Link: Will humans extinct themselves into cyborghood?

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Alex Tabarrok writes at Marginal Revolution: “Should we care if the human race goes extinct?”

Why should we be worried about the end of the human race? Oh sure, there are some Terminator like scenarios in which many future-people die in horrible ways and I’d feel good if we avoided those scenarios. The more likely scenario, however, is a glide path to extinction in which most people adopt a variety of bionic and germ-line modifications that over-time evolve them into post-human cyborgs. A few holdouts to the old ways would remain but birth rates would be low and the non-adapted would be regarded as quaint, as we regard the Amish today. Eventually the last humans would go extinct and 46andMe customers would kid each other over how much of their DNA was of the primitive kind while holo-commercials advertised products “so easy a homo sapiens could do it”. I see nothing objectionable in this scenario.

Regarding others as quaint is a cultural armament of a particular local median. The Amish population in the U.S. has a doubling time on the order of 22 years and in recent years around 85% of those born into Amish communities have remained in those communities as adults. Cultural forces are strongest at the local median, and in 21st century nation-states, the difference between local and global is defined by religious and ethnic boundaries.