Forum Introduction

Discussion in 'Intelligence & Machines' started by Cris, Feb 27, 2001.

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  1. Cris In search of Immortality Valued Senior Member

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    Introduction to Neuroscience, Whole Brain Emulation, & Mind Uploading.

    The increasing power of computing will soon enable machines to have intelligence equal and superior to humans. The thunderous progress of technology will make these events inevitable rather than just science fiction fantasies. Most people currently do not seem to realize the rapidly increasing pace of these technological changes. Others who can visualize this near future see both serious danger as well as incredible opportunities.

    A companion forum to this, “AI, Artificial Life, and Robotics” will explore those aspects of the near future (50 years) where humans are not the targets of technological progress. That forum shows the more obvious route for these technologies. But where do those changes leave the human race?

    This forum attempts to explore how humans can benefit from this massive increase in computing power that is so close, and how humans can survive without being left behind by superior thinking machines. The intention of this forum is to facilitate debate and discussion of specific aspects of this inevitable future, both good and bad.

    To be able to compete with increasingly superior thinking machines we must either dramatically increase our biological brainpower, or use the same technology of the machines. The chances of a sudden increase in biological brainpower are near to zero so we have little choice but to use the technology that we have and are creating.

    The target of this conclusion must be the ability to transfer the biological brain to a computer-based substrate retaining all aspects of the original human brain. Once such a transition has been accomplished then there will be opportunities for upgrades both in terms of processing power and memory, or in other words the same advantages that will be available to AI machines.

    This transition process has been termed ‘uploading’ and those humans that undergo such a process are being described as posthuman.

    To achieve the ability of uploading a great deal of fundamental research must be achieved both in Neuroscience and Whole Brain Emulation. Work has already begun on this project and a description of the progress and news can be found at http://www.minduploading.org/ . The site contains links to other related sites and mailing lists.

    For a good overview of minduploading and MURG (Mind Uploading Research Group) try - http://www.ibiblio.org/jstrout/uploading/

    Together with their Egroups discussion forum -
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/murg/

    For some views of two leading scientists who have inspired much of this research see these links –

    Nick Bostrom (Yale University) http://www.nickbostrom.com/

    Hans Moravac (Robotics Institute
    Carnegie Mellon University) http://transhumanist.com/volume1/moravec.htm

    You will doubtless see references to Transhumanism, which is seen as an ‘umbrella’ philosophical view of both uploading and other posthuman expectations. To find out more on Transhumanism see this link - http://www.transhumanism.com/

    So feel free to voice your opinions and perhaps contribute to the research.

    Have fun and enjoy the future whoever or whatever you become.
    Cris
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2001
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  3. Stretch Registered Senior Member

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    Hiya Cris,

    I find all this incredibly interesting, but who is going to run the powerplants to power the hardware? Would this be an altruistic act from a designated human team? Keeping the uploaded minds in their virtual state would require maintenance. Would this also be an altruistic act? Is human nature altruistic? What would be the benefit of this endeavour? Thanks for the links, I am enjoying!

    Take care
     
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  5. Cris In search of Immortality Valued Senior Member

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    Life as an Upload

    Stretch,

    I think you are making some incorrect assumptions or are perhaps just looking at only one aspect of uploading. I’ll try to explain a few of the more common visualizations.

    Creating the Uploadable bitmap.

    This requires that the brain of the volunteer is scanned both for neural patterns and other chemical and hormonal messaging data, e.g. everything that determines how a brain functions. This information is recorded in a digital form. Primary issues seen at this time are the scanning mechanisms that will be used. To be able to obtain the resolution required means that the brain would have to be sliced very finely and examined with powerful electron microscopes or equivalent. We don’t have quite the right degree of power yet for the required resolution. This is an independent project. The obvious issue is that the volunteer is clearly dead when the process begins and if the process fails for any reason then recovery is unlikely.

    There is one advantage to having a dead volunteer in that there can be no overlap between human and posthuman existence, one is either one or the other. On the other hand how does one proceed to achieve the death of the human in the first place? Issues of ethics, euthanasia will be paramount. Of course if the volunteer died from other causes, disease, accident or otherwise then there would not be a problem. Uploading from a volunteer who had been cryogenically vitrified would be ideal in that the vitrification process is likely to be the perfect way to prepare a brain for the slicing type of scan.

    Other scanning procedures are being considered that are non-destructive, but these seem some way off. The problem here is that after the scanning process and a complete upload then the person would exist as both a human and posthuman. Questions then arise as to what is meant by identity, or does the volunteer then commit some form of acceptable suicide. These are all interesting issues worthy or extensive debate.

    Having disposed of the biological human volunteer we now have a digital map of an uploadable brain. What next?

    Posthuman.

    As a posthuman you will exist as a bitmap. This pattern can be uploaded into a suitable computer with appropriate software. Depending on your optional peripheral attachments you will be able to either resume life in an aesthetically pleasing android style shell, or choose a life connected to a matrix style virtual world. It is assumed that the android style will the most common as this will be closer to the previous human form and will aid in the psychological transition process. But there are numerous other very imaginative choices that again leave room for significant debate.

