Immortality is a primary goal of many transhumanists, but not all. How many do or don’t want eternal life, and why? I recently conducted a survey - funded by Terasem Movement Inc., and fiscally sponsored by World Future Society - that queried hundreds of transhumanists on this question.
The Terasem Survey was conducted via a surveymonkey poll that was set up by my project collaborator, Teresa Dal Santo Ph.D., a Research Associate at University of California San Francisco, with expertise in conducting qualitative and quantitative studies, and specialties in research methods and statistical analysis.
Getting transhumanists to complete our poll was easy; we garnered a total of 818 respondents very quickly.
My thanks to everyone who assisted us, especially:
David Orban, who notified his 2,798 Facebook friends, his 3,480 Twitter followers, and his 5,732 Google+ people-in-whose-circle-he-is
Alex Lightman who notified his 5,000 Facebook friends
Rachel Haywire, editor of hplusmagazine.com, who made our survey the feature article on July 12.
IEET also permitted me to post an announcement.
Amara Angelica declined to post a link to the survey at KurzweilAI.net, where she is Editor, due to various reasons, such as concern about privacy issues and the methodology of the survey.
The completed survey left me with about 500 pages of raw data. I will be delivering all of this info to the funder, Terasem Movement Inc., plus I’m preparing a summary for one of the Terasem Journals online.
Additionally, I will be publishing statistics and comments from the survey in multiple short sections, at IEET and the World Future Society website.
The following statistics and comments are in response to my question: “If you don’t want immortality, what is your primary reason?”
All of the respondents are self-defined as transhumanists. The result?
76.2% replied that they “did want immortality.”
4.6% replied that they didn’t want immortality because “the earth would be overpopulated.”
8.1% said they didn’t want immortality because of the “boredom” they feel they’d endure as a consequence.
3.7% said they didn’t want immortality because they wanted “to go to an afterlife.”
Essays and comments posted in World Future Society and THE FUTURIST magazine blog portion of this site are the intellectual property of the authors, who retain full responsibility for and rights to their content. For permission to publish, distribute copies, use excerpts, etc., please contact the author. The opinions expressed are those of the author. The World Future Society takes no stand on what the future will or should be like.
About Hank Pellissier
Hank Pellissier is the editor of Transhumanity.net. Previously to that he was Managing Director of the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technology (IEET). He's also been a columnist at the NYTimes/Bay Citizen, Salon.com, and SFGate.com, and feature writer for numerous publications. He's the author of Invent Utopia Now, and Why is the IQ of Ashkenazi Jews so High?
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This is my last posting for the next few days. I will be taking my office apart so that we can move to our new apartment downtown next Tuesday. I will be unplugged and disconnected except by tablet. Expect me to be back in the saddle before the end of next week probably in time to provide you with some more headlines. In the interim these are the stories I share with you this week:
Today, literally thousands of alternative transportation vehicles are coming out of the woodwork and they nearly all have the same problem – no place to drive them. Most are banned from biking and hiking trails, and they are neither licensed, nor licensable, for use on the streets. I’d like to discuss some new possible solutions and why Colorado is poised to take the lead in the alternative transportation marketplace.
In a recent conference promoting not only their latest gizmos but their company's animating vision as well, Google executives declared they were working toward a future in which technology "disappears," "fades into the background," becomes more "intuitive and anticipatory." Commenting on this apparently "bizarre mission for a tech company," Bianca Bosker warns that their genial and enthusiastic promotional language masks Google's aspiration to omnipresence via invisibility, an effort to render us dependent and uncritical of their prevalence through its marketing as easy, intuitive, companionable.
Occasionally during meetings one of my staff – an avid birder – will elbow me and I’ll look up and glimpse a bald eagle. Each time, I am in awe. I live in Washington State, which is home to a plethora of eagles, where pods of Orca ply the waters near the San Juan Islands, and where roads are sometimes blocked by herds of elk.
In this month's Report on Business Magazine, a supplement that comes with The Globe and Mail, one of Canada's national newspapers, Stanford University's Mark Jacobson provides a best case scenario
According to The Hollywood Reporter, celebrity tech CEO Peter Thiel is upset that movies like The Matrix and Avatar make technological innovation seem "destructive and dysfunctional."
A team of researchers are asking the public to help them locate and count all the sources of CO2 coming from power plants on the planet.