The Fable of the Dragon Tyrant

SLAM: debunk creationism, pseudoscience, and superstitions. Discuss logic and morality.

Moderators: Alyrium Denryle, SCRawl, Thanas

User avatar
K. A. Pital
Glamorous Commie
Posts: 20249
Joined: 2003-02-26 11:39am
Location: Elysium

Re: The Fable of the Dragon Tyrant

Post by K. A. Pital » 2018-05-29 01:04pm

Zixinus wrote:
2018-05-29 07:28am
Its status as luxury now is also a result of our society's structure. Natural resources are now scarce, and most humans live in cities, so horse-keeping costs made it a luxury.
No, what made it a luxury are the superiority of cars and industrial machines that made the horse obsolete and thus unnecessary.
There are unnecessary things which aren't a luxury. One does not follow from the other.
Zixinus wrote:
2018-05-29 07:28am
Hence keeping horses is pointless except as a hobby, which is why they're a luxury.
Many hobbies are not a luxury. Horsekeeping is expensive, as opposed to collecting bottle caps.
Lì ci sono chiese, macerie, moschee e questure, lì frontiere, prezzi inaccessibile e freddure
Lì paludi, minacce, cecchini coi fucili, documenti, file notturne e clandestini
Qui incontri, lotte, passi sincronizzati, colori, capannelli non autorizzati,
Uccelli migratori, reti, informazioni, piazze di Tutti i like pazze di passioni...

...La tranquillità è importante ma la libertà è tutto!
Assalti Frontali

User avatar
LaCroix
Sith Marauder
Posts: 4552
Joined: 2004-12-21 12:14pm
Location: Sopron District, Hungary, Europe, Terra

Re: The Fable of the Dragon Tyrant

Post by LaCroix » 2018-05-29 01:27pm

As someone who is quite involved in horsekeeping, I can tell you it is actually not that expensive if you are willing to shop around or invest some labour and keep them at home. Most people I know that have horses are quite poor, and still can manage just fine with multiple horses.
A minute's thought suggests that the very idea of this is stupid. A more detailed examination raises the possibility that it might be an answer to the question "how could the Germans win the war after the US gets involved?" - Captain Seafort, in a thread proposing a 1942 'D-Day' in Quiberon Bay

I do archery skeet. With a Trebuchet.

User avatar
K. A. Pital
Glamorous Commie
Posts: 20249
Joined: 2003-02-26 11:39am
Location: Elysium

Re: The Fable of the Dragon Tyrant

Post by K. A. Pital » 2018-05-29 01:40pm

LaCroix wrote:
2018-05-29 01:27pm
As someone who is quite involved in horsekeeping, I can tell you it is actually not that expensive if you are willing to shop around or invest some labour and keep them at home. Most people I know that have horses are quite poor, and still can manage just fine with multiple horses.
First World poor and "quite poor" are different, however. Most FW poor live the normal life of average non-FW citizens. Also "keep them at home"? The price of land alone would prohibit that for the majority of urban dwellers, unless they inherit some estate.
Lì ci sono chiese, macerie, moschee e questure, lì frontiere, prezzi inaccessibile e freddure
Lì paludi, minacce, cecchini coi fucili, documenti, file notturne e clandestini
Qui incontri, lotte, passi sincronizzati, colori, capannelli non autorizzati,
Uccelli migratori, reti, informazioni, piazze di Tutti i like pazze di passioni...

