Re: Paths to Uploading

Scott Badger (
Thu, 7 Jan 1999 18:56:00 -0600

>> If you dropped back a hundred thousand years, how long would it take you
>> to out-invent hunters who had been using spears all their life? Skill
>> is a poor substitute for smartness.

>I wonder how well I could build all those waterwheels, metal melting,
>steam engines and Volta cells. Have you tried to recreate technology?
>And the interesting thing in this example is that in the end it hinges
>not on me being a super-genius, but on me knowing things already (and
>then needing to somehow implement them, which is the hard part!).

>It would be interesting to drop you off on an isolated island together
>with a randomly selected but stupid survivalist. Would your superior
>intellect bring you more food?

>I would rather say smartness is a poor substitute for skill, which is
>why we tend to rely on learned skills rather than problem solving for
>most tasks we do.

Yes. I remember thinking about this after watching "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court" with the Bing-meister. I would want to take along my four volume set of "How Things Work".

>> And if it's stumped, it can get the answers off the Internet, just like
>> I do.

>OK, here is a question: how do I design a good robot body? Assume no
>prior knowledge beyond a common sense database about the world,
>including no experience with being physical, no scientific education,
>no engineering education.

Good Question. First off, I would want to be able to fly, very fast if I wanted to. I would also want to be able to breath either air OR water. I guess I would generally want to be as mobile as possible. I would also want to greatly increase my sensory range . . . visually, auditorally, etc.

I'm no engineer so I can't imagine how this can be arranged, but I prefer to continue to experiece the good Earth, rather than upload into a virtual existence.