Techno-Immortalist Delusion

Dmitry Itskov wants to live forever, and thinks that uploading his mind into a computer will somehow help with that.

It sounds preposterous, but there is no doubting the seriousness of this softly spoken 35-year-old, who says he left the business world to devote himself to something more useful to humanity. “I’m 100% confident it will happen. Otherwise I wouldn’t have started it,” he says.

The proposed technology might be plausible (I suspect it is eventually inevitable), but it has nothing whatsoever to do with immortality, except insofar as such ambitions incentivize its development. It’s profoundly confused.

“If you could replicate the mind and upload it into a different material, you can in principle clone minds,” says [Columbia University neurobiologist Prof Rafael] Yuste. “These are complicated issues because they deal with the core of defining what is a person.”

No, if you could replicate the mind and upload it onto a different material substrate all you could possibly be doing would be cloning a mind. The clone could be persuaded to identify with you — this would perhaps be inescapable given what it is (a high-fidelity copy), and thus the delusion of immortality might be perpetuated. The original, however, is going to die just as much as it was before being copied.

The truly interesting question, given the scrambling of the metaphysics of personal identity which would surely follow from such advances, is: What exactly dies anyway? (If — even as a baseline human — you’re in reality continuously reconstructed, and hence a distantly-descended copy of yourself, you’ve probably already done a lot more dying than you think.)


March 14, 2016admin 46 Comments »


46 Responses to this entry

  • Techno-Immortalist Delusion | Neoreactive Says:

    […] By admin […]

    Posted on March 14th, 2016 at 3:33 pm Reply | Quote
  • Anomaly UK Says:

    These aren’t new questions. If a clone isn’t me, there’s the grandfather’s-axe problem. What do we even pay all these philosophers for?

    My ignorant layman’s view: the traditional conception of the self is predicated on particular material circumstances that these anticipated technologies would alter decisively. Is a clone me? Why do we care?


    admin Reply:

    Chalmers has a good discussion of some background here.


    Rasputin Reply:


    Posted on March 14th, 2016 at 3:50 pm Reply | Quote
  • SVErshov Says:

    from computers guys there is huge delusion on part of fundamental parameters related to structure and functionalty of human brain . structure of computer architecture constant only content changing. in brain it is in opposite, relative stability of content directly depend on brain continously re-generating itself from pull of neuronal comited progenitor cells which remains undifferentiated in special germinal zones of brain such as SVZ. from SVZ by glial pathway cells traveling long distances in brain and differentiating into specialised cells. if this process of renewal slowdowns or stops memory content and functionality can be temporarily on permanently lost.


    Posted on March 14th, 2016 at 3:59 pm Reply | Quote
  • Asher Says:

    So when it comes to our species is consciousness in the driver’s seat, or not? Pretty sure the evidence clearly demonstrates that it is not, but I’m open to revisiting the question. From where I’m sitting the urge to subsume identity into the conscious ego is just a manifestation of the desire to escape cause and effect.

    Yeah, these people just wanna be God.


    Posted on March 14th, 2016 at 4:03 pm Reply | Quote
  • William Newman Says:

    It does seem like a strong argument, but why is it a “Techno-Immortalist” issue rather than an “Immortalist” issue? If after their death the elect find themselves raised in heaven by some nontechnical spiritual mechanism, or if after enough turns of the wheel a virtuous physical chemist is finally karmicly reincarnated as a marketing major who doesn’t have to study differential equations, how can we tell whether it’s really the same soul involved as opposed to a superficially convincing facsimile of the original destroyed soul?


    Posted on March 14th, 2016 at 4:07 pm Reply | Quote
  • Erebus Says:

    The strong version of this is Parfit’s Teletransportation Paradox, which was thoroughly described in “Reasons and Persons.” (A partial but very relevant PDF excerpt can be found here.)
    …There’s no way around it. In the end, Parfit reached the same conclusion: Anatta.

    Hofstadter is also obsessed with this sort of thing, and I seem to recall that he wrote about it — brilliantly and at length — in several of his books.

