Wednesday, 22 January 2020

Born to do Math 154 - The Reasonable Ineffectiveness of Human Wishes

Born to do Math 154 - The Reasonable Ineffectiveness of Human Wishes
Scott Douglas Jacobsen & Rick Rosner
January 22, 2020

[Beginning of recorded material]

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: A big thing we've talked about are infinities and the ways the universe can be finite. Let's narrow it down, then, human life, why is immortality unreasonable if not impossible?

Rosner: Humans, or whatever you want to call the future us, are on the cusp vastly expanded lifespans. Nobody wants to die. It takes a special set of circumstance to die, but most people don't want to die. 

But living forever, in the largest terms, is impossible because the odds of living without end are like zero, and they used to say nature abhors a vacuum. But nature really abhors infinities. The idea that it's at all reasonable to hang out without end in perpetuity is highly unlikely. 

But short of that, one is: say, we maintain the way we think now. Our basic human abilities and ways of thinking. It is not possible to live for tens of thousands of years. It seems unlikely to be able to live for tens of thousands of years and to remember much of any of it.

There's probably some limit to the amount of experience that you can have given the limits of the human brain. I think Heinlein wrote about this in the 50s and the 60s. Is it really an infinite lifespan if you are only remembering a couple hundred thousands of it at a time?

Jacobsen: It would be staggering.

Rosner: It would be great, but it wouldn't be infinite. Imagine slapping on more and more memory, where you can slap on 8,000, 9,000, 10,000 years more of life. It would be pretty great, but still falls short of infinity. It also seems pointlessly hedonistic to live for 10,000 years without growing in memory and wisdom, and in ability to understand and do stuff in the world.

We wouldn't want to stay basically human for more than a couple thousand years. It would be pointlessly decadent. So, the capacity problem and the related growth problems mean that you would want to transcend your basic humanity and grow into something else. 

But the problem with that, over periods of many tens of thousands of years, you'd want to continue to grow and not just decadently experience stuff without being able to retain and process your added experience.

To live forever and what it would mean, it means that we would have to give up our current aspects and lives that make us human. It seems unachievable. Even though, vast lifespans may soon be possible. Immortality in human terms might just be paradoxical.

That you can't live forever or even for many thousands of years without getting some of the things that we would want with vastly expanded lifespans. You can either stay human and stay limited and not have added years count for anything and become a deeper, more insightful, and more experienced person, or you can give up what it feels like to be human.

One more thing, some of these objections might be quibbles and could be worked out over hundreds and thousands of years

Go ahead.

Jacobsen: We have three possible futures from Feynman. We may have three possible futures n the ways that things can go: annihilation and evolution continues onward. It is post-human without humans involved in the post- in the sense of trans-human.

Rosner: 300 years from now, there will be humans with long lives who choose to experience the world in ways that are pretty close to the way that we experience the world. Then there will be humans or post-humans who choose to keep expand their capacities along with their expanded lives.

Then there will be humans who choose to do what humans have always done, which is get old and then die. Then there are beings who will take advantage the future mutability of consciousness and will bud in and out of things, will merge with people and unmerge. 

They will move beyond unitary individual consciousness. Consciousness will still feel the same. It will still feel like a hyper-real moment-to-moment experiencing of the world around you, and your thoughts about it. Although, it will feel the same. It will be much more mutable. Future beings will dick around with it, in terms of creating big old consciousness, merging with consciousness, pairing them down.

There will be a devaluation of individual consciousness. It will be cheap. You will be able to buy consciousness from manufacturing places for cheap, which will lead to abuses. Consciousness will be engineered to be targeted towards specific goals. 

[End of recorded material]


American Television Writer

(Updated July 25, 2019)

*High range testing (HRT) should be taken with honest skepticism grounded in the limited empirical development of the field at present, even in spite of honest and sincere efforts. If a higher general intelligence score, then the greater the variability in, and margin of error in, the general intelligence scores because of the greater rarity in the population.*

According to some semi-reputable sources gathered in a listing hereRick G. Rosner may have among America's, North America's, and the world’s highest measured IQs at or above 190 (S.D. 15)/196 (S.D. 16) based on several high range test performances created by Christopher HardingJason BettsPaul Cooijmans, and Ronald Hoeflin. He earned 12 years of college credit in less than a year and graduated with the equivalent of 8 majors. He has received 8 Writers Guild Awards and Emmy nominations, and was titled 2013 North American Genius of the Year by The World Genius Directory with the main "Genius" listing here.

He has written for Remote ControlCrank YankersThe Man ShowThe EmmysThe Grammys, and Jimmy Kimmel Live!. He worked as a bouncer, a nude art model, a roller-skating waiter, and a stripper. In a television commercialDomino’s Pizza named him the "World’s Smartest Man." The commercial was taken off the air after Subway sandwiches issued a cease-and-desist. He was named "Best Bouncer" in the Denver Area, Colorado, by Westwood Magazine.

Rosner spent much of the late Disco Era as an undercover high school student. In addition, he spent 25 years as a bar bouncer and American fake ID-catcher, and 25+ years as a stripper, and nearly 30 years as a writer for more than 2,500 hours of network television. Errol Morris featured Rosner in the interview series entitled First Person, where some of this history was covered by Morris. He came in second, or lost, on Jeopardy!, sued Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? over a flawed question and lost the lawsuit. He won one game and lost one game on Are You Smarter Than a Drunk Person? (He was drunk). Finally, he spent 37+ years working on a time-invariant variation of the Big Bang Theory.

Currently, Rosner sits tweeting in a bathrobe (winter) or a towel (summer). He lives in Los AngelesCalifornia with his wife, dog, and goldfish. He and his wife have a daughter. You can send him money or questions at LanceVersusRick@Gmail.Com, or a direct message via Twitter, or find him on LinkedIn, or see him on YouTube.

Scott Douglas Jacobsen
Editor-in-Chief, In-Sight Publishing

(Updated January 1, 2020)

Scott Douglas Jacobsen founded In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal and In-Sight Publishing. He authored/co-authored some e-books, free or low-cost. If you want to contact Scott:


[1] Four format points for the session article:
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  2. Session article conducted, transcribed, edited, formatted, and published by Scott. 
  3. Footnotes & in-text citations in the interview & references after the interview. 
  4. This session article has been edited for clarity and readability. 
For further information on the formatting guidelines incorporated into this document, please see the following documents:
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