Robin Hanson has a great post titled How To Fund Prestige Science.
In it he asks, “How can we best promote scientific research?”
This is not a relevant goal, of course, because promoting general scientific research leads to death. As Aubrey de Grey argues, the time to take a systematic engineering approach to the human body and forget about simply accumulating more general knowledge is long overdo.
However, what matters is not the hypothetical goal Hanson considers. What’s important are the two standardly effective variables we can tweak. Money and status can be distributed in exchange for useful output.
If you already own money and/or access to the effective distribution of status in all the ways that Hanson details, then just go ahead and use it to fund life-extension; don’t hold back. Believe me, we won’t be complaining about overpopulation or boredom, and instead we will work on fixing them once we enjoy all the other effects of extending healthspan.
What if you don’t have money or access to the distribution of currently minted status points?
Then you have to start getting creative. Think in terms of redesigning these tools as opposed to merely using them.
Since it is more difficult to redesign money so as to maximize the prospects for reaching longevity escape velocity*, the goal should be to design status in such a way that typical stuff that gets worked on today becomes worth dirt cheap status-cents or has negative status effects.
This can be achieved. Status does not exist in an immutable form. Gradually tilt the conversation so that it is low-status to not be in favor of healthspan extension through the engineering approach.
This dipole flip in high-status/low-status opinion can happen very quickly on a large societal level, as happened with homosexual rights. We just need people to come out.
In this regard, self-identified Hispanics, Blacks and youth are doing a somewhat better job of coming out against aging and in favor of extending youth. This would not be expected if you thought that human variation on the matter only correlated with IQ. Lower IQ leads to less planning for the future. And above average IQ is often one variable that correlates with people self-orienting towards an interest in life extension. Out of the blue, I hypothesize that the correlation may be more with conscientiousness.
Highly conscientious people will serve Caesar or scheme along with the revolution of Cassius – they don’t really care as long as they get to be conscientious. If Caesar says we ought to age and die for the next generation, they will do so. But if a sliver of the conscientious population wants to be greater than the others, it will try to up-level the competition by conscientiously rebelling alongside the whispering Cassius instead. People might want to take the sideways plunge to conscientiously murder Caesar if they calculate that this will make them a better senator unto the projected plebeians; this slight capacity to disagree into where you funnel your conscientiousness becomes your comparative advantage.
Of course, the plebeian praise is simulated in the mind of the conspirators, because humanity at large (the plebeians) don’t really care. They don’t really care if they age and lose everything. Haven’t you noticed that you have to tell them about it? Haven’t you realized that your own life is not oriented towards the vision of that truth?
All tragedies are invented so that we may be heroes. We invent the problem of aging in order to sweep the rug from underneath the feet of the hierarchy.
Because the adaptive behavior of Hispanics, Blacks, and youth is often less tied to signaling conscientiousness with regard to White metropolitan humanism, they accidentally converge with the up-leveling desire in White metropolitan humanism: (longevists/transhumanists).
It just so happens that this Caesar will be murdered unlike other invented problems. The reason is circular: the hardest to fake human quality signals are: 1. Physical health (based on biological age, symmetry, height, physique, smell) and 2. Money (very often filters for genes that allow its attainment in some way: intelligence, conscientiousness, extroversion, all of the above)
People prop up their comparative advantage in order to distract from the hard-to-fake signals. In the absence of immediate physical needs not met, the behavior of humans is signaling, and those two things are some of the most effective at having men** assessed, so it is fate that has spawned this as our next monolith.
To speed it up, we need to understand this framework, realize where we physically stand, and then fully remember. Remember again and again.
*Even this has seen progress with the rise of crypto-currencies. Vitalik Buterin, founder of Ethereum, donated 2.4 million in Ether. The Pineapple Fund donated 1 million dollars in Bitcoin.
**Women can also be effectively assessed by these signals. But what sexually competing men are assessed by is crucially important because that’s the main fuel that bores the tunnels. A subpopulation of half-eunuch’s and unconventionally-competing women who do not get absorbed as low-status or fully defect themselves away are those who make the change by tilting the direction where conventional men aim. All the while trophy fertile women are the judging eyes that indirectly get everyone to do things. Even creative up-leveling involves not being crazy to the point of losing recruitment potential that raises standing. What constrains possibility is that which the mind considers adaptive.
&&& Acknowledgement is not endorsement. The biological and social sciences reveal this to be approximately true across vast anthropological terrain. It must be taken into account even when our ultimate aim is transhumanism (the dreams of the half-eunuch who prefers creativity because telling stories was his comparative advantage).