proposal: "transference" as a replacement term for "uploading"

Han Y. Huang (hhuang@MIT.EDU)
Thu, 3 Jul 1997 16:48:03 -0400

For terminology, I find I prefer "transference" to "uploading"
to denote that ultimate self-upgrading by extending our consciousness
onto/into a computer, a radically different substrate than our own
aging-susceptible human bodies.

What I want is not just a facsimile program of my self running
in a computer. As far as I'm concerned, that would not be
immortality. What I want is the essentials of my selfhood, whatever I
experience that to be -- not just "copied" or "uploaded" -- but
*transferred* inside a machine -- and literally shuffle off this
mortal coil of my human body. I believe most Extropians want this as
well, or at least find it to be a very intruiging prospect.

I grant that anybody who knows about computers can grasp the
concept of "uploading," but it's still a misleading term, because
transference is more daunting than either the problem of AI (your
transferred self will be an AI; we had better know how to run such
programs) or uploading (transmitting a digital copy of yourself to a
computer; we would need to understand the brain) -- both of which are
necessary *but not sufficient* to effect transference, which much
include a sense of continuity of self.

Also, I find I prefer transference's connotations. Uploading
has computer geeky, science-fictiony connotations. Transference
connotes better with a "philosophy of transhumanism."

What do other list members think?

-Han Y. Huang
home: (617) 225-6234, Edgerton Hall (143 Albany Street) Room #319A