X-Message-Number: 13602
From: "Scott Badger" <>
References: <>
Subject: Re: Uploading vs. Reanimation
Date: Wed, 19 Apr 2000 21:23:38 -0500

Fred Chamberlain wrote:

> First, some comments to add to Scott Badger's perspectives:
> >  OK. So maybe uploading does comes along first.  But how much longer
will it
> take for nanotech?
> Uploading without nanotech seems implausible.  While one may conjecture
> "holographic" memory based on distributed information within the brain,
> gathering that information without neural mapping, possibly to the extent
> characterizing the behavior of synapses in addition to their connectivity,
> unlikely.  And for such mapping, nanotech would seem essential.

Yes, I was working off the assumption offered by Mr. Bozzonetti that a
scanning technology of some type would be developed that could, in fact,
create a sufficiently accurate neural map to recreate the self.  But if I
understand you correctly, you make a good point in saying that such a
scanning technology may provide us with the structural information needed,
however there may be behavioral / neurophysiological processes in the brain
that are integral to the structure and the substance of our identities.  In
other words, a human may be more than just 'information' . . . an essential
aspect of us may also be the 'process'.  One could say that perhaps we are
humans . . . being.  It seems to me that once we are frozen or vitrified the
nature of those processes may not be elucidated by either nanotechnology or
by scanning technologies.  Your comments?

> >Because if I had to choose between the two, I would definitely choose
> >Why? Because if I upload, I have to deal with extremely thorny questions
> >identity (e.g. Am I a copy who thinks I am the original?).
> Uploading has many possible dimensions, including the housing of each
> individual's information center within a physically mobile structure (a
> biological human body might be just fine, if backups following Kevin
> very early "computer symbiote" thesis were part of the picture).  The
> question is a different matter.  Differences of perspective here may
relate to
> one's self perception of one as a physical structure vs. one as an
> informational process.  For example, it could be argued that the
> from biological to non-biological brain ("hyperbrain") would involve less
> change of identity that a night's sleep with substantial dreaming, so far
> the self-conscious aspect of "knowing it's me" is concerned.

Yes, I agree it is possible that someone killed the original 'me' last night
and replaced that body with a perfect copy.  In fact, someone may be doing
that to me every single night, over and over.  Does it matter since I still
have a sense of continuity?

Well, yeah.

Consider this scenario . . . suppose you've just discovered that you are, in
fact, being destroyed every night as soon as you fall asleep, and an exact
copy is made that wakes in the morning.  Now that you know, do you say,
"Ahhh, so what."?  or do you take steps to stop this process so that the
'you' of today is the 'you' of tomorrow?  Do you choose to allow yourself to
be repeatedly killed and replaced ... or do you philosophize about how your
'information' is being preserved?

> >If I am reanimated with my original brain, I will 'know' that I am the
> original. Right?
> Maybe not.  In one case of a hemispherectomy, where one half of the brain
> removed, the patient (who was conscious during the procedure) was reported
> say (I'm afraid I don't have the reference on this, perhaps mentioned in
> book on neuroscience) when asked how he felt, "About the same."  Meaning
> he couldn't pinpoint too well that half his brain had been removed.

So was he the same person?  Hmmm.

> On the other hand, perhaps what Scott is saying is that if he is told that
> brain had been repaired, and trusted that the person telling him this was
> telling the truth, there would be a comfort level in knowing that the
> biological structure had been patched up, but was (in other respects) the
> as it had earlier been.

It's hard to get my mind around these issues.  You're right, I will have to
trust my reanimators when they say that my original brain tissue has been
repaired.  But what if nanotech is unable to patch together all of the
freezing-damaged neurons and instead we find that it's easier to construct
new neurons that mimic the damaged ones?  And let's say this is the case for
50% of my brain.  Now am I the same person or am I half a copy?  Sigh.

 Vita Perpetuem,
Scott Badger

"Cryonics - The alternative is unacceptable."

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