...La tranquillità è importante ma la libertà è tutto!
Assalti Frontali

User avatar
LaCroix
Sith Marauder
Posts: 4552
Joined: 2004-12-21 12:14pm
Location: Sopron District, Hungary, Europe, Terra

Re: The Fable of the Dragon Tyrant

Post by LaCroix » 2018-05-29 06:22pm

K. A. Pital wrote:
2018-05-29 01:40pm
LaCroix wrote:
2018-05-29 01:27pm
As someone who is quite involved in horsekeeping, I can tell you it is actually not that expensive if you are willing to shop around or invest some labour and keep them at home. Most people I know that have horses are quite poor, and still can manage just fine with multiple horses.
First World poor and "quite poor" are different, however. Most FW poor live the normal life of average non-FW citizens. Also "keep them at home"? The price of land alone would prohibit that for the majority of urban dwellers, unless they inherit some estate.
Hungarians don't really count as FW, I'd say, economically. But the people in the small towns usually have quite large yards per house - standard plot is about 2000m² big, at least half of this used to grow some field fruits and raise some livestock. A horse or two in a stable next to the pigs or cows are not a rare thing to see, and they usually barter some of their livestock or harvest of. I'd say one in every tenth house has at least one horse, in average.

Im my professional experience as riding instructor and stable owner - most horse owners (and let's be frank - 90% are women) statistically live in towns or relatively small cities- city girls do usually have other interests than spending most of their time at a stable. They might take some lessons in their girl years, but most of them give up riding shortly after they start puberty, and hardly any of them ever own a horse.
A minute's thought suggests that the very idea of this is stupid. A more detailed examination raises the possibility that it might be an answer to the question "how could the Germans win the war after the US gets involved?" - Captain Seafort, in a thread proposing a 1942 'D-Day' in Quiberon Bay

I do archery skeet. With a Trebuchet.

Simon_Jester
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 30105
Joined: 2009-05-23 07:29pm

Re: The Fable of the Dragon Tyrant

Post by Simon_Jester » 2018-05-30 06:24am

Ultimately, all human development revolves around using things that are rare or hard to do, to create new openings and opportunities that enable further development.

There was a time when horses existed only as weapons of war to be used by the elite. Over time, it became possible to use horses for farm work and they became ubiquitous. Finally, the amount of accumulated food supply made enough specialization and manufacturing and engineering possible to allow the creation of internal combustion engines, at which point the many horses were replaced by something better.

Without a time when there were few horses we could never have had many horses. Without many horses we could never have had tractors. And now, with enough tractors, we can finally take the bulk of humanity off the subsistence farm and hopefully reduce overall drudgery, in a way that our Iron Age ancestors never could no matter how virtuous or charitable they were.
K. A. Pital wrote:
2018-05-28 03:06pm
Funny example. The nomads were often dispossessed historical phenomena, but they had horses. A horse as capital, as means of production, is tied with the development of class societies in the feudal and early capitalist period. Its status as luxury now is also a result of our society's structure. Natural resources are now scarce, and most humans live in cities, so horse-keeping costs made it a luxury. Although originally it may have been accessible to non-propertied classes.

If this curve of adoption (totally inaccessible - widely accessible - only accessible for the rich) happens to vital future medtech, we're very fucked
Except, as noted, the third stage of this process only occurred because a horse is a live animal that can feed itself and exist without sustenance in the wild... but which requires labor-intensive and otherwise costly maintenance for a city-dweller while being of little or no practical use in the modern era. It's unrealistic to expect the same effect in all technology.

I mean, steel knives followed a relevant trajectory here too- unthinkably expensive steel to steel common enough to be available as a tool to steel being so ubiquitous that a middle class worker could theoretically throw away a steel knife every week for the rest of their lives and still have enough to live on.
This space dedicated to Vasily Arkhipov

User avatar
Zixinus
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 6604
Joined: 2007-06-19 12:48pm
Location: In Seth the Blitzspear
Contact:

Re: The Fable of the Dragon Tyrant

Post by Zixinus » 2018-05-30 12:24pm

There are unnecessary things which aren't a luxury. One does not follow from the other.
Many hobbies are not a luxury. Horsekeeping is expensive, as opposed to collecting bottle caps.
Bottle caps don't need to be fed a substantival amount of food (again, we ARE talking about a large animal), housed, require specialized equipment and need specialized veterinary care. Not to mention space, as horses are not animals that take well to being coped up when not used.

