[ExI] Uploads (was: Covid)

Stathis Papaioannou stathisp at gmail.com
Sat Mar 28 03:44:05 UTC 2020

On Sat, 28 Mar 2020 at 11:49, William Flynn Wallace via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> Thanks for all that, Ben  - just one question:
> The body is designed not to die or suffer injury.  It will attempt to shut
> down things that will do that.  Now suppose that we have an uploaded
> person:  Suzie.  She is a sex maniac and spends most of her time having an
> orgasm.  If she had a body, that would probably produce heart failure or
> blow out blood vessels .  It might produce inhibitions in the brain trying
> to dampen the orgasms.
> Is there anything to keep an uploaded person from just spending all their
> time with peak experiences like orgasms?  I assume that issues of tolerance
> and addiction will not apply. Those are biochemical changes.  Or will the
> totally uploaded brain try to do what the biological body would do?  This
> is far from clear to me.
> One more related example: your taste (tongue plus nose) diminishes with
> each bite you take of something.  Will this happen to Suzie?
> bill w

It would be a problem if uploads could just maximise positive reinforcement
without going to any effort. It has even been postulated that this is an
explanation of the Fermi paradox: once civilisations becomes advanced
enough, they transfer their minds to a virtual Heaven, and stop being
interested in exploring the universe.

On Fri, Mar 27, 2020 at 1:00 PM Ben Zaiboc via extropy-chat <
> extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
>> On 26/03/2020 19:08, Dave Sill wrote, then billw wrote:
>> Ideally we'd want to move past playing by the rules of biochemistry in
>> order to do non-biological things.
>>> I don't know what that means.  You want to do non-biological things to a
>>> biological body? bill w
>> I don't know what Dave has in mind here, but to me, the long-term thing
>> will be moving past the distinction between 'biological' and 'artificial'.
>> Consider that even an uploaded mind will need a physical substrate of
>> some sort to run on (one reason I've always objected to the term
>> 'substrate-independent' - it implies somehow being independent of any
>> substrate, which is clearly nonsense, outside of Star-Trekkian stories
>> featuring beings of 'pure energy').
>> Many people seem to assume that this substrate will resemble our current
>> computers, and anyone who advocates for uploading must be happy to have
>> their mind be a software construct running on something like the massive
>> server farms we have today (which of course implies all sorts of practical,
>> legal and ethical considerations that are actually quite scary, once you
>> start thinking about them).
>> While that may be a short-term prospect, I doubt it will be how things
>> pan out in the longer-term.
>> The way we are now, we create and live in elaborate virtual worlds that
>> are generated by our brains. We have no choice in the matter, that's how
>> things work. This doesn't mean that we don't inhabit 'real bodies', though.
>> I see no necessary difference once we can upload (once the technology is
>> mature, anyway). One factor that many people assume will be necessary for
>> uploading is nanotechnology. Much better nanotech than what we currently
>> use the word for. Another factor will necessarily be a much better
>> understanding of biology. Biology of the brain of course, but also of other
>> aspects of our bodies (even if only to provide acceptibly realistic - or
>> tolerable - simulations of embodiment).
>> This is where the 'moving past the distinction' bit comes in. With
>> sufficient understanding and technical ability, we'll be able to craft
>> bodies for uploads to live in that are not 'computers' as we know them
>> today, and not biological bodies as we know them today, but something new.
>> Something that serves as a physical substrate for the mind, and as a body
>> to act in the world, Something that gives us the best of both worlds,
>> virtual and real.
>> Just because someone's mind runs in a synthetic brain doesn't mean they
>> are inevitably stuck in a kind of limbo where nothing is 'real', where they
>> can't experience smell or feel emotions, etc., etc. I expect that these
>> kind of 'post-upload' people will not only be able to experience the full
>> range of mental states that we can now, but a lot more. And most
>> importantly, they will be able to control their own selves, in many ways.
>> They won't be subject to the worst parts of being biological, or the worst
>> parts of being a 'computer system'. No disease, ageing and decrepitude. No
>> blue screen of death. No 'Singularity ruined by lawyers'.
>> The technology used to construct their bodies (and don't just imagine
>> 'Cmdr. Data' - type bodies, they could be anything you like) would be
>> advanced enough that trying to classify them as biological or artificial
>> would be hopelessly naive. At this point, even the question 'Are you an
>> upload?' would be difficult to answer in a meaningful way. Even the phrase
>> 'post-biological' might not be strictly accurate.
>> --
>> Ben Zaiboc
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Stathis Papaioannou
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