[ExI] Essential Upload Data (was: Subject: Boltzmann brains)

Ben Zaiboc ben at zaiboc.net
Sun May 3 21:20:08 UTC 2020

On 03/05/2020 19:42, Re Rose wrote:
> IMHO, I think whole-body cryopreservation is far better than 
> neuropreservation as I believe the body is a system and you need all 
> of it. Thus, I have issues with uploading

The one doesn't follow from the other, even if it is true (which I don't 
think, but that's a separate argument).

People tend to think of uploading as just meaning an emulation of a 
brain. In practice, an upload will need an emulation of a body too, so 
it would be better to think of it as emulating the entire organism (and, 
of course, an external environment, too).

Because emulating an external environment is trivial (we can do that 
already), it doesn't tend to get mentioned much. Because a body is much 
simpler than a brain, that too can be easily emulated - more easily than 
a brain, anyway - so that doesn't tend to get mentioned much, either. We 
focus on brains because that's where the essential action is. No brain, 
no person. But don't forget that's not the only thing we'll want to 
emulate in an upload.

So, accepting that we'll want to emulate a body as well as a brain, do 
we actually need a real body to record and upload? I doubt it. It 
follows from the fact that a body is simpler, that we will be able to 
easily create a virtual body from existing data about human bodies, so 
no need to preserve an actual body unless you don't want to be uploaded 
at all, but have your biological self reanimated at some point, and even 
then... Yet another separate argument :) .

I can only think of one possible case where you'd want to upload (and 
thus preserve in the first place) an individual body, and that's the 
(extremely unlikely, imo) case where your unique body is essential to 
reproducing your unique mind.

We undergo all sorts of changes to our bodies, all the time, and it 
doesn't seem to have much effect on who we are. I can testify to that, 
having had various bits of my body changed and even removed, over my 
lifetime. On the other hand, change or damage or remove even a tiny bit 
of your brain, and you have a different person, or at least a different 
personality. Ergo, the brain is vastly more important than the body to 
get exactly right (and thus, to preserve).

I'm pretty confident that a generic body model would be quite sufficient 
for the purposes of an upload, especially as you could modify it 
yourself afterward, to your own requirements (just in case you decided 
that your appendectomy scar or missing toe was somehow essential to your 
personality). And even so, it would be easy enough to record any 
differences to 'the standard human body (female)' that you in particular 
might have, keep the data with your neuro corpsicle, and feed them into 
the upload data, instead of going to the extra expense and trouble of 
vitrifying (or chemopreserving) an entire body.

Ben Zaiboc

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