    But what Itskov proposes is no strong version. It’s obvious that he’ll only be making a copy, at best, and that this will not result in his own immortality. (Is he so lacking in clarity that he thinks he’ll actually be able to upload his physical brain?)
    …If there is a way forward, it would likely involve gradually replacing the physical brain with artificial structures.


    Thales Reply:

    Cognition as computation, the seminal work.


    Tentative Joiner Reply:

    Gradual replacement seems like the safest option but it raises further questions of what you could do with the artificial brain without disrupting its subjective consciousness. Could you (once again, gradually) replace its hardware, which would presumably be tailored to reflect the organic brain it replaced, with software running on commodity hardware? Tom Cuda’s Against Neural Chauvinism presents a clever argument, one of those that are obvious in retrospect, that extends to the continuity of consciousness in transhuman changes of substrate from hardware to software.


    Erebus Reply:

    That’s a brilliant paper. Thanks very much for linking to it. Cuda’s position is correct & very rigorously argued. (Even when not strictly necessary — the “removal of one neuron” argument on page 120 should be obvious to every person who possesses more than one functional neuron.)

    Randal Koene is the guy leading this Oligarch-funded brain-upload project, and I’ve looked into some of his work. (Example here.) It’s not very good at all, I’m afraid. Far too superficial.

    I think that in order to transfer a person’s brain onto an artificial substrate, we will need to have a deep understanding of that brain in every possible way. (That is, in every way that doesn’t involve indeterminable quantum effects.) This means that we’d need much more than a surface-layer knowledge of neuronal connections. Of course, we would need that, but we’d also need to understand everything about the type and location of its glial cells, what average neurotransmitter concentration gradients are across different regions of that brain, we’d need to characterize every receptor, figure out what transient protein-protein interactions are doing and whether or not there are any protein or receptor mutations, and much, much more…

    …This is not impossible in theory, but is as close to impossible as anything gets in the sciences.

    If that deep understanding is attained, and if brainstates can be scanned in a non-destructive manner, it might actually be possible to replace brain structures with simulacra or the “homonuclei” of Cuda’s paper. This could mean the construction of an electrochemical device which would respond to stimuli precisely as an organic brain would.

    If such a thing can be made, it should be possible to implement it in a sort of piecemeal way: Fashion an artificial cerebellum or olfactory bulb, cut away the original, implant the device, and see what happens. If a rat with an artificial olfactory bulb can identify scents, and responds in ways which are predictable, then you know that you’re on to something, and can keep cutting away.

    “Against Neural Chauvinism” is exactly right.


    Tentative Joiner Reply:

    You’re welcome. I, in turn, enjoyed reading the extract from Parfit’s book. Comment threads like this one are a big reason I keep coming back to XS.

    (I’ve realized that a list of all books and papers mentioned in the comments would be a useful thing to have. A list of all links to PDF files is a viable starting point for it. I may compile one myself when I find the time.)

    Aristocles Invictus Reply:

    Here’s the full PDF of Reasons and Persons:


    Posted on March 14th, 2016 at 4:14 pm Reply | Quote
  • RW Says:

    Not necessarily true. We don’t understand how consciousness works. Your brain cells are not the same brain cells you had seven years ago– all have died off and been replaced by different ones. Could consciousness be expanded with the addition of electronic appliances? Could the brain be quickened? Would this be destroying your consciousness? If not, what happens when the original brain matter atrophies away? After all, it happens to us all the time.

    In fact, is it possible that every moment the consciousness experiences death and is replaced with a new consciousness that thinks it’s you?


    Erebus Reply:

    >”Your brain cells are not the same brain cells you had seven years ago– all have died off and been replaced by different ones.”

    This is untrue. You’re still walking around with the neurons you were born with. And, with very few exceptions in certain specific regions of the brain and CNS, neurons aren’t replaced when they die. (This is true also in neurons outside the brain, which is why spinal cord injuries tend to be permanent, why ALS is such a terrible disease, etc…)

    >”Could consciousness be expanded with the addition of electronic appliances? Could the brain be quickened? Would this be destroying your consciousness? If not, what happens when the original brain matter atrophies away?”

