Re: physics of uploading minds

From: Heartland (
Date: Tue Nov 01 2005 - 07:46:11 MST

> On 10/29/05, Heartland <> wrote:
>> In general terms, human life is a mind-producing activity of matter in
>> space-time. It follows that in order for uploading to preserve life the
>> procedure must be performed in a way that preserves mind-producing
>> *activity* of matter (and not just brain structure).
> Yes, I think I recognized the necessity of this when I discussed
> maintaining the synchronicity of dispersed brain modules that
> contribute to consciousness.
>> The threshold in this case isn't the preserved percentage of the original
>> brain structure but whether the whole system comprised of old and new
>> substrate lost, at any point, the potential to generate single
>> mind-producing activity of matter in space-time. In the first case, the
>> system lost that potential (died) while, in the second case, that
>> potential
>> existed at all times during the transfer.
> Interestingly, we lose a great deal of neural activity nuring NREM
> sleep -- a period of time when we also lack consciousness. According
> to your premise, we would be a new consciousness each day, because we
> lose single-consciosness-activity every night (or during anesthesia,
> coma, etc.). Clearly, I think that I am the same, continuous
> consciousness as I was yesterday and the day before, so I don't think
> that's an especially relevant criterion.

Unfortunately, mind transfers are usually debated in terms of brain
structure and preservation of continuity of consciousness. In reality these
concepts are somewhat marginal to what really matters for a truly successful
uploading procedure. What really matters, IMO, is a "mind-producing activity
of matter in space-time," which I've defined reluctantly as "presence" to
bring more clarity to these discussions. Presence shouldn't be mistaken for
consciousness which is merely a subset of "mind-producing activity of matter
in space-time." Just because people sometimes lose consciousness doesn't
mean their brains stop working. In other words, I can be present without
being conscious. It really doesn't matter to the success of uploading
procedure if subjects maintain their consciousness during transfer.
Successful uploading is not about preserving brain structure either. All
that matters is preservation of the original presence by maintaining
potential for that presence. Once uploading procedure manages to preserve
the original presence the other things pretty much take care of themselves.

So yes, I agree that consciousness isn't a relevant criterion by which we
should judge whether the true essence of "I am" was transferred during
uploading. I lose and regain consciousness all the time but I remain the
same day after day, year by year because I've never lost my original


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