X-Message-Number: 14836
Date: Fri, 3 Nov 2000 21:36:36 +0200
From: Stasys Adiklis <>
Subject: About Information (reply to Pizer, note to Ettinger)


> Message #14797
> From: david pizer <>
> Subject: Memories are Secondary

> Following is a short commonsense example

Your examples seem to be incorrect. And I'll try to show your mistakes

> that will drive a stake through the heart of the theory that only memories
> (or only patterns of information) are the sum total of a self.

...this will force you to reconsider your beliefs and...

> When this is fully realized the concept of uploading one's mind will no
> longer hold any promise, and the fraility of our condition will be realized.

...this will hopefully turn you into being an advocate of uploading :-)

> We can then spend time trying to preserve and protect our permanent,
> self-aware-continuing-process.

Or to try to create an artificial brain.

> First let us grant that memories are patterns of information.

OK. But don't you think that those memories were actually the "immediate
information being perceived through the senses" some day in the past?

> we can grant that memories *are* some kind of pattern of information
> that are *felt in* a thing we presently call a human mind.

Or speaking in Ettinger's terms:
...that are being perceived by the "standing wave" (or whatever that is).

> When we think of information and the separate action of feeling the
> information in this way,

Now you just said that consciousness is actually an action of feeling
the memories (information). That it is some kind of interaction between
"standing wave" and those memories...

> it is clear to us that the mind is separate from the memories.

...and suddenly (and unbelievably) you claim that the very act of
interaction between two things makes them separate.

How can you explain such a claim?

> The memories are probably stored in a part of the brain that
> is very close to the mind.

I'll say that those two things - information and "self-circuit" ("standing
wave") must "overlap" - interact one with the other in order to create

> Surely, it must be certain that no one on this advanced forum has a problem
> separating the concepts of memories from that which percieves them.  It is
> because we can only understand these as two separate entities that we know
> this to be true.

OK. But i can't imagine how one can feel being conscious while that "standing
wave" is not actually interacting with memories.

I'll say that the "self-circuit" is a system that creates the feeling of
self-awareness (consciousness). And information is the actual "content"
of that feeling.

> Then it follows that memories without a mind to percieve them in cannot
> exist. However, a mind can exist without memories, (as in the example
> below).

> Sometimes the mind perceives memories and sometimes there are no memories
> in the mind as when it is perceiving the immediate situation directly
> through the senses.

On one hand you may call "immediate information" (i guess this wording is
better than "immediate situation") - "very short term memories".

On another hand you may name (long term) "memories" as a "former (recorded)
immediate information".

> That split second where one is walking across the
> street while thinking and remembering about the good taste of licking his
> ice cream cone a few minutes earlier, to the present awareness of the car
> that is running the red light and about to crash into one; as the memory of
> the ice cream cone dissapears from perception and no memory is being felt
> in the mind, as one is only aware of the immediate (not a memory) situation
> of a car coming at a great speed at one.  This is a time when the mind
> exists without any memory.

Let me simplify a bit and call both things you've mentioned ("immediate
situation" and "memories") - the INFORMATION. Clearly you can focus your
attention on incoming info (like in your example with a car) or on a
stored info - memories (example about ice cream). But it's the same
interaction of your "standing wave" with information in both cases.

> So it is clear that the mind is separate and more basic then patterns of
> information called memories.

It's clear that mind is in no way separated from the information (memories
or an immediately incoming info). I guess that if you separate them - you are
unconscious. If you don't agree - explain please how do you imagine a "black"
self-awareness without any content (info) at all?

> Message #14822
> Pizer's Reply to Henri Kluytmans <>
>>Subject: Memories are Secondary

> I was refering to all the people who think that
> memories are the sum total of selfness, and  if they can upload their
> memories into a computer that has awareness, (in some fashion) and if this
> computer can then feel their memories instead of the original mind in their
> original brain feelint them, they will consider that a form of survival.

