X-Message-Number: 25293
Date: Sun, 12 Dec 2004 15:09:49 -0800 (PST)
From: Scott Badger <>
Subject: Re: Identity

Valera: Strictly speaking, there's only a POSSIBILITY
that human mind can be sustained on a non-biological

Scott: Agreed.

Valera: First, you cannot have two QEs because YOU are
your QE (it's just another word for YOU). 

Scott: I see no self-evident reason for this. If part
of your QE system is damaged your conscious mind will
likely be diminished. If we add to your QE system it
would stand to reason that your conscious mind would
expand. Don't think of it as two QE's, but rather an
expansion of the original. Or do you propose that a QE
is defined only by a system with contiguous neurons
and that adding to the system in some other location
in the brain would not result in enhancement but only

Valera: Second, I wouldn't recommend expanding your
brain in such a way. Your external brain system would
already have its own QE. 

Scott: My example involved a replica of the brain
inside my skull, and it wouldn t be activated until I
expanded into it so it would be a dormant QE system,
but I would agree with you that adding the neuronal
extensions gradually is preferable.

Please understand. First, I don t believe that a copy
or a duplicate of me is really me. I do think it may
be possible to upload using a gradual process that
maintains continuity.

Secondly, I have no desire to get rid of the sense of
self I currently possess. I m just saying that if our
minds grow and expand as I think they will, our future
selves may be analogous to what the waking mind is to
the dreaming mind. And most people shed their dream
self almost every morning shortly after waking up.

Richard: In fact, I would, after much testing, want my
brain to be  replaced gradually, with a more durable
(and functionally equivalent!!!) counterpart. This
would open the door to increasing the number of
conscious events per minute, which in turn would make
time slow down. I could perhaps live a hundred years
in the space of a day, thus increasing my perceived
lifespan tremendously.

Scott: I agree again.

Richard:  Exceeding human limitations' is meaningless.
There are no such thing as intrinsic 'human
limitations.' There are only things which you view as
limitations to your own happiness.

Scott: I don't get it. How is intelligence not an
intrinsic human limitation? Brains differ but all have
their limits.

Richard: Smart people often derive some happiness not
from just being as smart as they are, but from being
smarter than others, so if you were to increase your
intelligence, it would only make you happy until
everyone else did the same.

Scott: I don t want to be more intelligent for the
sake of status. I desire a greater understanding of
the universe in which I live and if other s achieve
the same, all the better. Plus, having desires and
goals is not the same thing as being unhappy, at least
for most of us.

Richard: ... the brain (and your synthetic equivalent)
is designed as a thing with a singular qualia
experiencer, which is you. 

Scott: Well, as I understand your theory, the QE is a
physical system, and systems can be downgraded or
upgraded, can't they? If I added a third eyeball to
the back of my head, I'd be enhancing or upgrading my
visual system if it was properly hooked up. What';s
the essential difference?

Richard: ... but it is mistaken to think of the two
experiencers as being the same---i.e. as being a
single experiencer. They are two physical systems,
each having a qualia experiencer, and they 'happen' to
experience the same things. If you destroy one of
them, that one stops experiencing, since it was

Scott: So if I completely understood the physical
structure and functioning of my QE, would there be any
possible way for me to enhance it?

Best regards,


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