X-Message-Number: 14145
Date: Sat, 22 Jul 2000 19:38:41 -0500
From: Cynthia and Kevin Spoering <>
Subject: Identity


I have been following the discussion on identity here for a long time
and have thought about the problem myself long before I joined Alcor in
1996. These are my personal thoughts on the subject, and I do mean
PERSONAL, as opinions vary widely on the identity problem.

First, I am signed up to be a whole body suspendee. At one time I did
believe that downloading, popularly known as uploading now, was the way
to go, have your frozen brain scanned and neatly place your
consciousness in a body equal or superior to your old one, artificial
and nearly indestructible. But I just can't get away from one big
problem with this scenario, as I believe that the consciousness that
would reside in that new body is just a copy of the original and not
really me. I know that many of you have posted very elegant arguments
that this is not the case, but I remain unconvinced.

So this leaves the problem of  being reanimated someday, but still be in
an organic body, thus very suseptible to irretrievible accident, as no
backup would exist for someone who does'nt believe in uploading. I read
a book a couple of years ago titled BEYOND HUMANITY: CYBEREVOLUTION AND
FUTURE MINDS, by Gregory Paul and Earl Cox. In it, these authors have a
solution to my dilemma, which is that you keep your organic body but
have it connected with high bandwith to possibly several mind equivalent
computers as a SHARED consciousness network. You would perceive your
consciousness centered in your body, but if your body and brain were
destroyed, the external computers would be your backup. Then a new body
would have to be made of course but as these external computers are part
of your consciousness, it gets around the problem of "is it a copy or
not?" question. I like my hormones and being an organic human, and don't
want to be downloaded. The idea of computers hooked up to your brain and
it's implications were also long ago explored by Ettinger in his first
book, and briefly also touched on by Halperin in his novel, but Halperin
did not take this idea to it's logical conclusion.

The technology of melding external computers to a person's brain is a
long way off, I know. We first have to be suspended in a timely manner
very soon after our death, and hope the damage from all of this is
minimal. But if this is achieved,  it seems to me that the
nanotechnology we all talk about is nearly inevitable, and then we all
should find our safe haven in the future we all long for. If I did'nt
believe this, I would not be a cryonicist.

Best Regards,

Kevin Spoering

"If we can dream it, we can do it"----EPCOT, Florida, Horizons exibit

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