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View Full Version : Would anybody dare ask a question, on this forum, about (gulp) life after death?



potoole
2012-Jul-30, 02:44 AM
(gulp) I'm almost ashamed to bring up the subject. You know, the possibility, or impossibility, that consciousness could carry on, somehow, after death of the body and brain. I know most scientists abhor the subject, because it gets too close to 'religion'. I'm not a religious person, but just wondering, since I am getting quite old, if there coud be a scientific possibility.

I once read a book entitled "The Physics Of Immortality" written by a Physicist, in which he gave a difficut to understand idea of how once concious critters could be brought back into conciousness at the end of time.

Thank you:o

Noclevername
2012-Jul-30, 03:07 AM
Googled the book and got author Frank J. Tipler, an Intelligent Design proponent. He proposes that eventually all of the universe will become one big computer, at which point any surviving minds will become able to simulate anything including past lifeforms.

Here's some Wikipedia about his hypotheses:
Critics of the final anthropic principle say its arguments violate the Copernican principle, that it incorrectly applies the laws of probability, and that it is really a theology or metaphysics principle made to sound plausible to laypeople by using the esoteric language of physics. Martin Gardner dubbed FAP the "completely ridiculous anthropic principle" (CRAP).[11] Oxford-based philosopher Nick Bostrom writes that the final anthropic principle has no claim on any special methodological status, it is "pure speculation", despite attempts to elevate it by calling it a "principle".[12] Philosopher Rem B. Edwards called it "futuristic, pseudoscientific eschatology" that is "highly conjectural, unverified, and improbable".[13]
...
Researcher Anders Sandberg pointed out that he believes the Omega Point Theory has many flaws, including missing proofs.[17]

Tipler's Omega Point theories have received criticism by physicists and skeptics.[18][19][20] George Ellis, writing in the journal Nature, described Tipler's book on the Omega Point as "a masterpiece of pseudoscience ... the product of a fertile and creative imagination unhampered by the normal constraints of scientific and philosophical discipline",[3] and Michael Shermer devoted a chapter of Why People Believe Weird Things to enumerating what he thought to be flaws in Tipler's thesis.[21] Physicist Sean M. Carroll thought Tipler's early work was constructive but that now he has become a "crackpot".[22]


As for the idea that the mind may somehow exist beyond physical death, that would require some means of preserving the dynamic patterns of information found in the brain. I don't know of any mechanism that can do so at present. Hypothetically it may become possible someday to copy that information into another physical medium (mind uploading), but if that's ever going to happen it won't be for a very long time.

Solfe
2012-Jul-30, 03:43 AM
I can't help but notice how often thread topics follow topics on Through the Wormhole. Season 2, episode 1, "Is There Life After Death?"

In season three there is one called "Can We Resurrect The Dead?" which I would imagine would go hand in hand with the other episode.

SkepticJ
2012-Jul-30, 05:55 AM
Your best shot would be one of those cryonics places. They use antifreeze now, so maybe, just maybe, someday frozen people will be able to be brought back.

Or you could donate yourself to one of those traveling body plastination shows. You're not alive, of couse, but part of you is still around. Better than rotting in an expensive box in the ground.

I'll probably have my brain pickled in ethanol, and be a decoration on a scientist's desk.

Solfe
2012-Jul-30, 01:50 PM
"I am donating my body to science fiction." I think George Carlin said it but that seems wrong to me.

HenrikOlsen
2012-Jul-30, 02:00 PM
So far, all available evidence shows that consciousness is a (very complicated) process of the physical brain (actually of the entire nervous system with influences from body chemistry), with no component not of the physical body.

As such, talking about consciousness continuing after the brain has been rendered inoperable would be pure wishful thinking of the magical/narrative type humans are very good at, but which has no base in actual reality.

Trebuchet
2012-Jul-30, 02:40 PM
There's always reincarnation. With my luck, I'd probably come back as a raccoon. I hate those things.

Solfe
2012-Jul-30, 02:40 PM
So far, all available evidence shows that consciousness is a (very complicated) process of the physical brain (actually of the entire nervous system with influences from body chemistry), with no component not of the physical body.

As such, talking about consciousness continuing after the brain has been rendered inoperable would be pure wishful thinking of the magical/narrative type humans are very good at, but which has no base in actual reality.

I tend to agree, but I could see science reaching a point where you could make an inoperable body, operable. What is version 2.0 of a person's body?

Would "they/it" be the same as the original? - I doubt it.
Would "they/it" have common traits? - Perhaps.
Would "they/it" be completely different? - I think this would happen.

All three are kind of creepy, in an interesting way.

swampyankee
2012-Jul-30, 03:13 PM
Rephrasing (too many years as a computer programmer; I get too literal) to "Is there a continuation of a person's essence, personality, or soul after that person's body dies?" Right now, I'd say that's a religious, not scientific, question. There's certainly sufficient evidence to show that there is no communication with a hypothetical afterlife, but that doesn't preclude the existence of an afterlife, but there is no way, within our currently known scientific framework, to demonstrate the presence or absence of life after death.

So, the answer is "mu (http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=mu&defid=459861)."

DonM435
2012-Jul-30, 03:19 PM
Your best shot would be one of those cryonics places. They use antifreeze now, so maybe, just maybe, someday frozen people will be able to be brought back.
...


An interviewer asked Frederik Pohl why this wasn't a more popular idea. He responded that "many are cold, but few are frozen."

I think that Hall-of-Famer Ted Williams had a bad experience with this, but he's not complaining.

Sticks
2012-Jul-30, 03:46 PM
This thread is closed pending moderator discussion

slang
2012-Jul-30, 06:16 PM
I'm sure you understand that this topic makes some mods (and few members) a little nervous, seeing how often such a discussion ends up with someone being disrespectful, inciteful or simply flaming, and us actually having to umm... work, with infractions 'n stuff... So far there is no problem at all, thanks for keeping it a polite discussion. Please don't cross the line, in fact please stay away from the line as far as you can. Thanks!

Noclevername
2012-Jul-30, 06:25 PM
"I am donating my body to science fiction." I think George Carlin said it but that seems wrong to me.

IIRC, it was Steven Wright.

R.A.F.
2012-Jul-30, 06:45 PM
So, the answer is "mu (http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=mu&defid=459861)."

This is the first time I had heard of that "answer"....I Like It.

HenrikOlsen
2012-Jul-30, 06:51 PM
I tend to agree, but I could see science reaching a point where you could make an inoperable body, operable. What is version 2.0 of a person's body?

Would "they/it" be the same as the original? - I doubt it.
Would "they/it" have common traits? - Perhaps.
Would "they/it" be completely different? - I think this would happen.

