Happily Ever After
This. Episode is sponsored by audible, and, they. Say that for your 25th. Anniversary, you should give you a spouse silver, and for, your 50th gold, I wonder. What people might give in the future for their 500th, anniversary. So. Today's episode is coming out on Valentine's Day, and it seemed a good time to turn our discussion, to the various challenges, changes. And advantages. The future might bring us in terms of forging, and maintaining. Relationships be. They romantic, platonic. Or familial, the. Future, is not simply a place of giant megastructures and, advanced, technology, we, can't discuss the civilizations. That might arise without. Contemplating, that human component, and suddenly, romance, is a big chunk of that of course. It's a popular topic in science fiction - and often challenges. Us to look at our core assumptions, about human behavior, in the future, unfortunately. It also often paints a picture in which marriages, or at least long-term, monogamous relationships. All very, rare and often. The author makes it clear that's a sign of enlightenment. In their eyes rather. Than simple personal, freedom of choice in, a society that need not worry so much about things like accidental. Pregnancies, or STDs. That's. Always allowed me the long way partially. Because of the implied boredom, that people who live for many centuries would, have to regard lifelong, marriage as an unrealistic, thing, they. May be right of course but boredom. As we discussed, with Life Extension on other occasions has, always struck me as a hand wave I can't. Really imagine being, bored with existence, and in yet because I'm a few centuries old, there's just too much to do to keep oneself occupied. Or amused and by, the same logic I can't, really imagine getting bored of my friends, or family either, oh to be, sure like, most of us I've made, new friends but. I've never really drifted away from others unless, we want in contact, for a long time people. Do change and will Devore if they're not interconnected. Friendships. Are like sculptures, it, hopes to start with a good block of stone so, who is a good basic match but, you still have to call them out and like any creation you're changed, by the walk - that. Is one big advantage, of the modern ward that will continue to improve we, all now have access to hundreds, of millions of people, increasingly. Tagged and indexed, to make it easier to find good matches, and so, it's fairly easy to find folks with multiple, shared interests, and compatible. Mindsets, and to build a genuine, friendship or romance, with them even if they live far away that. Deserves a caveat, though because back in the old days folks, only could interact with their village or tribe a few, hundred people and it can seem to offer a conundrum war. Those folks just settling for less or are we fooling ourselves about. How compatible, we are with others the. Answer probably lies in, between because. If relationships. Are based out of shared interests, experiences. And adversity. When, your whole Ward is just, your village that, actually is the place where everyone shares your interests, experiences. And adversities. On. The one hand a lot of us develop friendships, with coworkers because. They oh they oh and we are stuck in their company on the other hand people, are not randomly, distributed and, do not arrive at places randomly, odds, are two folks sharing a cubical wall at a programming. Company share, a lot more than that wall with each other they probably do have a lot of hobbies and paola experiences. In common, and will, probably come to share a lot of actual experiences, too as they, walk together and chat and share hobbies, and thoughts, and challenges, things. Change when you force meet and discover you share an interest in sci-fi conventions. - 10 years down the road where, you can say do you remember that time we were driving to that convention, and the car broke down and, we had to change the tile in a thunderstorm, of course. Challenges, and adversity are another, issue in the future, because, in a very utopian. Society, it is rather hard to forge a relationship with someone you've, been through tough times together with or, distinguish, your Fairweather, friends, from proven, ones who stuck with you through a rough patch when. Neither of you has experienced, any tough times or rough patches on. The other hand such, things all relative, a utopian. Society is, likely, to still have challenges, and hardships, and I, don't think all relationships. Are less genuine, than all ancestors. Just, because they objectively, had much Hodel lives than we do for. That matter it varies even with the individual, to a lot, of my closest friends all my old war buddies but, they all quite a few of them I'm not really close with and, I've plenty of other close friends who I have not shared life and death experiences. Or epic, stress and hold ship alongside, you.