    There are a number of assumptions being made here concerning size and portability. The first is that the computer hardware will be small, probably smaller than the replaced human brain. Nick Bostrom in one of his articles envisions a processing unit the size of a sugar cube. Remember a great deal of the human brain is dedicated to blood vessels, fatty tissue, and other supporting biological tissue. None of those space-absorbing items will be required. The other requirement will be power. Batteries of some sort will be required and although batteries of today may well be adequate it must be assumed that in 20 to 50 years time there will be progress in battery design. This is not seen as a significant issue.

    As an android style posthuman you will have the identity you once had as a human and will possess all the same emotions and feelings that were familiar to you. There will of course be some significant differences: You will not require air to breathe, you will not need to eat or drink, you will not need to urinate or defecate, you will not be subject to attacks by airborne viruses or bacteria, you cannot become ill or contract any diseases, you will have the potential for augmented vision, hearing, touch, as well as infrared and ultraviolet vision, etc. Pleasure sensors can be adapted and magnified as desired. The equivalent of sexual pleasure could be as powerful as you could withstand. Since you would have a limitless lifespan there would be no social or evolutionary requirement to procreate. The list goes on and again leaves room for extensive imaginative discussions and debate.

    Your life can continue much as did when you were human, the same job if you wish, or you could perhaps consider tasks that were considered too risky as a human. Providing that you take regular backups of your bitmapped brain then any serious damage you encounter to your processor resulting in loss of processing integrity could be repaired and the most recent backup restored. You would be in essence immortal, but you must remember to take backups and remember to tell someone where you put them. However, the costs of replacement android shell parts is likely to be expensive so it would not be wise to take too many risks unless you could afford it.

    A final word on power supplies.

    During the recent power crisis here in California the sales of solar panels have increased several thousand percent. I also saw a debate that showed that more efficient battery storage regularly re-charged through solar power would negate the need for the current large and inefficient centralized power generating plants that we have come to expect as normal. Their days are numbered. So Stretch, I wasn’t sure where you were going with the power supply problem but I don’t see it as a problem.

    Enough for now, more later.

    Have fun
    Cris
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2001
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  7. willakitty Registered Senior Member

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    dear ada

    I can't lie and tell you that I can follow your descriptions with the greatest of ease. I'm 21 and I haven't yet decided what I want to do with my life, much less contemplated college to achieve the awesome intelligence that all of you have acquired, but...
    I CAN read and in reading your explanations about uploading and post human ethics and such I feel that, although it is a great idea and perhaps for the better of mankind as intended...I can't help but feel guarded about such a topic. I MAY be biased by years of the "same old lifestyle" as well as corrupted by too many science fiction movies, but humor me if you will. Think of it as the sales pitch you will have to eventually give to the thickheaded average people that will (if all goes well) soon be logging into your cyber utopias of immortality, and, as it will be then, proverbial good health.
    What about the evolution of man? By this I don't mean just physically, but mentally, artistically, and spiritually. The latter may be emitted for those that don't put emphasis on religion. No more deaths OR births means no new blood. No new ideas. No new anything. In order to grow a being must go through thousands of tiny deaths inside itself to perfect itself for the betterment of itself. So too with our race. Wouldn't putting an end to death put an end to the way we naturally better our kind? Without the ability to sort through our mistakes and eliminate them, we would stagnate. I couldn't be happy with the same old thing all day, everyday into eternity. Man's imagination is indeed limitless. But one man's imagination could be terribly repetive and boring. Is that what's waiting for us as posthumans?
    Please don't feel that my sole intention was to attempt to shoot you down. I find the whole idea positively thrilling! Ever seen Ghost in the Shell (japanimation)? I just don't want to be blinded by the shininess of something new only to have it tarnish before my eyes. Anyway, good luck to you and yours and I hope I get to see it. Maybe, I'll try it!
     
  8. tony1 Jesus is Lord Registered Senior Member

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    !

    Don't be fooled by all this, this is not awesome intelligence you're seeing here.
    Read between the lines a little bit to see what's really going on here.

    "Having disposed of the human volunteer" means just what it says. "Posthuman" means the human is gone. Picture what state you would have to be in to be "posthuman." Think "posthumous."

    The intelligence writing these words through Cris isn't awesome, just devilishly deceptive.
     
  9. Cris In search of Immortality Valued Senior Member

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    Hi Willakitty,

    That is what transhumanism is all about, what next, how do we use our new knowledge and rapidly advancing technologies. Genetics and computers are going to give us the abilities to control our future changes. This seems inevitable, what matters is how we manage those changes and make the decisions that are going to affect the whole of mankind. Perhaps the most difficult aspect will be that the changes are happening very rapidly, faster than people can adapt, and the signs are that the rate of change is increasing. In computers we talk of Moore’s law where computer speeds used to double every 2 years or 18 months, now it is down to 12 months, and likely to decrease further.

    These things may not change. The idea of uploading is that the whole brain is copied, perfectly, how you think and your emotions should be the same, at least that is the target. There is a book I have at home called ‘Spiritual Machines’ and explores how – well you can guess. I’ll introduce some quotes in a later post.

