RE: what it's like to be uploaded

From: Don Klemencic (
Date: Tue Feb 22 2000 - 22:53:03 MST

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Subject: Re: what it's like to be uploaded

I've been thinking about uploading for about thirty years since reading
Arthur C. Clarke's book Profiles of the Future-in particular the chapter
entitled 'The Obsolescence of Man'. That changed my perspective completely.
(And my 'metaphysics' as well. I learned in that book to see the world in
terms of information patterns, processes and systems, instead of substances
and entities.)The only other book in the same mind-blowing league for me was
Eric Drexler's Engines of Creation.

Zero Powers point about communication is an important part of it. Think of
the flow of information inside a brain compared to the meager bandwidth
outside-words, spoken or written, with a major assist in some regards from

I think it's clear that government in any sense that we've known it will be
a thing of the past-we don't need ruler nerve cells for a brain to function.
With this kind of bandwidth we won't need rulers for society either.

Psychology will become a mature science and engineering discipline, applied
to making real changes in people. We will certainly need that before we will
be able to handle the profound intimacy we have to look forward to. Virtual
reality will be an important tool for 'growth scenarios': revisiting the
past and replacing dysfunctional (or at least non-optimal) emotional
patterns with better choices. The individual will be in charge and will be
facilitated in making those changes with nanorobots adjusting synapses
appropriately. (My personal name for this technology: the Dickens
Facilitator, after Charles Dickens' invention of the three Christmas spirits
who facilitated the transformation of one Ebenezer Scrooge. But there won't
be anything spooky about this...or on second thought, maybe there will.) I
think we will start with relatively superficial adjustments. That should be
sufficient to change the general human condition to one described by words
like self-actuated, happy, loving, benevolent, purposeful and rational. When
we've learned enough (and with AI to assist, that might not take long) we
might look at modifying the deep architecture of the human mind / brain.
First we need to know what it is that we want. We'll learn that in
successive stages. I think we need to achieve such a stable emotional
foundation before we subject it to the strain of major augmentations of
intelligence and senses. Otherwise I'm afraid to think what kind of
psychopathy we might unleash in the world.

Most of my thoughts about sensory augmentation center around the visual
sense. The farthest out for me has been a notion that 'objects of the
mind'-from ideas to music-might exist in a kind of visual space where they
could be 'seen'. I had a kind of spark of recognition when I saw Eliezer
Yudkowsky's description of the 'codic cortex'. Other things that have come
to mind are higher-dimensional visualization, transperspective vision and
transmetric vision. The latter two essentially would involve the ability to
combine things we see separately into seemingly continuous wholes.

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