I asked Jamais Cascio about The Hedonistic Imperative & longevity as part of my interview with him, and got some interesting responses
Cascio warns about wireheading* – Jamais urges cautious about changing cognitive systems to increase pleasure because we may lack a sufficient understanding of the 2nd or 3rd order effects – which isn’t to say that we should never ever do it. Though he is usually not someone to jump at a chance to apply the precautionary principle, he thinks this is one case that warrants it.
Longevity may increase peoples tendency to be thoughtful about the future – imagine a decade to think about the ramifications of a certain action (or inaction).
Since we evolved to think about our immediate relations, we are somewhat selfish – living a long time might cause us to be more concerned about the future and those in it.
*Note, it should be clear that Wireheading isn’t the same as re-calibration of the hedonic treadmil that David Pearce advocates. See this interview with David Pearce on the subject of wireheading for more details.
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