    Yes not having new brains does seem to be a shortcoming. But AI machines may well be equals to humans/posthumans, and can be created without pre-imprinted knowledge, i.e. they would have to learn everything from scratch as would a child. This would be new blood. This implies of course that AI beings would eventually outnumber posthumans. But if they are literally equals then there is no difference, intelligent beings are intelligent beings regardless of their origins. The word artificial in this respect is quite misleading.

    And I suspect as computer ‘brain’ technicians gain more and more in understanding how their creations operate then I suspect that they will introduce variations, or the equivalent of DNA mutations, to induce new ideas.

    But you are not yet thinking in posthuman terms. As humans we learn at a rapid rate when we are young, reach a peak, and then dwindle as the aging process takes over and memories fail and reaction times become slower, etc. etc. We have come to accept a rationale that there is only a limited number of things one can do in a lifetime and they are best done quickly before time runs out. Once someone has introduced new ideas, then it is assumed they aren’t likely to have others, that’s for the next generation. But now consider an upload who does not age and has the same mental abilities of a teenager, if not superior. The future will not be the hopeless decline into senility and death, but one of enormous possibilities, of having brain speeds increased and memory size increased, the hope of constant improvement and discovery of new things. Do you see how attitudes will naturally change with the new paradigm?

    Now I know that out of all the things there are to know I know only the tiniest fraction. In a short lifetime as a human I realize that I can only hope to learn little more. As a posthuman I stand a chance of endless discoveries. And when bored simply try something completely different – sounds a bit like Monty Python (sorry I am British).

    When one of my children states that she is bored, I reply that there is an incredible world out there, go and investigate it and learn. To you I would say that there is an incredible universe out there, let’s explore it and learn. There is so much we don’t know that I really do hope I can achieve a thousand lifetimes or more to discover the endless unknowns.

    I’m not sure if you were targeting ada with this, so I hope you don’t object to my reply. It does look like we will be faced sooner or later with AI machines that will be our superiors, if we do not adapt. Perhaps that might be OK. But anti-aging research is also making giant strides forward and it also seems inevitable that we will achieve limitless life spans as biological entities if we so desire. Either way, as uploads, or as zero aging humans, we will be faced with the options of potentially limitless lifetimes. I look on this as a positive outlook, the alternative is death and that is simply not appealing. The religionists will argue for death since that is where they believe life starts. Believe whatever you wish but technology is unlikely to slow down.

    Cris
     
  10. tony1 Jesus is Lord Registered Senior Member

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    I knew you were more religious than you were letting on.

    This sounds a lot like eternal life, but with your faith in technology rather than God.

    Theoretically, at least, the machine that holds your "uploaded" mind should be somewhat more reliable than some people's cars, computers and other technological trinkets, don't you think?
     
  11. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    You're not far off, Tony, but it is a matter of perspective

    You're right in the notion that this does resemble eternal life; very few people find the idea of living forever horrifying until they read a good novel about it. Personally, I would love to see how this Universe event ends or doesn't.

    To speak of mind uploading and so forth as "eternal life" or, to remove the sense of religion from it, perpetual living experience, as religious would not be entirely appropriate. In its most speculative sense, this kind of consideration finds much comfort in faith. Unlike most religions, though, this faith has the possibility of being resolved within the confines of observational validity and reliability. Note the term "observational", please, as it is exceptionally important here. If we take Christianity as an example, it seems that no human should ever see God in Its entirety. Thus, one cannot observe God at all, much less within the confines of validity and reliability. This distinction separates the faith of virtually any but the most irresponsibly, worthlessly, and poorly conceived science from virtually all religions.

    Many had faith that human flight was possible. Many tried and failed. Eventually, someone figured it out. Of what silly notions were travels to the moon? Yet unless you've got little else to believe in, we've made it there. Fear of death is an anthropological truism. Yet if I have faith that quitting nicotine will help me live longer--after all, science is just so unreliable ....--how can I ever prove it? But I will have quit nicotine on faith in response to my fear of death.

    If one could create that perpetual living experience, how could religion respond? Insofar as health food hasn't done it, neither necessarily has religious faith and practice. So what happens when someone can guarantee what religion can only offer on the faith plan?

    Of course there's faith involved. Faith that humanity, given enough time, will defeat at least a certain part of death. But we can achieve this faith in life. Within Christianity, one must die. Somehow, living oneness with God seems to be a difficulty; God is particularly sensitive about His personal space, if we take the Bible stories at face value.

    We might conclude, then, were the God of the Christian Bible be real and definitive, we can expect another Tower of Babel to come tumbling down very soon. It'll be cool, though; we'll all get to see a miracle and then the question of God would be answered, wouldn't it? (God destroys international genetic and computer-science labs! Next on CNN's Headline News!)

    But if the Uploaders pull off their own miracle, they will have shown fire where religion can only blow smoke. Someone call the prophet Elijah, hurry!

