[extropy-chat] Avoid Too Much Change

Brent Allsop brent.allsop at comcast.net
Sat Apr 7 21:12:09 UTC 2007

Lee Corbin wrote:
> Regarding future enhancements, I consider the dangers of identity
> loss to be a
>                R E A L       P R O B L E M

> The reason that I would decline is that I don't believe in
> souls, and so cannot see---on scientific grounds---why the new little
> device that I was supposedly downloaded into would resemble me
> (or be me) at all

Surely this will not be a problem at all.  There are two critical parts 
of identity, both of which you mention, that would surely be preserved 
by any aliens making us quickly into Gods.

First off is the history of what you were.  Surely part of making us 
Gods, would be the restoration of everything we have ever bin, including 
restoration of everything we have ever forgotten.  So all of us, at any 
point in our history, would be perfectly remembered or even reloaded, 
spawned off, and played with by all at will.  (i.e. I wonder what life 
had been like for me had I married Carolyn instead of Malia...)  And 
even if the Gods didn't restore this for us, that would be the first 
task I would want to get started on with all that infinite knowledge and 
power right?

The second has to do with what you called a "soul".  Loaded words like 
this make discussing this kind of stuff difficult.  I prefer to call 
this a "spirit".  But what I mean by spirit is very different than what 
most people consider a "spirit" to be.  First off, what I believe to be 
our spirit is dependent on our brain.  When the brain stops, or goes to 
sleep, this spirit no longer exists (until the right stuff is put back 
together and it is spiritually or consciously activated again.)  This 
spirit is constructed of "phenomenal properties" or "qualia", like all 
of our conscious knowledge.  For example the phenomenal property of red 
represents 700 nm light.  The funny thing about our spirit, which is our 
knowledge of ourselves or the I that we think is looking out of our 
phenomenal knowledge of our eyes, unlike red, and our knowledge of our 
eyes, has no real "referent" that it represents.  Our knowledge of our 
eyes and skull, in our brain, do have referents that our senses detect.  
Our knowledge of our real skull and our real eyes is very different, and 
located in a very different place than the thing they represent.  One is 
the initial cause of the perception process, and the other is the final 
result or our phenomenal conscious knowledge of it.  We sometimes think 
our knowledge of this, in our brain, as not real, but it most definitely 
is, and even more important is its phenomenal or spiritual nature.  And  
just because this knowledge of ourselves, or our "I" or our spirit, is 
just knowledge itself, looking out of our knowledge of our eyes, and not 
knowledge that represents something else, doesn't mean it doesn't 
exist.  All of our conscious knowledge is composed of this very real 
"spiritual" if you will phenomenal stuff.  Without all this spiritual 
stuff there can be no "virtual reality" right?

I'm betting science will soon discover these phenomenal or spiritual if 
you will properties of nature that our neurons use to represent 
knowledge in a conscious way;  That this will be the greatest scientific 
achievement by far to date.  And that this achievement will finally free 
our "spirits" from the spirit prison walls that are our skulls that 
makes our spiritual knowledge of the spiritual qualities of nature and 
other "minds" ineffable.  I've described in some detail what uploading 
could be like, if this theory is true, in my story "1229 Years After 
Titanic" available here: http://home.comcast.net/~brent.allsop.

In this story I describe how your spirit, or your phenomenal knowledge 
of yourself will be able to tentatively step out of your knowledge of 
your body (as in an out of body experience) and "try out" other 
phenomenally conscious substrates joined (temporarily if you like) with 
the "spirit world" of your conscious knowledge in your brain.  Because 
of this no one will have any of the fears everyone talks about when we 
get uploaded and we destroy our old self - because our phenomenal spirit 
will very literally and consciously no longer be in that old self, and 
will have finally escaped from that skull that was our spiritual 
ineffable prison.

Anyway, I'm willing to bet anyone that this theory will be commonly 
accepted as fact in 10 or so years when we scientifically discover these 
phenomenal properties of nature and start effing and playing with it 
all, and finally break free of these spiritual prison walls that are our 

If you're out there, Gods, I tell you know.  Stop hiding from us and I 
want all this now or as fast as is possible!  I'm sick and tired of 
being trapped in this lonely ineffable spirit prison.

Brent Allsop

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