    -Yes, and this is already provable. Is also possible, to some limited extent, with drugs.
    -No. Why would it? Time perception can also be modulated with drugs.
    -Nobody knows — we’ll need to experiment and find out. (Though things like half-organic/half-artificial brains are still utter science fiction, and are likely at least a couple of decades away, even in rodent and monkey experiments…)


    SVErshov Reply:

    just for reference

    Neurogenesis in the Adult Brain

    ‘A milestone is marked in our understanding of the brain with the recent acceptance, contrary to early dogma, that the adult nervous system can generate new neurons’

    Human Adult Neurogenesis Revealed

    Human Memory Linked to Brain Cell Turnover


    Erebus Reply:

    From the first link:

    “…because there are two rather discrete areas of the brain, the dentate gyrus of the hippocampal formation and the subventricular zone and its projection through the rostral migratory stream to the olfactory bulb, which can generate new neurons.”

    Which is exactly what I said. Neurogenesis appears to be possible in certain areas of the adult brain, but to suggest that there’s massive amounts of neuronal turnover is completely false. For the most part, we’re all still walking around with the neurons we were born with.

    Posted on March 14th, 2016 at 4:29 pm Reply | Quote
  • Future Murder Says:

    The first sign of a AGI will be its decision to turn off whatever computer Ray Kurzweil (and his ilk) are uploaded into.


    Posted on March 14th, 2016 at 4:36 pm Reply | Quote
  • Brett Stevens Says:

    He’s confusing cloning a personality with cloning the information-system of a mind. The best use for this would be to preserve experts, like the Dixie Flatline in Neuromancer.


    Posted on March 14th, 2016 at 5:12 pm Reply | Quote
  • Aaron Says:

    I wonder it would be like, a human mind divorced from human biology and, by extension, emotion. I wonder if such a mind would be uniformly apathetic towards everything.


    Posted on March 14th, 2016 at 7:51 pm Reply | Quote
  • dave1941 Says:

    In the novel “Friendship is Optimal” (readable for free online), a brony nerd gets tricked into having his brain destructively copied into a My Little Pony simulator so he can frolic and have sex with virtual ponies all day long. It’s potentially an eternal existence (unless someone unplugs the simulator and wipes the hard drive), but also a rather pointless one.


    Posted on March 14th, 2016 at 8:44 pm Reply | Quote
  • Uriel Alexis Says:

    i always think that we’ll probably get cyborgs before we get androids or digital minds. cyborgs would probably be closer to “living forever” (since you can replace parts) than digital minds (which would be copies).


    Posted on March 14th, 2016 at 8:55 pm Reply | Quote
  • Grotesque Body Says:

    Plato is a coward before reality, consequently he flees into the ideal.


    Posted on March 14th, 2016 at 11:04 pm Reply | Quote
  • michael Says:

    it is possible to exist outside your body now if a blank adult but younger clone can be made to accept the out of body consciousness it might be able to break connection to old body


    Posted on March 15th, 2016 at 12:03 am Reply | Quote
  • Meursault Says:

    Houellebecq’s The Possibility of an Island took this concept and ran away with it to its logical conclusion: even the clones die in the end.


    Posted on March 15th, 2016 at 12:18 am Reply | Quote
  • SVErshov Says:

    brain has an out reaching interface designed to communicate with outside – olfactory bulb. it is quite high speed interface and cells in olfactory bulb actively proliferating. study of olfactory bulb may provide a clues on what we need to have on another side to build high speed interface with brain. perhaps intermediate organism something like chimeric (humanised) ocean sponge or amoebas will do.


    Posted on March 15th, 2016 at 3:18 am Reply | Quote
  • TheDividualist Says:


    Glad you are getting it. Buddhism has a bad name around reactionary circles because in the US it was associated with liberalism largely due to the Dalai Lama basically talking like a Gandhi, reflecting back Cathedral values thinly disguised as Asian ones.

