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

Gregory Jones spike66 at att.net
Sat Jun 19 18:22:37 UTC 2010

From: Giulio Prisco giulio at gmail.com
>>"By saying uploading is feasible, you are essentially agreeing to
Dualism in the mind-body problem"

>Not so, quite the contrary indeed.

>Wikipedia: ...http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dualism_(philosophy_of_mind)

>...So, saying uploading is feasible is not agreeing to dualism. On the
contrary, saying uploading is NOT feasible (in principle) IS agreeing
to dualism...G.

Oh my goodness, well said, Giulio.  I hadn't crystalized it this succinctly, but your comment goes right to the heart of the matter.  If we recognize that our brains are machines, which operate on physical laws, chemistry, Newtonian physics, etc, then it stands to reason that our brains can in principle be simulated.  No matter how I look at it, I can't really imagine otherwise, and this is an important point indeed.
It is possible that we may eventually find that in order to think our thoughts and feel our feelings, it really does require a machine of enormous size and mindboggling complexity, such as a human.  Recognize that even the smallest person here is enormous and stunningly complex.  
It is possible that such a machine does need to be this big and complicated to do the things we do and feel the things we feel, but I believe to the contrary, because we humans have a design criterion that we must start out smaller than we are, and grow by a factor of about 20.  This design criterion is analogous to requiring a submarine that can fly.  If you manage to build one, it will be neither a good airplane nor a good sub.  Freed from that requirement, the task is much easier.  Likewise, the design constraints of having to be born smaller (even if still enormous) makes for a difficult design constraint indeed.
Freed from just the one constraint of our having to be born and having to very die shortly thereafter, we should be able to create a thinking, feeling machine, with enormous capacity.
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