[ExI] YES! Hard-core transhumanist splinter groups yearning for cyber-heaven
spike66 at att.net
Wed Jun 16 22:37:26 UTC 2010
--- On Wed, 6/16/10, Damien Broderick <thespike at satx.rr.com> 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 post.
Ja agreed, there are two different things here. One, the one on the conceivable technological horizon, is silicon based intelligence. Beyond that, Si-based human level (or above) intelligence, and still further beyond that, not necessarily anywhere near our tech horizon, is the notion of us as individual identities, being able to upload. But my motive isn't really individual preservation, as much as I would like that to happen. Rather I envision a far future in which all the metals in our solar system have been converted to computronium.
A talented and well-loved sci-fi writer collected and edited a number of essays about the far future, imaginatively intitled "Year Million." Wait, that was you. OK good, let me talk a little about what I envision for a million years hence. This seems so inevitable, I have a hard time imagining any alternative: sentience will recognize that sentience is a good thing, so more of it is better, and the best that can be is to maximize the total scentience by every means possible. To me, that means all the metal, everything that isn't hydrogen or helium, in the solar system converted to scentient matter, using all the available energy the sun so copiously and wastefully pours out, to do as much thinking as possible. Scentience wants more more more until no more is possible, and that means an M-Brain, which to me is the essence of transhumanism.
From: Damien Broderick <thespike at satx.rr.com>
Subject: Re: [ExI] YES! Hard-core transhumanist splinter groups yearning for cyber-heaven
To: "ExI chat list" <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org>
Date: Wednesday, June 16, 2010, 2:35 PM
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 post.
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 anti-transhumanist.
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...
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