Re: Upload rehearsal?

Anders Sandberg (
Tue, 29 Oct 1996 19:51:23 +0100 (MET)

On Mon, 28 Oct 1996, Chris Hind wrote:

> At 17:06 10/28/96 +0100, you wrote:
> >This is extremely non-trivial biotechnology.
> True but isn't it closer to reality in the fact that we're already
> performing genetic therapy on living human beings whereas we haven't even
> created the first nanite?

Yes, but do you know what that gene therapy does? It changes *one* gene
making *one* protein. We do not even understand how relatively trivial
processes such as self assembly, cytotransport, morphogenesis and
neuro-immune contact work (although we are learning). What you propose is
roughly to create a customized multicellular lifeform, able to do neural
computation *much* better and faster than ordinary neurons, and able to
live and develop in the human brain without disturbing it. That is very
far from setting a genetic switch or fixing a bad gene.

> Sure, all we need is one nanite to create
> quadrillions but we still are only beginning to grasp the concepts that
> make nano possible. So perhaps it's a race to see which will bring us
> uploading first. I'm betting genetics, you're betting nano. This is sorta
> ideas future-ish isn't it?

Yes, in a way. But I'm not betting on genetics, I'm betting on both. If
we get nano, we will get the genetics part soon enough, and genetics may
turn out the be the easiest way towards nano. I look forward to both.

What I object to is your claim that this bio-uploading is simpler than
doing it with nano; both proposals are very hard and will require
enormous advances.

> >Using some kind of virus
> >that rebuilds neurons from the inside might be possible.
> How could you upload by rebuilding neurons from the inside? Eat alot of
> lead and have highly complex virii or bacterium turn the stucture of your
> brain into circuit boards? hehe

:-) No, what I was thinking of was using something like a rabies virus,
that spreads from synapse to synapse, and instead of killing the cell
turning them into a part of your uploading organism from the inside
instead of from the outside.

Wild idea: instead of trying to replace the cells, lets destroy them! The
uploading virus/nanite spreads through the brain, infecting each cell.
Inside the cell, it somehow records the relevant information: it creates
an unique code for the cell, places markers with it on the synaptic
surfaces, records which markers synapse on the cell (and other relevant
information). Finally, it creates a protein that contains this information
and waits for a chemical signal. After a while, the uploader injects an
artificial hormone, that tells the viruses/nanites to scramble. They
produce more of the encoding proteins and tear down the cell. The brain
turns to mush, which is emptied into a chemical computer that sorts out
the proteins and builds a model of the mind, which is finally run on a
digital computer.

Uploading though letal disease, anyone? :-)

Anders Sandberg Towards Ascension!
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