Re: PSYCH/PHIL: We ARE the Experience

J de Lyser (
Mon, 27 Jan 1997 19:09:24 +0100

Hope you don't mind me jumping in here, i've got some alternative ways for
you to look at it.

Joy Williams <> wrote:

>You know I see the quasi attractiveness of uploading your memories and
>stuff on line, but I fail to see how that would emcompass the entire aspect
>of what you really are. I'm not sure that it would be "me" existing on
>files for centures! seems like the emotional perspective is left out, as
>well as the intuitive.

I'm sure certain parts will be left out, especially in the early stages of
the technology becoming available. The question for the individual becomes
'when does the attraction of eternal life surpass the negative effects of
having some parts of your personality lost ?' As technology is better able
to save more of this personality, this question will become easier.

A few years ago the world changed massively from analogue musical storage
devices to digital. Loss of data (of elements of the music) was prefered
over the noise (and limited DURABILITY !) of the analogue storage devices.
In a way not the music (emotion) is stored, but the data to reproduce that
music (emotion).

On the other hand, there may be people who don't value some 'human
qualities' very highly. I'd personally do away with my digestive system
tomorrow if there was a reasonable technological alternative, i'd also have
an emotional blocker installed (with on and off switch), a brain interface
with memory storage capabilities. Optional increased eyesight, and other
general improvements would be interesting. Personally i couldn't care less,
if i ended up looking like something from a bad horror movie (it might
actually be benficial in my profession) But i assume some more 'cosmetically
acceptable' formulas will be found.

>perhaps at the very instance of death to upload, to me seems very, very
>strange. how can it possibly include the complexities of emotions we feel

Escaping finite existence is only one reason for uploading. Some of us are
actually attracted to the rationality of machines, maybe some even envy the
order that is missing in our human lives. Ofcourse i don't think you will
find a posthuman who will gladly give up his emotions. But i think a small
loss of emotional capability can become acceptable when that barrier of
advantages and disadvantages of uploading is crossed.

>Anyhow, I like the flesh! :) It's warm, and it's me. I don't think you
>can upload *that*.

Most people have some parts of their body removed at some part in their
life. Tonsils, appendix, or worse. Sometimes the reason for removal of that
body part is to save your life / health. In the case of uploading (as it's
suggested now) you can look at it in this way: the whole body has to be
removed in order not to die, just as logical ?. Sometimes there are other
reasons for removing flesh (cosmetic surgery/gender change). After removal
or addition of that flesh/body part you are slightly less 'you' than you
were before. Although some people might feel more complete :-), perfectly
willing to give up some of their flesh/feeling, for an added value. Maybe
this is another way of looking at posthumans as well. Ofcourse the brain is
a wholy different subject.

Personally i have metal in my mouth, and i won't hesitate putting the
material elsewhere if it brings me benefits.

J. de Lyser
Participant Evolutionist Movement