the race

Xiaoguang Li (
Sat, 26 Jun 1999 22:52:37 -0400 (EDT)

hi all.

the recent discussion about the problem of identity preservation during uploading seems very interesting. as someone here pointed out, the debate divides into two major camps -- A. those who measure identity through objective observation, and B. those who relie on subjective experience. along another dimension, the former camp tends to believe that patterns of information alone can be conscious while the latter tends to require a chain of causality as well.

although i incline toward the latter, i do not believe that the matter is arguable either way ... it seems to be a matter of faith. however, i do see some potential effects of this division which appear unsettling. it seems to me that uploading patterns of information (say into a platform-independent software representation) will be much easier than implementing one-neuron-at-a-time nanosurgery. taking note that group A. usually have no trouble with pure software while group B. generally prefer seqential neuron replacements, i fear that one population of transhumanists will most likely be uploaded appreciably before the other.

perhaps i am overly cynical, but i do not like the idea of living under a population of bona fide "superior" beings. i am not suggesting that power necessarily brings about corruption and oppression (wait ... it sounds ... hmmm), but i do expect that increased intellect would bring about different priorities. what do you think?

"and in this kind of race, you don't get a silver medal for finishing