[ExI] Wrestling with Embodiment

Giovanni Santostasi gsantostasi at gmail.com
Tue Jan 31 17:06:07 UTC 2012

Natasha has pointed out at this already but I want to emphasize how
fundamental is what the new embodiment would have access
to experientialy  and how the new embodiment would be perceived by other
The body per se, in whatever form, is not much meaningful if one doesn't
consider its relationship with the environment real or artificial.
In fiction a ghost has certain abilities as being able to go through walls
but it looses others as the capability to interact with objects fully
(sometime you are able to open cabinets and tilt pictures on the wall, ; )
). This new embodiment is less satisfactory than a real body even with the
enhanced ability of going through walls.
So it is understood as a frustrating "disembodiment" even when the ghost
has similar appearance (when occasionally seen by a psychic lets say) than
the original living person.

It seems fundamental not just how the new embodiment processes information,
or its internal pattern of information but also which information can
receive and how then the new body can act back into the environment and
into itself (self modification and feedback). Of course it is also
important how the new embodiment is perceived by the other agents in the
world (real or virtual). Aesthetic, social signals of different kinds (is
the new embodiment threatening, pleasant, visible, invisible to the usual
senses) need to be considered to determine what is the impact of a
different kind of embodiment on the sense of identity as it is understood
by the self and others.


On Tue, Jan 31, 2012 at 9:53 AM, Keith Henson <hkeithhenson at gmail.com>wrote:

> On Tue, Jan 31, 2012 at 5:00 AM,  Ben Zaiboc <bbenzai at yahoo.com> wrote:
> >
> > Jeff Davis <jrd1415 at gmail.com> forwarded:
> >
> >> I wrote "Posthuman" specifically to combat the fantasy that I found in
> >> Hans Moravec and other transhumanists that it would be possible to
> >> transfer human subjectivity, perceived as an informational pattern,
> >> into a computer without losing anything essential.
> >
> > OK, ignoring that assumption of 'fantasy', what, exactly, is essential
> that would be lost in such a transfer?  It's all very well to talk about
> 'something essential', but you have to actually say /what/ this essential
> something is, or there is no argument.
> I have argued (and nobody has expressed an objection) that the
> upload/download process should be completely reversible.
> In fact I would not want to try it before that point.  :-)
> >> This view sees
> >> information as disembodied and
> >
> > No, it doesn't.  Nobody is claiming that any information is or can be,
> disembodied.  The idea is to take the information that is embodied in one
> form, and embody it in another.  Even during the transfer of information,
> it is embodied, as electrons, photons, magnetic domains, whatever.
>  Information is *always* embodied, or it ceases to exist.
> Exactly so to the limits of our knowledge.
> Keith
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