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The Age of Em


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Table of Contents

Introduction Basics 1: Start 2: Eras 3: Framing 4: Assumptions 5: Implementation Physics 6: Scales 7: Infrastructure 8: Appearances 9: Information 10: Existence 11: Farewells Economics 12: Labor 13: Efficiency 14: Work 15: Business 16: Growth 17: Lifecycle Organization 18: Clumping 19: Groups 20: Conflict 21: Politics 22: Rules Sociology 23: Mating 24: Signals 25: Collaboration 26: Society 27: Minds Implications 28: Variations 29: Choices 30: Finale

About the Author

Robin Hanson is an associate professor of economics at George Mason University, and a research associate at the Future of Humanity Institute of Oxford University. Professor Hanson has master's degrees in physics and philosophy from the University of Chicago, nine years experience in artificial intelligence research at Lockheed and N.A.S.A., a doctorate in social science from California Institute of Technology, 2800 citations, and sixty academic publications, in economics, physics, computer science, philosophy, and more. He blogs at, and has pioneered the field of prediction markets since 1988.


`A straightforward extrapolation from standard economic premises that I think are too conservative, to results that most readers will think are wildly futuristic. Personally, I'd be shocked to see the future turn out this normal. But anyone who believes in standard economic theory and the computability of human intelligence would need to do a lot of fast talking to explain why the future wouldn't be at least this strange.' Eliezer Yudkowsky, author Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality `Human life is already substantially entwined with computing machinery. It is not too soon to think about this trend's logical conclusion: human brains directly emulated in computers. The Age of Em draws upon a vast array of knowledge from the natural and social sciences to paint an extremely detailed picture of the world of our silicon descendants, who will run at different clock speeds and copy themselves at will. `Emsa will be cultural conservatives who barely make a living and use profanity. They will routinely mock us.' Michael Chwe, author Jane Austen, Game Theorist

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