Re: Uplifting 666

Technotranscendence (
Wed, 1 Dec 1999 06:45:22 -0800

On Tuesday, November 30, 1999 11:09 PM Robert J. Bradbury wrote:
> Daniel, writes about wanting to upload octopodes, which are
> either the latin plural of octopus or an acapella singing
> group (according to some subset of the 149 Altavista refs).

Octopodes is the plural of octopus. It is a Greek plural -- not Latin.

> Unless Daniel/Eugene were suggesting that uploading octapodes
> would be better because 8 fingered creatures are a natural
> for digital (binary) logic, so they will adapt to the upload
> more easily and clearly run away with the SI.

I suggest it for several reasons which I outlined about two years ago in the previous uplifting discussion. I would also mention, since there is no sure fire way right now to tell how long it will take to get serious IA, AI, or (M)NT from speculation to production that this kind of bioengineering project, with much more clearly defined starting and endpoints, might result in the kind of thing Vernor Vinge proposed in his _A Fire Upon the Deep_. This is that the canine-like race of collective minds would benifit from exposure to two alien races -- humans and scroders -- as opposed to one.

An uplifted octopus mind would probably be very different from a human one - provided the project didn't just mean putting human brains in octopodes bodies.:)

One other point, I don't think these things necessarily compete with each other. Uplifting, IA, AI, MNT are not in a race to see which gets to the finish line first and takes all the prizes.:) (Surely, in some way, there is competition. Time spent studying prosody -- I'm currently reading _Meter in English: A Critical Engagement_:) -- is time not spent studying MNT, AI, IA, uplifting, etc. But in the wider scheme of things, I don't think if someone decides to uplift some other species this is going to monopolize all the resources (minds, money, etc.) so that nothing else gets done.

And, in some way, uplifting and IA go together. Uplifting is, after all, a kind of IA, though for nonhumans.


Daniel Ust