X-Message-Number: 25014
Date: Thu, 11 Nov 2004 15:49:23 -0500
From: Randolfe Wicker <>
Subject: Personal survival

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  used language I don't personally agree with but put forth an 
idea worth debating:

"Your pattern is irrelevant, since a pattern is open to 
interpretation---convert your brain to information form, and it is 
no longer a brain. It's whatever the interpreter makes of it, which 
may be a brain in some interpretive schemes but won't be in others. 
Personal survival cannot withstand conversion to a purely 
subjective interpretive form."

I've often expressed skepticism about the idea of "uploading oneself" into a 
computer.  I jokingly say that I really don't believe that the essential "I" 
could be "uploaded" and then perhaps sent somewhere else as "an email".  
Previous to the above key argument that: "Personal survival cannot withstand 
conversion to a purely subjective interpretive form", RBN makes arguments about 
one's "soul", invoking a religious concept not really appropriate in the 
rational free-thought conversations here.

If we simply focus on the idea as to what "personal survival" really is, RBN's 
argument that it cannot "withstand conversion" is a really provocative one.  
Physically speaking, sand can be converted into glass.  However, once converted,
I'm not sure glass can be converted back into the original sand.

More relevant perhaps are those experiments/games in which a simple story is 
whispered into one person's ear, then passed on time and again around a room, 
until the story the last person tells is quite different from the original.  It 
shows how small changes on a repeated basis can really change the substance or 
the original message.

It seems to me that "emotional contexts" will possibly be loss during 
conversions and interpretations.  I know some cryonicists who are building large
personal visual and audio archives about their lives in order to refresh their 
memories should they not be able to recall some nuances after reanimation.  I 
think that is a very good idea.  Of course, such archives should rely on 
acid-free paper (photographs, etc) more than on any digital or analog electrical
memory system.


Randolfe H. Wicker
Founder, Clone Rights United Front www.clonerights.com 
Spokesperson, Reproductive Cloning Network, www.reproductivecloning.net 
Correspondent, Stem Cells Club, www.stemcellsclub.com
Advisor, The Immortality Institute, www.imminst.org 
201-656-3280 (Mornings)

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