Oh, and care. You need to TRAIN a horse to be ridden, groom and clean it and so on. This is not even going into something as important as expertise and learning said expertise, which I imagine a substantial bulk of expenses are involved. All of these are investments for an individual. The expenses are thus hardly surprising and hardly require classist warfare to happen in an industrial society that has less use for a large animal than dogs.

I'd imagine that for a rural farmer who already makes hay or other side-produce that a horse can eat, has the space and housing, has actual use for a horse and already knows a vet, the expenses look different. I would not be surprised that in places where cars and tractors are unavailable, the expense for a horse may look different. Unless you have some information to share about how the economics looks like in poorer countries?

I've just made a quick search on the net and discovered that I can buy a horse for less or about the cost of a car, depending on age and breed.
Credo!
Chat with me on Skype if you want to talk about writing, ideas or if you want a test-reader! PM for address.

User avatar
K. A. Pital
Glamorous Commie
Posts: 20249
Joined: 2003-02-26 11:39am
Location: Elysium

Re: The Fable of the Dragon Tyrant

Post by K. A. Pital » 2018-05-30 02:27pm

What are you trying to do here, guys, convince me that expensive medtech is going to follow the knives trajectory?
Lì ci sono chiese, macerie, moschee e questure, lì frontiere, prezzi inaccessibile e freddure
Lì paludi, minacce, cecchini coi fucili, documenti, file notturne e clandestini
Qui incontri, lotte, passi sincronizzati, colori, capannelli non autorizzati,
Uccelli migratori, reti, informazioni, piazze di Tutti i like pazze di passioni...

...La tranquillità è importante ma la libertà è tutto!
Assalti Frontali

User avatar
Zixinus
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 6604
Joined: 2007-06-19 12:48pm
Location: In Seth the Blitzspear
Contact:

Re: The Fable of the Dragon Tyrant

Post by Zixinus » 2018-05-31 05:02am

K. A. Pital wrote:
2018-05-30 02:27pm
What are you trying to do here, guys, convince me that expensive medtech is going to follow the knives trajectory?
You haven't really made a case as to why it wouldn't.
Credo!
Chat with me on Skype if you want to talk about writing, ideas or if you want a test-reader! PM for address.

User avatar
K. A. Pital
Glamorous Commie
Posts: 20249
Joined: 2003-02-26 11:39am
Location: Elysium

Re: The Fable of the Dragon Tyrant

Post by K. A. Pital » 2018-05-31 05:40am

Zixinus wrote:
2018-05-31 05:02am
K. A. Pital wrote:
2018-05-30 02:27pm
What are you trying to do here, guys, convince me that expensive medtech is going to follow the knives trajectory?
You haven't really made a case as to why it wouldn't.
Because not every medical product ever developed becomes dirt cheap over time, and in fact sophisticated medical services tend to demonstrate price resilience? Check dental implants, fillings and such. Their cost relative to income has not come down and in many cases has come up. Note I'm talking about material costs only, the cost of services is another matter.
Lì ci sono chiese, macerie, moschee e questure, lì frontiere, prezzi inaccessibile e freddure
Lì paludi, minacce, cecchini coi fucili, documenti, file notturne e clandestini
Qui incontri, lotte, passi sincronizzati, colori, capannelli non autorizzati,
Uccelli migratori, reti, informazioni, piazze di Tutti i like pazze di passioni...

...La tranquillità è importante ma la libertà è tutto!
Assalti Frontali

Simon_Jester
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 30105
Joined: 2009-05-23 07:29pm

Re: The Fable of the Dragon Tyrant

Post by Simon_Jester » 2018-05-31 10:42am

K. A. Pital wrote:
2018-05-31 05:40am
Zixinus wrote:
2018-05-31 05:02am
K. A. Pital wrote:
2018-05-30 02:27pm
What are you trying to do here, guys, convince me that expensive medtech is going to follow the knives trajectory?
You haven't really made a case as to why it wouldn't.
Because not every medical product ever developed becomes dirt cheap over time, and in fact sophisticated medical services tend to demonstrate price resilience? Check dental implants, fillings and such. Their cost relative to income has not come down and in many cases has come up. Note I'm talking about material costs only, the cost of services is another matter.
And yet we have reached a point where any developed country CAN make dental fillings and implants available to all via single-payer health care. Opposing the development of new techniques in dentistry because they might only be available to millionaires would not have helped us attain this desirable state.
This space dedicated to Vasily Arkhipov

