Re: Uploading, info theory, and threads of consciousness

Michael Lorrey (
Sat, 02 Nov 1996 19:56:18 -0500

Peter C. McCluskey wrote:
> ( writes:
> >Yes, but I think that most people here want to *experience* the
> >upload, not generate a bunch of clones who *think* they were
> >uploaded. In a destructive upload, our stream of consciousness would
> >cease to exist. We would be dead and there would be a computer
> >program running that would swear it was us, and would in fact be us,
> >albeit running on a separate stream of consciousness.
> Just like a stream of consciousness ceases when I go to sleep
> and a separate stream of consciousness is created when my body
> wakes up? There will probably be something unique about the
> discontinuity involved in uploading, but I have heard no reason
> to expect that the mind which uploading produces lacks anything
> that the mind which will inhabit my body after a more familiar
> discontinuity has.

I would not debate the quality of the new conciousness, however, I would
beg to differ on the stream of conciousness of ME. While the new
improved uploaded me who thinks it is still me has the same continuity
of conciousness as I, if I die, I'm dead, and he's somebody else and
thats it. However, I beleive that an individual who takes an extended
period of time adding better, faster higher powered artificial
augmentation to the existing mind would, once a certain threshold had
been reached, have very little awareness of a difference of self if the
original bioware suddenly crashed.

I also suspect that any clones would also feel a distinct pretectiveness
of self, something that is ingrained. (which brings up the question, is
a clone as smart as the original?)

> > I don't think
> >too many people would terminate their own stream of consciousness to
> >create new independant ones. What would be the advantage?
> Greater wealth through the ability to work at faster clock speeds.
> More security through the ability to make distributed backups.

Not to mention greater sensory bandwidth and a lack of need to lug a
heavy body around the world or solar system to take on a new project. I
would surmise that the closest we can ever actually get to teleportation
is to beam one's software template out to operate a cyborg at a distant
location. Given transciever stations on different planets, and the fact
that photons do not know what elapsed time is, we could have
instantaneous interplanetary and interstellar travel by beaming our
'wareness out to another planet, and loaded into an android or
gengineered organism capable of being implanted. Scotty, you're a has

just this is ample justification to get to work now on really pushing
interstellar probes, to get recieving stations on site by the time we
are ready to use them to farcast.