Re: Corner cases was Robert Aunger essay

From: Keith Henson (
Date: Mon 17 Apr 2006 - 16:51:10 GMT

  • Next message: Keith Henson: "Re: Corner cases was Robert Aunger essay"

    At 11:59 AM 4/17/2006 +0100, Robin wrote:
    >Sunday, April 16, 2006, 6:13:00 PM, Keith wrote:
    > > At 11:29 AM 4/16/2006 +0100, you wrote:
    > >>Saturday, April 15, 2006, 9:11:22 PM, Keith wrote:
    > >>
    > >> > For example, when a human mind is
    > >> > implemented in computer hardware does it get infected with a meme or a
    > >> > computer virus?
    > >>
    > >>Just to show I'm not averse to discussion mutation: surely that's a
    > >>computer mind, not a human mind?
    > > Chunk of a fiction story I wrote currently in voting on K5.
    >Mmm, "fiction", yes, I see...

    I should have made note that this is based on the best extrapolations of where technology is going.

    >I don't believe it makes sense to consider minds as transferable
    >between substrates.

    Why not? Unless there is something supernatural about a mind, can you think of any reason your mind would not run on a good simulation of the underlying "hardware"?

    >As implied by your mention of "spirits", that's a
    >basically dualist view. And I know that language was intended for
    >those who could not appreciate the technology. But it also illustrates
    >where the concepts originated. You just took dualism full circle,
    >which is appropriate, because it takes us nowhere.

    I really don't see the concept of spirit as dualistic. If a chair has been painted red your eyes tell you it has the quality of "red." If you can interact with something, it has the quality of "spirit." Thus live cats and dogs have spirit. So do computers with operating systems. Dead humans, cats and dogs plus computers that have been turned off don't have spirit. Simple as that.

    >What would make more sense, as well as being more relevant to this
    >forum, would be a story about copying the memes from a person into a machine.

    That is the main topic for several forums, among them Shock Level Four, Extropians and Transthumanists. How do we imbue the god-like AIs that we are on the verge of creating with a set of memes that will permit continued existence for lesser creatures including us?

    In this fictional world, the problem has been solved. The side effect is a small "real world state" human population where upwards of 99% have been seduced into a reversible upload and their bodies--with continuously updated memory--are stored underground. They can come out any time, but don't want to because they found life inside to be much better. The story is mainly about the difficulty of keeping the small population in the real world from abandoning it.

    Keith Henson

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