User avatar
K. A. Pital
Glamorous Commie
Posts: 20249
Joined: 2003-02-26 11:39am
Location: Elysium

Re: The Fable of the Dragon Tyrant

Post by K. A. Pital » 2018-05-31 11:15am

Simon_Jester wrote:
2018-05-31 10:42am
And yet we have reached a point where any developed country CAN make dental fillings and implants available to all via single-payer health care. Opposing the development of new techniques in dentistry because they might only be available to millionaires would not have helped us attain this desirable state.
I agree. But there is a critical difference. Fillings and implants would not help the rich solidify their rule over the poor the way immortality would.
Lì ci sono chiese, macerie, moschee e questure, lì frontiere, prezzi inaccessibile e freddure
Lì paludi, minacce, cecchini coi fucili, documenti, file notturne e clandestini
Qui incontri, lotte, passi sincronizzati, colori, capannelli non autorizzati,
Uccelli migratori, reti, informazioni, piazze di Tutti i like pazze di passioni...

...La tranquillità è importante ma la libertà è tutto!
Assalti Frontali

Simon_Jester
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 30105
Joined: 2009-05-23 07:29pm

Re: The Fable of the Dragon Tyrant

Post by Simon_Jester » 2018-06-04 10:25am

If I were more worried about vast hereditary wealth and less about vast wealth in general, I might agree.

The trick is, massive wealth in the hands of an individual has plenty of time to become a problem even with that person predictably dying of old age at the age of eighty plus or minus ten. When they pass that money on to heirs it remains a problem for society because the heirs are every bit as likely to use the power that money grants in ways contrary to the public interest. By the time immortality becomes available, I don't expect it to be an issue.

We're on the cusp of Ultimately, we're going to have to solve the problem of "a tiny minority owns nearly everything, and who does not labor for them does not eat" some time in the coming century, regardless of whether or not the tiny minority achieves medical immortality. We need one of the following:

1) To remove control of the wealth from the hands of the elite.
2) To remove control of the income granted by the wealth from the hands of the elite by intensive progressive taxation, tending to lead to (1) over time.
3) To 'neuter' ownership by creating social institutions that provide everyone with a good enough standard of living that it doesn't matter who owns what's left over, probably attainable only through (1) and (2) combined with great increases in overall productivity.
4) To render ownership effectively obsolete by automating the process of making decisions about what to do with material goods, by handing it over to AI, at which point we can but hope our new AI overlords are kind.

If we don't solve the problem in one of those ways during the next hundred years, we're going to wind up in a starving-amidst-plenty dystopia. Simply because very few people will be able to provide labor useful to the automated economy, except perhaps on the most miserable terms that badly abuse and stunt their potential... And "who does not work, does not eat."

If we DO solve the problem, it matters very little whether a few sons of sons of stockholders are immortal twenty years before the general populace starts getting life extension treatments.

If we do solve the problem, the rich having an advantage matters little because the size of the advantage is capped. If we don't solve it, we're screwed anyway whether the rich get this additional advantage or not.
This space dedicated to Vasily Arkhipov

User avatar
LaCroix
Sith Marauder
Posts: 4552
Joined: 2004-12-21 12:14pm
Location: Sopron District, Hungary, Europe, Terra

Re: The Fable of the Dragon Tyrant

Post by LaCroix » 2018-06-04 10:52am

Isn't this actually kind of a problem for rich people, as well? At least for the "to be rich once daddy croaks" faction.

If daddy is immortal, how do the rich kiddies inherit? A lot of them will accumulate with every new wife, diluting the wealth, somewhat.
A minute's thought suggests that the very idea of this is stupid. A more detailed examination raises the possibility that it might be an answer to the question "how could the Germans win the war after the US gets involved?" - Captain Seafort, in a thread proposing a 1942 'D-Day' in Quiberon Bay

I do archery skeet. With a Trebuchet.

