RE: Paths to Uploading

Billy Brown (
Fri, 8 Jan 1999 09:15:11 -0600

Scott Badger wrote:
> Good Question. First off, I would want to be able to fly, very fast if
> 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,
> 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.

I did some interesting work on this topic a while back - all very back-of-the-envelope stuff, but the potential seems promising. If you assume advanced biotech, primitive nanotech, and good automated engineering, you should be able to do really neat stuff.

A biomechanical body capable of surviving any environment on Earth should be feasible (just stay away from lava flows). Using a diamondoid skeleton and layers of diamondoid mesh below the skin you could be pretty much bulletproof, too.

Flying is a big power hog - you could use folding wings with arrays of micromotor fans for lift, but I don't think you can run it for long without a nuclear power source. Of course, you probably aren't worried about modest radiation levels at that point, so a radioactive decay battery might be feasible.

The only real problem with sensory enhancements is that you need to modify your brain to be able to handle the extra information. If you can do that, you should be able to pack an active/passive sonar system, wide-spectrum omnidirectional vision (wavelengths from several cm to somewhere in the far UV / soft X-ray region), and very acute taste/smell into a humanoid body with no problems. Wearing clothing would interfere with the vision, of course - you need to use most of your body area as a sensor for the longer wavelengths.

If you want to get really fancy it should be possible to add some completely new senses as well - magnetic field 'vision' and mass detectors would be obvious candidates.

Billy Brown, MCSE+I