    And there's the nice thing about scientific faith: it is both possible and permissible to find the answer and relegate that faith to vulgar fact. In fact, it's expected.

    thanx,
    Tiassa

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  12. tony1 Jesus is Lord Registered Senior Member

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    it is a matter of perspective the same way sleight of hand is a matter of p

    I'm glad you've noted that it is "exceptionally" important here.
    For two reasons...
    1. This whole realm of endeavor is very important to those who are "antireligious," so there is great pressure to fake it.
    After all, if one slices someone's brain into little tiny slices, runs some light beams back and forth across the slices and then has some disembodied "entity" speaking out of a computer, it would be worth "observing" to make sure that there is no tomfoolery going on.
    After all, who would be able to verify that the entity speaking is or is not actually derived from the slices?
    2. How exactly is one to "observe" an entity forming or spontaneously generating inside a computer based solely on a "scan" of some brain slices?

    The concepts of "validity" and "reliability" are derived from God in the first place.
    This distinction separates the faith of virtually any but the most irresponsibly, worthlessly, and poorly conceived religion from virtually all sciences.
    In the absence of the ethical context that religions provide, few people would be anything better than an animal.

    Only for those who have no way out.
    Instead of trying to avoid death, how about reaching for abundant life?

    This "guarantee" concept has me intrigued.
    The guarantor has to have the ability not just to live forever himself, but also to grant it to anyone else.

    So far, this mind-uploading game is a tad short of volunteers to be the first to live forever.
    I'm sure it will be easier to find those who would be willing to try it on others first.

    How about working on the first ToB?
    We still have a multitude of languages and even when people are speaking the same language, it often seems as thouigh they're not.

    Either that or they'll have shown smoke and mirrors.

    The question is, who is giving the inspiration for these scientific discoveries in the first place?
    There are many prophecies in the Bible which, at least on the surface, can't be fulfilled without certain conditions existing in society first.
    For example, prophecies relating to the antichrist mention lying wonders that have the potential to deceive worldwide.

    That practically requires a world networked to the point that everyone can hear or see things more-or-less in real time.
    Christians don't need this, but antichristians actually need the hardware because the only thing they believe is what they see.
    God is willing to accommodate their special needs.
     
  13. Cris In search of Immortality Valued Senior Member

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    9,188
    Tony1,

    I can’t tell if you are being sarcastic, cynical, attempting humor, or are being serious, but in every aspect you are inaccurate.

    Anything religious requires a belief in a supernatural entity or existence. Uploading adopts a purely materialistic stance, exactly the opposite position taken by religionists.

    Unless of course you mean ‘religious’ in the sense of blindly following some undertaking regardless of truth or falsehood. A good definition of all religionists I think. But in this case I do not have a baseless hope or have a need to blindly follow a mythical superstitions. Uploading is purely a technological target requiring, application, time, patience and endurance.

    Eternal life is the essential desire of everyone, especially religionists. Christians especially expect eternal life – doesn’t the bible state that Jesus said believe in me and ye shall have eternal life. This is one of the fundamental cornerstones of Christianity, and really the whole point of believing in a religion – to cheat death.

    But uploading doesn’t promise eternal life. It is a means where one can avoid the pitifully short life of the human biological organism. An upload is still subject to destruction unless one is careful. The human form unfortunately is subject to the disease of aging and up until now there has been little one can do to avoid this inevitable decline into biological decay. An uploaded human will simply have a more resilient and non-aging form.

    This is a somewhat feeble and cheap shot. You seem to be attempting to claim that the irrationality of ‘religious faith’ that you are forced to follow is on a par with a ‘technology faith’. The term ‘faith’ has multiple meanings depending on context, and the meanings are not interchangeable. ‘Religious faith’ is specific to those who choose to believe something where no proof is available. A faith in technology would be better described as a trust in technology. Faith in this context means that one has confidence in an approach based on ‘proven’ results and past experiences. We all depend now and trust in many aspects of technology, electricity is a good example. We trust (have faith in) technology to deliver.

    I have no faith, belief or trust in gods because if they existed they clearly have not delivered anything, at least nothing that you can prove.

    One of the emotive issues we will see with uploading for some time will be this expectation that a ‘machine’ is clunky, stupid, mechanical, and cannot think. When Kasporov played and lost to IBM’s deep blue, he complained bitterly that there must be a person behind the moves. He detected in that machine subtleties and strategies that he had only ever encountered before when playing against humans. And Deep Blue did not use any AI techniques and will be seen as incredibly primitive when uploading technologies become available. The nature of machines and how we perceive them are going to change beyond recognition in the next few decades, as AI techniques become a reality. The difference between human intelligence and machine intelligence will quickly become blurred to the point where they will be indistinguishable.

    I am a specialist in fault tolerant computing. I help to design systems that do not fail. One of our trademarks is ‘Nonstop’. These aren’t just simply very reliable machines, although they are highly reliable, but their design allows components to fail, any component large or small, from a simple resister to a whole subsystem, and the system will continue as if nothing had happened. The resilient substrate that will retain an uploaded mind will be far more fault tolerant.