All three are kind of creepy, in an interesting way.
Since the main parts determining how the process of mind is going on is at a chemical level which is kept going by actually keeping going, once it's stopped, and by this I mean once signalling has stopped being coordinated at the whole-brain level, the learned trigger levels at the synaptic level will break down through simple metabolism in minutes.
There's a reason why brain-death is the most generally accepted (where belief systems don't interfere with the making of law) criterion for real death. It's the one there's no recovering from.

We're quite capable of making bodies operable again from various modes of "death", not so with a brain once gone. There is a grey area of increasing damage up until a certain level where, if the cause of the damage is removed, further damage is prevented. It results in a sliding scale of personality change and capability loss. But non-operation per se is final.

Incidentally, and I really hope this won't be too contentious, note that brain-death is a quite well defined state of the brain which is easily distinguished from a persistent vegetative state, they definitely could not be confused and talk of one should definitely not be confused for talk of the other.

primummobile
2012-Jul-30, 07:41 PM
Googled the book and got author Frank J. Tipler, an Intelligent Design proponent. He proposes that eventually all of the universe will become one big computer, at which point any surviving minds will become able to simulate anything including past lifeforms.

Here's some Wikipedia about his hypotheses:

As for the idea that the mind may somehow exist beyond physical death, that would require some means of preserving the dynamic patterns of information found in the brain. I don't know of any mechanism that can do so at present. Hypothetically it may become possible someday to copy that information into another physical medium (mind uploading), but if that's ever going to happen it won't be for a very long time.

I've read some of Tipler's stuff. While he is undoubtably brilliant, I think that he is going a little too far with some of his predictions. His entire thesis relies on the some assumptions that are a little hard to swallow, like that the universe is going to end in a 'big crunch', that future humans are going to spread throughout the universe, and that future humans are going to have a desire to simulate conditions from before.

Without getting into too much detail, Tipler believes that in the moment before the end, the processing power of the universe will become infinite, so that infinite simulations will be able to exist for eternity. I don't argue that an infinite number of simulations will be able to simulate every possible quantum state of the universe. But even then, what is being simulated is still only a copy of what existed before. There won't be any continuity of consciousness.

To me, being able to upload an individual into an artificial system implies that there is something to upload. If our consciousness is a product of our physical brain and nothing else, then there is nothing we can do but copy the brain itself. Assuming we could do that, and the upload would be a perfect duplicate of the original, the original would still continue to exist and you would have a divergence of consciousness at the time of upload. That means that the original would still live out his/her life and die, while the upload carries on its own life.

Noclevername
2012-Jul-30, 07:47 PM
To me, being able to upload an individual into an artificial system implies that there is something to upload. If our consciousness is a product of our physical brain and nothing else, then there is nothing we can do but copy the brain itself. Assuming we could do that, and the upload would be a perfect duplicate of the original, the original would still continue to exist and you would have a divergence of consciousness at the time of upload. That means that the original would still live out his/her life and die, while the upload carries on its own life.

We still don't know enough about how the mind works to say for sure how that process might work-- it might be like quantum teleportation, exchanging states, in which case there could be continuity of consciousness. Or it might involve a destructive process, killing the original brain to make the copy. There are still too many unknown variables to make any definitive statements.

primummobile
2012-Jul-30, 08:00 PM
We still don't know enough about how the mind works to say for sure how that process might work-- it might be like quantum teleportation, exchanging states, in which case there could be continuity of consciousness. Or it might involve a destructive process, killing the original brain to make the copy. There are still too many unknown variables to make any definitive statements.

Oh, I'm not making any definitive statements. I'm just starting with a premise, that our consciousness is a product of our physical brain, and then following it. I'm not saying we know that to be a fact.

Noclevername
2012-Jul-30, 08:04 PM
Oh, I'm not making any definitive statements. I'm just starting with a premise, that our consciousness is a product of our physical brain, and then following it. I'm not saying we know that to be a fact.

I started with the same premise, but there are still so many unknowns about how the brain gives rise to consciousness.

primummobile
2012-Jul-30, 08:12 PM
I started with the same premise, but there are still so many unknowns about how the brain gives rise to consciousness.

I just can't square the original continuing to live with any continuity of consciousness from the original to the copy. Even if the process did kill the original, how do we know that the copy didn't just 'wake up' today with all the memories of the original? How would we prove that isn't the case? Would it truly be the same person? Or would it be like what we see in Blade Runner or Dark City, where people thought they had full lives that they had in fact never lived? How would we prove it either way, absent of some outside evidence?

I'm not disagreeing with you. I'm just arguing the opposite point of view to try to flesh some of this out.

Noclevername
2012-Jul-30, 08:17 PM
I just can't square the original continuing to live with any continuity of consciousness from the original to the copy. Even if the process did kill the original, how do we know that the copy didn't just 'wake up' today with all the memories of the original? How would we prove that isn't the case? Would it truly be the same person? Or would it be like what we see in Blade Runner or Dark City, where people thought they had full lives that they had in fact never lived? How would we prove it either way, absent of some outside evidence?

I'm not disagreeing with you. I'm just arguing the opposite point of view to try to flesh some of this out.

If the copy is good enough, we wouldn't know. Even the copies would think of themselves as the original in a new form.

But how is that any different from how we are now? I've done things that I have absolutely no memory of. Those experiences are not a part of me as I am now, yet they happened to me-- the "me" I used to be.

HenrikOlsen
2012-Jul-30, 08:21 PM
We've had this part of the discussion in another thread, remember that the Star Trek teleporter actually works by making a copy of you somewhere else and killing your local version, with laws set up so the copy is legally you.
What would happen if the killing part was forgotten, who would legally (and morally and philosophically though I loathe getting into the latter) be the real one?

primummobile
2012-Jul-30, 08:23 PM
If the copy is good enough, we wouldn't know. Even the copies would think of themselves as the original in a new form.

But how is that any different from how we are now? I've done things that I have absolutely no memory of. Those experiences are not a part of me as I am now, yet they happened to me-- the "me" I used to be.

? I don't know.

Noclevername
2012-Jul-30, 08:23 PM
We've had this part of the discussion in another thread, remember that the Star Trek teleporter actually works by making a copy of you somewhere else and killing your local version, with laws set up so the copy is legally you.
What would happen if the killing part was forgotten, who would legally be the real one?

I think there was a TNG episode that covered that-- A copy got made of Riker. In the end they decided that their diverged experiences made them two different people.

primummobile
2012-Jul-30, 08:26 PM
We've had this part of the discussion in another thread, remember that the Star Trek teleporter actually works by making a copy of you somewhere else and killing your local version, with laws set up so the copy is legally you.
What would happen if the killing part was forgotten, who would legally (and morally and philosophically though I loathe getting into the latter) be the real one?

