[ExI] Wrestling with Embodiment

Natasha Vita-More natasha at natasha.cc
Sat Jan 28 03:41:05 UTC 2012

Anders wrote:

On 27/01/2012 13:38, Ben Zaiboc wrote:
>>I don't understand this. Life is computation. Thought is computation.

>How do you *know* this?

>Suppose I said life and thought was electricity. I would point at cells 
>and neurons having ion channels and electrical potentials essential for 
>their function. But I think you would not be convinced that that was a 
>proper definition of life.

This resonates with me, as does Margulis and Sagan's "transmutation of
energy and matter" and Greg Fahy's summation of "[t]he final most stable
state of biomolecules at the end of all possible degradation is, for the
most part, carbon dioxide, water, nitrogen gas or nitrogen compounds, and
sulfur compounds, with inorganic and trace amounts of organic minerals". 

>Generally, I think ontological questions tend to be a waste of time. It 
>is better to try to see if one can replicate various aspects and levels 
>of systems, learning more about them in the process.

Humm. Yes.

Natasha Vita-More
PhD Researcher, Univ. of Plymouth, UK
Chairman, Humanity+ 
Co-Editor, The Transhumanist Reader

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