User avatar
K. A. Pital
Glamorous Commie
Posts: 20249
Joined: 2003-02-26 11:39am
Location: Elysium

Re: The Fable of the Dragon Tyrant

Post by K. A. Pital » 2018-06-04 03:22pm

LaCroix wrote:
2018-06-04 10:52am
Isn't this actually kind of a problem for rich people, as well? At least for the "to be rich once daddy croaks" faction.

If daddy is immortal, how do the rich kiddies inherit? A lot of them will accumulate with every new wife, diluting the wealth, somewhat.
They can game of Thrones. Or they can be kept perpetually adolescent and deprived of wealth and power thereby (as was in Altered Carbon)
Lì ci sono chiese, macerie, moschee e questure, lì frontiere, prezzi inaccessibile e freddure
Lì paludi, minacce, cecchini coi fucili, documenti, file notturne e clandestini
Qui incontri, lotte, passi sincronizzati, colori, capannelli non autorizzati,
Uccelli migratori, reti, informazioni, piazze di Tutti i like pazze di passioni...

...La tranquillità è importante ma la libertà è tutto!
Assalti Frontali

User avatar
LaCroix
Sith Marauder
Posts: 4552
Joined: 2004-12-21 12:14pm
Location: Sopron District, Hungary, Europe, Terra

Re: The Fable of the Dragon Tyrant

Post by LaCroix » 2018-06-05 07:26am

K. A. Pital wrote:
2018-06-04 03:22pm
LaCroix wrote:
2018-06-04 10:52am
Isn't this actually kind of a problem for rich people, as well? At least for the "to be rich once daddy croaks" faction.

If daddy is immortal, how do the rich kiddies inherit? A lot of them will accumulate with every new wife, diluting the wealth, somewhat.
They can game of Thrones. Or they can be kept perpetually adolescent and deprived of wealth and power thereby (as was in Altered Carbon)
It would still dilute their wealth in respect to the currnt state - Usually, you'd have the wealth shift hands, and the number of rich people stays about the same. Then, you'd have a constant number of rich people, and a growing number of dependants leeching it. In total, the rich would be poorer under such a system, and a lot more of them would be unhappy and plotting accidents. Let them devour each other, for a change, I say.
A minute's thought suggests that the very idea of this is stupid. A more detailed examination raises the possibility that it might be an answer to the question "how could the Germans win the war after the US gets involved?" - Captain Seafort, in a thread proposing a 1942 'D-Day' in Quiberon Bay

I do archery skeet. With a Trebuchet.

Simon_Jester
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 30105
Joined: 2009-05-23 07:29pm

Re: The Fable of the Dragon Tyrant

Post by Simon_Jester » 2018-06-05 07:59am

Plus, you wouldn't see things like this even mattering until you'd gotten out to, oh, a 50 or 100-year timespan into the future- the time it takes for a couple of generations of wealthy elites to rise to power and then not die of old age.

Experience over the past few centuries suggests that so much will change in any given 50-100 year period that any given prediction we make about the disadvantages of a technology now is likely to seem quaint or irrelevant at that future time. Look at the mass of 'cautionary tale' science fiction written in the mid-20th century trying to extrapolate things that could go wrong with what was, to them, near-future science fiction technology, including things we actually have today.
This space dedicated to Vasily Arkhipov

User avatar
LaCroix
Sith Marauder
Posts: 4552
Joined: 2004-12-21 12:14pm
Location: Sopron District, Hungary, Europe, Terra

Re: The Fable of the Dragon Tyrant

Post by LaCroix » 2018-06-05 09:06am

Remember - critics of early locomotives, for example, thought that women’s bodies were not designed to go at 50 miles an hour, and were worried that their uteruses would fly out of their bodies if accelerated to that speed...
A minute's thought suggests that the very idea of this is stupid. A more detailed examination raises the possibility that it might be an answer to the question "how could the Germans win the war after the US gets involved?" - Captain Seafort, in a thread proposing a 1942 'D-Day' in Quiberon Bay

I do archery skeet. With a Trebuchet.

