Re: what it's like to be uploaded

From: Joseph Sterlynne (
Date: Thu Feb 24 2000 - 18:31:48 MST

>> QueeneMUSE
> Billy Brown

>> I want to know what THE LIST envisions their OWN personal experience of
>> uploading, not what sci-fi authors think.

> The main difference I see is that it removes a lot of inertia from the
> system. Now you can inhabit any kind of physical body as easily as
> visiting a web site. You can have an equally good interface into any VR
> world you care to visit, instead of being limited by the physical
> performance of your interface equipment.

These features are fairly superficial. So interfaces with VR are better,
so complete sensory immersion in VR is standard. That is certainly
exciting and has potential but it is not the most powerful feature.

> You can run yourself faster or slower than real time, and your software
> interfaces aren't limited by the bandwidth of organic tissue.

This is more dramatic. But then:

> There should be a huge market for mental modifications, since some
> significant fraction of the population is going to upload themselves, and
> self-enhancement should become progressively easier as you replace chunks
> of neuron simulation with something more manageable.

The [inertia] that we are removing is the unapproachable and inflexible
quality of our current mind machines. The most obvious and powerful
feature is this capability to self-modify (easily). So the really
difficult question is: once you are uploaded exactly what do you do (with
the matrix of code that is your mind)? That is, just how do you---to use a
term I've never liked---bootstrap significantly? Answer in complete
sentences, list all sources, and show all work. Time limit: now until

We don't have many of the neuroscientific details right now so it's a very
difficult question. We can't be sure that some of our higher-level
architectural notions about the mind are accurate. In order to increase
intelligence what do you change? What do you delete and what do you try to
build? Some ideas at least might be developed now, as design-ahead

As Damien said, we're not going to be Captain Future acting out space
operas. But many here have described human sensor augmentation and VR
residency, which are actually not that different; they seem to be based too
heavily upon human foundations. Again, they're neat options for us now but
I think that many of us, once we figure a few things out, will not bother.

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