Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Age of EmWork, Love, and Life when Robots Rule the Earth$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Robin Hanson

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198754626

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198754626.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 17 October 2021



19 (p.261) Groups
The Age of Em

Robin Hanson

Oxford University Press

By analogy with a family clan today, we can take all of the copy descendants of a single original human, and call that group a “clan.” All of the copy descendants of a particular em can be called a “subclan.” (While the term “clade” might be more precise, the term “clan” is more widely known.) How do clans and subclans organize? We are today each part of many organizations, such as neighborhoods, firms, clubs, and nations. But we rely most on our families when we seek strong long-term bonds and trust. It is within families that we most share resources, let ourselves be most vulnerable, and seek help in bad times. Long ago humans evolved to trust families more than other groupings because of their closer genetic relations, and have developed many family-specific adaptations to complement such unusually strong family trust. Identical twins are more closely related than are family members. Because of the rarity of such twins, however, our ancestors may have evolved few adaptations specific to twinning. Even so, the trust and bonds between identical twins seems to usually be stronger than those between other family members. Ems will have access to a new unit of organization: clans of copies of the same original person. Compared with families or even identical twins, ems have even stronger reasons to trust and bond with fellow clan members. This makes em copy clans a natural candidate unit for finance, reproduction, legal liability, and political representation. The degree of affiliation between two em copies depends on how long they have been diverging subjectively since their last common ancestor. Copies that have diverged for only an hour are likely to feel very strongly affiliated. They’d share almost all opinions and attitudes, and are usually willing to make great sacrifices for one another. On the other hand, copies that have diverged for 20 years may feel far less of a connection. They might have been trained for different professions, and live in different kinds of communities. Their personalities and political opinions might even have diverged.

Keywords:   advice, bosses, careers, failures, happiness, leisure, management, older people, peak productivity

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .