Re: Uploading

Joe Jenkins (
Wed, 2 Sep 1998 08:57:48 -0700 (PDT)

---John Clark <> wrote:
> Joe Jenkins Wrote:

> >The fuzzy area of identity is bounded by what my ego would
> >perceive as me, not by all the states my biological brain could
> >achieve as dictated by my genes.
> In other words, if I think it's me it is. Sounds reasonable, but if
> chained to a bomb I don't think I'm having fun at a party so that must
> be some other fellow.

You said it sounds reasonable if I think it's me. Well, I think the other fellow at the party *is* me for all practical purposes.

> >Under normal circumstances I'd say the fuzzy area in my identity
> >line would be from 5 years to one month ago.
> Time is irrelevant, accuracy of the copies is not.

Accuracy of copies is a function of time allowed to diverge. The Joe Jenkins that was me one month ago is close enough to being the me of today. The Joe Jenkins that was me more than one month ago all the way up to 5 years ago is fuzzily close enough to what I consider to be me. The Joe Jenkins that was me 5 or more years ago is not close enough to what I consider the me of today.

> >We are in a three minute non recoverable free fall headed strait
> >for assured destruction with the ground. All three of us did a
> >backup procedure last week. Mr. Randall is shitting his pants,
> >Mr. Clark is trembling and sweating and believe it or not,
> >praying. I'm looking at these guys, laughing my head off,
> >completely entertained by this whole thing.
> Everybody likes to fantasize but nobody, including you, can know how
> you would react in an actual life or death situation, I suspect that
> real life your behavior would be somewhat different. But perhaps not,
> some people would act in the way you suggest even if they had no
> and expected nothing but oblivion. To each their own, there is nothing
> logical or illogical in the desire for self preservation, it's just a
> tendency that exists in most but not all people.

If I snap my fingers in front of your eye, you will blink. As an upload this instinct will have no utility or henderance. However, I believe there are natural born instincts that do have a conflict of interest to becoming a competitive Posthuman. One of them is to protect our flesh and value its existence in the physical world. Many on this list have tackled inoculating themselves against culturally bred memetic viruses. This is a piece of cake when compared to ridding ourselves of natural born instincts.

Being able to casually think of identity and survival as something other than my physical self took me many years of deep inspection. I don't think it is possible to learn to think this way overnight. Even once I thoroughly understood the issues and invented many thought experiments, I found I had to repeat them literally hundreds or thousands of times over several years before I became comfortable. I was slowly but surely conditioning myself and physically changing my mind. I was motivated by what I see as a show stopper/road block to Posthumanity. I don't believe for a second that competitive Posthumans will be biological in any way. Oh sure, there may be some that survive, but they will be little insignificant Posthumans nowhere near the forefront, living the life of mediocrity. They'll be Looked at as massive resource wasting dinosaurs. And they'll be there because of an inability to shed their save the flesh/remain in the physical/fight consciousness discontinuity instincts at an early stage in the swell.

I have difficulty seeing biological beings operating at competitive speeds and power usage. I also have difficulty in seeing Posthumans having an interest in perceiving the natural world in any way similar to the way we see it. The nature all around us just moves too slow to be interesting to a speeded up mind. To a posthuman it all seems more like a still picture. If we want to have a familiar lifestyle after speeding up or minds, it will have to be in an artificial reality similarly sped up. For a posthuman to move through the physical world at speeds that match her thinking speed would require what I think Robin Hanson called "Lillitopian Uploads"(sp?). At speeds thousands of times that of our minds, posthumans who remain in the physical world with an atmosphere would have to be insect size to keep from burning up due to friction with the air. Just trying to move an appendage to accomplish a task in reasonable real-time would require that appendage to move its full distance in microseconds. I see it as very likely that posthumans who remain at the forefront of competition will have to be uploads.

Joe Jenkins

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