Re: Uploading

E. Shaun Russell (
Mon, 4 Nov 1996 21:29:09 -0800 (PST)

On 04/11/96, Hal Finney wrote:

>OK, supposing that most people do gradually, incrementally upload.
>What happens then? When you are a computer program running in machine 1,
>and you have an opportunity to shut down and start up (where you left
>off) in roomier machine 2, will you take it? Or will you insist on
>"gradually, incrementally" moving to machine 2, with first one line of
>code, and then another, moving over?
>What if you have the option to keep running in machine 1 and also start
>up in machine 2? Are you going to take it, or would you feel better if
>your machine 1 program was stopped when the machine 2 program started?
>Will the machine 2 program be the same "you" as when you were the machine
>1 program, or is it a different program that just thinks it's "you"?

Referring to my theory [also a parallel thread running on this
list], I think that both programs would initially be 'you'. However, once
the machines start running seperately, they begin to have a different
consciousness...or rather, not the same consciousness as the other machine.
To effectively replicate consciousness, initially the consciousness has to
be --again referring to my theory-- reduced into binary form. Once the
humongous binary snip of consciousness is made and copied repeatedly, it is
then dormant until it is installed and\or loaded. From the first second
each copy is run, it begins a different stream of consciousness. For
example, when reduced to binary, it might look like 100011010011010011001010
as opposed to 100011010011010011001011 on the other machine. Very subtle
difference, but different nonetheless. This can be because of many things.
If I am applying the 'conscious chip' to an 'android' or mechanical body,
then the initial waking acknowledgements of its wherabouts are going to be
different than the waking acknowledgements of another 'android' with the
same original consciousness.

Both programs will think that they are "you", though they will be
different. Their experiences --and yes, I believe experience is a major
portion of defining consciousness-- will begin to vary right from the moment
they are activated. Both programs will think that they are "you", and both
programs will be correct, though they are different. Consider it a form of

Going back to Hal's original paragraph above, I presume that it
would be best to have a modem-like line constantly transfering "your"
consciousness program on to another computer. This receptive program must
not be activated during this transfer of binary consciousness. I hope my
response isn't too confusing, sometimes it's hard to find the words I need
to describe my thoughts...semantic thread anyone? :-)

Ingredi Externus!

-E. Shaun Russell

E. Shaun Russell Extropian poet\musician