[extropy-chat] Bainbridg today in Transvision06 on personalitycapture vs info-resurrection

John john.heritage at v21.me.uk
Mon Aug 21 05:18:04 UTC 2006

> I venture to guess not as much as I have.  :-)

Maybe... 8^P

> None of these are a problem.  The output of the sun is enough to launch
> 1500 tons per second to near light speed.

Not a problem, if you have an engine with an output similar to that of a 
star burning 700 million tonnes of hydrogen per second in a fusion reaction.

Anti-matter / ion engines are a possibility of course, but even getting them 
will be fun. It's a shame, with fusion arriving soon we'll finally have a 
technology that will allow for the generation of masses of energy without 
the risk of explosions and meltdowns. Anti-matter is going the other way in 
terms of saftey, back towards another Chernobyl when it fails, but orders of 
manitude worse.

The sun is ~1.3M times the size of Earth I believe, and can burn all of it's 
self up to fuel it's energy output (doesn't have to worry about not having 
anywhere to live afterwards). We have only the energy transistions we can 
get to easily and without harming our enviroment too much for use in 
anti-matter generation, which isn't very good. And a lot of those 
transistions are low yeild chemical / fission in nature. I suppose the best 
way to generate anti-matter would probably be with a big solar farm in 

Then you've got things like your ship melting as soon as you hit the 
accelerator without deflectors. Then you'll need some seriously good breaks. 
And all so's you can a still spend a gigantic amount of time flying from 
star system A->B.

All of these are problems that can almost certainly be overcome. That's 
definitly not the point. The point is... is there an easier way? And I 
suspect, yes... yes there is! I think trying to drag out present bodies 
around with is just a waste. Rather than trying to design super-duper 
powerful crafts to carry them, we should just fix the problem right at the 
root and make our bodies more fitting for such a journey. I'm reasonably 
confident that'll not only be easier but produce a much more pleasing result 
as well.

> I.e., uploaded.

Just testing... [grin]

> You can't have more than subjective milliseconds between you and the probe
> if you want to use it as an extension of your body.  You *could* slow down
> your perception of time enough to get a real time experience with a probe
> light years away, but in my opinion that's a lot worse than just going 
> there.

Assumed and agreed, although there may be some scope for slowing of the 
controller's experience if they're sitting in some suspended condition back 
on Earth, not aging. They could supplement large serial data streams (like 
we think now) from one particular place with lots of smaller parallel steams 
from all over the place (kind like the far edge party idea but with 
consciousness and processing). Of coarse, the human mind doesn't like 
working on massively parallel problems (thinking of five tunes at once for 
instance), so you'd probably need to display it in some strange fashion or 
just modify the consciousness it's self.

> Not really.  Laser up to the task of pushing ships between stars have no
> problem sending information back to the ones who stay at home.

I'm not entirely sure about that. Over such distances, the beam's 
degredation has a huge impact on it's data capacity. Transmitting a wave of 
brute force energy for something to ride on is a lot easier than getting 
massive quantities of data into it.

For an example... they're about to test this idea out with a probe aimed for 
Mars. The laser will have diverged enough that it's target is a quadrant of 
the US by the time it gets back here. Data rates will be ~10Mbs with a peak 
at 30Mbs under optimal conditions.

Here on Earth, it's normal to get 10/20Gbs from a diode / fiber that would 
fit on the end of a pencil.

Bearing in mind that even the diodes we have here on Earth for fibre work 
can't carry the quantity of data needed to support a human nervous system, 
we're already looking at needing a 1000 fold improvement in the data rates 
just between here an Mars to still fall short. Obviously, interstellar 
transmissions will be orders of magnitude more challenging simply because 
the distance / likely hood of conflicting paths, orbits, absorption & 
distortion will be orders of magnitude bigger.

Again, it's like the star ship idea. You almost certainly could do this with 
enough effort, but it's whether or not it's efficient to do it in the first 

I would like to see the optics used on such a laser system however. I 
suspect they'd have to start at being near atomically perfect and probably 
have to make use of some absolute characteristics of things like 
superconductors or condensed states of matter.

> Extensively discussed by Charles Stross here: 
> http://www.accelerando.org/book/

Thanks for the link, I'll have a read of it when I wake up tomorrow.

> You kind of miss the point.  Exploring is the fun part for some people.

Only when they think there's something exciting to be found. People will 
probably start getting bored with it quite quickly. It'll be like exploring 
the outback in Australia. Some adventurous people will find it fun... at 
first. Then, very soon after, they start thinking "Just another deadly 
spider trying to bite me... I want a shower and a cuppa now"

> The percentage of the population who would do this is extremely small.  I
> doubt you could find 10,000 in the whole human population.  I have 
> actually
> surveyed groups asking this question.