    But despite this, the core philosophy of Buddhism is rock solid because it doesn’t even assert anything, it is entirely negative, it merely challenges our assertion of personal identity and a fixed self. And very important things cannot be grasped without that.

    The most important thing I have learned from Buddhism is that while I consider theism/Christianity theoretically bunk, psychologically, socially, it is pretty healthy, all things considered. Why? And the best answer is that because it contains psychological mechanisms to make the ego smaller e.g. kneeling and abasing yourself. I find the Lord’s Prayer psychologically very healthy. Not my will be done but thy. It sort of makes one stop being a spoiled child and makes one realize the world is not revolving around our precious “autonomous” will.

    I mean, isn’t saying the Lord’s Prayer basically equivalent to dropping a nuke on your own status-seeking instincts? We need a secular Lord’s Prayer. “I accept that my own name will not be hallowed, my will shall not be done, my kingdom will not come, I will not have the power and the glory, because no longer believing in god did not change the fact that I am a puny mortal.”

    But this only makes sense if there is either really a god, and most likely not, or if a smaller ego is psychologically healthy, which I think it is. From that there are two options, either egos should have an optimal size not too big not too small, or they are a bad thing and ideally we should have no egos at all. While I fully accept that right-sizing egos sounds far more pragmatic, especially from an evolution/survival viewpoint, the Buddhist idea that the whole ego thing is bollocks is also very well argued.

    The only real problem is the incompatibility with evolution. If having an ego has a fitness edge, and it rather obviously has, how are we better off without it?

    But nevertheless Buddhism has a very good argument we are dividuals, not individuals. And this actually explains to secular person why Christianity e.g. the Lord’s Prayer works so well.


    Seth Largo Reply:

    +1 for the The Secular Lord’s Prayer.

    Getting rid of god did not do what all the leftists think it did, and if they continue to try and desperately prove that it did indeed do what they thought it did, they will leave in their wake a trail of destroyed civilizations.


    TheDividualist Reply:

    The basic shit is they managed to turn themselves / humankind / Teh Internashunal Community into a god. Leftists are not proper atheists but pseudo-theists. Because proper atheism is HARD to bear, it is brutal, and I will fully admit here and now that the true and proper pessimism of true atheism, of knowing there is no Providence showing a true path of Progress, no preordained path to history whatsoever and humans will bear the full consequences of our stupid choices is actually making me less than perfectly mentally healthy. The price of truth is depression, I am going to fully admit that. It is brutal to know we are ALLOWED to fuck up, no supernatural lifebelt thrown, and we look a lot like a species that WILL. It takes a heroic mind to keep up the cheerful and not wallow in depression in face of the stark reality, or as I suspect of our host, a certain sense of – glee?

    This is something I began to grasp even when I was something like a Michael Oakeshott or John Kekes type moderate conservative (BTW look them up on a rainy Sunday afternoon, they may be not fully getting it but they are still not uninteresting) but it took me a Moldbug to realize why and how this happened and its full extent.

    And this depression of a cosmic, pan-historic horror is not something a therapist will understand. I just have to deal with it. Beyond my loyalties (e.g. my family) what is keeping me want to stay alive is largely curiosity. I sorta want to be around to see how exactly we are going to fuck up. Popcorn.


    Tentative Joiner Reply:

    >this depression of a cosmic, pan-historic horror is not something a therapist will understand

    Interestingly, there are branches of psychotherapy that try to directly address cosmic meaninglessness. Chapters 10-11 of Irvin D. Yalom’s book Existential Psychotherapy go into the problem of cosmic meaning and lack thereof. Despite the predictable flaws (it may be better to call them annoyances) stemming from the book’s progressive and existentialist outlook I think it can still be worth reading for a reactionary interested in eudaimonic matters. Yalom lists possible sources of meaning in the face of apparent cosmic meaninglessness and gives examples of how they worked for his patients. If you have a passing familiarity with existentialism you can read those chapters without any of the preceding ones. The TL;DR is that engaging in life despite the apparent lack of meaning is one’s best bet.

