Re: Recreating people [was: renaissance people]

From: Dan Adams (
Date: Sun May 14 2000 - 15:42:09 MDT

Interesting point Spud. In fact, that is Tipler's
whole hypothesis upon which he builds his Omega Point
theory. Leaving aside for a moment that Tipler's
articulation of this theory is obvioulsy a desperate
(and unsuccessful) attempt to unify his empirical
training with some blatant supernaturalist leanings (a
fact which puts him on the same level as Penrose after
publishing "The Emperor's New Mind" - so sad, two
great scientists that couldn't handle the
ramifications of their own work...), I would guess
that "re" creating simulations of past people could,
in theory, be accomplished by a near omnipotent
computational mind. Unfortunately, aside from
positing some sort of bizarre epi-nostalgia, I can't
see why something like this would be done.
Any mind capable of realistically simulating (and,
thus, functionally recreating) past minds could, with
far less energy simply analyze and produce whatever
aspect of their personalities (read "spirits") it
wished, and, as such, would have no need of a complete
copy. In order for an "omega-pointesque" simulation
like that to be possible, mind-files would have had to
have been entirely reduced to their empirical
programming constituents and would be simply
analyzable/enjoyable on that level. These software
components could be used in countless other useful and
(probably) more fulfilling ways. Therefore, that
hypothesis, while not implauible, seems at the very
least excessive/overkill.
--- wrote:
> Maybe in the Year Trillion,
> some MIND will decide to play back a Sasha, or a
> Robert v ? It would make a nice reunion.
> Meanwhile peeps can still work on the more practical
> Life-Extension Medical & UpLoading stuff. Welcome to
> the 'Neuro-Matrix Neo..'
> In a message dated Sun, 14 May 2000 2:53:01 PM
> Eastern Daylight Time, "Robert J. Bradbury"
> <> writes:
> <<
> I had discusssed the problem of whether it will be
> feasible to know
> the difference between A(recreated)-humans vs. and
> the decorporealized
> originals.
> On Sat, 13 May 2000, Steve wrote:
> >>
> >> Melzack's Neuromatrix theory of self seems to
> adequately explain this point.
> >>
> I didn't understand the reference, so I went
> looking:
> >> { Melzack's neuromatrix theory of phantom limb[1]
> >>claims that body experience
> >> is genetic; he says, for example, that 'the
> neural >>network that underlies the
> >> experience of one's physical self is genetically
> >>determined'. This assertion
> >> is based upon two studies carried out 30 years
> ago[2->>4 ]which claim 'that a
> >> substantial number of children who are born
> without >>all or part of a limb
> >> feel a valid phantom of the missing part'. Close
> >>scrutiny reveals that
> >> these studies have methodological shortcomings.
> }<<
> >[1] Melzack, R. (1990) Trends Neurosci. 13, 88-92.
> >[2] Poeck, K. (1964) Cortex 1, 267-275
> >[3] Weinstein, S. and Sersen, E. A. (1964) Cortex
> 1, >276-290
> >[4] Weinstein, S. and Sersen, E. A. (1951)
> Neurology >11, 905-911
> > from:
> >I must admit I still don't really see the
> connection. >Perhaps there is
> >something I'm missing about the neuromatrix theory.
> >If you are suggesting that an A-human cannot
> >effectively be the original,
> >because there is no underlying genetic material,
> then >I'd suggest you are
> >treading on thin ice. The neural matrix (hardware)
> is >so similar among most
> >humans that we should understand the basic wiring
> and >the effects of specific
> >polymorphisms enough to be able to simulate much of
> it >quite accurately
> >within 15-20 years. I'll take the Turing approach
> >here that if looks
> >like a duck, walks like a duck and talks like a
> duck >then from my perceptual
> >standpoint, it *is* a duck.
> >In Sasha's case there would seem to be a fighting
> >chance that there is enough
> >original material around to provide a plausibly
> >realistic simulation.
> >This may be aided by the fact that the individuals
> are >still available
> >from which much of his personal genetic makeup
> could >be determined.
> >In contrast millions of individuals die each year
> >leaving behind
> >nothing more than fading memories in the people
> they >knew.
> >I feel sad for their loss.
> >The cloning debates now will pale in comparison to
> the >geno-reconstruction
> >debates of the future. [I'm not assuming that
> geno->reconstruction will
> >be able to reproduce the mind of an individual, but
> >that geno-reconstruction
> >will allow a computer to produce a more accurate
> >simulation if sufficient
> >material regarding the person's life, opinions,
> >thoughts, etc. is available.]
> >So, for those individuals who can't quite convince
> >their parents or loved
> >ones that lifespan extension, cryonics, etc is
> "real", >you can do an "end-run"
> >around their lack of foresight. Sit down with them
> >with a video camera
> >and get them to tell lots of stories about their
> >life. "Interview" them
> >for their not-yet-born family so they will be able
> >to "know" who Great-Grandma
> >or Great-Grandpa was. Get your cells and those of
> >more enlightened family
> >members frozen someplace (there are several
> >organizations I believe that now
> >do this). If you can, request or even covertly
> >harvest some of their cells
> >(e.g. offer to vacuum the house then get the
> contents >of the bag frozen),
> >or clean off the individual's hairbrush.... Not
> >guaranteed, but better
> >than nothing. Best would be to get them to arrange
> to >have a vial of blood
> >shipped to a cold-storage facility the next time
> they >get a physical checkup
> >and blood is being taken for routine lab workups.
> >It is worth thinking about this as a "group"
> activity >at Extro5.
> >Certainly a news-worthy and thought provoking
> activity >to have hundreds
> >of individuals interacting with each other with a
> goal >of providing
> >enough "bits" (that can be stored in multiple
> places) >that they can
> >plausibly be recreated or even recorporealized from
> >such information,
> >should an unforeseen or unavoidable accident occur.
> >I can see the list in 30 years -- "Ok, will
> everybody >please look
> >at the Burch v.14 recreation and see if his desire
> for >fast
> >cars is tuned correctly?"
> >Robert
> >>

Dan Adams
Boston College

"I cannot articulate enough to express my dislike to people who think that understanding spoils your experience...How would they know?"
   - Marvin Minsky

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