    The only obstacles to achieving uploading are purely application of knowledge. The result is inevitable, only the timeframe is uncertain. Compare this to religions where no matter how much effort you exert there is nothing you can do that will make gods and an afterlife real.

    Uploading may at the moment seem fantastic, but that is fine, I’ll accept that, but it is preferable to religious fantasies that only offer false hopes and self delusion.
     
  14. willakitty Registered Senior Member

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    48
    re: cris

    "Anything religious requires a belief in a supernatural entity or existance."

    I am not getting in the middle of this...I had this sudden urge to reply to that though...Religion to the one that holds it dear is nothing supernatural. It is very natural. In fact, people (innocent people, usually) were BURNED AT THE STAKE - think about that, man. Burned at the f*cking STAKE...that's a bad way to die, but anyway - for participating in what were considered "supernatural" activities. As for my particular faith individual unto me (because I'm sure about how I feel) I don't believe in anything until proven either...But I put this religion stuff to the test a long time ago expecting results...and I got 'em. Also, despite the way I was raised and the people I interacted with, I felt extremely outlandish, for lack of a better word, around my Christian peers. They were too into this thing that I couldn't feel, or hear, or see, or touch and I found it all very frustrating. But for me, I now KNOW...and I hope that perhaps one day you'll KNOW too...peace out.
     
  15. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    34,667
    I'll get you Frink's extend-o-glove so you can reach farther

    Well, when someone says they've accomplished it, go sign on and try to upload your brain. Your faith in human dishonesty will either be proven or disproven.
    Technology is changing that. How, exactly, was one supposed to observe a bone without cutting someone open? And then one day a human being figured out how to use X-rays to do it. In the meantime, we can, to an improving degree, map electrical functions in the brain. Furthermore, you're delving into a grand philosophical riddle: any one person believes they exist; yet no one person can prove that they exist, much less anyone else. Therefore, I would ask how we are supposed to observe anything with such an imperfect slice of the Universe available to our senses. That's where evolution comes in: we deal with it as best as our bodies allow.
    I agree; but, as we're discussing the ideas of religious and scientific faith, I feel it necessary to mention that the idea of a mind upload contains no declared threat against one's soul. Tomfoolery, then, would be about money or fame in the case of the scientists. In the case of religion, it's about money and dominion, but that's an oft-recognized truism.
    Who can verify that people are derived from God? It's the same issue. In the case of scientific principles, those principles are prepared to flex or even exit the stage when they are shown to be false. Not the same when faith is the principle. It's a fine, fine question, to be sure, but its only relevance is equivalent to mail fraud.
    Please demonstrate.
    I would worry about it if I thought you understood the sentence you're trying to twist. But since you're merely doing your best to keep pace, I'm not particularly worried about the point. In the meantime, if you think you do understand the point, please feel free to attempt to manipulate the entirety of the paragraph from which your thin retort is derived. Or, better yet, compose an original argument to back your assertion.
    Please demonstrate that with somehthing more legitimate than an unsupported assertion. This is a part of all religions which I would love to explore, except for the phenomenon of the nearly-Universal unwillingness/inability (circle one, if you need) of people of faith to address such a perspective.
    And this is America, where a fool has the right to believe anything he wants so long as it doesn't hurt anyone. Tony, everything dies. I know you loved that goldfish, but everything dies. Even Jesus died.
    And why, then, would I forfeit the abundant possibilities of life on the say-so of a single bound volume that claims to be the Word of God, and would condemn you to eternal torture for not believing it without question?
    If I sell you a vacuum cleaner with a lifetime guarantee, does that mean that I, as the salesman, must be able to suck a mixture of broken glass, milk, and cigarette butts off the floor with my mouth? Or is this guarantee somehow of unique priority in this specific case?
    Well, at least they're trying to get it right before they implement the process. A lack of foresight here could carry horrendous consequences.
    To meet the simplistic nature of the issue, I'd remind you that "God wants it this way". After all, if we get too close to God, he knocks the people down.

    Deeper considerations of the issue still tie into religion. In those cases, and especially with the latter religions of Abraham, we still land on the idea that this is how God wants it. But to look at it through a more objective lens. Why do eskimos have so many words for "snow"? Because they're surrounded by it. I would assert that the Kalahari bushmen have slightly less use for so many terms.
    Something about reading comprehension? "If ..."
    I'm sure those answers are as diverse as the discoveries themselves, and the people who made those discoveries. I would love to poll Galileo, Einstein, and others in order to give you a better answer, but the reality of the Universe advises me that I cannot.
    This is true of many concepts.
    Not necessarily, though the global net helps. But the one thing information availability does smash is superstition, such as we find littered carelessly through religions.
    Practically speaking, this is a wise idea. In the more abstract notion of spirit and its relationship to the world, it is still a wise idea to put credibility in what you can see and experience.
    He better be. After all, it is His will that they should be antichristian.

    --Tiassa

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  16. tony1 Jesus is Lord Registered Senior Member

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    Serious.
    If you're taking the stance that you, yourself, are not going to risk MU, then I would tend to agree with you, in that it would be a purely technical exercise.
    OTOH, it would take a huge leap of blind faith to freeze your own head, have it run through a microtome and expect to "wake up" inside a computer.
    This second option is the one I would label "religious" where the religion is technology.

