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TheOtherDave comments on Building Weirdtopia - Less Wrong

28 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 12 January 2009 08:35PM

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Comment author: TheOtherDave 28 November 2010 11:44:18PM 0 points [-]

Sure, I'll play.

Economic: Human desires don't keep up with available resources; the resulting global resource surplus makes efficient resource distribution entirely moot. A vastly (though not quite Vastly) inefficient system emerges which is nevertheless able to maintain everyone in whatever standard of living they choose.

Sexual: Sexual mores vary radically from one community to another. In the absence of resource competition, some subcultures have adopted sexual pleasure -- artificially induced and, by convention, solely induced by others -- as their preferred unit of currency, providing individuals with mechanisms of mutual influence and interdependence... in other words, everyone is a whore. Others have (d)evolved into orgasmium. Others have worked out less overwhelming arrangements. More generally, Rule 34 applies on a vast scale: if you can think of it, there's a community out there somewhere doing it. Mutual disapproval is widespread.

Governmental: There is no single government. In the absence of the need for efficiency, humanity fragments into billions of independent subcultures defined by different strategies for making group decisions. (Many of these are more like large families than anything we would consider governments.) Without any real benefit to either warfare or trade, their interactions are mostly social -- more like forums on the Internet than what we would think of as governments. Obnoxious subcultures are isolated by the collective effort of their neighbors.

Technological: Technology as we think about it mostly doesn't exist. Instead, fully general nanotech packages that extract energy from the Source are integrated with almost everyone's bodies, responding to their thoughts. This is not considered separate from individuals any more than most people today consider their physiology separate from them; mostly, people think of themselves as living simple, uncomplicated lives under their nanotechnologically assembled fig trees, with none to make them afraid. (There are a few subcultures that insist on externalizing technology like spaceships, computers, replicators, houses, supercolliders and so forth; such technophiles, or "tech geeks," are condescendingly tolerated by the majority.)

Cognitive: Some subcultures we would think of as a single cognitive entity... a "groupmind," if you like... while others we would recognize as more normal social structures including distinct individuals. Subcultures of the first type consider those of the second type to be suffering a kind of dissociative identity disorder, and often offer therapeutic interventions, which type 2 subcultures respond to in various different ways. (This sometimes results in cultures being obnoxious; see Governmental above.) The distinction between "natural" and "artificial" cognitive entities is mostly meaningless; individuals (including city-sized ones) consider optimization technology part of their cognition in the same way that we consider families and writing and communities and so forth part of our own.