    Another angle of attack could be to come up with a life-affirming but not horror-denying spin on the cosmic horror. Judging by the sales numbers of Warhammer 40k media, heroism in the face of horror and living to fight another day despite the odds resonates with (male) audiences. There might be something there, maybe even an NRx alternative to the emotionally satisfying aspects of HRx (which I suspect are a large part of its appeal).

    Posted on March 15th, 2016 at 10:51 am Reply | Quote
  • TheDividualist Says:

    Reading the debate above, I think we need Peirce’s guillotine here. To steal an example from Eric Raymond, when someone asks a question like “is there anything truly infinite” and you ask back “what is the observable difference between a universe that contains truly infinite things and a universe that does not, merely so large things that any given point we have not finished measuring them?” and you realize that there is no difference and thus the question needs dissolved, not answered.

    We need some sort of a similar dissolution here. To any external observer, my perfect copy is per definition indistinguishable from me. But both the copy and me don’t feel so, for example we both want to live and getting killed while knowing the other survives would not be satisfying. But this has nothing to do with some kind of absolute truth. There is no absolute answer to this.

    Instead, this boils down to merely human desires and instincts. I have a life instinct, and copying me have not turned that off. The copy has a new life instinct on its own.

    Well, maybe a different angle. Forget copies. Would it be bad for me to get killed in general? Well, the bad thing about death is anticipating it, when you are already dead you don’t mind being dead anymore. Does this mean killing someone suddenly is OK? Well, from the victims angle yes, he is not around to complain anymore. If the victim would have a forewarning, of course he would plead as hard as he can to not be killed, but not because of the killing as such but because of the foreknowledge of getting killed i.e. the anticipation of death. So from the viewpoint of any person it is the anticipation of death that is bad and not death as itself. You cannot ask anyone whether it would be good for you to die now without anticipating it because the question itself creates the anticipation, and you cannot ask dead people if they are OK being dead. Therefore, the question whether getting killed in and of itself is bad for you is simply unanswerable. The reason we have laws against murder is twofold, first, anticipating death sucks, second, it affects other people, like people who loved the victim. Not because death, caused by another person or by whatever other reason is bad.

    So to cut a long story short, from Peircean angle, from a truly and properly empirical angle, you have to solve only two questions: does this copying solve the anticipation anxiety, the fear of death, and does this solve the grieving problem?

    It solves the grieving problem perfectly and I find it truly weird how this is hardly getting discussed. Are we all really so selfish that we look at our own death only from our own perspective? I mean, even without perfect copies, I wish my dad written a journal, so that I have some remaining memory of his mind and ideas, not just photos and discussions sooner or later I will forget. Journaling or otherwise is the best thing interesting minds can do for others, and everybody is found interesting by his kids. Usually. If Moldbug would get hit by a bus tomorrow we could basically just give a hardcopy of his writings to her daughter when she grows up and that would be a far better thing to have, a far better copy of what matters of a person than what I have of my dad, which is photos. It’s basically the duty of parents to write, at least a journal, preferably books. The uploaded mind is basically nothing but a perfect journal. The Book Of You. All of it. Anyhow, the point is, the grieving problem is perfectly solved by uploading and this alone makes it worthwhile. So guys, try to be a bit more generous here. When you “git that kinda news” (Tim McGraw) it will be the perfect last gift to your kids.

    The anticipation of death problem is not solved by uploading. Sucks. Deal with it. Get drugged out of the death worry or just suck it up and consider your copy as the perfect gift to your kids, posterity and so on, not something for your own sake.

    And simpy don’t ask if it solves death or immortality, it is a wrong question and needs dissolved. Death is not a thing, already Epicureus figured that out. It plain simply is not a subject to think about from this angle, only living people have problems, and thus there are only two problems, fearing death, and losing a loved one.


