Re: Why Immortality might be a sham!

Roy Roberts (
Thu, 19 Feb 1998 10:33:01 -0700

At 09:29 AM 2/19/98 -0500, you wrote:

>Frank Prengel wrote:


>> On Thu, 19 Feb 1998, chris belt wrote:


>> > If you upload means of copying brain

>> > waves... you'd still have a hard copy of your mind inside your

>> > body... It wouldn't be you... just a copy...

Hi Extropians,

I'm new here. I've decided this issue will be my first 'jump' into a
transhuman discussion. I've been lurking about for a while.

This subject seems to contain some curious facets to me. :-)

The term 'mind' as used in the various arguments appears very squishy to
me. If indeed <bold>memory stores</bold> exist within the geographic
substance of the brain/body in a manner analogous to a computer hard
drive, then solving software/hardware issues would seem a fairly straight
forward physics problem. Once solved, copies of stored memories could be
duplicated in a familiar manner. The result would likely resemble a
computer based autobiography. Of course just moving memories about
doesn't seem to me to address the identity issue. We'd have to also
transfer decision making abilities, response patterns, beliefs and etc.
One difficulty I'm considering here centers about the remote sensory
sites geographically located within the physical body such as the nerve
endings in the skin, visual receptors, taste buds etc. We can pretty
quickly notice that in responding to some strong stimulus in the physical
world our bodies act as feedback mechanisms. We for instance
<bold>experience </bold>fear, anger, joy, love and etc. in many more
places and in many more ways than simple intellectual algorithms. You may
remember such an experience in detail and notice many physiological

Many of us have watched the pathos of 'Mr. Data' on Star Trek. His
struggle to understand the responses of 'humans'. It appears to me that
the 'human' manner of experiencing emotion in our bodies contributes
significantly to our human abilites. The 'hunches' that lead to 'eureka'
and facilitate discovery, breakthroughs and paradigm smashing don't seem
to have a place within the algorithmic functioning of pure intellect. Do
transhuman aspirations include leaving behind this 'sensory' or
physiological aspect of continuing consciousness?

Some may initially suppose that unemotional existance would be
desireable. But so far I know of no examples, or models that suggest the
human ability to 'jump' beyond logic to a 'break through' kind of event
can be duplicated or simulated by simple number crunching. And medicine
and/or science has not to the best of my knowledge been able to locate
memory storage sites or consciousness locations within the bits and
pieces of the body/brain. The tissue and fluids at best seem to exist as
'processors' of information and response mechanisms, not the location of
storage or the actual generaters of thought or action.

So my thinking and experiences ask for more clarification about this
uploading stuff. One of my grad school profs, many years ago, suggested
that there existed an FM component about understanding our conscious
functioning. FM here means F---ing Magic. We haven't yet found the
location of 'ME'. Our mindbody so far seems to exist much more
analogously to the Mars Rover ( remotely operated robot ) than to a
self-contained sapient entity.

<bold>If </bold>the Mars Rover analogy more accurately depicts our
functional existance within this 4 (at least) deminsional timespace
continuum then perhaps looking for a software/hardware solution to
uploading consciousness to a new location is misdirected effort???
Perhaps we might direct some effort towards identifying and interacting
with the remote signal origin. This 'Houston Control Center' may already
have the information that at some point we will need alternatives not
apparent to us. Conversly they may <bold>not</bold> have that information
and expect us to send that information back to Headquarters so they may
take action.=20

I do not suggest this as a pun or in any 'spiritual' frame of reference.
I simply think that the idea's I have seen so far on this list don't
address the reality of science as I understand it today.=20

>>>... IMHO, it cannot be resolved with our present knowledge...

Yes. And perhaps because the search for <italic>whatever</italic> has
been directed off course?

>As you're uploading, and for the moment when the upload is completed,=20

>the copy IS you. The nanosecond you have a dissimilar experience from
the >copy, you are separate entities.=20

If we were able to transfer 'hard data' from one location (our body) to
another (our clone body) the resulting transfer would likely create
dis-belief for both 'individuals'. Our experiential data recorder would
not be recording the other sites data. Even going into the process aware
that "I" was being uploaded "I" would not believe in the success if "I"
could not access the experiences of the clone. Nor do I believe the clone
could accept the 'sameness' of its origin. So now we have two individuals
which want their continued existance... =20


>So in this case, the "you" and "someone else" are both correct,
depending on=20

>the time frame. =20


I would change this statement to read "...the "you" and "someone else"
are both confused..."

But if our essence resides outside of a remotely controlled robot body
duplicating reciever sites might create new issues. :-) Or if the control
signal has a very tight focus perhaps not.

For those who have made it this far, thanks for reading my wonderings and
wanderings. I will be interested in different viewpoints.=20


Roy Roberts, 1998