X-Message-Number: 5202
Date: Fri, 17 Nov 1995 15:59:38 +0100 (MET)
From: Eugene Leitl <>
Subject: damage assessment/uploading

On Thu, 16 Nov 1995 16:17:56 MST Richard Schroeppel wrote:
> There are various heroic techniques for examining a few atoms
> of a surface in a vacuum; these are probably unsuitable for
> our needs, since they don't look at enough material, and we're
> not ready to use atomic level data anyway.

Atomic force microscopy can image at arbitrary resolution. 
One _can_ image at molecular resolution, though. Data 
aquisiton rates are sufficient if scan is parallel.

> One possibility would be to develop a good method of slicing
> a block of frozen tissue without melting the surface we are

Cryotomes are available. They will artefact, though. Simply
fragmenting vitrified tissue could be straightforward. Joe
Strout thinks cutting will not damage overmuch, though.

> trying to examine.  The top millimeter or so could be examined
> with an ordinary microscope.  Obvious candidates are lasers,

One can abrade either by vacuum sublimation or UV (eg. excimer
laser or any other luminant source). Both abrasions are 
complementary considering water ice and organics (membranes,
proteins). Short pulses are preferable. Vacuum cycling might
become necessary.

> sharp knives, and corrosives; whether they could produce an
> interpretable surface is questionable, but worth looking into.
> We might also see what techniques have been used by other
> scientists who were reluctant to thaw their subjects - ice-man,
> mammoths, ice-cores.

Nobody has ever imaged tissue at such resolutions. EM sure
has sufficient resolution but cannot image anything other
than thin processed sliced. Joe Strout is the capacity to
ask such questions.

> Another possibility would be to prestain the test animal (before
> freezing) - as an example, if we knew that fluorescein didn't enter
> cells, we could give the animal fluorescein, and see what the
> distribution looked like after the freezing protocol.  Conceivably
> this could be combined with NMR to develop high resolution data.

Again, NMR is unsuitable for really small voxels. NMR microscopy
is limited to tiny specimens and voxel sizes of many microns.
Staining, particularly immuno contrast stain is certainly a
good thought. However, it must be applied upon nonfrozen tissue,
hence processing time is limited.

> An outside shot would be to look for a sequence of fluid substitutions
> that preserved tissue & cell structure.  It's already been mentioned
> that ice dissolves readily in methanol.  The problem to be overcome
> is to find a sequence of substitutions that leaves some tissue to
> examine.

Ice will melt in MeOH, however your cells will too. Organic solvents
do ugly things to lipid membranes. Fluid substitutions and
and conservation are mutex.


Brad Templeton wrote on Thu, 16 Nov 1995 21:52:33 GMT: 
> I wonder if mind uploading would reduce the likelihood of revival of
> cryonics patients.

It depends on what you mean by "revival". I think uploading
will become available much sooner than strong nanotech 
which is required for resurrection uploading. Those who had not
specified "resurrection" explicitly might awaken as uploaders ;)

If strong nanotech is nonviable _resurrection is impossible_.

> Imagine that mind uploading becomes possible prior to nanotechnology.
> (I know some people think nano is the technology that would allow the scan
> but we don't really know much about this.)

Any nanotech whatever is unnecessary for the pure scan and storage.
Interim processing and the uploader hardware will need weak nanotech,
> This makes nano far less valuable for most of the world, particularly
> body repair.  Oh, nano-based bodies would be very *nice* for manipulating
> the world, but they would not be necessary, the way that biological bodies
> need nano.

The physical world will very soon become a very dull place as
compared to artificial reality which has virtually no limits
but those of the generating machine.Maintanance and expansion will 
become subconscious low-level functions, with hardly anybody ever 
checking on them.

> More to the point, a lot of people wonder what will happen when people get
> uploaded, and more to the point, children get raised uploaded and net
> connected.

There is no need in reproduction. You can either clone yourself or
create a full-fledged adult with the equivalent of a finger snip.
Reproduction should be limited anyway since hardware needs much
more time to be fabricated. Matter takes time to manipulate.

> Many people wonder if thes might create a new breed of humanity, one far
> beyond us in ways we can't understand.   Many people hope for that, but
> they forget that if that happens, the children will come to regard their
> parents -- even their uploaded parents -- as curiosities of the past.

The time there will be an uploader or a fully aware AI, the progress
ratio will explode. _Nobody_, not even other uploaders will be able
catch on. Unless the superbeing chooses to help, of course.
> They'll see little reason to create more of them, or to revive a population
> from the past.  Particularly since that requires work in the real world and
> in real time, which is the only thing that's "hard" in the network world.

Some (a significant ratio?) will not chose to upload. Some of
uploaders (very few?) might not choose to evolve or evolve at
a limited rate. At least these will be willing to help.
> If we could instantiate an ape mind in silicon, we would of course do it
> a few times to see what it was like.  Particularly ape minds from the
> past.  But would we do it thousands of times?  Might they view it that way?

(It's not silicon but molecular circuitry). But at least these apes
will be willing to lend a hand, don't you think so?

> The ordinary people who are uploaded might be interested in some people from
> the past and go to upload them.  But only if they care about the physical
> world, and they work to develop the revival technology that nobody needs

The people will be interested in minds, not matter. Since uploaders
are probably Good Guys, there are chances are good.

> except the cryonics patients.    Cryonics assumes the revival technology
> will be extremely valuable to the mainstream world, and that this will pay
> for it.  Cryonics can't pay for it.   What if nobody important has a 
> bio-body
> any more?   Or if they have them but switch between them and the non-bio
> form when they need to?   Who would pay for the development of revival
> technology?

While resurrection is an extremely formidable task, it will a 
complete triviality to an uploader. An automatic or semiautomatic
task even.

> I think cryonics, to work, requires that almost all people be living in
> biological bodies, and that they be dependent on them, so that they work
> to develop repair technology for their own purposes, that as a sideline can
> be used to revive the frozen.

I don't think so, see above.
> So dream of uploading -- but only *after* revival.

I don't think you can block the development, once there is
sufficient demand for it. The uploaders will walk all over
you ;)

-- Eugene

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