J Bov Explodes Rhetorically


Damn Your Short Attention Spans!
16/04/2009, 3:27 AM
Filed under: Gibberish, Philosophical Bollocks, SCIENCE!

I realise my momentary shoelace related mania in my last post may have been a little dull for some, as such I’ve copy-pasted the second half, which actually is interesting, into a new blog.

Here, you fickle fiends:

I was thinking about Mind-Uploading today (here’s a Wiki-link, it’s a fascinating concept).

I was thinking that using certain methods, such as rebuilding the brain in a computer and switching it on would create an entirely different entity. One that thinks, feels and acts exactly the same as the original, but entirely separate from it. Two identical entities existing at once.

This would lead to some interesting outcomes, for example, after the procedure the replacement robot-mind (which we’ll assume was the designed outcome of the experiment, perhaps to gain a semblance of immortality) might decide the human mind was no longer necessary. Is it murder? Is it suicide? Is it the same as throwing out an old t-shirt? I think given the choice my robot replacement mind would want to kill me as a symbolic gesture of the improvement.

As such, it wouldn’t be the subject living forever, but the replicant mind. Which by the nature of existance, as soon as it becomes active, begins to experience the world differently and as such is a different entity entirely to the original. All you’ve achieved there is making an intelligent robot.

Another method is gradual cyborging; the patient is anaesthetised and a part of their brain is replaced by a machine that replicates it’s function exactly. After which the patient is woken up to ensure there’s no problems and then put back under and this carries on until the entire brain is replaced. This method still means the original being dies, as it’s brain is carved up and replaced. The question becomes, if it happened to me, would I wake up? It’s likely that something exactly like me would wake up, confirm perfect function then be killed and a new entity exactly like me would wake up until eventually a robot being, exactly the same as me in almost every way would wake up and confirm it was working correctly. I’d be out the instant they cut my brain.

So that’s not immortality either. Well, not for the original patient, anyway. They wouldn’t be experiencing the rest of the cyborg’s existance, the cyborg would.

The only method that would work, the most feasible one anyway, is a slow and steady replacement of each individual neuron by nanites.

Nanites would enter the brain, scan the surrounding neurons and adopt their exact function. Once they were working correctly they would replace the neurons in that part of the brain and more nanites would scan the next set of neurons, and on in that fashion until the entire brain is nanotech.

The brain, and as such the human, can survive the loss of a few neurons with no ill effect. If they are then immediately replaced by the exact same thing (only in the form of a microscopic robot) then there’s litterally no harm done.

This method would ensure the ongoing experience of the original and would not create a new entity by replacing large chunks and killing the patient or digitising the original and both existing at once to experience things differently, which would bring the philosophy of AI into question as to whether it can be classed as simply a replacement or a new, identical, being.

This leads me to my next point which is equally interesting; using the nanite-replacement method one could also ‘back-up’ one’s mind outside the body for use as ‘insurance’ if the host body was to die (or critically malfunction, I for one am not staying in a flawed biological body when I have a computer brain, and prosthetics are at tops ten years away from being better than organic limbs). The back-up could be inserted into a new robotic body and the entity could keep on living. Especially if the back-up is constantly updated via the acive mind so it would have the same experiences from the same viewpoint and as such would be precisely the same entity that was taken out of commision somehow. (It would of course then experience the world for itself and would not be the original entity, but hell, it’s a step in the right direction.) Or if the body malfunctions, get a new one. Easy as. I intend to have three. One that looks similar to me, albeit more toned and… metallic. One that looks just like a T-800 endoskeleton and one that’s 60-foot tall and has ‘The Peasant Crusher’ written on it’s chest. I’ll explain why in a second.

I’d also think it’d be possible to exist in a virtual environment by simply uploading yourself into it, which would be cool. Think The Matirx, but we choose to exist in it rather than being forced.

Now, certain people (religious people, mainly) would object to having a tech-brain and body and would remain ‘Bio-Humans’ (as opposed to us ‘Tech-Humans’ or Homo Technologicals) and they would give up most technology and become simple farm-folk, living off the land because in an entirely Tech dominated world there would be no need for us to consume anything other than sustainable power-sources. I say more power to ’em, I can see some of us Techs helping them out; I would. But there are always narrow-minded idiots or extreme zealots who I imagine would actively seek to fight and destroy Tech-Humans. These people more often than not seem to be able to influence people and would gain followers in their essentially racist crusade, despite the fact that we just want to get on with our endless (if we should so choose) lives of metallic joy.

In the ensuing ‘war’ (or ‘massacre’, which seems more apt) the Bio-Humans would be wiped-out. I’m not one for fighting, but if someone tried to disable my motor-functions and shut me down just because I chose to transend my ridiculously frail and short-lived biological form, I would have to crush them to dust like an errant fly.

Hence ‘The Peasant Crusher’. Nobody argues with a 60-foot, metal peasant crusher. Not for long, anyway.

J Bov mk. 1

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1 Comment so far
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All this brain replacement stuff gives me the willies, yet the idea of having my body replaced with a mechanical one (sixty feet high or not)leaves me unphased. Strange…I’m sure the, ahem, ‘war’ will set me straight.

Also: I like it.

Comment by marmanaie




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