Immortality FAQ vs Nick Bostroms Transhumanist FAQ

Immortality

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Hello,

I am coming from a thread focused on the subject of immortality, here is my last post so far on that thread :

“The great Nick Bostrom kind of beat me to it with his ‘Transhumanist FAQ’ . Available for free :

https://www.nickbostrom.com/views/transhumanist.pdf

It answers a lot of the questions and concerns related to immortality you all have. I’m going to work in the writing forum section of this website to see how I can distinguish my FAQ from his FAQ and be original and stand out. If you have any ideas or suggestions, please let me know. He graduated from Oxford, is on the faculty and wrote a great book. So I’m not even close to that, but I want to be. In fact it may be impossible for my FAQ to surpass his. I suppose since mine will be more focused on immortality, it may be slightly different, but I don’t want any crossover, but it seems like there will be inevitable crossover with my FAQ and his. He’s the man. Darn it! What am I going to do? Perhaps I can zero in on specific questions related to immortality that I can make it completely different? Or tell me the truth and be honest , do you think me creating a free internet ‘Immortality FAQ’ ( with a pro-immortality stance, which will try to convince the world of the benefits of an indefinite lifespan ) just like him, do you think he is just too good for me and already made a better FAQ then I ever could? Or is it a matter of self-esteem and working hard to distinguish my FAQ from his as best I can?”

So , as you can see I’m having some writing trouble, some people touched upon subjects that Bostrom did not in the thread I’m in, which is a good sign . People have various questions , concerns , etc. on the subject of immortality and much of it is deeply rooted concerns I wasn’t even aware people had, not to mention the subject of being pro-immortality has proven more controversial then I originally predicted. I guess I’m looking for the truth and/or some advice. Should I give up because Nick Bostrom beat me too it or can I make my FAQ stand out somehow, and be original ( like I said there are some issues people addressed not mentioned in the Transhumanist FAQ ) ?
 
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sknox

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You can make yours original by ignoring Bostrom and writing your own.

I took a quick look at Bostrom's article and it only mentions immortality eight times. It's much more concerned with philosophical issues than with storytelling issues. So I think you have plenty of room in which to work.

Just one observation. FAQ stands for Frequently Asked Questions. If it's truly a FAQ, what questions have you collected so far?
 

Biskit

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So , as you can see I’m having some writing trouble, some people touched upon subjects that Bostrom did not in the thread I’m in, which is a good sign . People have various questions , concerns , etc. on the subject of immortality and much of it is deeply rooted concerns I wasn’t even aware people had, not to mention the subject of being pro-immortality has proven more controversial then I originally predicted.

I am getting puzzled at this point as to what you are trying to achieve. I suppose my first concern, from an academic point of view, is that you seem to have started with a conclusion that "Immortality is good" and are now looking for data in support. I would also touch on @sknox's question as to whether this is a "real" FAQ, or whether you are putting forward a list of propositions or arguments. The Bostrom article is a list of questions, but I note there are not a lot of answers as such, but more suggestions as to what the answers might be or the current state of academic thought.
(It also begs the question - how often do people ask these frequently asked questions? :rolleyes: )

Should I give up because Nick Bostrom beat me too it or can I make my FAQ stand out somehow, and be original ( like I said there are some issues people addressed not mentioned in the Transhumanist FAQ ) ?

This also touches on the question: what are you trying to achieve? It appears (unless I've missed your point) that you want a document that says immortality is a wonderful thing, but are you aiming this at an academic audience, general public, or speculative fiction writers? My feeling is that the style, content and detail would want to be different for each of those.

The Bostrom article appears to be aimed primarily at an academic community and lies somewhere between a literature survey and a text book. I particularly noted the acknowledgements section at the end:

The Transhumanist FAQ was conceived as an attempt to develop a broadly based consensus articulation of the basics of responsible transhumanism. The aim was a text that could serve both as a guide to those new to the field and as a reference work for more seasoned participants. Close to a hundred people have contributed in some way in the making of this document. The current version is a thoroughly revision of the version of 1999. Considerable new material has been added and many old sections have been substantially reworked. In preparing version 2.0, the following people have been especially helpful:

I think you need to be clear about what it is that you are trying to achieve and who your target audience is intended to be.

As a final aside, I note that Bostrom talks about "responsible transhumanism", but from a writer's perspective, surely "irresponsible transhumanism" (whatever that might be) could be a goldmine of story-telling.
 

Immortality

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Just one observation. FAQ stands for Frequently Asked Questions. If it's truly a FAQ, what questions have you collected so far?
First of all, thanks for your great responses.

Ok, so sknox only a few so far like, I am in the very, very beginning stage. Stuff like:

What if I told you as a teacher, in the beginning of your education ( say fifth or sixth grade ), that all of you in this classroom could live forever. Would you be excited or afraid? ( I want the kids to smile and think it’s an interesting topic to think about and study )

Is there any science fiction, or other genres of fiction, that has a positive outlook on the subject of immortality?

Are there any films or television programs ( entertainment) that have a positive outlook on immortality?

Why are people so strongly opinionated on the subject of immortality?

Would immortality make life boring?

Would immortality bring us overpopulation?

How would civilization change in response to immortality becoming a reality?

I had a real near-death experience, do you think I’m delusional for having one, because you seem very positive in your outlook on the subject of immortality?

Would immortality make me human, or would I become something else altogether?

You seem to be positive on your outlook on immortality, why?

Would only the rich be able to afford immortality?

When will immortality become a reality?

