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

Re Rose rocket at earthlight.com
Tue May 5 22:45:30 UTC 2020

Hi John,

   I think fractures are undesirable, and although they may seem easy to
repair if they're "clean" - even so, that's a lot of repairing. There were
experiements done by Dr. Cavallo (not sure if I'm spelling his name
correctly, he was the doctor interested in doing the first head transfer)
claiming that when he severed the spinal cord of a chimpanzee using a
micro-sharp blade, he was able to get neural regrowth at the two ends
(allowing the head transplantation). He did not claim, however, that the
neuron-to-neuron pathway wiring was accurate, and if I were to guess I
would it is likely is was not. Same for healing complete fractures after
cryopreservation. Guided nanotech may be an answer but that's speculative
for now, and its unlcear what information will be used to guide the
nanomachines, so with what we know now - I think deep organ and tissue
fractures/cracks are something to minimize.

  My concern about hormone simulation is not about the speed of their
signalling, but the entraining and dynamics of the entire system. While
some hormones are easy to model (like insulin), many interact widely in
nertworked hormonal systems, like growth hormones, stress hormones, or
female reproductive hotmoens. These hormonal feedback cycles interact not
only with the body but also with the brain/mind. I often describe these
cycles as similar to a system of interconnected pendulums, and disturbances
in any of the cycles (ie, pendulum frequencies) can cause de-entraining of
the entire system, which is then diffuclt to re-entrain, or may even find a
new equilibrium. Keeping such a system stable is what I think is difficult,
maybe impossible to emulate - not the speed of the hormonal information

   I'm famiilar with the prisim experiment, in fact when I was a kid I
taped my big brother's bar prisim to my glasses, and proceed to stumble and
fall all over my parents house for almost 2 days, stalking around and
claiming I would "learn to see again". I accreted far too many bruises and
bloody cuts to be allowed to finish that experiment, but I am confident it
works - and, there are many, many interesting examples of people learning
to "see" or "hear" with their tongues, navigate blind using only input from
a weighted belt device, hearing sounds from the sparse data of a cochlear
implant, and others. No doubt the cortex is completely able to do this.

But the task in a new body would be overwhelming - like asking your mature
brain to inhabit and rewire the sensory cortex of a newborn. I imagine it
could be like multi-year long drug trip. That has to deeply change the
essential you. I think this experience would be overwhelming, and brains
are not infinitely able to rewire so very much without harm.

As in my last email, I think you risk losing yourself: even if the brain
copy + agent manages to eventually make sense of the world with all these
changes and becomes an autonomous agent itself - it will not be "you". The
happy goal of re-animating "you" will not have been met. I believe it *can*
be met, but not via uploading.



Message: 4
Date: Tue, 5 May 2020 09:25:26 -0400
From: John Clark <johnkclark at gmail.com>
To: ExI chat list <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org>
Subject: Re: [ExI] Essential Upload Data (was: Subject: Boltzmann
        <CAJPayv2N6nMJY9BkN0g5jenHiKhVr8OOFry5TLTY3x6G_2sMPQ at mail.gmail.com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"

On Tue, May 5, 2020 at 8:07 AM Re Rose via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

*> Agreed, it's easier to get faster cooling rates (although that's not
> always better, depending on the physical properties of the tissue and the ability
to homogeneously cool without causing stress fractiures...)*

I don't think cracks is a major problem in cryonics because with a clean crack
it should be pretty obvious what part went where before the crack formed
and so could be repaired. I'm much more worried about the liquid in the
brain undergoing chaotic turbulence as it freezes because if it does then
very small differences in initial conditions could lead to huge differences
in outcome; but fortunately most indications are the flow would be Laminar,
at least when the cryopreservation is done under ideal conditions.

*> I think any upload is problematic. I believe there are two problems that
> will be really hard to solve: first, preserving the cyclic, dynamical
> environment of non-neural information available in the body such as
> hormonal cycles or feedback from non-neural neurotransmitters (such as
> your gut) is difficult, with no solution on the horizon.*

Why on earth would emulating hormones be especially difficult? Hormone signals
are very slow, much less than one meter per second; the signals in a AI
move at 300,000,000 meters a second. The Shannon information conten is
small, there are only about 200 hormones in the human body. And Hormone signals
move by random diffusion and blood circulation so their target is not very
specific. If your job is delivering packages and the packages are very
small, and your boss will be satisfied if you just deliver them to the correct
continent, and you have until the start of the next millennium to do it,
then you don't have a very demanding job.

> *> Second, your cortex is specifically wired to accomodate your body,
with all its quirks, balances, habits, accomodations, skillz, and tics.
Every human body is different*

The cortex is also wired to learn new things. Experiments show that even when
people wear glasses that make everything look upside down they soon learn
to get used to it and perform normally. The same was true for glasses that
invert left and right, one subject safely road his motorcycle through a
crowded city with no problem.

We quickly adjust to seeing everything upside-down

John K Clark
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