[ExI] Existing as stored data

spike at rainier66.com spike at rainier66.com
Mon Apr 20 16:23:20 UTC 2020



From: extropy-chat <extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org> On Behalf Of Ben
Zaiboc via extropy-chat

On 2020. Apr 19., Sun at 14:05, Ben Zaiboc via extropy-chat
<extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org <mailto:extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> >

> .I'm curious, Spike: Where or in what form what do they think this stored 
data is? . just happens magically?

OK, but that doesn't answer my question. How does it happen? What is the
mechanism, what is the medium? Where is the information stored?
If the answer is "We don't know", "We don't know", "We don't know", and "We
don't know, but we think it's true anyway", I'd call that magical thinking.

Ben Zaiboc
Ja of course.  That's the nature of faith: believing some things are true
even if you don't understand how it works or why it works.
That's where I am with the notion of substrate independent consciousness.
We can see that consciousness (as we define it) exists in a known
hydrocarbon substrate.  We know that the brain is a machine, made of matter,
operating on chemical reactions.  So consciousness can clearly exist in a
machine.  It can still operate with mechanical devices and interfaces (a
cochlear implant for instance.)
I don't know how the hell those things work or how consciousness works, but
I can see that it does already in a machines, and I can see that implants
have gotten better over the years, and in a sense consciousness has gotten
better over time (because our brains have evolved to do all the cool stuff
we do with consciousness.)
All this leads me to have faith that since consciousness can exists in a
machine it can theoretically exist in some other substrate besides
hydrocarbon.  I can't prove that.  But believe it is true.  I am nowhere
near a proof or even compelling handwavy reason to claim that it cannot
exist in an alternate substrate.  So. I think it can.  I think it will
eventually be discovered.  I hope it will.  That hope is what compels me
toward cryonics.
In that light, then everything transhumanists generally hold makes sense.
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