You & The Distant Future

I spoke again yesterday to mostly retired folks at GMU’s lifelong learning institute, on “You & the Distant Future” (audio; slides). I talked on near-far theory, long-term bequests, and cryonics.

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  • No mention of the Islamic world’s experience with waqfs in the slides, I see, but I guess that would be too much detail.

  • Thanks — great talk.

    Particularly funny how the audience goes from having no opinion about cryonics to immediately being very skeptical/against it, without first going through a stage of confusion/curiosity.

    The cryonics part also completely dominated the discussion after the talk, which is a shame because the likelyhood of people drawing useful (and actionable) conclusions from near/far theory or perpetuities is much greater. Having given the cyonics talk many times before, and knowing what kind of reception it would get, I don’t understand why you immediately had to jump to Shock Level 3, so to say.

  • I’m surprised you didn’t react to the person who mentioned seed banks by discussing your ideas on future refuge markets/subsidies.

  • Gwern, and more detail than I know.

    Bob, I have little experience giving talks on cryonics.

    TGGP, I expected that would take too long a digression to explain.

    • > Gwern, and more detail than I know.

      ? I sent you a huge email on the topic back in December 2011. (I had assumed you never replied because that was the high status thing to do.)

      But to try it again; I excerpted some of the most interesting stuff in from “The Provision of Public Goods under Islamic Law: Origins, Impact, and Limitations of the Waqf System”, by Timur Kuran; Law & Society Review, Vol. 35, No. 4 (2001), pp. 841–898