Re: MEDIA: Nanomedicine and Kurzweil

From: Robert Bradbury (
Date: Mon Jan 24 2000 - 01:37:41 MST

On Sun, 23 Jan 2000, Joseph Sterlynne wrote:

> In the January/February 2000 issue of the [MIT Technology Review].
> Nanomedicine Nears the Clinic By David Voss

I believe I've commented briefly previously that I thought this
article was a fair amount of fluff and didn't cover the
important stuff (like the publication of Nanomedicine).

As I recall, I've informed the editors about my thoughts.

> (I haven't yet read these but one quick note: the opening blurb for the
> second piece says:
> Ray Kurzweil created a hubbub with his idea that we will soon be
> able to "download" ourselves into machines and live forever.
> Even in an MIT publication the notion of uploading (here misnamed) is
> basically credited to Kurzweil. There's really no excuse. Whatever the
> case, he---and uploading---are certainly receiving more and more attention
> all the time.)

I've also commented to the editors of T.R. that they showed a gross
lack of knowledge in the area by not acknowledging Moravec and Minsky.
There is nothing in anything re: Kurzweil that I've read that indicates
that he invented "uploading" (rather than simply promoted it). While
this is distinctly possible, proper scientific etiquette should make
things clear. Minsky has informed me directly (in private conversation)
that it appears he *and* Moravec invented separate concepts of uploading
independently. I haven't seem the same admission from Kurzweil.

Now, just as a private note of personal experience, Ray, dropped in on
my discussion of "The Limits to Intelligence" at the last Foresight
Senior Associates gathering (where I was trying to present Matrioshka
Brains in a limited form), he offered one comment that seemed fairly
out of context and then disappeared. { Of course his impression,
perhaps valid, is that I may not have understood the relevance of
his comment. }

While I acknowledge the good Ray is doing in promoting the idea of
uploading, I'm somewhat angst-ized as to whether or not he is attributing
it properly.

I try to make very clear in my "Reading List" page what sources
I have read, so if I recreate something previously invented, people
can backtrack it.


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