There was an Outer Limits episode about this. Not the original series, but the reboot. Aliens who didn't have any ability to feel emotions allowed humans to use their teleportation equipment, but the original was supposed to be destroyed when successful transport was confirmed. One time it took a long time, I believe several hours, to confirm the transport. Then the story revolved around the debate about killing the subject of the transport. The aliens were firm that she had to die, and the humans were resisting it.

Solfe
2012-Jul-30, 08:27 PM
Since the main parts determining how the process of mind is going on is at a chemical level which is kept going by actually keeping going, once it's stopped, and by this I mean once signalling has stopped being coordinated at the whole-brain level, the learned trigger levels at the synaptic level will break down through simple metabolism in minutes.
There's a reason why brain-death is the most generally accepted (where belief systems don't interfere with the making of law) criterion for real death. It's the one there's no recovering from.

We're quite capable of making bodies operable again from various modes of "death", not so with a brain once gone. There is a grey area of increasing damage up until a certain level where, if the cause of the damage is removed, further damage is prevented. It results in a sliding scale of personality change and capability loss. But non-operation per se is final.

Incidentally, and I really hope this won't be too contentious, note that brain-death is a quite well defined state of the brain which is easily distinguished from a persistent vegetative state, they definitely could not be confused and talk of one should definitely not be confused for talk of the other.

I don't think this too contentious. I was thinking of a death like Ötzi the Iceman (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%96tzi_the_Iceman), except not so long ago.

What if a person expired in away that didn't do too much damage to the brain, (this is outside of our ability, but this is a flight of imagination.) and months later the body was discovered. Clearly the body experienced brain death. You might have a perfectly good working brain and body once repaired, but I highly doubt such a person would have anything in common with the person they once were.

This verges on Frankenstein or countless B-movies.

In the real world, people tend to die in ways that are "complete" or "incomplete".

For example, people (especially children) who drown in cold water can be "brought back" as they have not crossed some irrecoverable point of damage. Were they simply pulled from the water and sent home, the story would be completely different. They would not have "drown", but succumbed to any number of problems caused by low temperatures. Wait long enough before rescuing the person and it might be hard to determine what exactly caused the person to expire. There is a combination of factors that come between life and death; luck, technology and methodology being the most important. This sort of death is closer to what I was thinking of.

A more complete death would be something that directly damages the brain. If your brain fell out of your body, that would qualify as "complete" in my book. I don't want to really discuss specific methods of brain destruction, it is sufficient to say it can happen. Usually brain death occurs right around the time the body fails, although there are exceptions. I wasn't really thinking of the exceptions in this case, usually the brain has stopped functioning enough to stop higher functions.

The reason I find this so interesting is I met a gentleman who was in a car accident and suffered amnesia. His body recovered just fine, but he was a some what different person afterwards. His family described it as being "rewound by a decade". Still the same person, but with different experiences than what others remember.

primummobile
2012-Jul-30, 08:30 PM
If the copy is good enough, we wouldn't know. Even the copies would think of themselves as the original in a new form.

But how is that any different from how we are now? I've done things that I have absolutely no memory of. Those experiences are not a part of me as I am now, yet they happened to me-- the "me" I used to be.

I was thinking along the lines of the OP's original question. A copy, while identical, still does not relieve the original of the obligation to die, unless there is some way to transfer the consciousness and not just create a copy of it.

Noclevername
2012-Jul-30, 08:37 PM
I was thinking along the lines of the OP's original question. A copy, while identical, still does not relieve the original of the obligation to die, unless there is some way to transfer the consciousness and not just create a copy of it.

Yes, that's what I meant when I referred to quantum teleportation-- taking the state of a particle and swapping it with another. Depending on the nature of the brain's functions at the quantum level, such a transfer may--or may not-- be plausible someday using larger units of entangled information.

slang
2012-Jul-30, 08:39 PM
[...] remember that the Star Trek teleporter actually works [...]

I know what you mean, but it's funny nonetheless.

Noclevername
2012-Jul-30, 08:46 PM
It depends on which episodes of Star Trek you watch, which writer is handling it, and which series. Sometimes it handles matter like data, sometimes like reconstructed molecules, and it's completely inconsistent.

Noclevername
2012-Jul-30, 08:50 PM
In the Farthest Star/Wall Around A Star books, there is a teleporter that makes copies and leaves the original intact. Human convicts are "rented out" as slaves to aliens while still serving their sentences on Earth. The copies can even be modified for specific environments or types of labor.

primummobile
2012-Jul-30, 08:55 PM
I think there was a TNG episode that covered that-- A copy got made of Riker. In the end they decided that their diverged experiences made them two different people.

Not to mention the other episodes where the transporter malfunctioned and created weird copies of one person.

Noclevername
2012-Jul-30, 09:07 PM
Not to mention the other episodes where the transporter malfunctioned and created weird copies of one person.

Or alter someone's age, or get their minds and bodies spearated, or get them stuck on the holodeck...

primummobile
2012-Jul-30, 09:10 PM
Yes, that's what I meant when I referred to quantum teleportation-- taking the state of a particle and swapping it with another. Depending on the nature of the brain's functions at the quantum level, such a transfer may--or may not-- be plausible someday using larger units of entangled information.

I think what's more likely to happen in the short term is that someone is going to develop artificial implants of some type to augment brain function. For example, there may be a chip designed to enhance memory. I think that as that technology improves, we will be allow ourselves to be implanted with increasing numbers of artificial devices just so we can remain competitive with the world. I think that once we reach a certain threshold of artificiality it will be difficult to define where the human ends and the machine begins. If we do ever reach that point, I think it will be possible to move whatever it is that makes humans 'human' into another vessel. But it would mean gradually and slowly transferring our mental functions from biological to artificial. Our brains would have to 'learn' to use its artificial components.

If you read people like Ray Kurzweil, he thinks this will begin to happen in the next fifty years or so. I think that is way too optomistic. If I were to guess, I would say that the first people who will take advantage of this have yet to even be born.

But I think we have good reason to develop this technology, because it has the potential to correct so many mental handicaps. So, I think it will start out with the people who need it, and then like everything else it will become available to those who want it. Eventually, the people who refuse this technology will be obsolete. It's exciting and bleak at the same time.

