From: David Picon Alvarez (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Tue Dec 27 2005 - 10:48:20 MST
From: "Phillip Huggan" <email@example.com>
> Oops. I meant to use the term telepathic, not the term psychic. As in,
if consciousness is strictly emergent from computation and not substrate, we
should be aware of all sentient activities along the surface area of our
light-cones, not merely our own minds. I was attempting to dismiss the
uploading meme; it is one of the first ideas thrust upon H+ newcomers. If
two computers cannot read eachothers programming, why would a person's saved
upload be able to interact with the original in any way? In both scenarios
the substrate forms boundaries.
It's not a case of the upload interacting with the original, it's a case of
the upload being an equivalent instantiation to the original. It's not that
substrate matters, just that computation must occur in some physical
substrate. As to being aware of the computation outside ourselves, we're not
even aware of most computation inside ourselves, in truth there's more of
self-ignorance in us than self-awareness.
The upload problem is like one of the forms of the teleport problem. Say you
have means to transmit an exact copy (ignore QM issues for the sake of
argument here) of a person through an information channel, from place A to
place B, but the process is destructive. A person P at place A wishes to go
to place B. The person can either continuously move from A to B as we do
every day, or be transmited through the information channel, and
reconstituted at B, with perfect accuracy. What has happened to P? Is P
still P? Is it alive? Has it ever died?
In the case of uploading, this same information is collected about P, and
instead of P being transmited through an information channel and
reconstituted at B, P is reconstituted at A+, which is a virtual environment
simulated on a computer. Since, if you accept that P can be transmited from
A to B, you are already conceding that P is an essentially informational
object, what makes it impossible to instantiate P at A+? Your idea that
there's some magic in physics that generates self awareness is not supported
by any data. Information is what we can identify as making the difference.
Even if there were some quirk of physics, why could it not be emulated, same
as any other quirk of physics?
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