And those people are right. The thing that distinguishes you from other
people is information not the self-circuit. Our self-circuits and feeling
of being conscious are in essence the same. They are of the same nature.
Like pain for example. You can't say that my pain is fundamentally
different from yours and thus those systems that produce pain are not
interchangeable. The same is with awareness. All the people are self-
aware in the same way and in that sense our consciousness are the same.
The "standing waves" do tot have any "scratches" on them (even if there are
any differences - they are irrelevant). The very thing that distinguishes
us (makes our conscious experiences different) is the information that is
being "touched" by that "standing wave".

In fact if someone proves that my "standing wave" or to be more precise -
the system that creates that wave ("lower brain center" or something like
that) is somewhat sick - say, for example - performing not perfectly well
due to some disease - i would be more than happy to replace that system
with transplant or even with artificial variant of it (uploading! :-)
As long as my memories are left untouched i will be sure that my personal
self won't be affected by that replacement.

If my "self-circuit" is going to be transplanted to someone else's brain
it (self-circuit) wont feel like "hey, where am i?! whose body is it?"
cause all the essential info (past memories about another life and the
original body) were left in the original body... and the recipient of my
"standing wave creating system" won't even notice the change... cause the
new wave in it's function is essentially the same as the old one was.

> My point was that the thing that feels the memories is the main thing that
> makes a person the person he/she is.

Exactly the opposite. As I've speculated above and going to make clearer

Now let me replace Ettinger's statement "the map is not a territory"
with a better analogy (Ettinger won't mind?): "The sound is not the
same as patterns on audio CD", and it'll show you that uploading
is likely possible.

In order to be conscious (produce sound) you have to have an active standing
wave (active sound speakers). But our consciousnesses (all sounds) are in
essence the same. Your's consciousness (sound produced by one speaker set)
in essence is the same as mine (as the sound produced by another speaker set).
When we say "i'm conscious" ("i hear music") we know that our experiences
are of the same nature. There is no substantial difference (even if there is
some difference - it's irrelevant) between your's feeling of being conscious
and mine, just like with pain for example. Thing that actually makes our
consciousness (sound) different - are the patterns of info that reside in our
brains (are recorded on CD) and are being processed by standing waves
(being played by speakers). Obviously - if there is no standing wave (sound
system) - there is no consciousness (sound). But it's not the standing wave
(sound system) that is important. You can "bring to life" your consciousness
(sound) with ANY standing wave (sound system) and as long as the patterns are
the same - the patterns are the recordings of Mozart memories (of Mozart
music) - its clear that the consciousness (music) is really Mozart's!

The standing waves (speakers) are clearly replaceable and interchangeable.
The patterns are important, not the actual system that brings them to life.
So there is no sense in "saving" the original standing wave producing
system (the original speakers that were first to play that record).

Still not obvious? Then read another very good analogy by Raphael T. Haftka:

>The computer I use to write this email message has all the files that I
>created in the past 10 years. These files are much more valuable to me than
>the computer itself, including all the programs that run on it. I can
>transfer the files to another computer without any problem.

>Will you say that the computer and operating system are more basic than the

> A person is a mind that feels memories.


> The part of the mind that feels memories and direct sensory input
> and awareness is the part that is the main component of selfhood.


> It more seems to me that memories are patterns of information. Memories
> become thoughts ONLY when the feeling part of the brain calls them into
> awarness.

OK. But:
  1. The memories (patterns) are unique and thus - clearly not
     replaceable by any other "memories".
  2. The part that feels information is fundamentally the same in
     all people and thus - "easily" replaceable.

Excuse me mine (still very poor?) English. And excuse me mine redundancy.
I've tried to present my ideas as clearly as i could. If anyone of you
see any glaring mistakes in my reasoning - let me know. After all i'm
not interested in "proving" anything to you. i'm interested in finding
the TRUTH :-)

One final note (i guess it's to Ettinger): as long as we don't have any
evidence that any "standing wave" actually exists, it seems to me more
reasonable to claim that... it (awareness) emerges in mere informational
processes and the neural net + sensory system are the only things needed
to create that consciousness.

Even if Ettinger is right and there must be some knife to "cut the mustard",
i don't see why that "knife" can't be artificial, or at least artificially
bioengineered, while interfacing with memories that reside in artificial
(immortal and possible to back-up) medium...

That's all. Bye.

ICQ: 43912181

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