Don't Necessarily, need to experience, stress, or tragedy, with someone to be close to them and. It does have the opposite, effect a lot of times too lots. Of friendships, and romances, have ended, painfully, by some shared stress or tragedy, with, money problems or an early death of another loved one being, two of the big ones though. The latter is less common, nowadays and the, formal poppy will be - as civilization. Advances, and grows more prosperous. Some. Would argue with. Plenty, of justification. That, relationships. That end of such things were fundamentally, flawed or d'un from the outset but I think that's overly, simplistic, everyone's. Got their kryptonite and you, generally, do not get to pick which bombs life, holds, your way this. Arguably, makes a good case for not limiting yourself to friends, or levels selected, by algorithms for, maximum, compatibility -. Since. They might be less likely to be good at placing you when something in life knocks you askew it's. Good to have shared interests, but it's also good to have skills and strengths, that cover over each other's weaknesses. It, also helps ensure they have something to do which you are not expected, to participate in, since. Often it's not boredom, indian, relationship, but, an intense desire to mordor the other person, because they're always there. Fortunately. Technology really, does help with that since, it makes travel, so easy literally. And metaphorically. Also. Since the channel always aims to stay on the polite side of pg-rated, I'll, just opt to point out that the other type, of boredom, with your partner might, be something for Chilhowie, can deal with this. Chair does at all get watched by kids sometimes. Though I bet they do know exactly what I'm in fine they are such. Htech obviously, helps with long distance relationships, too but, that implies the other person, or persons. Are real, and just joining you in VR I suspect. Most of us would still view that as adultery, I certainly, would but if the other persons, were strictly, simulations. It's, a bit more debatable it. Needn't be quasi adultery, though a couple, bored where things can switch up their own appearances, as easy, as they can switch around the background, and setting this. Is where we start getting into some of the potentially, fatal challenges. To civilization. One. Pathway we've already discussed, is perfect. Matching, where, algorithms, help you find the person who really is according. To the algorithms, anyway your, most optimum, match even. Annoying badly, designed algorithms people. Line on their profiles, and concerns. Of hacking this has plenty, of issues and arguably. Represents, a move back toward. Arranged marriages, it's. Not how to imagine, there been a lot of social, pressure to follow the results especially, if is hearing good results for other people, and probably, for you with normal, friendships, since, you were kid, remember. Dee dee aside this, is the same sort of technology that's, advising, you on what gifts to grab your friends, that they are like and what resort. You'd enjoy visiting or movies, you'd like watching, or books, you'd like reading if it's. Got a great track record for all the minor things for your whole life, and you know it's plain statistics. Not hunches, when, it suggests you might want to ask out Jenny particularly. Since she almost only has been provided, the same prediction, and you know it you're, probably going to ask her out as things. Proceed the models get better and probably, a lot harder to hack or lyin it's, probably all based on data being, collected from, discrete extrapolation. Anyway you're. Not putting in your favorite movies or books or, games all, the subtle little gadgets, in sauk way or surrounding, you are noticing, that you read a book what its title was and your various physiological responses. Indicating. How much you enjoyed it it, knows what your favorite songs are even, that embarrassing, pop song you'd never admit to liking. It also knows exactly which sort of people and looks make you Tony Oh head discreetly, for a prolonged view you, don't have to swipe right or swipe left because, it already knows what your perfect ten is and, what it actually is to not, what you tell other people or even yourself, this. Is all assuming such things I'll handle privately, under, the radar by some machine that, keeps it secret and renders, no more judgments. The. Flip side is, the high-tech equivalent. Of the skull that lettle we, already warned people to be careful what they post online because, it stays forever a warning, a lot of people seem to ignore even, when not using pseudonyms. Even. Ignore misinterpretation. Or out lie lies by someone you know who, has an axe to grind, someone's, reputation can, get rekt and have, it follow them around every.
