Re: [UPLOADING] Is the original alive?

Doug Bailey (
Fri, 17 Jul 1998 9:55:00 -0400

It seems to me that the unresolved issue concerning this question is whether or not there is some aspect of a living organism that could not be "captured" by the uploading process, i.e., the representative copy of an organism's brain that is uploaded to another substrate. I must confess I feel anxiety when thinking about uploading. I constructed a scenario own views on the issue outlined above.

What would you do if faced with the following situation:

You are approached by an individual who offers you
$100 million (if money does not suit you then insert
any other item that you would assign a very high value). The catch is that you must agree to have your brain scanned using the latest in pre-upload scan technology. The scan will be stored dormant in a memory block. You will then be killed. Twenty-four hours later the dormant scan of your brain will be downloaded into your repaired body. Any damage to your brain, body, etc. would be completely repaired. You would be "jump-started" and then handed whatever was promised to you.

Would take this person up on this offer?

I found myself uncertain and a bit anxious. Why? I could not really articulate why I was anxious. I feared that the person that received the prize (and who was alive) would not be me, even though by every scientific measure it would be me.

Whether you do or don't accept the offer is based on your view of the issue I described above. If you think scans capture everything then you would risk nothing in return for something of great value. On the other hand, if you have doubts about the ability of scanning then you would be apprehensive. I confess I am apprehensive.

Despite my ideas about the possibility of uploading and my lack of belief in a "soul", I still could not help but fear that some aspect of me would not be captured. Would the memories the revived "me" had be genuine? Would they be the memories it (i.e., me) actually experienced or would they be downloaded records? For that matter, what's the different between the two if the downloaded record has all the information I remember from the experience.

To all the neuro-cogniscenti out there, is there any substantiation to my apprehension? Is there any evidence that uploading might not capture all the aspects of the human mind?

Doug Bailey