HenrikOlsen
2012-Jul-30, 09:12 PM
In the Farthest Star/Wall Around A Star books, there is a teleporter that makes copies and leaves the original intact. Human convicts are "rented out" as slaves to aliens while still serving their sentences on Earth. The copies can even be modified for specific environments or types of labor.
Oh, and in Schlock Mercenary the race that controls the teleporters keep all the originals for systematic torture for everything they know before being killed so that race has complete knowledge of everything important every other species in the galaxy knows. At least until it's discovered.

Noclevername
2012-Jul-30, 09:16 PM
Oh, and in Schlock Mercenary the race that controls the teleporters keep all the originals for systematic torture for everything they know before being killed so that race has complete knowledge of everything important every other species in the galaxy knows. At least until it's discovered.

I seem to remember that one. Once the gate-clones were free, they were legally regarded as the same person as their originals, so the same bounty could be collected on two criminals.

primummobile
2012-Jul-30, 09:17 PM
I seem to remember that one. Once the gate-clones were free, they were legally regarded as the same person as their originals, so the same bounty could be collected on two criminals.

Actually, that brings up another important ethical question. Could the copies be held responsible for the crimes of the original? And people think the ethics of cloning are complicated!

Noclevername
2012-Jul-30, 09:23 PM
Actually, that brings up another important ethical question. Could the copies be held responsible for the crimes of the original? And people think the ethics of cloning are complicated!

I would think yes, otherwise you'd have criminals copying themselves to get out of paying for their crimes. "It wasn't me, it was version 1.0!"

primummobile
2012-Jul-30, 09:27 PM
I would think yes, otherwise you'd have criminals copying themselves to get out of paying for their crimes. "It wasn't me, it was version 1.0!"

Even if the original survives along with the copy?

Noclevername
2012-Jul-30, 09:32 PM
Even if the original survives along with the copy?

If that's the case, it would depend on whether the crime was committed before the copying process. If it was after, definitely not. If it was before, if the copy has the same personalty as the original, they should be punished for crimes committed before the split. After all, they were the same person when the crime occurred.

Cougar
2012-Jul-30, 11:31 PM
... the possibility, or impossibility, that consciousness could carry on, somehow, after death of the body and brain.... but just wondering, since I am getting quite old, if there coud be a scientific possibility.

Consciousness of you will carry on, but only in the minds of people (or other animals) who have known you or been influenced by you or something you did.

Noclevername
2012-Jul-30, 11:42 PM
Eventually, the people who refuse this technology will be obsolete. It's exciting and bleak at the same time.

At the risk of a derail, I have to say that I don't think the basic model human will become obsolete for a long, long time. There will be quite a few who reject self-alteration, on religious or other grounds.

As for when it will happen, there are already some implanted devices connected to the central nervous system to help with certain cerebral or sensory problems.

potoole
2012-Jul-30, 11:53 PM
Consciousness of you will carry on, but only in the minds of people (or other animals) who have known you or been influenced by you or something you did.

That's about it, I guess.
Tis a shame; I wanted to see what was gonna happen a thousand years from now. :(

swampyankee
2012-Jul-31, 12:08 AM
Actually, that brings up another important ethical question. Could the copies be held responsible for the crimes of the original? And people think the ethics of cloning are complicated!

Of the crimes before the duplication, yes. For the crimes committed by the original after the duplication, the copy should not be held responsible.

Noclevername
2012-Jul-31, 12:10 AM
That's about it, I guess.
Tis a shame; I wanted to see what was gonna happen a thousand years from now. :(

Sorry we couldn't offer you anything more.

John Mendenhall
2012-Jul-31, 12:13 AM
IIRC, Harry Houdini and his wife had arrangements by which they would try to signal to a surviving spouse. After Harry died there was . . . nothing. (See the Wiki article.)

Sigh.

Cougar
2012-Jul-31, 12:34 AM
That's about it, I guess.
Tis a shame; I wanted to see what was gonna happen a thousand years from now. :(

Don't we all. Yep, tis a shame, but that certainly appears to be how life is. A thought that warrants but a single acknowledgement, then back to living.

Noclevername
2012-Jul-31, 12:45 AM
If I could afford it, I'd have myself cryo'd, at least then there'd be a nonzero chance that some part of me might be revived. Sadly, it doesn't look like something I'll be able to do.

Charlie in Dayton
2012-Jul-31, 01:45 AM
To quote the old joke as best I can remember...

Q. Is there life after death?
A. Watch what happens in this office after 5:00...

SkepticJ
2012-Jul-31, 02:31 AM
If I could afford it, I'd have myself cryo'd, at least then there'd be a nonzero chance that some part of me might be revived. Sadly, it doesn't look like something I'll be able to do.

Are cryogenic temperatures strictly necessary? Scientific specimens hold up quite well for centuries in just ethanol and water.

The cellular machinery is going to be shot whether you're frozen or pickled, right? If they can't fix that, then you're not coming back in your original body.

It seems like the best you can do is preserve your gross tissue structure, DNA, and the dendritic structure in your brain, which ethanol pickling does, so far as I know.

Noclevername
2012-Jul-31, 02:40 AM
The cellular machinery is going to be shot whether you're frozen or pickled, right? If they can't fix that, then you're not coming back in your original body.

It depends on the method they use. They're making improvements in neuronal-level preservation now, by the time I die it might have improved further. As for my original body, they can have it.

SkepticJ
2012-Jul-31, 03:52 AM
Wow. I just looked up the prices. 80K for a frozen brain? That's nuts.

Not even if I had the money.

Chuck
2012-Jul-31, 03:55 AM
I think you can get a life insurance policy to cover the cost of cryonic suspension.

Noclevername
2012-Jul-31, 06:02 AM
Wow. I just looked up the prices. 80K for a frozen brain? That's nuts.

Not even if I had the money.

Remember, that's not just to freeze the brain, but to ensure that it stays intact for the next 100 years or however long it takes.

HenrikOlsen
2012-Jul-31, 12:07 PM
Are cryogenic temperatures strictly necessary? Scientific specimens hold up quite well for centuries in just ethanol and water.

The cellular machinery is going to be shot whether you're frozen or pickled, right? If they can't fix that, then you're not coming back in your original body.

It seems like the best you can do is preserve your gross tissue structure, DNA, and the dendritic structure in your brain, which ethanol pickling does, so far as I know.
Since adapted synapse response is part of learning, once you get the cellular machinery shot it's game over, all information stored that way is gone. Having the hardware won't help you get back from death if you can't save the running software and as that is in volatile memory, to use a mangled analogy to computers, if you lose power it's gone.

SkepticJ
2012-Jul-31, 09:17 PM
Since adapted synapse response is part of learning, once you get the cellular machinery shot it's game over, all information stored that way is gone. Having the hardware won't help you get back from death if you can't save the running software and as that is in volatile memory, to use a mangled analogy to computers, if you lose power it's gone.

