Re: Uplifting: Another Reply to Sandberg

Anders Sandberg (
20 Nov 1997 23:40:58 +0100

Twink <> writes:

> And I would be the first to heartily greet an upliftee to this
> discussion list.:)

"On the internet nobody knows you are a dog" :-)

> >>It may be hard to work with octopi, since their brains are so
> >>different from ours and we have more experience with mammal brains.
> But their development cycles are shorter than many other candidates.
> This would mean more wetware experiments can be done in the same
> amount of time. (Of course, if we come to a better understanding of
> the genetics involved, computer simulations might be the way to go...)

The problem is that a short development cycle also may limit
intelligence. Humans have the longest childhood of all animals
(measured as the fraction of normal adult lifespan in the wild),
likely because we need a lot of time to leanr and absorb our culture's
memes. Neotony may be the way to go for uplift, but that would slow it
down a lot.

> I agree, but do not want to get bogged down in a we-must-have-them-
> talking-English-with-a-Brooklyn-accent-or-we've-failed attitude. Also,
> it might be easier to increase intelligence overall and worry about
> language later. Or the two might be related in such a way that
> upgrading one ability feeds into the other.

I never said we needed *human* language. If we could make the octopi
communicate better with skin color, it would be a great step. The idea
is that if different individuals can communicate, then they can also
learn more from each other and we get more help in the uplift process
by the uplifted species itself, since it will begin to expand its
memetic niche.

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y