Re: Corner cases was Robert Aunger essay

From: Robin Faichney (
Date: Mon 17 Apr 2006 - 18:07:55 GMT

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

    Monday, April 17, 2006, 5:51:10 PM, Keith wrote:

    > 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.

    What exactly does "best" mean there?

    >>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"?

    Seems to me it would be MORE likely to haunt a machine if it was supernatural. But back in this world, the problem is that the hardware/software distinction does not apply to anything natural, only to a certain type of machine (programmable computers).

    >>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.

    If you believe the human spirit can be separated from the body you're a dualist.

    >>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?

    Isn't the human imagination wonderful!?

    Best regards,
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