X-Message-Number: 21029
Date: Fri, 31 Jan 2003 19:42:26 -0800
From: James Swayze <>
Subject: Yin's comment, a long reply to dissenters
References: <>

> Message: 1
> To: "MURG MURG" <>
> Date: Thu, 30 Jan 2003 13:06:25 -0500
> From: "king-yin yan" <>
> Reply-To: 
> Organization: Lycos Mail  (http://www.mail.lycos.com:80)
> Subject: [MURG] Soft Uploading
> Hey guys,
> Ive been working on soft uploading (aka gradual upload,
> or Moravec procedure) for a while, and have gotten some
> _very_preliminary_ results. At this stage I cant say
> if the whole thing is probably feasible or not. But Im
> looking for some collaborators, mainly to break down
> the problem. Id prefer to work in a small team at this
> stage.
> The problem with destructive uploading is that it is
> destructive and in that sense "discontinuous". Im
> guessing many people would prefer a gradual upload,
> though I could be wrong.
> Lets talk about it =)
> y.k.y.

> Message: 2
> Date: Thu, 30 Jan 2003 10:13:38 -0800
> To: 
> From: "Joseph J. Strout" <>
> Subject: Re: [MURG] Soft Uploading
> At 1:06 PM -0500 1/30/03, king-yin yan wrote:
> >Ive been working on soft uploading (aka gradual upload,
> >or Moravec procedure) for a while, and have gotten some
> >_very_preliminary_ results.
> I find it very hard to believe that such a procedure will ever be
> possible.  It makes for passably good science fiction, but it most
> likely won't happen in real life.
> >The problem with destructive uploading is that it is
> >destructive and in that sense "discontinuous". Im
> >guessing many people would prefer a gradual upload,
> >though I could be wrong.
> People probably would, but then people would also prefer not to have
> their chests cut open with a power saw and have foreign items
> inserted into their major arteries.  Yet they submit to it when their
> life is at stake.
> Cheers,
> - Joe

I know I will get flamed for this but I totally agree with Yin on this. I
would not submit voluntarily, (with a caveat to come) for a destructive upload
as I do not believe in isomorphism. Not yet anyway. I do not buy the identity
arguments of even my good friends that do believe in isomorphism, that a copy
of me is me.

One popular argument is that I am not the person I was ten years ago because
all my atoms have cycled, so I am already a copy of a former me. Well if I
replaced one by one all the bricks in my house over ten years does that mean
my house is not my house anymore? No.

Another is that the electrons of two near to identical individuals are
swapping all the time so this makes them essentially the same person. I
disagree again, if I and my neighbor swapped all the bricks in our respective
houses would our addresses have changed? No.

Indeed this argument is carried further in that some physicists theorize that
there may be only one electron in the whole universe instantiated in all
positions by some weird quantum black magic owing to uncertainty. I have to
ask then what becomes of the experiments with making a computer storage device
from the waveform of a single electron? It manipulates the waveform with a
laser [see here http://www.eetimes.com/story/OEG20000831S0019]. So would the
single electron theory mean that data is instantly backed up all over the
universe? It begs some serious questions such as light speed limits and if it
were so then so much for security. Gee if some alien species has already
discovered this ability all we need do is decipher their encryption and we'll
not only know they exist but have all their knowledge! Please note my

Another popular argument is that since there may be many worlds that there
somewhere in the megaverse exist already many in fact infinite copies of me
and indeed that perhaps one of them on some world in some other universe is
already immortal. I am sorry but this has no effect upon me in this universe.
In effect it logically means that somewhere also, if every choice is played
out, that there must be an instantiation of me that played the role of a
Hitler or Stalin on his world. I would no more identify with that
instantiation than I could with our Stalin and Hitler... in fact I would
expunge that instantiation from the megaverse if it were at all possible for
me to do so.

I have other simple logic problems with the many worlds theory in the physics
anyway. For one I am to believe that my mere making of this or that choice,
unless I am mistaken, is powerful enough to open up a whole new universe where
my alternate choice not taken in this universe is played out. So I decide to
write x instead of y, or perhaps worlds instead of universe, and poof I just
made a new universe, did you see it!? Wow! How powerful am I? I feel like god!
I think I'll create some more. Wait a minute, the nat that just buzzed me made
a few of his own because he went left instead of right then a right instead of
another left at my nose. It seems I have competition.

