X-Message-Number: 27573
From: "Jordan Sparks" <>
Subject: RE: Uploading myths
Date: Sat, 4 Feb 2006 08:22:16 -0800

Even though I'm losing interest in this conversation, I will give it one
last shot since you are articulate, and you do post thoughtful replies.

>This sentiment of yours depends on another myth, which I hereby 
christen, The Myth of the Intelligent Blob. This myth states that 
the brain is a blob of neurons, and that you can increase its 
intelligence and/or functionality by gluing on more neurons.

The only reason this sounds absurd to you is because you are still thinking
from a 21st century mindset.  Think for a moment about what nanotechnology
really is.  Computer controlled placement of every single atom results in a
digital rather than analog representation of matter.  So when we have
digital matter control, then we are no longer talking about controlling
items in bulk.  It becomes possible to take an existing item and make small
improvements to it.  Instead of our tools gradually breaking down, they will
be gradually getting more powerful.  So taking your example of a computer
chip, you certainly could have an army of machines roaming the surface of
the chip making constant improvements and enhancements to it without
redesigning from scratch.  So hardware comes under the same kind of control
as software is right now.  I have a software project which I constantly
improve every day.  I've been doing this for years.  Always changing; always
improving.  There's no need to redesign the whole thing at once.  Currently,
I must shut down my software and recompile to see the improvements.  But
that will improve.  Software design of the future will allow me to make
changes while the program is still running.  I might not be able to use a
particular subroutine for a few minutes, but that won't hurt anything.  The
same will be true of all hardware in the future.  This includes my brain.
Constantly changing and constantly improving.  You really must get past that
mental block, or we will never be able to agree on the implications of this
new paradigm.

And as this relates to identity... my program does have identity regardless
of your insistence that it does not.  And I don't care how many philosophers
insist that it is without identity.  They can't change the fact that my
program exists.  Are you saying my program does not exist?  I happen to know
that it does.

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