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The Age of EmWork, Love, and Life when Robots Rule the Earth$
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Robin Hanson

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198754626

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198754626.001.0001

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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

Groups

Groups

Chapter:
19 (p.261) Groups
Source:
The Age of Em
Author(s):

Robin Hanson

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198754626.003.0027

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

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