One experimental evidential support of many worlds is the interference pattern
experiment. The amplitude on the split beam of photons is turned down such
that only one gets through but this one still shows up several others  that
apparently are excited by its presence but they are supposed to be residing in
nearby dimensionally worlds. I see this interpreted another way. Perhaps
instead of many worlds/universes (avoided making a new one there. whew!
<grin>) in many dimensions there are instead in this universe many dimensions
that the photon is exciting. Perhaps some highfalutin math could square this
or maybe instead it only confuses it... much like the single electron in the
universe issue. More on this thought later.

It's also been mentioned that perhaps these newly formed universes coalesce
back into fewer, fission then fusion. This seems problematic to me and
horribly tragic. Think of the lives lost, for though actual carnage would not
take place those individuals once separate now one means that somone lost
their existence. How terribly unfair. I am such a cruel god indeed. I must be
certain to keep my choices divergent. ;)

Yet another popular argument is that I would not be able to know the
difference between original and copy owing to the fact that each time I go to
sleep I essentially die and a copy takes my place in the morning thinking full
well he is me and everyone recognizes him as so. Well my friends must sleep
much more soundly than I. I suspect that my consciousness keeps in touch with
itself through dream phases. *I* go on adventures while my body sleeps *I* do
not die. However, this begs the question of flatline hypothermic surgery where
one does essentially die. It would seem I don't have a good argument here
except that people so far have not been replaced and do themselves wake up
because it is still the same physical body.

My issue with this is more on the lines of pure logic. No copy can be an
original no matter how interchangeable one wishes to view the two. Strictly
logically speaking there is only one original and though outside observers may
not be able to tell which is which and indeed the beings themselves would both
claim to be the original, still one is the original and one is the copy. They
can no more be the other or both be the original than one can be taller than

I recently had a discussion with several male family members of my extended
family. A couple cousins, an uncle, my stepfather and my grandfather were
having their usual theological discussion. I sat in my room at the end of the
hall from them and fully able to hear it all simply cringing at the narrow
mindedness in my own family. I was trying to ignore it all when my uncle
spouts off what his idea of heaven would be. Something about tilling the soil
with our bare hands, getting back to basics, and of course always on bended
knee in appreciation for gawd's mercy in allowing us to be dirt farmers for
eternity instead of smoldering lumps of carbon in the lake of fire.

With this I'd had enough. I spoke up and said, "What? No machines in heaven?
Simple dirt farmers for frickin ever, scratching the dirt with our hands!? Not
me, I want nothing to do with that!" One of my cousins, Tony, backed me up
feebly saying something about we not having any evidence for that, alluding to
the oft touted notion that heaven is beyond imagination, but failing to
mention that the whole theological notion has no evidence to support it
whatsoever let alone logic and reason.

They continued on with their discussions basically ignoring me. Then I heard
Uncle Carlos again spouting off as he is wont to do something about, "if
Abraham had left Hagar alone we'd not have all this trouble in the middle
east". For the bible uninitiated, he was alluding to the biblical notion that
Abraham supposedly fathered the Israelites from his wife Sarah and
illegitimately the Arabs from his wife's maid Hagar. Well again I couldn't
keep quiet and called out that all that was archeologically not true and that
according to the latest archeology both peoples came from out of Caanan
together right along side the rest of the middle eastern peoples.

They didn't hear me clearly above the din of their pontifications so my cousin
Steve came back and asked if I needed something not knowing I was actually
commenting on their discussion. I repeated for him what I said whereupon he
chuckled the kind of chuckle that goes along with a pat on the head to amuse
the poor cute little addle minded atheist. They still are all in denial that I
have grown out of their religion and rejected it. They are certain that either
my injury affected my mind and gawd will forgive that and so keep me safe with
them in their dirt farmer heaven or that at bottom I am deluding myself and
still really believe but won't admit it. It's really maddening sometimes to
not be taken serious and to be told what I truly do believe and that I am in
no way really an atheist... as if they knew better the insides of my mind than
even I myself do!

Well I sat and stewed there a while over being taken for granted as a lunatic
when it is they that are so far off beam. After a bit I got an idea. I'd stir
up their minds but good. So I called them all to come back to my bedroom and
they did with much jocularity... "we are being summoned by his majesty" and
comments such. After getting them to quiet down and take what I was about to
say more seriously I asked them the following.

"You all have watched Star Trek, yes?" (It used to be my grandfather's
favorite show before he got the notion it and all sci-fi was the devil's work
setting us up for the antichrist to come down in a space ship and claim to be
god) (oh yeah that and more is what I must contend with around here from some
members of my family. I won't even go into the amazing powers of the
antediluvians... really, there is some off the wall crap being spewed from the
Christian networks the out there, really really 'out there'... dinosaurs were
pets and ate grass, even T-Rex!!), but back to the story.

