Re: Uploading

Brent Allsop (
Tue, 8 Jul 1997 17:38:14 -0600

Eric Watt Forste <> injected some great noise:

> Precisely the opposite is true. I can't think of any reason to
> believe that anyone could objectively observe anything happening
> inside the very instrument they are observing with. One can observe
> one's own feelings, but one cannot do so objectively, at least not
> without doing great violence to the ordinary-usage sense of the
> English word "objective" as it is usually applied to the word
> "observation".

I'm not talking doing violence to the word "objective". We
will have machinery that will objectively observe complex "neural
correlates" and predict when one is experiencing a common "red"
sensation. We will objectively understand what this subjective "red"
sensation physically is and why (or at least how) the particular
neural operations produce such a phenomenal experience and how our
brain builds these individual sensations into our unified worlds of

Eventually we will have artificial machinery that, like
brains, objectively produces such subjective sensations, and uses such
to not only represent and reason about information but also to
motivate and to impart value, love, and other things that are usually
considered "spiritual".

If we can make machines (other than by procreation) that
produce such sensations, would you not consider such engineering
knowledge "objective" knowledge without doing violence to the meaning
of that word? Our DNA objectively knows how to do it, we've simply
got to ask it how it does it and then do likewise.

Brent Allsop