I’m a realist, don’t you think immortality will always be science fiction?

I’m very skeptical on the idea of immortality, why do you think immortality is a good thing?

I’m interested in spreading the word on immortality, are there ways I can help?

What companies are now working on making immortality a reality?

Are there non-profit organizations dedicated to making immortality a reality?

What’s the history of the subject of immortality ?

Have humans always been interested in the subject of immortality?

Have people always had a negative outlook towards immortality?

I’m religious ( I am Christian , Muslim, Mormon, etc. ) doesn’t immortality go against my religion?

Etc.

Just look at all the material I gathered so far, from this website alone. It’s more towards the end of the thread : Suppose Science Made Immortality Into A Reality?

As I gather more research and ask the public more questions, I get more questions. It’s a FAQ in the sense yes it’s going to be Q and A. Actually the Transhumanist FAQ is more popular with the general public then you think, while also being academic, I want that middle ground too. It’s popular because transhumanism is popular, whether you have a positive stance on transhumanism or not. I call it the immortality FAQ now but really it should be ‘Untitled FAQ’ at the moment. Still, after reading some on the subject, not nearly enough yet, it seems that immortality is achievable sooner then you think, with enough donated money to non-profits like ‘The SENS Research Foundation’ , and for profit companies like Googles Calico : Calico (company) - Wikipedia

I guess I want to reach as many people as possible, so you could say I want to reach everyone, no matter what their field. To make it that popular may be harder then I thought. You can’t really be neutral on a moving train, so I have as for me I have a much more positive outlook on the subject personally then nearly everyone else on the planet, only some scientists and a part of the general public seems to be interested, but I want everyone to be interested. I’m actually kind of bumbed because what Biskit said holds much truth, now it does seem from what you say that maybe it is all a pretty pointless endeavor...what do you think? Also since anyone can self-publish these days it makes nearly everything I have read as pretty bad stories actually , only about 10% of the self-published things I have read is actually good, this could hold true for me in the end, maybe I will be in that other 90%. Is what I’m doing really worth it ?
 
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Immortality

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A few more :

In the age of covid19, a plague, what’s immortality got to do with anything? Is it even possible?

What’s the difference between biological immortality and digital immortality?

Can I still die if I say, get shot or run over by a car ., etc?

If I’m in my 70s or 80s when immortality becomes a reality , will I look younger?

Why do people still think death is inevitable like the did in the past?

Let me put it this way, biomedical gerontologists ( specialists in reversing the aging process)know enough about aging to cure it, but it depends on our action or inaction today. And listen to this, even if biological immortality is impossible it’s still worth pursuing because along the way of trying to reverse the aging process scientists will cure things like cancer , Alzheimer's disease, AIDS and other things that cause immense human suffering . So it’s still worth pursuing, even if it is impossible. Highly controversial topic I am learning, up there with other very taboo subjects. My positive outlook on , well....nearly everything has clouded that fact. In my reasearch of immortality I have learned optimists outlive pessimists by a significant margin. It turns out a gloomy outlook on life kills you, who knew.
 
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Immortality

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A few more:

What are people’s different cultural attitudes towards immortality?
If I want to donate my time to getting the world excited in immortality, how do I go about doing that?
If I’m want to donate my money to a non-profit organization working on reversing the aging process what’s the best one out their?
If immortality ( I think the person who posted this question in the immortal and science thread was referring to mind uploading aka digital immortality) became real I would lose access to my core memories, would I?
 
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sknox

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You have a good collection of questions. I'm guessing at least some are your own, but I'm curious as to where these questions are getting asked. I still think an immortality faq is well removed from Bostrom's essay (which is not a faq) and while there will be a bit of overlap, that you shouldn't worry about it.

I'd say dig in and start collecting answers to go with all those questions.
 

Immortality

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Where are these questions getting asked? More people on the internet want to know about immortality then you think. I know this from the many forums on Facebook and Internet forums about immortality. They talk a lot about immortality, but they need a leader I think. I think I can be this person. A leader in the sense that most of them don’t get any real work done. If I create this FAQ and it is well liked, then I can get other people to help me with it, they can help me make it even better. That’s why I’m here in these writing forums, in the much later stages of this project you and others can give me tips on how well it is written, what to fix, and how to get people interested in my work, I mean if people here want to help. If not I will be happy doing it myself, but I sure can make it better with others help that is, they don’t have too. I suppose I am mostly doing this project for myself, I find it fun, just like you would find writing a novel fun, or at least the end product of all that great writing. There is a rather large niche of people interested in the subject of immortality, but I can also spread it around to people that might not otherwise be interested and once they read it they may like it and tell friends.

Thank you I am starting to dig in and find answers as we speak. Thanks for being truthful about everything.

Thanks for your help guys/girls. If you have any more questions , concerns, opinions or things that will help me out in this project be sure to write back on this thread.

Best,
Immortality

P.S. It is called the Transhumanist FAQ, so why do you say it’s an essay? I’m just curious that’s all.
 

sknox

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>It is called the Transhumanist FAQ, so why do you say it’s an essay?
I was just being cranky. He does pose questions, but they're merely a way to get to the next part of his argument. But I guess an author can name a work however they like.
 

Immortality

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If anyone comes across this thread and has any questions, opinions, concerns, idea, etc. , etc. ( I will pose your ideas, concerns , opinions into the form of a question, don’t worry about that, that’s my job. ) on the subject of immortality ( pro or con ) feel free to write about it here. It will help me greatly, thanks.

Best
 

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