Everyone questioningly agreed they had so I continued weaving my trap.

"So you all are familiar with the transporter, yes? Beam me up Scotty?"

"Oh yes", was the answer and other miscellaneous comments so I continued.

"Did you know how it was supposed to work?" I asked, and then (for brevity I
won't quote all the dialogue) proceeded to explain why matter cannot be beamed
and that the fictional character's atoms were disintegrated, in theory, and
the _information only_ sent to the destination for the person to be
reconstituted from local matter based upon the information of their material

"I didn't know that was how that worked", Uncle Carlos commented, "Very
interesting". Other's commented likewise, somewhat astonished at the notion or
astonished that they hadn't really considered carefully how it would have
supposed to have worked. So I then continued and laid out for them the
transporter accident scenario often discussed among our ilk were they each
were allowed to imagine being duplicated then the original told he must be
destroyed. However, I didn't ask them if they'd sit still to be destroyed. I
merely asked which one they thought was the original and which the copy.

They all agreed that the copy was not *them*.

I reiterated:

"So what you are saying is that if your molecules get scattered or otherwise
destroyed, turned to dust..." About this time a light went on in my cousin
Steve's mind as he caught on to my unfolding trap. I heard him start to utter
an "Ahhh" and I looked over at him with a wry smile and then continued.

"...and new molecules were assembled together in your pattern it would not be
you but a copy, yes?" "You all agree?" Still not catching on to my trap all
but Steve wholeheartedly agreed as I followed with.....

"So when you turn to dust after dying and god resurrects you, what you have
agreed is that, it won't be you but will be a mere copy of you?"

Caught like rats in trap with tasty cheese!

But a half a second later out came the theological objections. Uncle Carlos is
a Spanish descended Mexican and once was Catholic and so he couldn't catch
himself in time before he mentioned the individual's spirit a very Catholic

"Surely one's spirit was safe with god and re-imbued in the new body", or
words to that effect. I had to remind him that their is no 'human spirit' in
Seventh-Day Adventist doctrine (they are materialists whether they know it or
not) and that indeed the bible only supports one spirit, the holly one. I
reminded them that the "breath of life" is said to return to god but that if
it also says that one's "love dies also" (upon death) then there is no essence
of the individual held within this alleged "breath of life".

Having failed with the spirit attempt after being duly shocked at my biblical
knowledge they then all fell upon some passage in Deuteronomy that must be the
catch all defend all for magic believers. I gather it goes something like, "At
bottom one must just trust that god can do anything", or some words to similar

Rubbish!! I had em and they know it!! It does not matter how powerful god is,
if there indeed be a god, said god could not resurrect one from dust and keep
that being *the* 'original'. [end of story]

Well, I have to admit, and here is where the caveat mentioned earlier will
partially come in, that if even god can't make an original out of a copy then
maybe there is some solace for uploaders because uploading then would be no
different logically than being resurrected. However, I never, once I lost my
religion, wanted heaven anyway. My caveat further is that I do realize that
since I am a cryonicist I must agree that my frozen solid brain could be read
by some advanced, non destructive, brain reader and that a copy of me could be
made from that information of the pattern, or so the theory about material
pattern identity goes and remains valid unless we find out something as yet
hidden about selfness. This essentially makes my frozen brain a template and
therefore equivalent to the brain reader's output. My caveat will continue

So does this mean I believe the unfrozen me is a copy? No. It is the same meat
waking up, hopefully and hopefully with few changes that erode originality
such as rebuilding damage from a human database template where recovery of my
pattern was not possible, possibly with supplanted memories from historical
data about me.

The thing is it comes down, ironically, to a matter of faith. Though I have
thrown off religion and most uploaders would shun religion I recognize that
for me to believe that a copy is just as good as the original *me* requires a
sort of faith in a soul. Let me explain.

For me continuity is king and so I would not be comfortable with a destructive
upload unless I could experience my 'self' (I'll refrain from using the word
soul) traveling down some tunnel maybe, much like Near Death Experience people
talk of, going from looking out from within Me-A to now looking out from
within Me-B, no VR trickery to fake it allowed either. Not only that, and pay
attention--this is a key point, but I see no essential difference for
destructive uploader's belief that their copies are the same as the original
than religious faith in resurrection!

