In this post I again contrast my analysis of future ems in Age of Em with a fictional depictions of ems, and find that science fiction isn’t very realistic, having other priorities. Today’s example: The Uploaded
This is one of the goals of https://hpluspedia.org
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Can non-conscious entities "believe" things?
But nonetheless I agree the story can still end up the same.
There really should be a wiki of the most common sf errors.
The novels often assume that the characters believe this. But if they were wrong, not sure the story would happy any different.
Richer people could more easily afford to create ems and give them a life of leisure. That's different from a central review system deciding who may become an em. Also, in Age of Em most ems are there to work, and exist because they are the most productive.
Science fiction novels often present future worlds in which certain technologies are more advanced than the present, yet they then remain stagnant for a very long time. That has always seemed unrealistic to me. Perhaps this is simply a sign of the limited imaginations of the authors. Another common but unrealistic story feature is implying there are no technological advances at all relative to the present day within major technical areas that are simply outside the story's main idea(s).
Why do these works always assume Ems have consciousness?
Or is that irrelevant?
"Higher levels are given nicer positions and privileges, while the lowest levels are not allowed to become ems."
Forgive me for being a neophyte to the idea of ems and uploaded consciousness, but isn't this above passage a given? The elite, those who believe themselves elite, the sons and daughters of the wealthy, and those who are friends of the uploaders: are not their places already reserved? And, if true, is not the Em concept a form of post-corporeal eugenics? A perfect life, without mental illness, creative madness, manic ideas. Sounds... boring.
One of the many good things that Age of Em accomplished: No worthwhile author can now write about emulated minds without taking your work into account. Sadly, not all writers are worthwhile.
It would be great if this work were a part of a larger genre that applies academic insights to help fiction writers with worldbuilding. The upshot of the work would be some sort of guide that might have the title: "Things Your Story Can't Have If You Want It to Make Sense, and Why Not." Now that I think about it, I bet a rationalist wiki would be a good place to crowdsource and host a guide like this.
It needs stuff like "If some magic or technology makes a person transparent to light, then his or her (transparent) eyes will see nothing."
In this world there is plenty of work left for em and human workers to do. This is not a world where all tasks are automated via software.
You should probably view these as post em societies, for even if ems still exist they have no apparent use, thus no intensive growth, only extensive growth of more ems. Their life of leisure is all they have and the only work for them, make-work, or play, such as entertaining others. No em procreation so little population pressure though an increasing amount of resources devoted to ems since there are no more efficiency gains to be extracted having reached stasis beyond extensive growth.