RE: PHIL/AI : Humongous Lookup Table

Crosby_M (
Fri, 14 Feb 1997 15:15:40 -0500

Hal notes:
<Sometimes after an intense dream I awaken, and for a few moments it
is hard to reconcile the memories from the dream (which sometimes
include events which supposedly took place before the dream began)
with my real memories. Maybe this experience would be similar to
merging two disjoint sets of memories as you describe.>

I think you're definitely onto something here.

For me, dreaming is usually a fairly disembodied experience, in the
sense that even when dreaming of movement I can usually ignore bodily
mechanisms involved (gravity and balance don't seem to be important).
It's also primarily a subjective flow of sensation or communication,
certainly without alot of planning or reflection (though the times
when I notice these activities are very interesting). Usually the most
intriguing parts of the dream are the strange feelings and the odd
events or environments being witnessed.

In other words, the dreaming state may be a very useful model for what
it might be like if we could tap into another person's mind - or if we
were receiving sensations from multiple robotic agents or virtual
selves on the Net.

I also notice that there is a mechanism in my mind, rarely under
normal conscious control, though somehow exercisable, by which my
regular waking minds recall dreams - sometimes the dreams are 'right
there' and it's trivial to recall them; other times I have to make a
concerted effort to find a thread that will lead me back into the
series of dream events. Sort of a hashing and thrashing exercise,
between trying to avoid immediate flushing of the dream registers,
ignoring the stack of day-ahead planning thoughts my rational mind is
starting to pop, while still retaining the intentional and analytical
capabilities of the wakened mind.

Whatever this dream-recall mechanism is, some analogue of it is likely
to be an essential, controllable skill for integrating
sub-personalities as an upload, for being able to navigate during
intense VR immersion, or for maintaining identity during the kind of
mind-to-mind linking you were describing.

Mark Crosby