[ExI] Uploading

Ben Zaiboc bbenzai at yahoo.com
Fri Oct 29 13:34:22 UTC 2010

Alan Grimes <agrimes at speakeasy.net> wrote:

I wrote:
>> You've just described one uploading scenario!
>I haven't.
>Uploading is very strictly defined as ...

Uploading is not strictly defined at all.
You seem to have a fixed idea of what the word 
should mean, but that idea is not shared by everyone.

>Nobody, anywhere, thinks of a situation involving an
> AI substrate and a
>neural interface when someone mentions uploading. 

That is factually wrong, since one of the several
uploading scenarios that I think of includes that 
one, and I'm sure I'm not alone.

Uploading just means the process of copying one's mind

from the biological brain into an artificial one.  
No specific mechanism is implied, as we don't yet know

which mechanisms will actually work.  It's certainly 
not exclusive of any physically possible mechanism.

>Uploading == destructive brain uploading with full
> brain emulation and
>*NOTHING* else.

Why be so restrictive in your definition? There's no

You call me an 'uploader' (although I'm not, yet!),
and by implication stigmatise me with your personal, 
idiosyncratic definition of the word Upload, when in
fact I'm open to many other types of uploading,
including the one that you propose.  Which I think is
a very good idea, btw.

>What you are doing is attempting to co-opt me and the
> movement I want to
>create to provide an alternative to uploading 

Not at all.  Just attempting to clarify that what
you propose is a form of uploading.  You say:

"I would imagine having a network of mind-hosts, 
each hosting k/N of my consciousness"

So you do think that a non-biological substrate can
implement a mind, just as I do.  The fact that you 
refuse to call all but one particular route to that
state 'uploading', just means we are arguing about
the definition of a word, not the phenomenon itself.

If you reside in a non-biological brain, you are an 
upload (assuming you used to be biological of
Call it something else, if you have an
allergy to the word, but try to recognise that we
are after the same thing:  Our mind running in an
alternative, and better, substrate.

Of course, an inevitable corollary to that is the
improvement you mention, something that would be
much easier to achieve in a non-biological brain.

> -- and
> that pisses me off,

That is your privilege.

> Uploading is
> uploading. Using a Cray
>XE6 as extra gray matter is not. (OMG: 1 million core
> scalability!!!)

OK, you seem adamant in your dislike of the word 
What word do you want to use instead?  
Let's use that.

>> While our minds are still implemented in meat,
> there's little 
>> chance of being able to improve them in any
> significant way.
>Sure they are. If you don't insist on carrying your
> brain around with
>you, it's perfectly reasonable that it could be
> expanded biologically.
>Advanced CMT would also serve as a mostly biological
> enhancement.
>Additionally one could consider merging several
> bio-brains together.


Do you mean nanotech? 

I expect that nanotechnology will eventually provide a

way to create advanced materials that are
non-biological but at least as complex and varied as
biology, but staying within the realm of biology is
not much use if you want to expand your intelligence a
For a start, nerve impulses are far too slow.  
I doubt anyone would take Olaf Stapledon's giant
brains seriously as a practical option these days.

Besides, biology carries a huge amount of evolutionary

baggage.  It would be silly to keep all the tangled, 
enormously complex biochemistry that goes on in
neurons (not to mention all the genes that are never
used) when all you're really interested in is their 
signal-processing properties.  Yes, I know that's a
gross simplification, but you get the point.  No need
to keep all that genetic information about how to make
liver cells, etc., etc., when all you want is neurons.

>I'm terrified that all these myopic, dim-witted,
> backwards thinking,
>idiotic, suicidal, uploaders will rule the world and
> vastly superior
>approaches will be precluded before they can be put
> place. =(

You really don't like that word, do you?

Ben Zaiboc


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