X-Message-Number: 13601
Date: Wed, 19 Apr 2000 16:19:14 EDT
Subject: uploading questions

While I greatly admire Yvan Bozzonetti's knowledge and bravura, I think he 
oversimplifies the uploading questions.

For example, he writes,

>My own opinion is: "live first" If I have after some methaphysical 
>questions well, that implies I am living, even as a copy. 

This begs the question. If someone (natural, artifical, or a hybrid)  is 
living, then that person can refer to himself as "I," but that does not 
address the question of whether the new "I" is in some appropriate sense the 
same as the old "I." It does not address the question of whether the original 
survived. We just don't know enough yet to deal with this, and those who 
think they do are kidding themselves.

He also says that uploading will come before biological nano-repair, because 
both require the same information but it may be easier to use that 
information for electronic emulation than for biological repair.

There is a great big gulch here. For starters, we KNOW that, now and for the 
foreseeable future, a simulation or emulation will NOT be fully faithful to 
the original. The reason is simple. The simulation must be based on current 
information about natural law, and our information is incomplete and probably 
in some respects just wrong. The "laws" obeyed by the program are NOT the 
real laws of nature. Of course, we don't know how important the differences 
may be, but we cannot just assume the consequences will be negligible.

Secondly, biological healing or repair, assisted by nanotech, might easily be 
simpler than simulation, because we get some help from nature. With 
simulation, every detail must be present in the program; with biology, some 
healing/regeneration will occur even if we don't understand it. 

None of this is terribly important at this juncture, agreed, but we do need 
to try to keep our thinking straight.

Robert Ettinger
Cryonics Institute
Immortalist Society

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