Bit As visibly, as if we branded, it on them and, I could easily see folks turning more and more to options, that left them protected, like a virtual reality where. Anyone, you are interacting with might, be a simulation or, genuinely, anonymous. This. Gets into one of those big threats I mentioned a moment ago we've. Been discussing perfect, matching, but, we've also got the issue of tail the lien that's. Forced, a problem with virtual, reality where, you've got the option to make everything look and act, the way you want and that, society might collapse from folks losing interdependency, on, each other in favor of Lybian tailored, wards with tailored, people something, we looked at more in post scarcity and reality, last year, this. Comes attached with Wars about slavery if you're using artificial, intelligence. Especially. Very sophisticated, ones, and that, whole conundrum, we've discussed before about. If it's ethical, to make an artificial, intelligence, that specifically. Enjoys, whatever, was built for along, with the blurry lines of what exactly a person, is when, we get into artificial. Intelligence, or uploaded, minds. But. We also have to consider that people can tweet themselves, too and, not, just in appearance, it's. Quite likely cosmetic. Surgery will get good enough cheap, enough safe, enough and common. Enough that it becomes routine, and. I have no particular objection of, that he, society, that tries to emphasize people. Having control, over their own lives it, would seem a bit hypocritical to. Say you can whale whatever you want and decorate. Your house however you please but. Should feel bad about wanting to change your own appearance to be what you want it to be, particularly. If doing so isn't, dangerous to you either, literally, or because, it leads you down a path of financial. Ruin or self-hate, if. I don't like my short or my hairstyle, or beard I change, them this.
Is Obviously more extreme pulminary. Altering, things but. Maybe not so much so if it's easily reversible. But. We wouldn't be limited in tailoring just our bodies but, our personalities. - and same, as we already can change all appearances, fairly, radically, and often, do so we, often change our personalities. - or try, to anyway the success, rates are not terribly high we've. Talked before about how brainwashing. In the future is a threat both for fear of externally, forced brainwashing, and because, so many people would voluntarily. Do it as proven, by the existence, of self-help, books and the, giant market for them but. Being able to quit an addiction, by voluntary, brainwashing. Is just half the story, everybody. Has habits, that irritate the heck out of some loved one or other and if, brought to our attention we, will usually make an effort to rid ourselves of it or Cortile, it around them or tell, them off for mentioning it all of, the above it. Seems a bit different if you can get yourself programmed. To act differently, it's. Also not too hard for me to imagine wedding-vow. Is, being enforced entirely. Voluntarily. And not, even with coercion but. By some brain implant, or scrubbing, or voluntary, surveillance. Not. Many people want to get bored of a relationship or, be tempted to cheat on their significant, other so, if there's a safe and reasonable, way to get your brain tweaked just a little so you don't do that lots. Of people might not only agree to it but, enthusiastically. Line up for it ditto, folks, with anxiety, about commitment, might get a little tweak to quell that same. For options like being able to play a log of your location, or visual, input, to prove you've been behaving though. Asking, a partner to do that strikes, me as no better than insisting they show you their phone log or sneaking, in to read their emails but. As usual, we're discussing plausible, options and scenarios, on the table in the future not, the ethic, so underlying, motivation. To choose such options. To. An even more extreme end it's, easy to imagine someone, getting infatuated. With another and paying, a hacker to crack a system, to make them appear as an optimal match it's. Also pretty easy to imagine someone putting out software, that could analyze someone, determine. What would likely rank someone higher for them and then, going out and getting all the necessary physical and physiological, changes. To, hit those moles and. We will bypass the even more sinister scenario, of kidnapping. And brainwashing, someone, to want to be with them instead or making. A copy of them still. That is one option that might allow for very long relationships. To be normal, just tiny, tweaks voluntarily. Made where, the person would do that anyway but, either cannot, or does, not want to invest the time and willpower, to. Make the change the old-fashioned, way, we've. Other scenarios, on this high-tech into for. Instance last week we mentioned a gulnur style Kony ship with people facing an issue of whether to get off at the newest ward they will colonize him or stay, on board for the next one, and the, heart-rending, choice someone would have to make if a loved one was disembarking. While another was staying on for the next stop we. Said there that a person, might have the option of dividing. Themselves a clone, or Android, or duplicate, complete, with memories, and UN. You to go separate, ways that's. An option he'll to a person. Torn between selling down in a marriage or staying, single could, potentially, do both a person. Who wants to marry two people could opt for this quasi form of polygamy, and a, person who loves their family but also wants to try new things fall, away need. Not necessarily choose. There. Is all sorts of problems and objections, to such a path but, it is a potential, option on the table in the centuries, to come just. Because technology allows. An option. I mean we all jump on board either and often, because, other Tech's offer options, we might consider more, palatable, personally. A lot. Of sci-fi features, civilizations. Where people will cross matched to, their genetically, optimal, partner but. We don't really seem to have gone that route thus far and I doubt we will as the, kind of genetic skill needed to make that walk also. Likely gives you the superior, ability to correct genetic flaws, or add in traits, after.