How do you know the "software" is stored biochemically? Maybe it's structural.

Chuck
2012-Jul-31, 09:21 PM
As the universe nears Tipler's Omega Point, enough computing power will become available simulate every human mind that ever could have existed. That would include all of our minds, so we'll all be back. In theory.

HenrikOlsen
2012-Jul-31, 09:23 PM
How do you know the "software" is stored biochemically? Maybe it's structural.
It's both.
There's definitely a strong biochemical part in that synapses adapt their response over time in response to frequency of triggering, which is one of the mechanisms by which neural networks learn.
Pruning of connections to define structure is another and there's naturally discussion about which mechanism's most important, but it's fairly clear that they are both involved with how the brain changes over time.

Noclevername
2012-Jul-31, 09:26 PM
As the universe nears Tipler's Omega Point, enough computing power will become available simulate every human mind that ever could have existed. That would include all of our minds, so we'll all be back. In theory.

Except that's pretty much already been debunked-- for one thing it depends on a "big crunch" that current observation says will never happen.

HenrikOlsen
2012-Jul-31, 09:28 PM
As the universe nears Tipler's Omega Point, enough computing power will become available simulate every human mind that ever could have existed. That would include all of our minds, so we'll all be back. In theory.
Except it requires that all the information in all our brains is still around then, which I frankly consider absurd.

Having enough storage to remember every book ever written doesn't mean that every book ever written will be stored there. Some books are lost, and having the room to store them won't magically bring them back.
Not even if you did have access to an L-Space certified orangutan.

starcanuck64
2012-Jul-31, 09:46 PM
My philosophy on death is everyone who's alive, who's lived or who ever will live has or will die(at some point), it's as natural as being born.

Death completes the life cycle.

Noclevername
2012-Jul-31, 10:23 PM
My philosophy on death is "Do not go gently into that good night, rage, rage against the dying of the light."

Hey, that's not bad, someone should write that down. ; )

primummobile
2012-Jul-31, 10:37 PM
Except it requires that all the information in all our brains is still around then, which I frankly consider absurd.

Having enough storage to remember every book ever written doesn't mean that every book ever written will be stored there. Some books are lost, and having the room to store them won't magically bring them back.
Not even if you did have access to an L-Space certified orangutan.

Tipler's theory, which I don't subscribe to, is that a moment before the end we will have infinite processing power and the availability to run infinite simulations. By definition, infinite simulations would have to reproduce everything that ever existed since everything that ever exiated is a finite number.

Even if it could happen, we would not be living on. It would be a copy of us, which is completely distinct from us, which I noted earlier in this thread.

Noclevername
2012-Jul-31, 10:43 PM
By definition, infinite simulations would have to reproduce everything that ever existed since everything that ever exiated is a finite number.


It could very well be infinite wrong simulations as easily as infinite correct simulations.

primummobile
2012-Jul-31, 10:52 PM
It could very well be infinite wrong simulations as easily as infinite correct simulations.

I can't buy that. If infinite simulations are run every possible combination will be simulated an infinite number of times, as long as the number of possible combinations are finite.

Noclevername
2012-Jul-31, 10:56 PM
I can't buy that. If infinite simulations are run every possible combination will be simulated an infinite number of times, as long as the number of possible combinations are finite.

Imagine two parallel lines. Both are infinite, yet they never intersect.

Now imagine a computer running simulations for all eternity, and every time it does so it leaves out key variables that it just isn't programmed to consider. Not "every possible" combination of ideas, just "every imaginable" combination.

starcanuck64
2012-Jul-31, 10:57 PM
My philosophy on death is "Do not go gently into that good night, rage, rage against the dying of the light."

Hey, that's not bad, someone should write that down. ; )

That's just trite.<wink>

SkepticJ
2012-Jul-31, 11:16 PM
It's both.
There's definitely a strong biochemical part in that synapses adapt their response over time in response to frequency of triggering, which is one of the mechanisms by which neural networks learn.
Pruning of connections to define structure is another and there's naturally discussion about which mechanism's most important, but it's fairly clear that they are both involved with how the brain changes over time.

They grow more channels on the synapses?

I guess it really comes down to what the wreckage looks like at that scale. If it's possible to deduce what it looked like--where and how many channels there were on the synapses--from the broken remains in the cell membranes, then theoretically it should be possible to duplicate. If you can't, then it's impossible.

It'd be a good idea for a scientist to look at old synapses under an AFM and assess the damage. Could save people a lot of money.

Cougar
2012-Jul-31, 11:24 PM
My philosophy on death is "Do not go gently into that good night, rage, rage against the dying of the light."

Exactly.

SkepticJ
2012-Jul-31, 11:32 PM
Does it strike anyone else that if it was possible to run infinite simulations of reality, it would be infinitely immoral to do so?

Think about how much unnecessary suffering that would cause. Infinite suffering. You haven't created heaven, but hell. Let the dead stay dead.

Noclevername
2012-Jul-31, 11:40 PM
Does it strike anyone else that if it was possible to run infinite simulations of reality, it would be infinitely immoral to do so?

Think about how much unnecessary suffering that would cause. Infinite suffering. You haven't created heaven, but hell. Let the dead stay dead.

Life, simulated or not, isn't just suffering, it also contains pleasure. So it wouldn't really be hell, or heaven either.

But if I ever find myself in charge of virtually resurrecting the dead, I'll definitely give the subject careful thought. ;)

mutleyeng
2012-Jul-31, 11:58 PM
you can have some interesting philosophical discussions about consciousness.
If I wanted to ease my mind about mortality, I would be thinking that while the mind surely dies with the body, all the new borns will develop self awareness and it is fundamentally no different to yours. There is only a break in continuity which separates one of those minds to that of your own. Consciousnesses only exists in the moment, and memory provides the continuity which perhaps gives the illusion that we are more than that moment.
best i can do

Chuck
2012-Aug-01, 12:04 AM
We might be near the Omega Point right now in a simulation of a possible universe that never really existed. Our simulation apparently won't have an Omega Point of its own but the real universe does. If it weren't for someone else simulating us, we would never have existed at all.

SkepticJ
2012-Aug-01, 01:20 AM
Occam's razor is your friend.

Chuck
2012-Aug-01, 01:31 AM
Or is that Occam's simulation's razor simulation?

starcanuck64
2012-Aug-01, 02:10 AM
We also have an existance in the effects we have on the world around us that linger long after we're gone. While it's not the same as individual consciousness, it is a form of life after death.

HenrikOlsen
2012-Aug-01, 06:58 AM
Imagine two parallel lines. Both are infinite, yet they never intersect.