    Am I to understand that you believe that existence in a computer is purely materialistic?
    If it is, then what is it exactly which would appear to exist within the computer?

    Where the baselessness might come to light is in the idea that scanning a dead, frozen brain will somehow create a living entity within a computer.
    The weakness in MU is at the point where a "living" entity is to be created from a list of numbers in a computer memory.

    Interesting choice of words, "to cheat death."
    Does this mean that you are very honest and will not cheat death?
    Let us assume the appropriate level of carefulness.
    MU would promise eternal life in that case.

    "Forced to follow"...*chuckle*
    I really have no other word to use to describe what the first volunteer for MU will have to have.

    What proof is there that MU will actually lead to having the "soul" (for lack of a better word) of a formerly living human, miraculously appear in the on or off states of several billion transistors?

    Yes, your POV is abundantly obvious by now.
    However, you do have faith in technology which assuredly lets you down.
    Have you never experienced a power outage, computer crash or failure of a car to start?

    The same could be said of counterfeit currency.
    The simulation will be very real-looking, to the point where most will not be able to tell the difference.

    Having had my own experience with fault-tolerant computing, I propose that, rather than programming fault-tolerant systems, you are programming delayed-failure systems.

    The result is actually undefined, at this time.
    The anticipated result is a "living" entity in a machine, but the actual result will be a simulation of a human, courtesy of advanced AI.

    Oddly enough, you are absolutely correct here.

    The problem is that MU doesn't sound fantastic, as in the realm of fantasy, but utterly dull and mechanistic, like communism with the people deleted and replaced by robots.


    Thanks, but no thanks. I'm the guy saying it won't work.

    OK, how will our bodies allow us to observe an entity forming inside a computer if said bodies are frozen and being sliced up in a microtome?

    Oddly enough, the word "undeclared" is the key. Your soul just plain disappears the moment the microtome starts buzzing, or earlier.
    And we all know that no scientist is in it for the money or the fame.

    Who is saying people are derived from God?

    Actually, so would I. I'm not particularly keen on following THC-derived arguments.

    What goldfish? I hope you're not starting to hallucinate while posting. Some THC-containing substances will cause that.

    You can't be talking about the Bible because it doesn't have that in it. Perhaps you're thinking of the Catechism, which does.

    You probably could, anyway.

    How horrendous could they be?

    No argument there.

    My point exactly, a big "if."
     
  17. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Messages:
    34,667
    You're a little scattered today, Tony

    Coward.
    For example, you seem to be asking how I, personally, would make those observations if I, personally, were being sliced up. This is a different principle than the one you are responding to. FTR, that argumentative principle was:
    Stay relevant, Tony. It's your question, and you can't seem to remember what it is.
    We can leave out your undemonstrable assertions about behavior of the soul, and concentrate on declarations. No scientist researching mind-uploading has ever said that you will be cast into the lake of fire for not believing it's possible to upload one's mind. That happens to be the point, whether you care or not.
    Either way it doesn't matter. You asserted that the fraud you're most concerned about has to do with your perception that scientists hate God and work solely to undermine It. As you wrote:
    Whether or not scientists are greedy for money or fame has nothing directly to do with mind uploading as related to God.
    Well, it's an important enough idea to some religious people that we've put people on criminal trial in the US for advocating that people are not necessarily derived from God. I think it's also in the Bible. Did you smoke enough to forget about Genesis?
    Yeah, that's probably a good reason for you not to smoke pot; if you're too lazy to look into your own faith, I guess you're not too keen on dealing with other people's perceptions of it.
    Actually, Tony, that was a less than subtle jab at your overriding fear of death. Generally, I prefer to consider the possibility that someone has a motivating reason to fear death that has nothing to do with idiocy.
    In rare cases it happens. But it's a moot point; I can point out that religion causes hallucinations at best, delusions at worst.
    So the Bible says nothing about the lake of fire, or about God's judgement?
    Tony, go wipe that stuff off your mouth before your mother knows what you've been up to. And in the meantime, take a stab at a real answer. It's your poorly-conceived assertion, so either defend it or abandon it, but don't hide from it.
    Macabre might be a better word. You ever watch Futurama, or enough seconds of it in passing to catch the celebrity heads? I tend to think, in response to your question, of the people who paid good money to be put into cryogenic suspension without any knowledge of how the good scientists are going to revive them.

    A citation of one of our running commentaries (you get the boldface, I'll take the italics):
    So, then, if no argument about language and religion, what's with the Babel question?
    That's right. And this is where doubt or even cynicism can be to your benefit. You know, doubt ... as opposed to faith?
    Your lack of vision, sir, is your own problem.
    Alright, Doctor Tony, why don't you tell us a little about electrical current in the brain, or did they teach you that thought "just happens"?

    Looking at it from the perspective you've presented, I can respond simply that the body is a means of supporting the electrical process known as thought. If we can maintain that electrical process and eliminate the shell of the body, we have, essentially, created ourselves anew, and not merely simulated ourselves.

