Re: Uploading

Michael Lorrey (
Mon, 04 Nov 1996 23:26:22 -0500

John K Clark wrote:
> On Mon, 04 Nov 1996 Michael Lorrey <> Wrote:
> >>John:
> >>Suppose I show you 2 people, you talk and get to know them,
> >>then I then take them away and upload them. One I Upload
> >>very gradually under conditions you would consider ideal,
> >>the other one I upload instantaneously with my gamma ray
> >>pulse laser. Now I show you the 2 uploads and let you ask
> >>them any question and perform any test you like. Is there
> >>any way you could determine which one was uploaded quickly
> >>and which one was not? If the Scientific Method can not find
> >>any difference we must conclude that there is no difference,
> >>or we will sink into the swamp of metaphysics and
> >>superstition.
> >Michael:
> >TO the two people you uploaded by different means, it makes
> >a world of difference. The guy you flash uploaded is dead,
> >and his simulacrum thinks he is the original.
> Yes so you say, but what proof do you have to back it up? The Scientific
> Method demands evidence, and in this case you don't have the tiniest particle
> of it, you don't even have unscientific testimonials, every one of the fast
> uploads says everything is fine and they are the same person they ever were.
> Unless you believe in the mumbo jumbo that religion has to say about the soul
> (in which case I don't see why you'd be interested in Science or this list),
> consciousness MUST be generated by physical means. All uploads are physical
> systems, if the Scientific Method can not find a difference between an unload
> that is made quickly and one made slowly, then Science says that there is no
> difference.

I don't beleive the mumbo jumbo, however, you have not presented ANY
evidence that the original entity, the meaty one, will not have an
abrupt cessation of awareness of this universe, i.e. death. I would
agree to the assertion that the uploaded mind would have a continuous
stream of awareness from bio to electro, but any perfect copy should by
definition do so. You have not presented any evidence that if I were to
do a flash upload, that my "stream of conciouness" that I consider to be
"me" would not cease, even though there would be a perfectly operating
electronic copy of me insisting that it feels fine.

Since we are nowhere near the technological level to do any of this, it
is rather a waste of breath to continue arguing about it, since neither
of use knows enough to make an informed statement as to its truth or
veracity. And in any case, I believe that the technology for slow
gradual uploads will develop much sooner than a flash upload capability.

Frankly, you sound more like a religious dogmatic, willing to take a
leap of faith, than I. I at least want to test the waters first, to make
sure it works. Tell me: Are you so positive that you would flash upload
this instant, given the chance?