[ExI] YES! Hard-core transhumanist splinter

Robert Picone rpicone at gmail.com
Wed Jun 23 07:05:29 UTC 2010

On Mon, Jun 21, 2010 at 5:53 PM, Sabrina Ballard <
sabrina.ballard at allromanceebooks.com> wrote:

> > Perhaps the machinery you copy during upload specifically contains a
> > highly-evolved self-delusion mechanism?  If you leave it out and all
> > the uploads suddenly become completely rational and realistic, have
> > you "successfully" uploaded the original 'person' or have you created
> > something else?
> I think that you could very easily say that you have created something
> new because self-delusion in an important ans healthy part of many
> people's lives. This person would be funtimentially very different
> from the human we know today as to be 'alien' and 'cold'. I don't feel
> that people would relate very will to the idea.
The thought experiment raises some interesting questions.  Someone with some
major irrationality circuit removed, if such a thing existed, would
certainly be a different person, but where is the line drawn?

I suspect most uploads would be willing to choose to never get hungry and
thirsty or have to regulate body temperature, but can someone really be
considered the same person if their hypothalamus is essentially disabled?
 The brain would operate in a fundamentally different way, and when put in
certain (simulated) identical environments they would act very significantly
differently from the original over the course of a negligible timespan, so
my criteria for being a different person are met, but they would on the
other hand most likely be recognized as the original if the two were somehow
otherwise the same.

But, as far as that goes, there are plenty of conditions where someone's
personality is unrecognizable from other states based upon factors of
metabolism for example.  Must you necessarily emulate someone's blood
glucose levels based upon their pre-upload diet?  How do you manage caffeine
intake?  Recreational drugs?  Libido?  Do you give the individual
dials/switches for this kind of stuff?  Wouldn't that too significantly
modify behavior?

As a monist it seems to me that 1:1 uploads are extremely unlikely.  If our
bodies are part of who we are, as seems obvious to me, then you can't really
be the same person you would've otherwise been without painstakingly keeping
even the most inconvenient constraints of your anatomy.  This seems to me
like too great of a drawback for anyone uploading to choose if they are
given other options.

Maybe we have too much of a focus on the impossible task of maintaining some
imagined fidelity in who someone is.  Maybe it is good enough to be an
intellectual offspring who is remarkably like the original.  I certainly am
not the same person I was 5 years ago.
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