Now imagine a computer running simulations for all eternity, and every time it does so it leaves out key variables that it just isn't programmed to consider. Not "every possible" combination of ideas, just "every imaginable" combination.
Yep, having infinite computing power does not a guarantee completely filling solution space, Tipler has no idea what he's talking about even if he'd be correct about infinite computing power which in closed spacetime is absurd as well.

And even if he was right, infinite monkeys in infinite time rolling out infinite copies of the second quarto version of Shakespeare's Hamlet ignores that they'd also be grinding out an exactly equal number of the bad quarto version, of the first folio version and of Shakespeare's The merry widowers of Milton Keynes and there's be no way to distinguish between them.

DoggerDan
2012-Aug-01, 09:41 AM
Why is it anyone would ever need to pull a "(gulp)" to alleviate lashback? What kind of forum would ever lash back at such an honest question?

primummobile
2012-Aug-01, 11:50 AM
Imagine two parallel lines. Both are infinite, yet they never intersect.

Now imagine a computer running simulations for all eternity, and every time it does so it leaves out key variables that it just isn't programmed to consider. Not "every possible" combination of ideas, just "every imaginable" combination.

But that's not Tipler's idea. His simulation runs 'every possible combination'.

Tipler's idea of how we would get to there is absolute hokum, but his math is completely correct. There are a finite number of quantum states in the human brain. If a computer could somehow find some kind of order to that, it could run through them all.

Here's just an example, but with small numbers. If there are 100 possible quantum states to the human mind, and a computer runs through them all, it would take 100 simulations for all those minds to be simulated. To be 100% certain any one mind would be simulated, we would also need to run all 100 simulations. Where it gets weird is that infinity/100 is still infinity. Every single one of those 100 quantum states is going to be simulated infinitely. And, it doesn't matter what number you use. The possible number of quantum states in the human mind, since there have been billions of humans with no duplication and there is a different quantum state at every moment of time, is unimaginably huge. But it is finite. At some point, all possible combinations will have to be exhausted. Whatever that number is, if you divide infinity by that number the answer is still infinity.

So it's not infinite parallel lines of combinations with untried combinations between them. It's a cube with all possible combinations inside with the simulation running each possible combination an infinite number of times.

I'm no expert on Tipler. I read two of his books only once and immediately traded them in at the used bookstore. But from what I recall, he believes that time will speed up as the universe contracts. At the moment right before the 'Big Crunch' he thinks that time will have sped up so much that it becomes infinite. For an observer outside our frame of reference, nothing will appear to change and our universe will just appear to wink out of existence. But for us, inside the universe, that moment becomes eternal. Every possible evolution of the universe since the big bang would be simultated infinitely.

But it's not like our minds would be 'resurrected' to live out our lives. Rather, every moment of our lives will be simulated. It sounds like the same thing, but there's a difference. There wouldn't be any continuity of thought. It would seem to us that there was, but it would be an illusion. To make it easier to see... try to prove to someone that the entire universe didn't just come into existence five minutes ago. Common sense tells us that is crazy, but we can't prove it. That's what it would be like. Every moment would be simulated infinitely, but it would be in a still frame. We wouldn't be moving through the picture.

To make it even more crazy that that, if Tipler's idea is correct, it is highly unlikely that we are not already living in that simulated reality. If there are infinite simulations, and only one 'original' the chances that we are the original are very very low.

With all that being said, I think he is a crackpot, and that's putting it gently. I think he had a brilliant career but that he has now allowed his own fears to overcome his rationality. In order for his theory to be correct, humans have to spread through the entire universe and then cause it to collapse. The first time we run into someone who doesn't want us to do that it will blow our entire plan. And that's not even mentioning the impossibility of spreading to areas of the universe that we can't access.

Noclevername
2012-Aug-01, 12:33 PM
I admit I don't know enough about quantum states of the brain or higher math to discuss the subject on this level. I would think Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle would prevent perfect recreation of those states, but I just don't know.

Trebuchet
2012-Aug-01, 04:07 PM
Imagine two parallel lines. Both are infinite, yet they never intersect.

The first CAD system I used was quite capable of finding an intersection. One of my co-workers gave it a command to trim two lines at their intersection but accidentally clicked a parallel line. Both lines shot out into space. About 2/3 of the way to the moon, in fact. It was, of course, a rounding error, which is something that you'd have to consider in your computer simulations!

Noclevername
2012-Aug-01, 04:30 PM
The first CAD system I used was quite capable of finding an intersection. One of my co-workers gave it a command to trim two lines at their intersection but accidentally clicked a parallel line. Both lines shot out into space. About 2/3 of the way to the moon, in fact. It was, of course, a rounding error, which is something that you'd have to consider in your computer simulations!

That's right, an infinite computer means debugging infinite software ...forever!

primummobile
2012-Aug-01, 04:31 PM
you can have some interesting philosophical discussions about consciousness.
If I wanted to ease my mind about mortality, I would be thinking that while the mind surely dies with the body, all the new borns will develop self awareness and it is fundamentally no different to yours. There is only a break in continuity which separates one of those minds to that of your own. Consciousnesses only exists in the moment, and memory provides the continuity which perhaps gives the illusion that we are more than that moment.
best i can do

I think that's a pretty good take on reality.

primummobile
2012-Aug-01, 05:16 PM
That's right, an infinite computer means debugging infinite software ...forever!

The point to infinite processing in a simulation is that anything that could ever happen would be simulated. It wouldn't just be things that really did happen. It's just that in the process of simulating everything that could happen (a very large set) it would also simulate everything that ever did happen. (a small set, by comparison) Given infinite computation, even a simulation with errors would eventually reproduce correct results.

The problem here is that we are messing with infinity. As an engineer, any time I see an infinity in any type of calculation I can be fairly certain that my calculation is wrong, so I cringe anytime I see it anywhere else even if it could be applicable. Infinity isn't just some number that you get by adding one to a really big number. It's a difficult concept to visualize, and I think that our disagreement lies there. I have one idea of what it can do, and you have another.

In some multiverse theories, the universe is infinite and the parallel universes are actually in our space but just impossibly far away. But in an infinite, homogenous universe there would have to be infinite copies of Earth and everyone on it. An infinite number of copies would be exactly the same. An infinite number of copies would be only slightly different. An infinite number of copies would be a little more than slightly different, and on and on. I was listening to a popular lecture one time on a podcast, and the physicist giving the lecture said that if the universe was infinite the closest we would expect to find a copy of Earth would be 1x10^43,000,000,000,000 light years away. Even that number is beyond comprehension, yet compared to infinity it is still almost nothing. But in the case of the 'Omega Point' all you are doing is simulating, so it would be even simpler to come up with everything that could have happened. .......I hope all that makes sense.