Simon_Jester
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 30105
Joined: 2009-05-23 07:29pm

Re: The Fable of the Dragon Tyrant

Post by Simon_Jester » 2018-06-05 02:48pm

Well, I'm not talking about utter bullshit speculation here, stuff on the order of this famous piece.

I'm talking about speculation that was genuinely reasonable, in that it didn't contradict any information readily available at the time, but that just turned out to be invalid in the face of future developments that were not themselves readily predictable. For instance, predictions of crushing overpopulation in the developed world were fairly common in the 1960s and 1970s, but it became clear that birth rates were falling off with the spread of birth control and rising standards of living.

It's not that people were stupid to say "uh, guys, if we keep having 2.8 children per household, we'll be up to our asses in people by 2050." It's that, well, the conditional IF in that statement broke down unexpectedly.
This space dedicated to Vasily Arkhipov

User avatar
Zixinus
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 6604
Joined: 2007-06-19 12:48pm
Location: In Seth the Blitzspear
Contact:

Re: The Fable of the Dragon Tyrant

Post by Zixinus » 2018-06-05 03:28pm

The most likely point that this will brake down is how immortality actually is going to work. Let's face it, it is unlikely something simple that will completely halt aging in one go. It is actually more likely that it will be quality of life that will increase rather than actual life-span. Less stuff will brake down, organs might take more abuse, we might stop losing so much muscle mass and so on.

The progress might also work so slowly that society will gain awareness faster than the effectiveness of technology would grow. Thus an answer we could not foresee might also present itself.
Credo!
Chat with me on Skype if you want to talk about writing, ideas or if you want a test-reader! PM for address.

User avatar
K. A. Pital
Glamorous Commie
Posts: 20249
Joined: 2003-02-26 11:39am
Location: Elysium

Re: The Fable of the Dragon Tyrant

Post by K. A. Pital » 2018-06-06 11:32am

Simon_Jester wrote:
2018-06-05 07:59am
Plus, you wouldn't see things like this even mattering until you'd gotten out to, oh, a 50 or 100-year timespan into the future- the time it takes for a couple of generations of wealthy elites to rise to power and then not die of old age.

Experience over the past few centuries suggests that so much will change in any given 50-100 year period that any given prediction we make about the disadvantages of a technology now is likely to seem quaint or irrelevant at that future time. Look at the mass of 'cautionary tale' science fiction written in the mid-20th century trying to extrapolate things that could go wrong with what was, to them, near-future science fiction technology, including things we actually have today.
On the other hand, almost every warning from classic cyberpunk novels came to pass. Cautionary tales were not always wrong. Bradbury‘s The Veldt is a story which could come true soon enough, abd many others which already have.
Lì ci sono chiese, macerie, moschee e questure, lì frontiere, prezzi inaccessibile e freddure
Lì paludi, minacce, cecchini coi fucili, documenti, file notturne e clandestini
Qui incontri, lotte, passi sincronizzati, colori, capannelli non autorizzati,
Uccelli migratori, reti, informazioni, piazze di Tutti i like pazze di passioni...

...La tranquillità è importante ma la libertà è tutto!
Assalti Frontali

Simon_Jester
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 30105
Joined: 2009-05-23 07:29pm

Re: The Fable of the Dragon Tyrant

Post by Simon_Jester » 2018-06-06 11:42am

Many cyberpunk novel warnings did not come to pass in recognizable form; I haven't time for more detail but you're oversimplifying things.
This space dedicated to Vasily Arkhipov

User avatar
K. A. Pital
Glamorous Commie
Posts: 20249
Joined: 2003-02-26 11:39am
Location: Elysium

Re: The Fable of the Dragon Tyrant

Post by K. A. Pital » 2018-06-06 12:23pm

Simon_Jester wrote:
2018-06-06 11:42am
Many cyberpunk novel warnings did not come to pass in recognizable form; I haven't time for more detail but you're oversimplifying things.
Overpopulation & hyper-urbanization, cheap and ubiqutous technology, but low life, endemic poverty, spreading widespread pollution that threatens to make large areas uninhabitable, and world domination by corporations are certainly all a reality by now.

