[ExI] Concerning mind uploading

Arthur Breitman arthur.breitman at gmail.com
Mon Jun 21 00:33:25 UTC 2010

On Fri, Jun 18, 2010 at 5:17 AM, Ben Zaiboc <bbenzai at yahoo.com> wrote:

> Hi, J?r?me.
> I've heard quite a few people express the same doubts about uploading.  I
> think there's a fundamental misunderstanding about what life as an upload
> would presumably be like.  Nobody is proposing that an upload would be a
> 'disembodied mind', with no inputs or outputs, a purely mental existence.
That being said, it's interesting to ponder what a disembodied brain would
feel. I can't imagine there ever being the technology to do something as
complex as brain simulation without the technology to do the comparatively
trivial task of simulating an external world. This is just an idle thought
exercise, and shouldn't be taken as more than mere rambl^W speculation on my

I can think of at least a few data points which hint at what a disembodied
mind would feel.

- Every night, our body is paralyzed and under a certain threshold, we do
not feel our body. Yet, in our dreams, we're generally not disembodied, we
have limbs, we move around.
- Amputees widely report feeling phantoms limbs.
- Isolation tanks produce visual and aural hallucinations. The brain seems
to cope with the lack of stimuli by making up some.
- Dissociative drugs like the anesthetic ketamine produce similar effects.

Based on that, I tend to believe a brain in a box without any input or
output would merely hallucinate its own environment. It wouldn't be hell,
probably just a crazy dissociative dream.
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