So, I guess our take on infinity is a little different. You think of it as being more linear than what I do. I don't know which is correct.

Noclevername
2012-Aug-01, 05:29 PM
So, I guess our take on infinity is a little different. You think of it as being more linear than what I do. I don't know which is correct.

Not quite, my take is that there are infinite kinds of infinities and not all of them "overlap". So you could, for example, have an infinite universe with only one Earth (As I said, I'm no mathematician so I could be wrong. That's just my layman's take on it)

primummobile
2012-Aug-01, 05:32 PM
Not quite, my take is that there are infinite kinds of infinities and not all of them "overlap". So you could, for example, have an infinite universe with only one Earth (As I said, I'm no mathematician so I could be wrong. That's just my layman's take on it)

You could have an infinite universe with only one earth. I'm just not sure you could have an infinite homogenous universe with only one Earth.

Noclevername
2012-Aug-01, 05:38 PM
You could have an infinite universe with only one earth. I'm just not sure you could have an infinite homogenous universe with only one Earth.

Maybe it could be like Pi, a non-repeating infinite...

primummobile
2012-Aug-01, 05:42 PM
Maybe it could be like Pi, a non-repeating infinite...

Well, Pi is an infinite digit, but is not an infinite value. I'm thinking of an infinite value, in that it encompasses everything. But I see what you are saying now.

Noclevername
2012-Aug-01, 05:46 PM
It would have to mean, of course, that the further from Earth you get, the stranger and more different the Universe gets, since there are only a huge-but-finite number of ways that elementary particles, forces and empty space can be rearranged and not eventually repeat. I don't know if that's really homogenous or not.

primummobile
2012-Aug-01, 05:50 PM
It would have to mean, of course, that the further from Earth you get, the stranger and more different the Universe gets, since there are only a huge-but-finite number of ways that elementary particles, forces and empty space can be rearranged and not eventually repeat. I don't know if that's really homogenous or not.

Well, I just meant homogenous as we say now that the universe is homogenous on large scales. The same physical laws, same types of particles, and close to average temperature and density.... that sort of thing.

swampyankee
2012-Aug-01, 05:52 PM
Imagine two parallel lines. Both are infinite, yet they never intersect.

Now imagine a computer running simulations for all eternity, and every time it does so it leaves out key variables that it just isn't programmed to consider. Not "every possible" combination of ideas, just "every imaginable" combination.

Gödel proved that no formal system can be simultaneously self-consistent and complete. While I do not have the skills in mathematical logic to prove it, I think it strongly hints that no computer simulation can cover every possible combination of ideas or even every possible idea.

primummobile
2012-Aug-01, 06:02 PM
Gödel proved that no formal system can be simultaneously self-consistent and complete. While I do not have the skills in mathematical logic to prove it, I think it strongly hints that no computer simulation can cover every possible combination of ideas or even every possible idea.

If the number of ideas is finite, and the computer has infinite time to process, it will have to eventually cover every possibility, even if it were completely random.

Noclevername
2012-Aug-01, 06:09 PM
If the number of ideas is finite

You've just hit upon the key unknown in this scenario. ; )

primummobile
2012-Aug-01, 06:10 PM
For anyone who is interested, here is Tipler's original paper, as published in The International Journal of Theoretical Physics in 1986. It can be downloaded for free in PDF format. He does a far better job than I at explaining the implications of a theoretical computing system of infinite capacity.

http://www.springerlink.com/content/vlj3180664373268/

primummobile
2012-Aug-01, 06:11 PM
You've just hit upon the key unknown in this scenario. ; )

Oh, I don't deny that. It is unknown. But of all of the 'givens' in Tipler's argument, this is about the only one I actually agree with.

primummobile
2012-Aug-01, 06:18 PM
For anyone who is interested, here is Tipler's original paper, as published in The International Journal of Theoretical Physics in 1986. It can be downloaded for free in PDF format. He does a far better job than I at explaining the implications of a theoretical computing system of infinite capacity.

http://www.springerlink.com/content/vlj3180664373268/

Ok, please forget I said that. I have access to it, but I forgot that I have a subscription. I'll try to find a free site.

Noclevername
2012-Aug-01, 06:24 PM
Oh, I don't deny that. It is unknown. But of all of the 'givens' in Tipler's argument, this is about the only one I actually agree with.

What about the post-human beings who decided to create the infinite simulations? If they're part of the infinite computer-universe, would they be capable of infinite thoughts?

primummobile
2012-Aug-01, 06:53 PM
What about the post-human beings who decided to create the infinite simulations? If they're part of the infinite computer-universe, would they be capable of infinite thoughts?

The way I understand it, they don't make the choice to create the infinite simulations. The infinite simulations are a product of the physical state of the universe-very small, very hot, and very dense. Every particle in the entire universe is on the verge of collapsing back into whatever state it was in at zero time of the BB. The computing is actually done with those particles, but it is timeless, so you can have infinite calculations because there is no passage of time. But I don't think the objects of the simulation would have infinite thoughts because all it would be doing is simulating quantum states. So if you were one of the simulations, your continuity of thought would be only an illusion, similar to what mutleyeng said in #72. So, you wouldn't be capable of any kind of independent thought. All your thoughts and memories in each instant would simply be modeled by the quantum state that was being simulated.

I think it is a very interesting theory. Unfortunately, (or maybe fortunately) it has very little basis in reality that I can see. I think Tipler's zeal for an afterlife is directing his thoughts.

Noclevername
2012-Aug-01, 07:36 PM
The way I understand it, they don't make the choice to create the infinite simulations. The infinite simulations are a product of the physical state of the universe-very small, very hot, and very dense.

Then does he think that such a spontaneous simulation process also happened at the beginning of time?

primummobile
2012-Aug-01, 08:07 PM
Then does he think that such a spontaneous simulation process also happened at the beginning of time?

No, he believes that intelligent being will cause the universe to collapse, not that it will happen on its own. When intelligent beings are filling the entire universe, they will use the entire universe as a computer. As the universe gets smaller, the computational capacity will increase, until it diverges to infinity a moment before collapse.

So, it requires intelligent beings to set up the system initially as well as to cause the collapse of the universe.

Like I said, it's a pretty far-out idea. Tipler's first paper, which is the one I attempted to link to, was actually peer reviewed and fairly well-received. But since then he has spent a lot of time confusing theology and science.

Noclevername
2012-Aug-01, 08:49 PM
When intelligent beings are filling the entire universe, they will use the entire universe as a computer.

