[ExI] Uploading Swindle (was Re: Finally!)

Tomasz Rola rtomek at ceti.pl
Fri May 4 17:07:48 UTC 2012

On Thu, 3 May 2012, Kelly Anderson wrote:

> On Sat, Apr 28, 2012 at 12:21 PM, Tomasz Rola <rtomek at ceti.pl> wrote:
> > About uploading: I smell a swindle. I would have big difficulty convincing
> > myself that I should give up myself and become, basically, a process in a
> > computer. Unless I will be able to control the computer. And I don't think
> > I will give away my physical properties, however small, in exchange for
> > living in a machine owned by some caring corporation.
> Tomasz, one distinct possibility in the future is that the earth might
> some day become uninhabitable for carbon based life forms. This might
> be a side effect of a biological agent, an accident, or the sun
> expanding into a red giant or the atmosphere being eroded by solar
> wind as the magnetic core of the earth cools. In any case, it is a
> possibility that it will happen soon, and a certainty in the long
> term. And in that event, the choices being die or upload, I suspect
> that even you might choose upload at that point.
> This is just a thought experiment... there are probably other reasons
> you might choose some day to upload... but Newton taught us that
> thinking in terms of ultimate limits is sometimes helpful.
> -Kelly

Ho ho! When this day comes and I am still alive, I will

A. be able to upload on my own terms

B. have alternative means of survival

C. be royally screwed up

(choose one, two or all three)

The idea behind my reasoning is, should uploading become viable tomorrow 
(or this evening), there is diminishing number of trustworthy parties. 
Actually, the number is probably zero anyway. Well, maybe one (but he 
lacks a machine gun).

Whom actually am I to entrust my persona? While I am in a physical form 
factor, at least I am able to grab a stone. When I become a ghost in a 
machine, whoever runs the machine can screw me for his profit (and believe 
me, he will).

You can tell me all day long about business ethics, if you want. And about 
free market. But think twice. Ever heard about cigarettes? Ever heard 
about "scientific institutions" whose main subject of research was proving 
no link between smoking and cancer? I really wonder if, when we compare 
numbers of dead bodies, how smoking victims compare to genocides.

Another, less lethal example: imagine you would have to use Windows for 
the next bazilion years. If you _have_ to use it, what kind of incentive 
there is for them to improve?

So, the only ethics of business is the one about making profit. As long as 
you can put money on the table, even if some people die because of it, you 
become ethical person.

In other words, I trust businesses. In a way explained in "Born on the 
Fourth of July" - keep one hand on their tits and the other hand on your 

Next, policians. Am I to believe they will screw me, an anonymous voter 
who they don't even know, or screw the man with bag of money who stands in 
their doors?

Religions? Actually, organised religion is not very different from 

Atheists? Even worse than believers. Since there is no external Judge for 
them, they have no fear. And even worser, they have no doubts. This is 
sometimes positive, when a atheist is a good guy. When he is an average 
guy, he becomes a beast. 

Actually, since I am prone to put Atheism into the jar with "Religion" 
printed on it, two above paragraphs can be summed up like this: a good guy 
is a guy who has doubts about what he knows and what he can/should do. Two 
doubting guys will understand each other, even if they believe different 
supreme entities (Atheists, for example, believe in Empty, or Nothing 
supreme entity). Non doubting guys, the more power they have, the more 
miserable lifes (of others) they make.

Anyway, you can see that the only way I am to trust the other people or 
their clumps is to have few grenades and machine gun handy. When I upload, 
all my weapons become virtual and I might find, to my surprise, stainless 
steel became an apple pie. And I became a clown in someone else's parade.

So it is not that I am against the idea. I am against the other people :-) 
involvement in my uploading.

Tomasz Rola

** A C programmer asked whether computer had Buddha's nature.      **
** As the answer, master did "rm -rif" on the programmer's home    **
** directory. And then the C programmer became enlightened...      **
**                                                                 **
** Tomasz Rola          mailto:tomasz_rola at bigfoot.com             **

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