Re: Freedom of shape (was: thermal poultry)

From: Robert J. Bradbury (
Date: Thu Feb 10 2000 - 05:03:14 MST

On Wed, 9 Feb 2000, Eliezer S. Yudkowsky wrote:

> I wrote:
> >
> > f) When we upload you are still going to have the problem of
> > how you "appear". Its just going to be much more flexible.
> You're going to keep a physical appearance? What for?

I agree that in the long run we will probably be entities of
pure thought, but during the evolutionary period, I don't think
many would survive a situation in which they went from being
embodied to disembodied overnight. You lose a *lot* of "hooks"
on which concepts based on sensory experiences rest. Question:
what fraction of language(s) would you lose if there were no
physical "senses"? (colors, sounds, positional concepts, perhaps
some emotions, etc.) They might be replaced by physical science
specifications or mathematical representations but that requires
training in quite different perception and throught processes
than most of us currently have.

Until we develop a meme set and a language (object exchange protocols?)
for the disembodied, I think we are going to have to retain the illusion
of having bodies. You, Eliezer, are perhaps on the cutting edge
of considering what may be required for these representations and
exchanges. I would suspect that 90+% of people who consider themselves
transhumanists haven't thought very much about this problem perhaps
in part because it is so hard to think about while we are still stuck
in bodies.


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