Re: Uploading

Joe Jenkins (
Mon, 31 Aug 1998 11:06:43 -0700 (PDT)

---Randall R Randall <> wrote:

> But *also, from my point of view, a perfectly
> identical copy is not me (since if you kill him,
> I go on living).

Does this mean you find no utility for survival in uploading?

---John Clark <> wrote:

> Joe Jenkins Wrote:
> >Your mind is an information processor.
> >Therefore, A universal Turing machine
> >can emulate your mind.
> Yes.
> >If you were to make a graphical representation
> >where every point in its space represented one
> >and only one possible state of that universal
> >Turing machine you would have what I call the
> >"design space of all possible information processors".
> That's clear but arbitrary, the "design space" of Joe Jenkins is
> just the set of all possible states the biological brain of Joe
> Jenkins can be in.

What I called the "fuzzy area of identity" and your calling the "design space of Joe Jenkins" is by no means all possible states that my biological brain can be in as allowed for by the recipe of my genetics. See below.

> I don't see why you treat hardware so
> differently from software and if you define anything within that
> design space to be you it can lead to places you don't
> want to go.

The primary utility of the Universal Turing Machine is to demonstrate the irrelevance of hardware. Above, I've used it to throw hardware completely out of the equation. Your thought experiment, that I've omitted here, about my biological twin brother shows you have missed my point completely. The fuzzy area of identity is bounded by what my ego would perceive as me, not by all the states my biological brain could achieve as dictated by my genes. Because the hardware and software of the brain are both moving targets, it is useful to lump them together in the design space I've defined above.

At the center of the fuzzy area of identity is my "True Identity" which consist of a single point at any given instant. A line can be drawn in the design space that represents my true identity from the time I was an infant up to now. The fuzzy area of identity would certainly not include all the points in that line and yet it would include points near my true identity that have not and most likely never will be realized. Under normal circumstances I'd say the fuzzy area in my identity line would be from 5 years to one month ago. That is, anything less than a month would be clearly identified as me, anything more than 5 years would be clearly identified and not me, and everything in between would be considered fuzzy. Depending on the individual and what's happening in their life, I would expect this to vary widely.

Thought experiment, "Non-Destructive Backup Technology":

Lets say a non-destructive backup technology becomes available in 2010. This technology allow us to place a subject on a MRI-like table and rotate his head while a stationary light source generates short bursts of photons. A sensor on the other side of the subjects head is able to register only the photons arriving first that passed through the brain without any collisions whatsoever. The photons that collide with brain matter arrive too late and are not part of the image created for that pulse of light because they had to bounce once or twice and thus travel further and thus take longer to exit the other side of the brain. The head is slowly rotated and a series of images (one for each pulse is recorded). At an atomic scale, human flesh is mostly empty space and matter is the exception rather than the rule. A multitude of images are accumulated to represent the head being rotated 360 degrees. These images are now processed to determine a record of where all matter in the brain is located. A three dimensional image is resolved representing every axiom, dentride, neuro transmitter/receptor etc. The final output product of this system is a 400 terabyte compressed file that is handed over to the subject on non-volatile holographic memory and backed up in a central data base. Most middle income individuals find they can afford this procedure every two weeks. Because of the four hours required for the procedure even wealthy individuals find it practical only once every two weeks. In the year 2012 full resolution emulation of these files is possible including interfaces to highly realistic artificial reality systems. The singularity still seems to be 10 years away. AI that is not derived from uploads is yet unrealized.

To me this is the greatest invention in all history. I now consider myself immortal. I return to my hang gliding hobby without a worry in the world. I find myself on a troubled Jet traveling with Mr. Clark and Mr. Randall. We are in a three minute non recoverable free fall headed strait for assured destruction with the ground. All three of us did a backup procedure last week. Mr. Randall is shitting his pants, Mr. Clark is trembling and sweating and believe it or not, praying. I'm looking at these guys, laughing my head off, completely entertained by this whole thing. I decide one minute of watching these guys lose-it is enough fun for one day. Much more entertaining, would be to jump out the exit door and enjoy a little free-flight on the way down. Weeeeeeeeee this is fun. Those guys need to get a grip. What say you?

Where do others stand on this list? So far, it seems I'm the only one on the list with this idea of identity. If I'm the only one on this list, I'm probably the only one in the world. What a lonely and cold feeling it is to be the sole resident of this memetic fitness bump. What are you guys selecting for anyway? Anyone want to party at my place?

Joe Jenkins

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