A description by Eliezer S. Yudkowsky as what he sees are the various Shock levels of possible future technology. He describes it as a way to measure what concepts people are comfortable with, and after determining that, what concepts they can be introduced to without running into a point where they become frightened of the ideas. The basic idea is that it's safe to introduce someone to ideas that are one level above where they're familiar.

To determine your level, consider the ideas presented in each group. If they seem inevitable, and give you no real worries about their development, then you've accepted that level. When you start considering the topics, and run into a strong, almost blind excitement, or strong "I don't want that to happen" fear, then that's above your current threshold.

Medical Immortality before nanotechnology? I would have guessed nanotechnology to be the eventual cause of medical immortality.

Interplanetary exploration is the same level as major genetic engineering? We were walking on other planetoids in the 60s, and exploring other planets in the '70s. And if he's talking about planets outside our solar system, my own bet is that we'd need to be extropian before we'd be able to make the voyage. Maybe I'm just being too pragmatic.

Then again, this is a comfort scale rather than a timeline. Maybe we will soon see the 'futsie's of the Judge Dredd comic books: people who have been driven to a nervous breakdown by their amazement at the incredible technologies of their own time.

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