X-Message-Number: 27565
From: "Jordan Sparks" <>
Subject: RE: uploading myths
Date: Fri, 3 Feb 2006 08:27:39 -0800

Outstanding post on the myths of uploading.  Much of the confusion and
disagreement is simply because this is all so far in the future.  When
someone makes a future prediction, are they talking about the next few
decades or the next few millenia?  Usually, even the person making the
prediction does not have a clear idea as to the timeframe they are referring
to or how it fits into a timeline with other similar predictions.  So I will
try to bring a timeframe perspective to your myths.

Myth #1: Identity will undergo radical revision.
This could be a valid prediction, but it needs to be clarified as being very
very far in the future.  All of your objections are for near-future
scenarios.  Because it is so far in the future, I will agree that as
currently it is a myth.  Most people have absolutely no concept of the vast
changes that must occur before this could ever happen.  So for Bozzonetti to
title his posts as 'uploading' is just utter nonsense.  A much more accurate
description would be simulation.

Myth #2: Merging of selves.
Again, this is a very distant prediction.  And again, I still think that
taken in that context, it is a valid prediction.  If I am constantly adding
neurons one at a time to my future brain in a very ordered and organized
way, then I would still be a general purpose machine, but a constantly
growing one.  How can you possibly predict that I will not be more
competitive than a special purpose machine?  Think of me as the organizer of
all the special purpose machines at my direct disposal.  Such a conglomerate
of machines could easily be competitive.  But again, the technology would be
so advanced, that my description of it is laughably simplistic.  And you
must certainly realize that merges will happen, although I like to think
they will not be the norm, and that non-merged entities could still be quite

Myth #3: All of humanity will take a single path.
Agreed, it's a myth.  But I think most people understand that and that they
are usually talking about what will happen to the majority.

Myth #4: The human brain can be simulated.
Of course it can be simulated.  It will happen soon, and the simulations
will get better every year.  Go Bozzonetti!  I am NOT saying this is at all
equivalent to uploading.

Myth #5: We could live life in a virtual world
Come on now.  Stretch your mind and think about the very distant future.
Like you said, not everyone will choose the same path.  This is certainly
possible.  Why do you think it could never happen?  But I totally agree that
it is very distant, and as such should fall into the myth category.  Most
people treat it like a near-future prediction.

Hey, thanks for mentioning me.  I just reviewed my website, and I don't see
any patternist or distant predictions on it.  All of my statements refer to
simply repairing the existing neurons and making them work again.  I make
references to making minor improvements to one's body, like the elimination
of disease.  But I'm still keeping that in the near-future realm.  I refrain
from making references to distant-future technology precisely because it
will confuse people.  I do easily see myself leaving the solar system in a
few(2 to 10) centuries in search of more raw material to expand my
computational power.  But I don't bring that up with the uninitiated.  For
ordinary people, I stick to discussions of a medical procedure which can fix
the body and make it work properly again.  And there I stop.  Or did you see
something on my website that I overlooked?

Jordan Sparks

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