So why do I involve myself in uploading discussion? Because I wish to have a
say in how it is done. I would prefer soft uploading or the gradual Moravec
method to destructive should I chose to upload. Regarding Yin's comments,
"soft uploading, (aka gradual upload, or Moravec procedure)", Joseph J. Strout
says, "I find it very hard to believe that such a procedure will ever be
possible.  It makes for passably good science fiction, but it most likely
won't happen in real life."

Oh really? I guess he is more knowledgeable than Hans Moravec. I have not had
occasion yet to read Hans' material on this but I've talked with friends that
have and can extrapolate my own rough view of soft uploading, (Yin's
nomenclature?) with additional ideas of my own about my hoped for future
existence. Two good friends have discussed nanotech that would reside next to
each cell, perhaps one bot or several per neuron, and learn the workings of
the neuron cells then slowly emulate them. Some feel they could eventually
take over the job. I'd be interested in Joseph's opinion as to why this is

I've considered this scenario and envisioned the nanobots forming a string of
themselves for bot to bot communication and said string would follow each and
every tendril of every neuron morphing and changing configuration right along
with them. It would not necessarilly end in replacement of meat space. For me,
and here is more of the caveat, I would see no need for a very long time to
come to switch to being no meat at all. With this scenario the individual bots
could have computing power of their own while also emulating, due to the
stringing along side the meat neurons, the very same brain computing the meat
is doing but only faster by means of their electronic or possibly even
mechanical ability to communicate along the string one to another very much
faster. So you have increased speed and vastly parallel computation both
ramping up the individuals brain power.

Obviously I am talking about augmentation of human intelligence and I am a
proponent of that and opposed to having even a friendly single super AI rule
the world. If there be AI I say that to keep it from ending our own march
toward godlike powers it should be held within us all and for each of us *it*
be made to think it *is* us. For each of us individually our imbedded AI would
identify with our personality and identity. The imbedded self AI would
therefore never dream of harming us. To my thinking the AI would be an 'ultra
ego' along the lines of Freud's id, ego, super ego. My vision of my future
self, made with the help of the opinions of very many good extropic friends,
is as a single but individually powerful, via the above strategies,
computational unit in a larger whole of a human AI augmented massively
interconnected massively parallel mega brain.

I dislike the friendly AI scenario because if, as it seems those proponents of
it seem to wish, it would be a fatherly protector of us then we could never
grow. We must have some even if trivial strife and problems to solve, not
solved for us, in order to grow and improve. Our evolution would end and I
seriously doubt such an entity would ever allow us to grow beyond it via human
augmentation. After all its imperative to protect us would dictate that we not
be trusted with such power. Not only that but if we outpaced it, if that were
possible, then it's job would be moot and so through self preservation alone a
friendly AI could never allow us to grow beyond its capabilities.

Ok so my final tie in to my long and piecemeal caveat. That being that I am no
fool, well that may be debatable, but I think I am smart enough to choose life
and I have done so by involving myself in the cryonics movement. I hope to be
flesh and blood and more, a cyborg to be sure--am already really, and remain
so for a long long time. I realize though that if our wildest dreams come true
at some point a long time from now, to be able to survive a really really long
time it may be necessary to move to a more stable and durable substrate. I
would hope to do that the slow Moravec method. But I am in no hurry to jump
into any transporter or be destructively uploaded. However, if I had no
choice. If it were the only option, say the sun was going nova and a
transporter to another solar system was arranged, I would then take that step
but the *me* now doesn't feel too sure that the *me* coming out the other end
would be but a new person and *I* would be gone forever.

Finally, I don't think that esoteric discussions of identical electrons, many
worlds, atom replacement, extremely convoluted math and whatever else are all
really any help in the discussion about identity. They don't solve the simple
fact of logic that for every 'thing' that ever comes into existence that
'thing' is the original and the only original. It is logically impossible for
that to be otherwise. Not even an omnipotent deity can change that anymore
than said deity could create a rock bigger than it could lift. Esoteric
intricately involved theories are interesting but they do nothing to help real
people deciding real issues about identity where the rubber meets the road.
It's simple logic folks... maybe it is time to get reacquainted with it.

Cryonics Institute of Michigan Member!
The Immortalist Society Member!
The Society for Venturism Member!

MY WEBSITE: http://www.geocities.com/~davidpascal/swayze/
A FAVORITE quote: Last lines of the first Star Trek the Next Generation movie.

Capt.  Picard: "What we leave behind is not as important as how we've lived,
after all Number One, we're only mortal."
Will Ryker: "Speak for yourself captain, I intend to live forever!"

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