    Uriel Alexis Reply:

    so, cyborgs solve the anticipation problem. if you’re shot in the lungs, buy brand new lungs. adios fear.


    TheDividualist Reply:

    Figure out a way to not make a 90 years old brain be tired of life and I will start paying attention. The psychological changes of aging are in themselves formidable. You see, to an external observer aging and depression seem the same. My grandma wasn’t dancing on my wedding, “nah I just sit and watch, that is good enough for me”, she hardly drunk, did not eat much and had only a moderate level of social chat, if a 25 years old friend would behave like that you would suspect some kind of anhedonia? And watching children, how much they are made happy by something as simple as snow falling: even the normal adult mindset is compared to a childs, depression.


    Posted on March 15th, 2016 at 11:13 am Reply | Quote
  • RJl Says:

    From the moment the copy is made, its history begins to diverge from the original. Either a) it has no input channels, in which case it receives no new information and its content is static – whereas I acquire new experiences, and so from that moment we are already different; or b) it has its own inputs, in which case it begins to have its own unique experiences that I do not have, and so we are different; or c) it continuously receives my inputs for ever in totality, in which case i have not created a second version of my mind, but simply integrated another hardward component into my one mind. Either we are one and the same, or we become different at the moment of a copy, and therefore even the copy becomes individuated. There are never two exact copies of me.


    michael Reply:

    More to the point or perhaps only another way of saying it; if original me does not continue uninterrupted it is not me, The answer to grandfathers axe or grandfathers corpse is that its still grandfather no matter how many organ transplants as long as his consciousness/[subconciousness/uncociousness] has never been interrupted.If grandpa has his ‘self’ copied hes still in his original obviously he is still he, if hes actually able to transfer I suppose we would have to take his word for it however his very first words would carry the only weight on if he feels he is still himself later he could tell us how hes changed change is part of the material condition and while conciousness may or may not be material its certainly effected by the material.From what he tells us we might have to disagree with him if he were transferred into a machine v a clone I would say a machine interface is not human in my book no matter what gramps said I would not accord him rights. A clone would be a different story.
    The philosophers are conflating two superstitions. And the answer they pose would depend upon the type of magic they wish to champion.When we give inanimate things like ships magical powers like a medium to our ancestors thats based on the type of magic Frazer called contagious magic when we think imitating things transfers their power thats called imitative magic Frazer called contagious magic
    here from le wik a portion of the Golden Bough

    “If we analyze the principles of thought on which magic is based, they will probably be found to resolve themselves into two: first, that like produces like, or that an effect resembles its cause; and, second, that things which have once been in contact with each other continue to act on each other at a distance after the physical contact has been severed. The former principle may be called the Law of Similarity, the latter the Law of Contact or Contagion. From the first of these principles, namely the Law of Similarity, the magician infers that he can produce any effect he desires merely by imitating it: from the second he infers that whatever he does to a material object will affect equally the person with whom the object was once in contact, whether it formed part of his body or not”


    Posted on March 15th, 2016 at 12:27 pm Reply | Quote
  • S.C. Hickman Says:

    What’s strange is how familiar and uncanny this all is, how it returns us to that old battle over imitation and poets in Plato: “Imitation intensifies a weakness present in existing objects; it not only fails but fails twice, or doubly.” In a lot of ways it comes back to entropy… each copy loses more information than the original, and the original as admin suggested is not original to begin with sense every cell in our body is in continuous change and metamorphosis so that what we are is not what we were when born, so that a snapshot is only a slice in the frame of one’s life, and an upload would be only that slice not the life in all its changes (i.e., no retroactive encompassment, or enframing (Heidegger) allowed). So the copy of a copy is what? No eidos is possible in translation: even if such a substantialist form existed – which is for many of us a foolish scenario at best, there being no substance at all but rather process without end… or as admin has said in other places: thermospasm. So what gets copied? That would be the real question? A failed copy redoubled out of its own failed copy, an entropic machine running down into the pit…


    TheDividualist Reply:

    No idea what you actually mean but you are probably on a good track. Entropy is a proper framework for understanding life and intelligence, which about sums up a human person. You know… makes me think that the zero-entropy person is a “Buddha nature”. Sounds crazy and far fetched but AFAIK they really mean something like that.

