[extropy-chat] The Questions Transhumanism Has Brought Me

Adrian Tymes wingcat at pacbell.net
Tue May 3 21:10:33 UTC 2005

--- Diego Caleiro <diegocaleiro at terra.com.br> wrote:
> 1 What is more important, making the transhumanist meme achieve as
> many minds 
> as possible, or be faithful to some pre-determined concept of
> tranhumanism? 

Would it more succinctly state your point of view to say this: "Many
people have difficulty imagining life after the Singularity.
Therefore, when discussing >Hism with the general public, stick to the
stuff they CAN imagine well, for instance near-term things like
longevity and prosthetics instead of long-term things like immortality
and uploading.  Their misunderstandings of our long-term plans cause
their opposition to our goals, so don't talk about them with them."

> 5 There are too many brilliant minds here for the amount of money
> tranhumanist 
> cause is managing to collect.

Define "brilliant".  Brilliant at imagining the future, perhaps.
Brilliant at actually building it?

I, for one, am working on at least one advanced-tech R&D project.  I
encourage everyone else to do likewise, or to do similar in politics
(like the Free State project - I suppose I'm not their biggest fan, but
someone's got to try what they're trying) or whatever their chosen
specialty is.  (See, e.g., Natasha's media efforts.)

> 6 Last but not least, I have a question about a physical problem.
> Brains are 
> constantly physically changing, neurons move, die, react etc. Silicon
> Brains 
> would not have that biological ability, therefore, although they may
> be able 
> to store information, they will not be able to interexchange this
> information 
> with the same degree of randomness we have. So, they would not have
> an 
> freudian inconsciouness, and probably would have some difficulties in
> making 
> complex tought, which require many physical “mistakes” in
> neuronal activity 
> to happen. How to go round this problem?

Simulate it in software.  Set an upper bound - comfortably above the
maximum that a super-genius brain could reach at peak (I have a
sneaking suspicion there won't turn out to be that much variance here
between the human max and the human norm) - which the hardware will
encode, then activate and interconnect only as many as needed at a
time.  This has its limits, but perhaps it would work for an early
generation device.

Alternately, once we have advanced nano, equip the neuron-equivalents
with limited manufacturing capability, and allow them to literally grow
new connections.  Design the basic neuron, design the rough
organization of the final product but let the product itself define the
details, and you wind up with a system rather like the biological one,
although potentially optimized (if only because there will have been
detailed studies, and probably notes kept, of the partially-complete
brain as it was developed; no such equivalent exists for biological
brains, and reverse engineering it is proving to be difficult -
especially because we can't let a human brain grow to completion
without giving it basic human rights).

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