[FoRK] Extreme Life Extension: Investing in Cryonics for the Long, Long Term

Jeff Bone jbone at place.org
Mon Jun 21 19:17:42 PDT 2010

On Jun 21, 2010, at 8:45 PM, silky <michaelslists at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Tue, Jun 22, 2010 at 8:03 AM, Jeff Bone <jbone at place.org> wrote:
> [...]
>> A similar concern:  Roger Penrose's hocus-pocus quantum origin of consciousness also argues against the
>> plausibility to a large extent, as well as against strong AI in general and any form of uploading.
> Surely, though, it seems like the most likely (or at least best) way
> to achieve unlimited life is to build yourself into a machine. The
> only amusing question (covered on other lists[1][2], I suppose) is
> which one do you become, when the upload is complete. They'd need to
> kill the human copy, before re-awaking the computer version, but that
> implies part of you would die (the human part). Well, it's interesting
> anyway, but as far as extending life, I would imagine that's the more
> "practical" sci-fi approach.

A lot of assumptions built in there, the first being a set of problematic ones about the nature of perceived identity in the first place.  Continuity of self even in vivo may be an illusion; there's growing evidence to suggest that it is, or at least that it is far less meaningful than we usually assume.

Btw, FoR is / was an excellent list.  I was a sometime and low-volume participant in it some years back.  It spawned numerous serious papers and even a book, Dr. Russell Standish's excellent semi-ironically titled "Theory of Nothing". Highly recommended; one of the only books I've ever bothered to review on Amazon.


As for the "kill the human copy" --- not necessarily.  Cf. "Ship of Theseus.". (That's the name of a philosophical argument, not some obscure Golden Age sci-fi thing...)



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