All Your, perfection, etic potent oh and you merely have an optimized, pair of templates, you, don't actually get to control by normal, breeding which, combinations. Of traits is drawn, off that template for your children the. Same tech also, opens the door to same-sex, couples having. Kids who were not adopted, or only, had one of them as a parent, and also, potentially, broto parentage, like three or more people having, a kid who was genetically, all of those like, james horan from the expanse series with, a parent's all contributing. DNA, I would. Tend to doubt this multi parent Val would be super common, but, I could easily imagine societies. With effective, biological, immortality that. Will getting pre full of people having, low birth weights to achieve replacement. Levels where not much replacement, is needed and opting. To share kids I'd. Imagine, that would have a lot of downsides, too but, I can think of Wars childhoods. Than having a dozen parents who were all full of centuries, of wisdom and doted, on that kid, note. These options, also opened the door for, children whose parents were, friends, rather than romantic partners, many, of us already have people we call aunt or uncle or kids, who call us that who, are no blood relations, of owls one. Could imagine future. Societies, will folks planning, a child asked. Many friends, to add in a little DNA each, as a variation, akin, to be in someone's Godfather. You've. Also got some weird options, for relationships, too we. Mentioned the option of folks having their minds tweaked to be happier, or more faithful, in a relationship, but, we also often talk about how a marriage becomes, a union into a new entity I have, to admit I usually, warm my eyes at that but, it's on the table, - it. Would be pretty extreme for two people to marry by literally, having their brains into, a mingled into a single body and mind but, I could easily imagine folks, sharing some actual, memories, indeed, that's a common marriage ritual in Alastair, Reynolds revelation. Space series, folks. Implant, each other with a few precious memories, when married, with. An increase in online relationships. It's, not how to imagine, we'd start adapting gifts and tokens, to be less physical, instead. Of a physical ring here, are some memories that, sort of thing similarly. It's common, to give people a locket, with a photo in it or share, photos, on social media, sites and air, screens get cheaper and power, sources battle, I could. Easily imagine lockets. That show slideshows. Of images, or video, clips instead, I don't. Feel like checking but I'd imagine someone. Already makes those and if not I doubt, we'll go another decade, before they start appealing or getting more common, giving. People lockets, with stored memories or recordings, they can experience, by virtual, or augmented reality, might. Be normal to a little, further down the road of course. We also have the option of technological. Telepathy which. Could take on all sorts, of forms, keeping. To the conceptually, simple, you, might both get implanted, so you could talk to each other quicker and easier, than a phone permits or, know, which direction they are or share, feelings or sensations to. One degree or another that. Might get very amusing, or irritating. I could, imagine someone, who hated chocolate, but whose significant, other love the stuff picking, up a fondness for it because they can not only taste it every time the other one eats it but, experiences, their pleasure for two we. Will obviously bypass. The more adult, applications. Of shared sensations, then, I'm guessing almost, everyone, is thinking about light now anyway. Telepathy. Gets played with a lot in sci-fi too often. With hive minds or group marriages, and, we mentioned people dividing, themselves up to follow conflicting, life options, usually.
