Pain and death are two aspects of human life that most of us don’t appreciate very much … but we tend to put up with as gracefully as possible because we consider them inevitable. Now it turns out that death is probably not so inevitable after all. Human
Ben, I'll read this carefully from the beginning to the end, but I'm afraid I very much disagree with the title. Suffering is perception of a conflict between what you want and the reality of what it is. If you don't feel this conflict and are always happy with the reality of what it is, why and how should you strive to change it? To me, if anything, superhuman superminds will suffer MORE. At the same time, they will suffer for things that we wouldn't even understand, so they will transcend the causes of OUR suffering. But not the causes of their own suffering.
As you mention at the beginning of the article death and pain create the incentives and renewal of an ecosystem so that it can evolve and grow into a more complex system. This seems to me to be the fundamental engine behind intelligence. Within my own mind ideas and algorithms are being constantly pruned to create room for new ones. The physical mechanisms (neurons and connections) are constantly evolving to support those new ideas. It's not merely just reconfiguration, cells and organenelles and whole species within an individual human biome go extinct or evolve new structures every day. And my community of people that power my thinking sometimes thrive or die off. Whole countries and cultures are experiencing attempted genocide in eastern Europe and Africa, as we speak. Intelligence is a property of a system, not an individual brain. Death and pain are necessary to guide that system to evolve greater and greater intelligence and complexity. Without it there is no growth or even "treading water" in the struggle against the tide of thermodynamics (the long slow great crunch, you mention).