Re: Corner cases was Robert Aunger essay

From: Keith Henson (
Date: Wed 19 Apr 2006 - 14:50:16 GMT

  • Next message: Robin Faichney: "Re: Corner cases was Robert Aunger essay"

    At 10:08 AM 4/19/2006 +0100, Robin wrote:
    >Tuesday, April 18, 2006, 7:27:43 PM, Keith wrote:
    > > At 07:07 PM 4/17/2006 +0100, Robin wrote:
    > >>Monday, April 17, 2006, 5:51:10 PM, Keith wrote:
    > >> >>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.
    > > Since spirit is an active quality--you interact with one--the question
    > > would be if I thought I could interact with an OS with no underlying
    > > hardware. Obviously, no. I don't believe disembodied spirits are
    > > possible, information storage and processing requires matter. Now it is a
    > > different kind of question when you ask about information. The spirit of a
    > > cryonics patient stored in LN2 is as inactive-gone-as a computer with the
    > > power off. But if the patient were repaired and warmed up, we have good
    > > reason to believe their spirit would become active again.
    >Your use of the term "spirit" is covering some sloppy thinking.
    >Without a clear definition

    Do you see "sloppy thinking" in the way I defined the word above and provided examples?

    Or is it "sloppy thinking" to use the word at all? (Because of other definitions.)

    If the latter, I don't mind using a new term for "the quality in animals and machines we interact with."

    >your assertions both on the immediate
    >effects of cryonic suspension and on the possibilities of revival are
    >effectively meaningless.
    > > Same thing if an atom for atom copy was made.
    >I don't believe that a sufficiently low-level scan is or ever will be
    >possible without damaging the subject.


    Dr. Ralph Merkle--who you probably don't respect--has done the math on this in _The Molecular Repair of the Brain_

    Dr. Merkle's wikipedia page (much more impressive than mine) is here:

    Keith Henson

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