[ExI] Can you avoid information theoretic death via 1080p? Re: pets, mirrors and cryonics

Brian Atkins brian at posthuman.com
Sun Nov 4 16:41:18 UTC 2012

For anyone concerned about information theoretic death, I'd suggest looking into 
the lifelogging/quantified self area as a possible cryonics enhancement.

What good is being revived from cryonics in the far future if your brain lost 
most of its memories and bits prior to you being declared legally dead? This was 
discussed in the recent Cryonics Magazine issue: 

Plus there's just a ton of everyday life your brain loses/discards no matter 
what, even if you luck out and avoid dementia; your future self might be 
interested in that stuff. And thirdly there's always the even crazier idea of 
indirect mind uploading/beta-level simulation should your cryonics plan/provider 
fail. Hey, it's better than nothing, and no I don't want to debate the "but, it 
wouldn't really be me!" issue with you today. Finally there are some other 
"everyday" potential benefits (and drawbacks) of recording your life, but that's 
beside the point of this post.

We have cheap multi-terabyte hard drives, 1080p smartphones, hardware h264 
encoders in recent pc cpus/gpus, upcoming Google Glasses, successful kickstarter 
projects for wearable mini lifelogging cameras, health tracking hardware... I'm 
starting to think it's about time to use it all - continuously.

This is a project I'm still researching, so I don't have full implementation 
details to share currently. But would love to hear anyone actually doing 
anything similar (beyond traditional things like diaries/family event photos). I 
am aware of Dr. Roy @ MIT who recorded his child's first years learning to speak 
by wiring his house with 11 cameras.

One thing that looks interesting currently is the Action! pc desktop recorder 
using Intel "Quick Sync" hardware h264 encoding - developer says planning to add 
simultaneous webcam capture as well. On my ivy bridge laptop this will capture 
and compress 1080p without even making the cpu fan run continuously. 

I estimate full desktop capture, webcam capture, plus continuous 
smartphone/wearable videocamera capture to run at least 10 TB per year per 
person. So pick your favorite NAS solution (I like Synology). Throw in a tape 
system or other offsite backup too (any cloud systems cheap enough?). You're 
going to want a gigabit network at home too, minimum.

For the phone I'm looking into any recent quadcore android phones with ability 
to use extended size battery, extra sd card storage, and fisheye lens 
attachment, probably worn on belt or in shirt/jacket pocket with camera peeking 
out. If you talk your wife/husband/friends/etc into this and share footage then 
their cameras can capture some of your facial reactions in daily life away from 
your pc which is difficult to get on your own smartphone unless you want to wear 
some silly camera rig like on a reality show.

You will have to check local laws, and hope you live in a location that allows 
one-party consent to audio recordings:


(I am not a lawyer)

Having a proper way to search through all this data and make use of it is a 
future project. But I think you could go ahead and assume today that this search 
tech will exist, so you could simply make "marks" in your recordings by just 
speaking certain key words that you plan to search for in the future once the 
audio transcription tech gets good enough. Then it'd be easy to go back and find 
(or avoid) certain sections.

All in all I think we're near the point you can be a Stephenson Gargoyle if you 
want without looking like one. I expect society will adapt over the next several 
years to this reality and begin mostly ignoring it just like people already do 
with the surveillance cameras in businesses and public locations. The ape parts 
of our brains don't seem to object too badly as long as we don't seem to be 
directly stared at by a camera lens.

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