volunteer for a mission and sacrifice themselves, perhaps you could make that analogy. Without that, if the cells are simply taken from a pool and thrown into the fight then that would seem more like the whole deciding to sacrifice the cells for its benefit, right? :-)

(And yes, I realize it sounds a little silly when we stretch the analogy like this, but I guess I was asking for it.)

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Preston Estep wrote on May. 9, 2014 @ 03:33 GMT
Hi Randal,

No coincidence seeing an essay by you here! As always, much rich food for deep thought. I had to read through it twice to take it all in because it is densely packed with highly interconnected ideas - not too surprisingly, knowing you, like neurons in the brain. I'm sure others have scored it more poorly than it deserves because, within a few sentences, they're in unknown territory and give up rather than evaluate the enormous weight of unfamiliar evidence. I would have liked a bit more emphasis on mental enhancement, especially the need to transcend the intrinsic limits of brains adapted primarily for living in a more primitive and simple world. This is a minor quibble since most other submissions don't even consider the potential importance of unnaturally better minds. Anyway, your proposal is compelling and thorough. Alex Hoekstra and I submitted one that focuses on the general case for better minds. Not as thorough or multi-faceted as yours, but we provide some interesting context and, to my knowledge, some new perspectives on the issue.

All the best,

Pete

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Author Randal A Koene replied on Jun. 4, 2014 @ 06:18 GMT
Hi Pete!

Good to hear from you once again. I'm going to go find your essay and read that to see what you put together.

I agree, I would have liked to say some more about cognitive enhancement. As it was, I was already told I needed to cut the essay down to fit the required maximum size, so that will have to wait for another time.

As it happens, my present work is all about neural enhancement, so I'm sure we'll have interesting discussions about that soon.

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Michael muteru wrote on May. 16, 2014 @ 14:17 GMT
Dr Koene

A philosophical masterpiece,humainity is a social animal,to achieve must work or live in a group,right back from humanities original communes(home) in african villages to the modern day reincarnatrion-the city.i think we come to a consensus in my essay LIVING IN THE SHADOWS OF THE SUN: REALITIES, PERILS ESCAPADES MAN, PLANET AND KARDASHEV SCALE.MAKING THE GREAT TRANSITION by Michael muteru weblink http://fqxi.org/community/forum/topic/2101.i have addressed social and moral ethical issues we must adopt to make it past this century in a piece not in pieces.please take your time to rate/review the piece .thanks.all the best

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Neil Bates wrote on May. 26, 2014 @ 18:40 GMT
Randal, I agree with your sentiments about what the world needs. Transparency is in particular, a serious problem and sorely lacking even in "advanced" nations. Best wishes.

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Anonymous wrote on Jun. 4, 2014 @ 15:42 GMT
Randall,

I knew from the first line of your abstract that I'd like your essay; "..historic developments that are perceived as progress.." It seems like me you're not a man for accepting things at face value! viz;

"Evolution by natural selection is therefore not a survival strategy for humanity, but a possible scenario for extinction." I agree entirely. Would you agree that perhaps...

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Author Randal A Koene replied on Jun. 4, 2014 @ 20:56 GMT
Hi Peter, thanks for the super positive review! And yes, I'm afraid the AI did log you out again making it an "anonymous" post. Glad you took precautions. I will look for your essay, as it promises to be a good one!

I do think that AI extensions by themselves are inadequate, because, as you said, they do perpetuate our limitations. I try to point this out and to indicate that it is imperative that humans be adaptable enough to expand to greater capabilities. Perhaps it didn't show up as clearly in the essay as I would have liked. Both space and time were limited during its writing. :-)

Totally agree that making big strides towards human adaptability are a priority. That is, for example, the reason why I work towards whole brain emulation / brain-machine interfaces professionally, instead of working on space colonization. If interested, feel free to check out http://randalkoene.com or http://carboncopies.org, or simply Google my name.

Cheers,

Randal

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James Lee Hoover wrote on Jun. 4, 2014 @ 20:44 GMT
Randal,

"Humanity needs to survive and continues to exist, and it succeeds by helping its constituent members thrive in terms of fairness in the availability of opportunity for development, achievement and expression."

Our views are similar: common good, technology, and opportunity for all. Mine has more emphasis on utilizing the untapped capabilities of the human brain (Looking within) while speaking of unorthodox science (looking beyond).

Good marks.

Would like to see your thoughts on mine: www.fqxi.org/community/forum/topic/2008

Jim

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Author Randal A Koene replied on Jun. 4, 2014 @ 20:57 GMT
Thank you, Jim!

I will look for your essay!

Cheers,

Randal

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Margriet Anne O'Regan wrote on Jun. 5, 2014 @ 00:32 GMT
Hello Randal ~

The phrase 'human thriving' pricked up my ears immediately because that is also at the heart of my own hypothesis - as well as my belief that nature has already brought us to the very brink of this exulted state & that the measures we have to implement in order to get over the admittedly big hump in the road presently impeding us & then gleefully enter into this happy state...

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Petio Hristov wrote on Jun. 5, 2014 @ 07:01 GMT
Hello Randal,

As an appeal for correspondence and exchange of ideas between FQXi members I have send you my books on your email address.

Their content is not only a new approach in the understanding of the Universe, but a new sort of physics, because in my study of the physical laws I had to give a new definition of time and space regarding the sequence and nature of their creation.

For some myths Egyptologists use the phrase: “divine mystery” the reading of which helps me to understand the cosmic mysteries. This understanding I gain by running the myth “through the prism” created by the physical laws and I decipher the formed image.

I hope that this will help you in your own field and in your studies.

Best wishes,

Petio

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James Blodgett wrote on Jun. 7, 2014 @ 02:37 GMT
Hello Randal

I agree with the importance of thriving of humanities ' constituents. However, "thriving " is related to the number of humans, and by a utilitarian scale "the greatest good for the greatest number " is higher when there is a higher number.

Consider two poles of future projections: existential risk, and singularity. Actualization of existential risk (i.e. extinction...

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