[ExI] Mind Uploading article in Wikipedia

Emlyn emlynoregan at gmail.com
Mon Apr 6 13:56:08 UTC 2009

2009/4/5 John K Clark <jonkc at bellsouth.net>:
> I want to thank Giulio Prisco, I did not know Wikipedia had an article on
> mind uploading. The article is actually quite good, and it says two things
> that I've been saying for well over a decade. First it says:
> [Mind Uploading] "denies the vitalist view of human life and consciousness."
> But of course nearly everyone, even most people on this list believe in the
> vitalist view.
> It then says:
> "The prospect of uploading human consciousness in this manner raises many
> philosophical questions involving identity, individuality and the soul."
> But of course nearly everyone, even most people on this list believe in the
> soul.
> John K Clark

I will just say quietly at the bottom of this thread that I do in fact
agree with you, although it has taken me many years to get to this
point, and I don't quite know what to make of it.

For me, the inescapable answer to the "but it's not me" objection is
"well then, show us this me". It's just not possible; whatever you
point at that might be you leads to absurdity.

We're not dual beings, natural and supernatural, because consciousness
affects the mind; we talk about it. It's all natural. It either bleeds
in or it is entirely disconnected and thus sliced away with Occam's
razor. No middle ground.

We're not "the process", because there just isn't any process; what is
it to be a process? Is it still a process if it is run on a time
sharing machine? How about if you get one tick of run time per
century? Where is your consciousness in between ticks? What about if
you are moved around in memory from tick to tick, or to a different
machine, or duplicated?

We're not "the pattern", because how can you be data? With the right
transform, the right decoding, every piece of data is every other
piece. Are we some platonic object, more akin to a triangle than
anything else? How does that even make sense? Or, does a lookup table
that acts exactly like me qualify as me, and if not, why not?

The trouble this leads "me" to, is that there is no interpretation of
what "I" am that leaves "me" with any definition of "me". Just a lot
of processing and data and meat with delusions of grandeur. And so, in
the uploading/teleporting/what-have-you debate, "I" find that "I"
wouldn't be scared of walking into that uploading machine. Rather, "I"
wonder why? What on earth am "I" working so hard to preserve in the
first place? So many meaningless eddies in the flow?


http://emlyntech.wordpress.com - coding related
http://point7.wordpress.com - ranting
http://emlynoregan.com - main site

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