X-Message-Number: 5250
Date: Thu, 23 Nov 1995 20:15:36 -0800
From: John K Clark <>
Subject: SCI.CRYONICS Uploading


In #5235   (Thomas Donaldson) On Wed, 22 Nov 1995 Wrote:

                >Suppose I were to say: "Silicon is not responsible for 
                >calculating, programs are".    

Then I would agree with you.

                >both thought and computer programs cannot exist at all
                                >without some kind of material substrate. 

Yes, but exactly what kind of material substrate is not critical.

                >no one yet has tried to make a computer out of dog turds. 

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, he donated it to a 
museum. To my knowledge nobody has tried dog turds yet, but 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 you can simulate anything.             

                 >the neural nets constituting our brain have a quite 
                 >different method of increasing their  strengths than those 
                 >so far implemented artificially. You see, strength 
                 >increases by a  synapse either changing its point of 
                 >connection, or a new one growing. 

What you're talking about is important, but it's an engineering consideration, 
not a scientific or philosophical objection.

                >Neither of these would be easy to implement well with 
                >current technology. 

Nobody is planing on uploading or reviving cryonics patients with current  

                >it will only be superfast to those who are NOT uploaded.
                                >For the rest of us, it will seem a long time. 

That's a valid point. The future will be a strange place, ironically if you 
want things to seem normal you MUST upload.

In #5242  On Wed, 22 Nov 1995 "Keith F. Lynch" <> Wrote:

                >You think it would take fewer resources to run a person in

Yes I do. Less than an once of matter, mostly carbon, and about 15 watts of 
energy should be enough for an upload. You'd need a little more to simulate 
a rich environment, an entire virtual world for the upload, but that wouldn't 
amount to much because speed would not be an issue.

Even if the computer that was simulating the virtual world 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 
computer that was simulating us while leaving the computer 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 computer till the next speed bottleneck.

OK, I'm cheating a little because you'd also need a cooling system for the 
nano computers, but even so it wouldn't use more energy than a dim light bulb 
and would probably weigh less.

Also, as Thomas Donaldson has pointed out, even an upload needs a presence in 
physical reality because that's where the nano computers are. I have a hunch 
that uploads would get very squeamish at the thought of primitive organisms 
like us poking around at that level of reality.

                >What makes you think we'll be charity cases?
The patient care trust funds are vitally needed to see to it that we remain 
frozen until the nanotechnology age, but at that point I have difficulty 
understanding how giving pictures of dead presidents printed on processed 
wood pulp would be much of an inducement to get the inhabitants of that era 
to do anything. Perhaps our money managers, if they are men of genius, could 
keep up and exchange the old things that were considered valuable with the
new, but it's a path filled with uncertainty and danger. The fact is, nobody 
knows what will be of value in an age of nanotechnology, perhaps just 
information, if so that gives me a little hope because that's what they will 
get if they revive us.

                                          John K Clark        

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