[ExI] YES! Hard-core transhumanist splinter groups yearning for cyber-heaven

Damien Broderick thespike at satx.rr.com
Wed Jun 16 21:35:53 UTC 2010

On 6/16/2010 4:11 PM, Gregory Jones wrote:

> The central point of transhumanism is the notion that it is physically
> possible to upload sentience into another substrate.

Spike, I think you're getting several things garbled together here. The 
question Mark Gubrub raises (and who he, anyway?) isn't about migrating 
*sentience* but *identity* or "selfhood*--as you note at the end of your 

And saying, as both he and you do, that this notion is the "central 
core" of >H or H+ seems very odd to me. I regard myself as a 
transhumanist (I was using the word "transhuman" in the '60s and '70s), 
yet I have deep reservations about many representations of uploading, 
teleportation, copying, etc. If it becomes possible through genomic and 
proteomic advances to halt the decay of the human body, and even to 
rejuvenate it to optimal health, while retaining and expanding memory 
and augmenting other functions, the resulting condition seems to me 
clearly to be a kind of *enhanced humanity* or >H or H+.

People so preserved from degeneration would not be immortal, of course, 
because accidents and malign designs can obliterate anyone. This 
ultimate vulnerability is probably why you ended by writing

> I recognize that there are identity paradoxes, old questions to which I
> see no progress being made or having been made ever, but regardless of
> that we forge on toward the goal of uploading, for we know all too well
> the alternative.

Yes, the alternative is dissolution and death. But one of the prime 
identity problems is that some proposed methods of "uploading" do 
require the obliteration of an original identity and its reconstruction 
"on a different substrate". Guilio and many others assert that in a 
world where this is possible, people will quickly lose their qualms and 
accept copying as equivalent to migration. No doubt. I don't accept 
that, as it happens, but I don't agree that this makes me a non- or 

But of course if I get booted out of the club on these grounds, I won't 
be especially upset, or pine. It's just a label...

Damien Broderick

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