[ExI] Towards a new transhumanist movement.

John Grigg possiblepaths2050 at gmail.com
Thu Oct 14 07:42:36 UTC 2010

Alan Grimes wrote:
What I've learned is that trying to argue with uploaders is hopeless.
You can't get them on philosophy, you can't get them on technicalities,
you can't get them on logistics, and you can't appeal to a stronger
desire. They literally live for the sake of sticking their brain in a
meat grinder.

My problem with that is that they've taken over the whole of
transhumanism, and if the chairmanship of the "Future of Humanity
Institute" at Oxford University means anything, then they've
commandeered that too.

If broader transhumanism is to have any chance at gaining a foothold,
the deathgrip of the uploaders must be loosened.

This is an ancient argument, but I am fed up with those who feel their
upload is *them.*  At least with conventional concepts of uploading,
the upload is actually a perfect copy, but not them in a self-circuit"
continuity way! lol  If I get blown up in an aircraft accident, my
back-up copy is my perfect clone in mind and body, but not *me.*

I love the story where two men are arguing about consciousness and
personal identity and they live in a time when the technologies we
talk about actually exist.  Thomas is convinced that an upload or
biological back-up is him in every way that matters, arguments about
continuity be damned.  But Rick thinks this is total stupidity and the
uploads and back-ups are merely copies, no matter how perfect they
might be.  As they argue on and on, Thomas finally states that he is
so sure
of himself that he could die and it would not matter since he has a
back-up on file.  Rick takes a big gun out of a drawer, points it at
Thomas's chest and asks him again if he *really* feels that way...

Now I realize that if some godlike post-singularity technology can
"Tron-style" scan me into it's system, and then later biologically
restore me, well, I suppose that's different.  But I hope not to be
biologically killed to become an upload, and then killed as an upload
to become biological again (with the illusion of continuity).

I think much of the love for uploading comes from not only the desire
to live forever, but also to be a master of one's own personal
universe in a Star Trek holodeck-like setting.  I suspect many people
yearn for the "best possible scenario" where a seedAI goes full-bore
Singularity and lovingly goes around uploading most or all of humanity
so that we can all be saved from disease, aging and death, and have a
great time from then on.  But will it actually happen that way? lol

As for the transhumanist movement being "taken over" by uploaders, I
think you are really overstating things.  But I do think there are
those of us who are comfortable with uploading and "fast and lose"
concepts of personal identity & continuity, and those of us (like me)
who are not.


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