[extropy-chat] Alternative toCryowasTheAmazingCellularRepairdevice

Brett Paatsch bpaatsch at bigpond.net.au
Mon Oct 17 09:42:20 UTC 2005

John K Clark wrote:

> "Brett Paatsch" <bpaatsch at bigpond.net.au>
>>Lego block construction proceeds with the construction
>> tools (the kids hands) outside the block.
> Amino acids are put into a sequence with construction tools (transfer RNA) 
> outside the protein.

tRNAs just give us something like amino acid beads on a
string they don't create (ie. construct) 3 dimensional functional
proteins. Its the way the amino acid side chains (the beads)
react with their watery environment (and each other and with
chaperons that causes the proteins to adopt their particular
3 dimensional shape).

>> The lego blocks don't grow and divide
> Individual amino acids don't grow and divide.

No. But unless your suggesting that its possible to build a
biological brain with Drexlerian nanotech by placing amino
acids or proteins as the building blocks I don't follow your

Nature uses the cell as the basic unit of life and inside the
cell is not just proteins, but dna and lipids and sugars and
mitochondria and some rnas.

>> construction proceeds with the lego blocks being snapped in discretely to
>> the outside of the first block that was laid down.
> Construction proceeds with the amino acids being snapped into a sequence 
> one
> after another.

No thats an oversimplification. See above.

>> Nature wasn't trying to reverse engineer a particular Spike
> Yes, and that gives us an advantage nature did not have, reverse 
> engineering
> a brain is not easy but it's easier than making one from scratch, it won't
> take us 3 billion years as it took nature.

If the objective was just to build any old brain then take two fertile 
and let them do their thing. Or use cloning. The objective we've been 
about is to build a duplicate of Spikes brain (including neural pattern) 
would have a unique synaptic network that his genes didn't fully prespecify.

>> to recreate Spikes brain in flesh
> In the flesh? What's the point?
>> (and get Spike back)
> What has that to do with flesh?

I was using flesh as shorthand for the biological brain made up of
proteins and lipids etc arranged in particular fashions with synapses
and receptors on cells.

>> you would have to create a whole lot of cells (trillions of them)
>> capable of functioning as the massive specific concert of cells
>> that was biological Spike.
> I'm far more interested in putting the information in Spikes organic brain
> (or mine) into some more permanent media than I am in recreating another
> meat computer exactly like the primitive thing we have now;

I realise that.

> however if you
> really wanted to do it I can think of one way with minimal use of 
> Drexlerian
> technology.

I'm all ears.

>We would certainly know Spike's genome so we could grow a brain
> from that, then just use the  Drexlerian technology to modify the
> interconnections in the neurons of the new brain so they have the same
> memories the original brain had.

Oh, that was it?

I agree that with Spikes genome it would be, in future, trivial to grow
a clone of Spike if ethics were not a consideration.

But once you've got that living clone I find it hard to imagine that a
future society would wipe its personality and memories to replace it
with Spike. What sort of society would favour Spike over his identical

> As I said I very much doubt anyone will bother to actually do something 
> like that because they would regard it as comic.

I think they'd either regard it as barbaric if they have any sort of
ethical system (to kill/wipeout one biological human to make another
one) or too absurd to bother doing at all.

Perhaps I'm overlooking reasons why they'd do that.

>> your nanobots that are having to place molecules to less than 6 nanometre
>> precision to get functioning cells.
> And you are claiming that the only way to achieve such precision is the 
> way
> nature stumbled upon 3 billion years ago and intelligence can never beat
> random mutation and natural selection. That strikes me as extraordinarily
> unlikely.

The key thing is that nature wasn't *aiming* at a production of a biological
Spike, Spike just popped out of the process, (as did you and I and all
individual living things), whereas those trying to recreate him would be
aiming at a fashioning a very, very, very, particular thing, out of 
(biological molecules) that only works under tight limits of temperature
and pressure.

Aren't you thinking of likelihood/probability the wrong way? Seems to
me you are.

>> I'm effectively certain that they [Jupiter brains presumably] wouldn't 
>> try
>> to [duplicate a meat computer].
> Now that I agree with.

Thought you would.

Brett Paatsch 

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