I 100% agree with you, and that's part of my answer to the above bit. That 
the group of people who are willing to actually pioneer this will be small 
enough that it'll be hard getting the funding together to afford the setup 
costs of these projects with so many people deeming it 'pointless' until 
they can buy a ticket for 9.99 with EasyExtropy.

The net is basically the only place where I can find people who are even 
remotely interested in a lot of these topics, and even then it's a difficult 
minority group to dig out of the hidey holes of cyberspace. When it comes to 
pushing the extremes of the ideas, like the practicalities of deep space 
exploration and what that might mean for our conscious experience of 
existence, I'm counting on one hand.

> And that may be the reason we don't see ETs.  Evolution has not equipped 
> us
> to resist this sort of "super dope."

Once we start sending probes out on interstellar exploration missions I 
think it'll have to be mandatory to take some form of tagging system with 
them to redirect any passing intelligence towards their source.

It would be amusing if by the time we meet up no one is even close to being 
suprised beause they (the ET's) seem so normal by comparison to their new 

After a lot of thinking, I've decided I like day dreaming. People almost 
always use the term in a negative way or say that doing is superior to 
thinking. I'm not entirely okay with that.

For a start, there isn't such a big difference between the world created by 
sensory nervous system and the virtual world created by your memories of 
those sensory experiences - provided you fully engage your mind when you 
experience something and try to soak up the sensations as much as you 
possibly can to produce a form of 'super delux' memory of that experience (I 
like to touch, smell, taste things as much as possible, even if it's just 
soil). Neither are there such hard limitations on the things I can think up 
as their are on what I can do in reality.

A balance needs to be struck though, since our virtual world is built from 
going out and empirically experiencing things. Without the latter, you don't 
have much to work from in the former. But that's not to say that the latter 
is universally better. This is something people are forced to appreciate 
(often against their will, and they'll fight accepting it until they die) as 
they get older and can no longer do all the things they used to be capable 
of and have to rely on their memories.

The majority seems to spend too much energy focusing on the right now, in my 
opinion, and not mixing it with their memories (this kind of thing is 
highlighted by how so many people eat junk food and don't really care much 
about how things taste so long as it's better than nasty, or bother 
listening carefully to things like classical music).

Say we invented a Matrix type interfacing system tomorrow within our Extropy 
group here. What would probably happen is that 99% of the population of 
Earth would want to stick with a virtual version of reality, just tweaked a 
bit so they're all prettier and can fly.

I think the remaining 1% would be made up of people like us and hallucinogen 
fans (like me as well). This facet is demonstrated by the fact that so many 
people who try hallucinogens try them purely to get 'messed up' and aren't 
particularly interested in the potential for exploring their understanding 
of their own consciousness. And that so few people want to try that mindset 
in the first place, although illegalisation, genuine risks and scare tactics 
play a part in dissuading a lot of people from trying them, obviously.

Perhaps if we were to just create a Matrix type interface that started as a 
blank template and coloured it's self in with the user's subconscious 
thoughts, we'd end up with a percentage of the population entering going 
insane within a few hours. Hallucinogens show us how rapidly people can 
start having problems when their subconscious is moved closer to their 
conscious level of awareness, and their effects are quite easy (in my 
opinion) to ignore - people often don't realise that everyday dreams can be 
just as horrible and vivid, if not a lot more so, than any bad trip.

Instead, a Matrix type blank template would probably need to start somewhere 
safe (like a simple, fixed room) where the individual could keep it under 
conscious control, at least at first. Users might never go too far beyond 
letting a computer probe some of their subconcious for rough ques on what 
they'd like to happen.

After seeing elements of my subconscious force their way straight into my 
conscious when trying  hallucinogens, I really do wonder just how much 
humans would actually enjoy this experience if it was expanded to it's full 
potential in a world generated from their deepest thoughts. That barrier 
between subconscious ramblings into strange ideas and what actually makes it 
into our consciousness may proove to be necessary to some extent. That 
barrier is essentially pattern recognition & prefiltering (validity checking 
& prioritising) of ideas to prevent the consciousness being flooded with 
every thought the subconscious comes up with. Without it, reality seems to 
loose it's ordering of priority, all ideas start seemingly equally probable 
or, worse, more or less probable than they should do. It's more than just 
pure freedom, it's an absolute mental mess.

All the best!

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