Re: Uploaded memories

Kate Riley (
Wed, 08 Dec 1999 11:59:48 EST

>A high pitched off-stage voice says, "Oh no, a lurker!"
>A man in a white coat steps forward, says in a low-pitched, somewhat
>menacing voice, "Quick get a lurker trap, we can use them for the
>Homo chlorophyllicus experiments and no one will know the difference."

LOL! Well, quite a welcome. Although I am sure the list appreciates me sitting back for awhile and absorbing before posting for the first time, even though I courted death by experimentation by doing so.

>All you people that have been on the list for years, you better look
>out, some of these lurkers look like very quick studies.

Why, thank you. I do my best.

>Seriously (can I do that here?), though I can't remember the paper
>reference (I do have it, but I have so many papers...) research at
>Bell Labs seems to indicate that your computer *could* hold a
>large fraction of your memories. The experiments they have done
>seem to indicate you store only a few bits a second. Working
>this out:
> (a generous 8 bits * 60sec * 60min * 16hrs * 365.25 days * 75+ years)
>puts you up in the range of 2.4 gigabytes. This is a really
>conservative estimate, the Bell Labs paper pegged the number
>at more like a few hundred megabyutes. So you *can* buy single
>hard drives now (for a few hundred $) now that can store the
>brain's recall capacity. If hard drive's aren't fast enough for
>you, the cost for this much computer DRAM memory is about $7000.
>We currently have processors that can address this much memory.
>[Lookout, while we aren't looking we are becoming obsolete...]

Interesting. If you come across that paper, I'd be interested to see it, assuming you have it in electronic form.

>I don't have to remember
>walking to school everyday, I only have to remember odd
>events that have occured on a few of the days that I
>walked to school on top of a general pattern of walking
>to school.

Very true. There is the matter, I think, of a baseline memory: there would seem to be a marked decrease in the rate of acquisition of lasting memory with time, since there is no need for us to remember every instance of something we've done before.

> > One would want to retain all memories,
>Some of us would. Spike seems to be hell bent on forgetting them.

Ok, granted, there are things most of us (I think) would want very much to forget. It is certainly true of me. And you later made the good point that we would be able to willfully delete those memories in order to forget them and to clear up space so that new memories may be stored.

>Is this more of a concern if you want to know "everything"?
>Yes. But I think most of us are willing to let others be the
>"experts" in the things we aren't interested in. I for example, am
>*completely* willing to let Robert and Damien be the experts
>on "bathos".

Again, very true.

>The problem isn't with capacity for uploads, the problem is
>with capacity for copies. I can't speak for other list members,
>but I think 10^16 copies of myself (which is what everyone can
>have) makes no sense at all (it certainly gets Spike worried).

I'm confused. Why 10^16? (Feel free to reply to this off-list if it has already been discussed on-list)

I imagine that you'd want to keep copies of yourself at various stages, so that if you made serious mistakes, you could reboot yourself to a previous "pristine" time, as well as keeping a copy (copies?) of yourself at the present time. Even so, 10^16 seems a tad excessive. Would these copies be dormant caches of data, or co-operating identities?

Kathryn Riley

Get Your Private, Free Email at