I have read the notes from Max and Greg and Anders and Tanya
and Natasha and Kathryn and Mike and Lee and countless others.
Clearly, they have been touched by your transformation.
It has been a busy week for me, working on things I know
you would appreciate. The new paper by Robert Freitas
discusses some of the problems we face and possible solutions
we may have in the forthcoming development of nanotechnology.
Had I not been so busy, I would have come to Boston to
visit you. I hope you can accept my need to balance moving
forward with looking back. In the future, I think I should
devote more time to interpersonal relationships, but this is
a difficult thing for me, so I have a lot to learn. I wish
we had had more opportunities to learn it together.
One thing that I had wanted to communicate to you that you
may not have known, is the degree to which you contributed
and influenced my discovery of the Extropian community.
I think I was doing some net research back in '96 or '97
regarding nanotechnology and Moravec's work, and your WWW
pages impressed me greatly. I think Eugene once commented
something along the lines of "Where did you come from?";
the answer of course is that I am a Sasha's child (and
Ander's and a number of others). It is an amazing and
rewarding thing I think, to give birth through nothing more
than the expression of memes.
Of course, now that you have decorporealized, it is
difficult for you to comment on my thoughts. But there
are others who may do so. I must say that I find
trends towards magical physics, hopeful universe
reconstructions, etc. quite silly. Would it not be
better for you to be recreated from your memoirs as
an entity with whom we can interact in the next century
rather than waiting until the end of the universe?
(You must of course have read that book where two countries
had recreated Machiavelli and Napoleon as advisors...)
[Some Extropian must remember this title, for I cannot...]
If your desire was to be uploaded, then there are likely
to be relatively minor differences between a Sasha
copy and the Sasha recreation, because you have been
thoughtful enough to leave us with so many expressions
While I realize that recreations are not originals,
they allow us to experience and develop relationships
that might otherwise be unavailable. And since experience
is entirely subjective what is really important is whether
we perceive you as an accurate instantiation of yourself.
And of course even with "live" humans, instantiations are
subject to a wide range of variation (so much so that
people often find themselves asking whether or not the
person is not someone completely different), so it will
be difficult to know whether the A-Sasha *is* Sasha.
But from a metaphysical standpoint, does that really
matter if A-Sasha, derived from Bio-Sasha, responds
in substantially similar ways?
On to other topics, I would have to believe that you would
favor e-libraries/memorials to physical instantiations.
Heavens, for the next couple of dozen years, getting your
memiors out of a Phys-library would simply be *so* slow.
It is my hope that you would look fondly on our collecting
and organizing our experiences of you so that we may
recreate a reflection of you to bring discussion,
controversy and joy to our lives.
Now regarding this pesky cryonics, copy, etc. issue
I have a few comments. Clearly, humans, running "ancient"
attachment code have a preference for something resembling
the real thing. Yes, I know, how can something with
physically different atoms (or worse fundamentally different
low level hardware) be the "real thing"? People seem to
strive for a solution that minimizes "real" differences
without taking into account whether or not the differences
may be perceived.
So, in your memory, I would hope that you could support
the establishment of the "Sasha Chislenko Memorial Cyronics
Fund", as I believe Jeff has proposed. I am unsure of the
operations and logistics of such a fund. Should for example,
we seek to use BlackOps approaches to preserve such individuals
as Eliezer "copies", given the original fails to appreciate
his value to the community? Are there moral precedants
under which the community can claim ownership of a copy?
I will leave you with these thoughts, stating simply that
your company will be missed. While I empathize and
sympathize with your family and friends, such is my
nature that I am much more sorry and aggrieved for
those individuals who never had a chance to meet you
and those who may yet perish because your ideas may
take much longer to become manifest.
With sorrow in my heart and tears in my eyes,
Side note to the group: I have been wrestling with
a song in honor of Sasha, but I am not up to the task.
I think it should be done to "Bye, Bye, Miss American Pie"
with words appropriate for Sasha. I would like to suggest
that individuals of a more artistic nature than I,
compose one or several verses from which we can select, in
order to sing a memorium to Sasha at the next Extro conference.
Sasha in whatever form -- atoms, molecules, multi-dimensional
space distortions, etc. will hear our song and be honored.
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