We Picture hive mind as many separate Minds merging, together but. An alternative on that would be something like you, duplicate, news a dozen, times over but, keeping those Minds all linked and synchronized, one. Could imagine such an entity having multiple, families that were themselves uninvolved. Of course. A duplicate, of you a classic, clone, shares, none of your memories, but, a high otech portion, of you could have those memories, or, might have those memories, but, a different body it's. Not hard to imagine someone, going that particular hivemind route, might, have different looking bodies for all that they shared a mind with more, like the classic hive, mind it's. Also not to you how to imagine, folks might go the opposite, gender with one or various, places in between or outside, the normal human templates, if, the Internet is anything to go by somewhere. Out there is, not only someone who likes you be a half-human, half-horse. Centaur but, someone, else who'd very much like to marry one to on the. Notion of telling one's partner as opposed, to seeking, the perfect match, such, cloning or duplication. Routes do, raise the option that you might copy, yourself on, the assumption, you're pretty good match be, that a straight copy or one treat in some fashion again. Not limited, just to physical tweaking like a gender, or appearance, change but possibly, a mental, one too if. We're assuming folks, have the right to brainwash themselves. That, could arguably, include your duplicates, too I think. Dating yourself would seem ultra, narcissistic. Even, with a change of appearance but one would have to at least acknowledge you'd, definitely share a lot of common interests. And experiences. Though. Personally I would take that as another good reason why perfect, matching, if focused, around shared interests, was, maybe not the optimum, way to find, partners or friends. Copies. Do divulge and over. A long enough time with, folks changing, over mind and body that, copy, might be no more you than someone who was raised in the same town or went, the same elementary, school heck. You might not even realize it, was a copy bumping. Into them decades later because, you both decide to go visit someplace you shared a memory of and both, of you have changed, appearances, as. We can see though the future holds a lot of potential, options for relationships. Romantic, or otherwise and. It would seem like there's nothing really excluding. People from, having classic, long-term, marriages in there, lots, of options for folks who want to go a different way but, nothing excluding, the traditional, many. Of these will need to tackle in the near future other, is not for a long time but. As we often note there's, actually a decent chance those of us alive pondering. The distant future nowadays. Might, actually live, to see it such. Being the case you never know your. Valentine's sweetheart, this year might, be someone you're shopping for a 100th, anniversary, gift a century. From now or, 1000th. Anniversary or, even, longer you might, still even be around and together, long, enough to watch the last sunrise before, the wardens, puts. A new spin on the notion of living, together happily. Ever after. I. Was. Mentioning a moment ago some of the stranger, scenarios, for clones and shared memories, and we see a lot more peculiar, options, for that in science, fiction one. Of my favorite authors for such topics, is Alastair. Reynolds and, I've recommended his revelation, space series, many, a time including. Today but. I've also mentioned my favorite novel by him wasn't, in that series, but, was actually the standalone, house, of Sons I don't. Think there's any book out there that really slams, home the scale of astronomical, timelines. Better than this book and to, the best of my knowledge it holds the record in sci-fi for, both the longest chase, scene and the longest romance, and as. Is often the case with this author he, really challenges, concepts, like identity, and what we mean by that the. Audiobook also happens to be done by my favorite narrator, John, Lee a good. Narrator can make a good book even better and a great narrator, before, me a great book and so, much to the story indeed. I've often found picking, new books by who narrated.
Them Is at, least as good a method for finding ones you enjoy as seeing, what other books folks often recommend, if you enjoyed novel, however. Taste vary by listener, not everyone, will enjoy the same narrator, and many, books have more one performance, available, on our wall and you'd, also listen to samples, of each performance, to see if you liked them before buying if. You'd like to grab a free copy of house of sons just, use my link in the episode subscription, audible.com, slash, Isaac, or text, Isaac to five hundred five hundred to, get a free book and a 30-day free trial, I really. Describe a book as mind-blowing, but, House of sons is a truly, epic novel, full of staggering, concepts. Next. Week we return to the earth 2.0, series, to discuss cloud cities, and look, at possible human habitats, city high among the cloud tops of mountains or, even floating in the sky in cloud. Cities, after, that will close out the month with, return to the alien civilization, series to, discuss the idea of alien, civilizations that. Infiltrate, other civilizations. Covertly, the, classic, flying saucers, case in secret. Aliens, for. Lords when those and other episodes come out make, sure to, subscribe to the channel and have you enjoyed this episode please, like it and share it with others, until. Next time thanks, for watching and, have a great week.