    --Tiassa

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  18. tablariddim forexU2 Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,795
    now I've been uploaded

    How can I have fun? What if I feel like going for a walk/jog/swim? What if I feel like playing my guitar/piano/willy? How can I skin up and have a smoke? How can I dance/jump/fuck/ride/drive etc? How can I have secret thoughts, or keep a secret when my memory is presumably accessible by others? (I'm talking about living in/as a computer)
    Or will I be living in a completely virtual world with active memories of everything I mentioned and more, on demand?
    Extremely traumatic, are the 2 words that spring to mind, now that I've been uploaded into a box. Or did you say that I will have my own independent all singing, all dancing, tough, hybrid body to do with as i please? Because that sounds more feasible and appealing.
     
  19. Cris In search of Immortality Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    9,188
    Hi tab,

    I've copied your post into a new thread - Life as an upload. And used you as a starting point.

    Cris
     
  20. tony1 Jesus is Lord Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,279
    Re: You're a lot scattered today, tiassa

    Razz.
    Why don't you show me how it's done?
    "seem to be asking"
    What I am asking is whatever way you look at it.
    I said "bodies," unless you're prepared to argue that I meant every single body in the world at the same time, let's go with the idea that it could be the body being sliced up, or it could be the body next to it.
    Since it's all crap anyway, it doesn't matter who's body is being sliced up, or who's doing the slicing or who's doing the observing.
    IOW, how are we supposed to observe this hypothetical entity forming inside a computer?

    Luckily, there's no lake of stupidity.

    MU has got to be the charlatan's gold mine of the future.
    It's a lot like cryogenics was a few years ago.
    A lot of money to be made, but the marks aren't quite yet ripe for the picking.

    What dictionary are you using to get this unusual meaning for the word "derived?"

    Perception is such a peculiar thing under the influence of THC.

    No wonder it failed.
    I have to admit that "less" is key as applied to your jab, and to your reasoning as well.

    Rare? It seems like you're hallucinating or channeling or both during every post.

    It does, but your statements are in complete contradiction to what the Bible says.
    In order to find out what the Bible says, one has to read it. It is not enough to read the book next to it.

    Are you trying to tell me you blow on your joints when you smoke them? Come on.

    In your answer you made an assertion, which I had no argument with.

    You're very perceptive here, by fluke.
    I doubt MU will work.
    There. I admitted it.
    In front of the whole world.

    I was just getting the hang of this doubt thing, and right away, you're trying to shoot me down.

    Major sidetrack.
    This is the MU forum.
    Alright, Dude tiassa, why don't you tell us a little bit about electrical current in the CPU, or are they telling you that consciousness "just happens" in a machine?

    What about the chemical processes?
    If they are programmed into a computer, all you will have is a numerical list describing chemical processes.
    This is like writing "carbon," "potassium nitrate" and "sulfur" on a piece of paper and claiming that you have gunpowder.

    Are all MU freaks also pot smokers?

    Relax.
    Except for the stuff you mentioned, the MU boys have it all figured out.
    Oh, and except for how it's supposed to happen.
    And, what sentience is in the first place.
    And how sentience is supposed be transferred from a dead, presumably non-sentient, corpse into a computer.
    And how the sentience which has "left" the corpse is somehow to return to the list of bits being transferred from the scanning mechanism to the computer.
    And how one would be able to establish that a computer is sentient in the first place, with or without MU.
    Etc.
    As I said, you can relax, because the MU boys have it all figured out.
     
  21. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Messages:
    34,667
    Since you have deemed this yet another topic in which your form of discussion will consist of irrelevant dismissals whenever you feel overwhelmed by the rhetoric you're engaging, I will skip those issues for which you have failed to provide any real insight, argumentative point, or otherwise.
    Because I will be surprised if Mind Uploading is accomplished during this mortal phase I'm in. All I'm suggesting is that the only way for you to know that mind uploading doesn't work is to wait for someone to say it does and then prove them wrong. Otherwise, it's all theory, even for the Uploaders.

    And that, for lack of any argumentative point, is still a somewhat necessary consideration of the process. Your arguments give the appearance of relying on the fact that we cannot yet understand what takes place in every molecule of the brain. When our electronic sensors are refined enough, we will be able to do that. As we learn more about the possibilities of mind uploading, do you think our perspectives will not evolve right alongside? This static perception of human perspective you rely on does not prove out in history.
    First, let me just advise that you created the paradox of how am I supposed to observe the slicing and dicing of my own self. That's the only reason I advised you to stay relevant.

    As to the question, it would seem that since we can track and mark the behavior and interactions of subatomic particles, I can fairly speculate that someday we will build a sensor complex enough to detect electricity in the human brain, and describe how it functions.
    Again we see your instinct to identify the worst potential in people; in this case, stupidity. I would like to think that when the first Mind Uploading ads appear, someone might stop their friend and say, Whoa, Ted ... remember the frozen heads?

