X-Message-Number: 14171
Date: Tue, 25 Jul 2000 13:46:05 -0500
From: Spoering <>
Subject: Reply to Scott Badger, identity


Scott Badger made the point, as I anticipated someone would, that what
would the difference be, in the final analysis, between the
consciousness of a person who has his/her brain scanned and uploaded
into a computer versus the idea of a shared consciousness network
between a bio body connected via high bandwidth to one or more
computers, and the bio body was destroyed, leaving that person in the
computer portion of the network.

The difference is that the computers in the shared network, in the
beginning, after they are connected to the brain, learn to become part
of the brain by listening in on the internal brain communications and
gradually become a network as they learn how the brain thinks, and
collect memories, etc. This is not brain scanning but it is just giving
your brain a much larger capacity which it grows into. It would take
awhile for these external computers to become adept at behaving well
enough to contain enough information to allow your self in the organic
brain to survive total destruction with minimal loss of information.

I suppose you are right about the final product being the same, but with
the shared network idea it is a gradual transfer of consciousness and
not abrupt, with continuity of the same consciousness throughout.

As far as the self- circuit in the brain being the center of our
consciousness a show stopper to this idea, the last I heard this idea is
not proven yet. It has been a few years since I read "Consciousness
Explained" by Dennett, but as I remember in this particular book Dennett
argued that consciousness changes continually and a lot of our thinking
is unconscious little "demons" that occasionally organize and 'rise' to
the surface to become conscious thoughts. Even if there is a part of the
brain required for conscious thought, why could this not also be
simulated in a external computer, with perhaps billions of connections
between the nodes of the shared network. Read the book by Paul and Cox
for perhaps a better explaination of this and loads of other ideas.

Again all of this is mostly personal preferences, but in the far future
I do believe computer enhancement of our brains will begin as small
intellect aids and later grow into full-fledged consciousness
'partners'. Kurzweil in his book also described similar ideas.

Best Regards,

Kevin Spoering

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