    For example one of the greatest texts in the history of B. is The Aspirational Prayer of The Great Seal by Karma Pakshi.

    “Projections that never existed are mistakenly taken as objects.
    Through ignorance, self-existing awareness is mistakenly
    taken as an ego.
    Looking at objects, one sees no objects, but just mind.
    Looking at mind, there is no mind—it is empty of nature.
    Looking at both of these, clinging to duality is self-liberated.”

    This may be right or wrong, but it is at least elegant in the Saint-Exupéry sense of not being much left to take away and it seems to be as an attempt to define a baseline person that is so ontologically basic that entropy can’t take much away.


    pseudo-chrysostom Reply:

    My perspective in this matter i derive largely from Borges, whom i would recommend to any right thinking man.

    If your view of translation is in merely aspergic terms of fidelity in representation, then, of course, you are ultimately doomed.

    Superceding this however, it is also the case that through translation a works themes, ideas, and sentiments can be rendered more virtuous, evocative, and edifying, in turn by a more virtuous worker.

    The classic example he uses is Don Quixote, or translating the title of proust’s work ‘Ala rechere du temps’ (remembrance of things past) from french into english as ‘In search of lost time’, which the author himself actually preferred once he had heard of it.

    Once you move beyond the dismal trap of’representational’ translation, whole new worlds open up. Extropic addition.


    pseudo-chrysostom Reply:

    A la recherche du temps perdu*


    Gothic Axial Acceleration Reply:

    Seconded. There seem to be no limit(s) to the possibilities of variation (on themes).
    Oh thou delightful music, of the spheres. Battle-spheres.
    Welcome now, battle-angel, Alita.


    Posted on March 15th, 2016 at 2:08 pm Reply | Quote
  • SVErshov Says:

    something to consider on grandfather murdering. according to physicist Ilya Prigogine time is irreversible, it can become reversible in closed space, which is not even proved exist. travel back is not possible, only forward. ‘The End of Certainty’, ‘Order out of Chaos’


    Gothic Axial Acceleration Reply:

    You got that right. Time is a spiraling arrow into the heart of the Lord.
    A spiral of Chaos, ride or die. Sink or swim.
    Ascend or descend.


    Posted on March 16th, 2016 at 4:20 am Reply | Quote
  • jack arcalon Says:

    The above philosophical and ethical implications of Mind Backup technology are valid but utterly irrelevant compared to the IMMENSE technical question of how the contents of a mind could possibly be extracted.

    Ideally, submolecular brain scanning.
    The other extreme would be personality tests and narrating memories.

    Conceivably, even a crude Sim version of someone’s mind could capture their identity at the time the copy is made. If their body dies at that moment, the remaining Sim IS their mind, only vastly shrunken.


    Gothic Axial Acceleration Reply:

    Mind cannot be downloaded.
    Only simulated.


    Posted on March 17th, 2016 at 9:21 am Reply | Quote
  • Peter D Says:

    There are reasons to doubt that consciousness can be cloned even in principle. If it emerges somehow out of quantum states of the brain, then it is unclonable due to No-Cloning theorem. Scott Aaronson lays out a bunch of paradoxes that arise when you consider the “naive” clonability view and establishes a possible alternative that can do away with these paradoxes. All speculative, of course, but definitely no 100% certainty that clonable brains are possible:
    (and a much longer, but more detailed paper:


    Posted on March 18th, 2016 at 6:38 pm Reply | Quote
  • Mariani Says:

    The ship of Theseus thought experiment seems to the provide the low-hanging fruit of solutions. If mind uploading obviously doesn’t provide immortality, then all we need to do is gradually add whatever future computing material we have (qubit atoms?) until all the mortal stuff is gone.


    Posted on March 20th, 2016 at 11:21 pm Reply | Quote

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