    Furthermore, with the growing availability of information, if the people who want to Upload can't learn a little bit about what they're putting their money into ... that seems to be their problem.
    Just about any standard dictionary does the trick. Try http://www.m-w.com (Merriam-Webster):
    To receive life from God ... to obtain God's blessing of life ... I might even ask if you've ever looked in a dictionary.
    Hmm ... since I'm reading the statements from the Bible ...?
    Excellent. However, I cannot, then, figure the relevance of the First Tower of Babel, as introduced in your post on 3/27/2001, at 04.27 AM.
    And that's just fine. It's not a big deal. I mean, no scientist has the power nor the will to condemn you to the lake of fire. But that's not a big worry to you, anyway, since the Bible was just joking about that, right?
    Actually, Tony ... it's not a sidetrack. Electricity in the brain, electricity in the computer. The information you seek on electrical interactions inside a CPU are readily available online, or in your local libraries or bookstores. I assure you that those experts are far more qualified than I to describe the inner workings of a computer.
    A) Chemical processes are, at their heart, dependent on the exchange of energy. Chemical processes are electrical processes.
    B) It depends on how that program is designed to operate. There are a finite number of circuits in your head, Tony, in the form of brain cells, synapses, ad infinitum. The trick is finding a way to reproduce these patterns in a separate environment.
    C) When the whole virtual reality is created, well, the whole of applicable reality will have to be mimicked. That's why this is such a difficult and long process. And that's within a virtual environment. I've seen other comments on the subject relating to a data transfer into a functional unit for real-world activity, such as a droid body or some such, but in those cases, it seems the issue is settled by the fact that these physical units will interact with the physical world.
    No, and it's only slightly relevant to note that the guys who built early computer systems have some nice things to say about LSD, too.

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    --Tiassa

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    In the end, Tony, all I want to communicate to you here is that your assertion that Mind Uploading is like faith in God is incorrect, for a number of reasons that I've already stated. The rest of it is up to the people who follow this idea more closely than I do.

    --Tiassa

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  22. tony1 Jesus is Lord Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,279
    Oh my, was I feeling overwhelmed?
    A point of agreement.
    I would add that I would be surprised during any phase at all.

    Appearance only.
    The substance of my arguments is that we never will, "in this mortal phase."

    It's been done, and it is EEG.

    Keep in mind those ads may well be mine.
    If I see that people are willing to pay for this kind of stupidity, who am I to deprive them of their inalienable right to do so?

    Would that you were.
    You're actually quoting, but not reading.

    Relax, I know how computers work.
    I also know that mimicking some action with a computer is not the same as performing that same action.

    I'm hoping that you can tell the difference between 1) an electrical process that accomplishes something, and 2) a series of electrical processes that describes the process in 1).

    I'm hoping that you can tell the difference between pattern and reality, such as in you own posts.
    Surely you can tell that the letters you type form a pattern of images on your computer screen and that this pattern is only incidentally related to the meaning, if any, of what you type.

    Key concepts: "mimicked" and "virtual."
    I can, at present, poorly mimic a "mind upload" on my computer.
    No one, including you, would suggest that is a real mind upload.
    However, you are presenting the idea that more refined mimicry equates to reality.

    I may have been less than obviously sarcastic while making that assertion.
    Faith in mind uploading is actually the closest thing to true "blind" faith.
    There is literally nothing in this mind uploading concept.
    It is based on a play on words, yet many have faith that this will actually happen.

    Perhaps you can explain to me how it is that people, who consider themselves sane, can think that detailed mimicry equals reality?
     
  23. Cris In search of Immortality Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    9,188
    Tony1,

    Could you please define what you mean by the term 'faith'. You appear to use it frequently in a confusing manner.

    MU is more than a concept it is a goal, much like when JFK set the goal in the early 60s to send a man to the moon by the end of the decade. At that time they did not know whether it could be done but they had adequate evidence that it would be possible. In the same way we can conceive of the technology required to make MU a reality, but it will take a great deal of work and research to build the technology needed. At this time there is no demonstrable substance to MU since the research has only recently begun.

    I don't understand what you intend by 'play on words', and your strange reference to faith is out of place unless you can clarify your definition. A faith similar to religious faith plays no part in MU. Those who are involved have a 'hope' that they can achieve their goals and this hope is based on existing evidence of the pace of past technology changes. If this rate of progress slows down then MU will simply take longer to achieve.

    Where does 'mimicry' enter into the MU debate? The objective of MU is a perfect copy of the original functions. There is no difference between a perfect copy and an original. For example if I shoot someone with an arrow straight through their heart or if a shoot them using a gun and also penetrate their heart then the final result is the same. It is that the processes are different. The objective of MU is to use a more resilient substrate to hold brain functions instead of a biological medium. The final result must be the same – an individual brain that functions the same as the original.

    Don’t try to visualize MU in religious terms. MU is an objective of applied science and if the scientists can see that the objective cannot be achieved then they will switch to a different objective. This work is directed at the natural world using existing knowledge. Religion deals with the unnatural world of spirits and gods. There is no overlap, and the different concepts cannot be combined.

    Cris
     
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