X-Message-Number: 3785
Date: Thu, 2 Feb 1995 22:05:01 -0800
From: John K Clark <>
Subject: Uploading


I believe Mr. Ettinger's post is several days old but I've only just seen it.
                 >Now, you can't realize a bulldozer blade in tissue paper 
It's difficult to construct  physical objects out of tissue
paper because it's a poor building block, atoms work a lot 
better. Realizing non physical things is easier,  printing a
novel or mathematical proof Is straightforward even on tissue
paper ,but it's possible (if impracticable) for more complex non
material things to be realized, like Albert Einstein. 
Practicalities aside, a brain can be made out of anything and a
computer doesn't have to be made of integrated circuits or even
vacuum tubes. Babbage made one with gears and levers, IBM used
hydraulics , Daniel Hillis built a working computer out of
nothing but Tinker Toys. It's funny you mentioned tissue paper
because  Weizenbaum showed how to make a computer  using a roll
of toilet paper and a pile of small stones. Just make sure the
computer is big enough, run the correct program and "it's a
honor to meet you Professor Einstein ". 
The same computer could simulate an entire virtual world for us.
Even if the computer that was simulating us was very  slow, from
our point of view it would seem infinitely fast. If the machine
had performance problems all we'd have to do is slow down or
even stop the part of the program that was simulating us while
leaving the part that simulated the rest of the universe
running. Regardless of how many calculations it would take to
convince us that the  simulation was real it could be done
instantly, from our point of view. Once the machine was caught
up it could carefully restart our part of the program till the
next speed bottleneck.                              

               > to say that the brain is essentially "nothing but" a  
               >computer or "nothing but" an information processor is simply 
               >a false premise, or at the very least an unjustified premise.
For any phenomenon it's always possible to claim that there
might be some aspect of it not yet found that will need new
physics to explain. It's not good practice to do this.
                >Is an analog (an isomorph) as good as the original? 
                >Depends on what you want it to be good for--and how
                >far the isomorphism extends. 
It also depends on the nature of the original, if it's not an
object then the copy is not as good as the original ,it is the original.
             >If an important part of you will not work without
             >some tiny [iron] magnets in exactly the right configurations,
             >then to some extent those  magnets ARE you and
             >you ARE those magnets. 
If those particular iron atoms are you then there must be
something different about them than the iron atoms in an old
rusty car yet science can't detect the slightest difference. The
right configuration of atoms is  producing you , they are not
you. Early computers would not work without vacuum tubes but
today we have substitutions that work better and  we can run
those old programs on new machines.  In the event that  only an
iron atom will do then use one. I don't have to denote all the 
complex behavior an iron atom is capable of because all iron
atoms are the same and everything larger that atoms is made up
of  92 IDENTICAL building  blocks, the elements, only about 10
are used in life.
                    >It [The Self Circuit] may be CRITICAL for
                    >it to have very specific dimensions, frequencies, 
                    >response times interface  capabilities--who  knows what. 
I have a real problem with your self circuit idea. The brain
produces a feeling of self but there's no reason to think one
specific part does that and nothing more, evolution could never
have produced such a thing. My television can produce images of
David Letterman but that doesn't mean there is a David Letterman
circuit in the set. It's much more likely that the self is a
emergent phenomena produced by the entire brain.I don't  think
it's a useless appendage that's just tacked on.
                          John K Clark                    

Version: 2.6.i


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