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I believe humanity will first achieve ...

Displaying poll results.
Human-scale teleportation
  757 votes / 1%
Faster-than-light travel
  1681 votes / 4%
Mind uploading
  8378 votes / 20%
  2848 votes / 7%
World peace
  1612 votes / 4%
  24823 votes / 61%
40099 total votes.
[ Voting Booth | Other Polls | Back Home ]
  • Don't complain about lack of options. You've got to pick a few when you do multiple choice. Those are the breaks.
  • Feel free to suggest poll ideas if you're feeling creative. I'd strongly suggest reading the past polls first.
  • This whole thing is wildly inaccurate. Rounding errors, ballot stuffers, dynamic IPs, firewalls. If you're using these numbers to do anything important, you're insane.
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I believe humanity will first achieve ...

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  • by AliasMarlowe (1042386) on Saturday April 21, 2012 @12:01PM (#39756321) Journal

    Mind uploading would probably lead to all sorts of possibilities for identity theft and extreme violation of privacy.

    It would also be a totalitarian's wet dream. To find out someone's opinions or recent actions, just grab them and upload their mind into an analysis device. Then start the search programs while keeping the suspect in a suitable place.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 21, 2012 @12:06PM (#39756349)

    The only actual choices are world peace and extinction, and your choice among them depends only on whether you're an optimistic or pessimistic person..

  • by girlintraining (1395911) on Saturday April 21, 2012 @05:18PM (#39758343)

    Through salvation in Christ...

    Okay, and if I say Allah will save us, will I get a +3 insightful mod, or will I be marked -1 troll? And I ask this question on a website dedicated to science and technology, where religion should only be discussed in the context of how religion conflicts or compliments either of those.

  • Re:Of course... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by lightknight (213164) on Saturday April 21, 2012 @10:05PM (#39759863) Homepage


    Let's consider the choices:

    Human-scale teleportation -> which would be followed by turning it into a weapon. Go humanity! Teleporting bombs into enemy territory, for those without creativity.
    Faster-than-light travel -> We haven't visited another celestial body (astronauts) in how long? True, we have new engines in the works, and the various commercial space programs are finally getting there, but we're being repeatedly setback by paranoia and (in the case of radioactive substances powering the engine) energy policies which don't make sense. Space is BYOES (Bring Your Own Energy Source), and radioactive substances are the most compact and powerful ones we have. Also, anything of any great mass at light-speed can be used as a weapon. Mass drivers, yay!
    Mind uploading ->An interface that links man and machine? Yes, and hopefully of the several that will be developed, hopefully it will be a good one. Uploading a human mind to another machine? Doubtful. It's like trying to move an already installed OS from one machine to another; difficult at best. Also, advertisements would reach a new level of annoying here (subconscious programs being slipped into your mind-stream, to buy more Hanes underwear or something).
    Immortality -> Death is always changing his game. The one day we are sure we have a sure cure for mortality is the day that the human race becomes extinct. Why? Because everyone will buy-in to the cure for death, become complacent, then a flaw will be revealed (you're sterile, and getting hit with a nuke will still kill you); because we became complacent, we won't be looking for it, until it's upon us. And it would nail everyone at once.
    World peace -> Depends how you define peace. Eliminating free will might be considered peaceful, but I think the majority of us would rather have constant warfare and free will, than peace and slavery. World peace will be achieved when human beings quit pissing each other off. Even a modest increase of genuine sincerity (good luck with that) would probably lesson the various clashes, and it can be done without touching free will.
    Extinction -> This is the most likely result. As the saying goes, you can always bet on death and taxes, and come out ahead.

  • Re:Of course... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Mspangler (770054) on Sunday April 22, 2012 @10:32AM (#39762443)

    Toughest poll in a long time, I admit.

    Human-scale teleportation has a Heisenberg problem.
    Faster-than-light travel has an Einstein problem.
    Mind uploading has a problem even defining "mind", much less describing how it works.
    Immortality is my pick. We have the telomeres half figured out already. However, this is a limited immortality, accidents and homicide will still get you.
    World peace; "Depends how you define peace." Exactly. See Miranda, as in the movie Serenity. In theory, we've known how to do world peace for thousands of years, but we haven't done it. Obviously we don't actually want peace.
    Extinction; we could off ourselves as a species, but we are pretty versatile. The ability to modify our local environment means some portion of the species will survive somewhere on the planet.

  • Re:Of course... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ShooterNeo (555040) on Sunday April 22, 2012 @01:03PM (#39763657)

    Mind Uploading :

    The "upload" that will very likely work (as in there is no theoretical reason why it would not, and it will be technically achievable at some point assuming continued development) is the following process.

    Patient is put to sleep, and all the arteries in their neck are connected to a set of artificial pump equipment. Their skull is removed with bone saws. A high pressure (relative to normal blood pressures, obviously just below the threshold to blow an artery) flow of superchilled fluid, full of synthetic molecules that cap ice crystals before they grow, calcium channel blockers, vasodilators, and several other drugs is flushed through the brain. The brain is also sprayed with chilled gas from the outside, and the whole assembly is inside a large oscillating magnet to further discourage ice crystal formation. The temperature in the brain will drop to -20 or -30 degress celcius, at which point all the liquid water will free instantly in an amorphous state.

    Now, the brain is cooled further until it eventually is at liquid helium temperatures. A machine that uses arrays of trillions of nanoscale manipulators tears off a layer of the brain and analyzes the molecular composition. Layer by layer, the brain is destructively scanned, until at the end of the process an atomic bonding map of the entire brain has been generated.

    This map is then loaded into a hardware emulator that uses more conventional circuitry to represent each synapse's current state.

    This new entity would be I guess equivalent to a new artificial intelligence, created from an imperfect scan of an original person. The entity would probably need many years of therapy and retraining to function again (I don't expect the hardware emulators to ever be quite right) but at the end of the process the entity would be capable of performing the highest functions of human thought, able to design and create new things, and so on. The key reason to do this is that this entity would be limited only by the switching speed of the circuitry it runs on, and so would likely think one to a hundred million times faster than the original brain it was derived from.

    And of course the hardware, and the mapping configuration would all be editable, so once there are several of these entities they could tweak each other to make each other smarter and more efficient, and so on.

  • by GLMDesigns (2044134) on Sunday April 22, 2012 @02:43PM (#39764529)
    Yes, privacy is a concern but being able to store memories has wonderful uses besides that of easing the work of the police apparatus.

    By the way - if that is truly a concern of yours I hope you are in favor of limiting government power and not expanding it.
  • by Trogre (513942) on Sunday April 22, 2012 @07:31PM (#39766405) Homepage

    Look, it's pretty simple to understand the Abrahamic faiths. Let me summarize the messages from the three major collections of written texts which form the pillars of the three significant faiths:

    Old Testament (essentialy Judaism): There is a God
    New Testament (adds with OT to give Christianity): ...and he loves you
    Quaran (adds with much of the above to give Islam): ...but not all that much

An optimist believes we live in the best world possible; a pessimist fears this is true.


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