Cautionary tales about immortality are still very few. If we discount the vampire stuff and forget the good old Count.
Lì ci sono chiese, macerie, moschee e questure, lì frontiere, prezzi inaccessibile e freddure
Lì paludi, minacce, cecchini coi fucili, documenti, file notturne e clandestini
Qui incontri, lotte, passi sincronizzati, colori, capannelli non autorizzati,
Uccelli migratori, reti, informazioni, piazze di Tutti i like pazze di passioni...

...La tranquillità è importante ma la libertà è tutto!
Assalti Frontali

Simon_Jester
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 30105
Joined: 2009-05-23 07:29pm

Re: The Fable of the Dragon Tyrant

Post by Simon_Jester » 2018-06-06 02:36pm

K. A. Pital wrote:
2018-06-06 12:23pm
Simon_Jester wrote:
2018-06-06 11:42am
Many cyberpunk novel warnings did not come to pass in recognizable form; I haven't time for more detail but you're oversimplifying things.
Overpopulation & hyper-urbanization, cheap and ubiqutous technology, but low life, endemic poverty, spreading widespread pollution that threatens to make large areas uninhabitable, and world domination by corporations are certainly all a reality by now.
Yes, the warnings that were most direct extrapolations of short-term trends did mostly come true in the short-term future. This is much like how any mathematical function can be approximated as "things keep going in a straight line" as long as you don't walk far enough from the point of origin for the curvature to matter.

At the same time, many previous eras tried to warn us of things that proved very unrealistic, and even the cyberpunk genre (which has a pretty good track record) failed to predict some of the important aspects of our present situation, or predicted them only inconsistently.

And all of this is quite simply a cautionary point about trying too hard to extrapolate far-future conditions from present conditions. Effective biological immortality is at least 50-100 years out on the horizon for us today, maybe more. By the time we have that, things will almost certainly have changed beyond recognition, or will have already become horrible for other reasons that make biological immortality of an elite largely irrelevant.
This space dedicated to Vasily Arkhipov

User avatar
K. A. Pital
Glamorous Commie
Posts: 20249
Joined: 2003-02-26 11:39am
Location: Elysium

Re: The Fable of the Dragon Tyrant

Post by K. A. Pital » 2018-06-06 03:13pm

Effective immortality can be actually within the 10-30 year horizon, considering the breakneck speed of biotech research.

Other than that, the point is taken. Society can be already transformed into something unrecognizeable by that time.
Lì ci sono chiese, macerie, moschee e questure, lì frontiere, prezzi inaccessibile e freddure
Lì paludi, minacce, cecchini coi fucili, documenti, file notturne e clandestini
Qui incontri, lotte, passi sincronizzati, colori, capannelli non autorizzati,
Uccelli migratori, reti, informazioni, piazze di Tutti i like pazze di passioni...

...La tranquillità è importante ma la libertà è tutto!
Assalti Frontali

Simon_Jester
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 30105
Joined: 2009-05-23 07:29pm

Re: The Fable of the Dragon Tyrant

Post by Simon_Jester » 2018-06-07 08:41am

K. A. Pital wrote:
2018-06-06 03:13pm
Effective immortality can be actually within the 10-30 year horizon, considering the breakneck speed of biotech research.
Any effective immortality we have within that timeframe is going to be pretty heavily under-tested when it comes to "so, kill or cure?" If I were a billionaire thinking about genetic modifications for my children, I wouldn't want to pick something where I honestly have no way of knowing whether or not it'll cause them to die of massive strokes at the age of thirty.
This space dedicated to Vasily Arkhipov

Post Reply