So for intelligent life to fill the entire universe, he either must think that the universe is finite, or that there are an infinite number of intelligent beings.

primummobile
2012-Aug-01, 09:00 PM
So for intelligent life to fill the entire universe, he either must think that the universe is finite, or that there are an infinite number of intelligent beings.

He believes that the universe is finite and has the topology of a 3-sphere. The infinite computational capacity doesn't arise because of infinite extent to the computer, it is because of the infinite time the computer has to do its simulations. I'm not completely clear on how the computer could perform infinite simulations if time is not passing, unless it was in a 'mental' situation similar to our own. If that is the case, it would appear that Tipler just took Aristotle's ideas and replaced the mystical with a computer and used some math to back it up.

But keep in mind that Tipler's computer isn't what you and I think of as a computer. It would be a living being in its own right.

Noclevername
2012-Aug-01, 09:10 PM
He believes that the universe is finite and has the topology of a 3-sphere. The infinite computational capacity doesn't arise because of infinite extent to the computer, it is because of the infinite time the computer has to do its simulations. I'm not completely clear on how the computer could perform infinite simulations if time is not passing, unless it was in a 'mental' situation similar to our own. If that is the case, it would appear that Tipler just took Aristotle's ideas and replaced the mystical with a computer and used some math to back it up.

But keep in mind that Tipler's computer isn't what you and I think of as a computer. It would be a living being in its own right.

As an infinite being, could it simulate itself?

If not, it wouldn't be able to make a perfect simulation of the universe-- the end bit would be missing.

If so, it would have to simulate a being capable of creating infinite thoughts-- and I already brought up some problems with that...

I'm getting dizzy just thinking about it!

primummobile
2012-Aug-01, 09:25 PM
As an infinite being, could it simulate itself?

If not, it wouldn't be able to make a perfect simulation of the universe-- the end bit would be missing.

If so, it would have to simulate a being capable of creating infinite thoughts-- and I already brought up some problems with that...

I'm getting dizzy just thinking about it!

No kidding. It's mind-boggling once your mind starts thinking about all the possibilities, even if it is far-fetched. And I have no idea what the answers would be to any of your questions. I can try to find out, though.

Noclevername
2012-Aug-01, 11:55 PM
No kidding. It's mind-boggling once your mind starts thinking about all the possibilities, even if it is far-fetched. And I have no idea what the answers would be to any of your questions. I can try to find out, though.

Don't trouble yourself on my account, I'll just wait and see how the universe ends. It's more fun that way. ; )

Chuck
2012-Aug-02, 12:29 AM
I don't think the Omega Point computer would ever become infinite. It's capacity would increase without limit as the Omega Point was approached. There would be no finite capacity that it would not eventually exceed but it would never have infinite capacity.

Noclevername
2012-Aug-02, 12:39 AM
I don't think the Omega Point computer would ever become infinite. It's capacity would increase without limit as the Omega Point was approached. There would be no finite capacity that it would not eventually exceed but it would never have infinite capacity.

The infinite computational capacity doesn't arise because of infinite extent to the computer, it is because of the infinite time the computer has to do its simulations.

So I guess it's not the computer itself that's infinite, it's just a universe-sized capacity with forever to work things out and nothing better to do with its time.

I personally think Tipler must have read Asimov's "The Last Question" and forgot it was fiction.

primummobile
2012-Aug-02, 12:25 PM
I personally think Tipler must have read Asimov's "The Last Question" and forgot it was fiction.

Somehow, I don't think this is wrong. Actually, I was going to use the future Multivac as an example of what Tipler thought a computer would be.

I think if there is going to be any kind of life after 'death' with continuity of consciousness, it would have to be something along the lines of what I mentioned before-artificial augmentation of our mental faculties in which we slowly train artificial devices to take over our mental processes. Once that is done, it wouldn't be very difficult to move those devices into a machine, and take our consciousness with them.

You mentioned earlier that people would resist this because of religious or ethical considerations, and I don't doubt that at all. But it still wouldn't stop them from being obsolete. I live in Western Pennsylvania, and there are Amish people all around. They would have a very difficult time surviving without the benefits the modern world provides to them. They all get kerosene delivered by truck, for example. They use roads. They rely on others to transport them to places like the grocery stores. I don't imagine that this future I envision would be much different from that. I believe eventually most people would go along with it, and those who did not would be forced to rely on those who did.

And for that matter, I'm not sure I would even accept any implants. I just think that's where we're headed. Body modification is expanding and becoming ever more popular. So the social stigma against artificial augmentation is already beginning to disappear.

Noclevername
2012-Aug-02, 12:59 PM
I have lens implants in my eyes, my parents both have artificial knee joints, my mother has a patch in one of the ventricles of her heart, we're a family of proto-cyborgs already.

Cougar
2012-Aug-02, 01:03 PM
For anyone who is interested, here is Tipler's original paper...

You can waste your time however you like, but Tipler has gone off the deep end. (http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/cosmicvariance/2009/01/05/the-varieties-of-crackpot-experience/)


"Frank Tipler is a crackpot. At one point in his life, he did very good technical work in general relativity... But alas, since then he has pretty much gone off the deep end, and more recently has become known for arguments for Christianity based on fundamental physics." -- Sean Carroll

primummobile
2012-Aug-02, 01:09 PM
You can waste your time however you like, but Tipler has gone off the deep end. (http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/cosmicvariance/2009/01/05/the-varieties-of-crackpot-experience/)


"Frank Tipler is a crackpot. At one point in his life, he did very good technical work in general relativity... But alas, since then he has pretty much gone off the deep end, and more recently has become known for arguments for Christianity based on fundamental physics." -- Sean Carroll

That was Tipler's original paper, and it was peer-reviewed, published in a major, respectable physics journal, and has been cited numerous times in other peer-reviewed work. If you'd read my posts, you would note that I stated many times that Tipler was off his rocker. But I wouldn't judge a paper he wrote 26 years ago about the math of a universal computer to be a "waste of time" unless I had read it first in order to be qualified to make that judgement.

primummobile
2012-Aug-02, 01:11 PM
I have lens implants in my eyes, my parents both have artificial knee joints, my mother has a patch in one of the ventricles of her heart, we're a family of proto-cyborgs already.

See that? You're already halfway there. Maybe you'll be our first exalted ruler.

Noclevername
2012-Aug-02, 01:45 PM
See that? You're already halfway there. Maybe you'll be our first exalted ruler.

I know there are researchers working now on implant devices to help with certain neurological problems, it wouldn't surprise me if someday I have a microchip or two.

primummobile
2012-Aug-02, 01:57 PM
I know there are researchers working now on implant devices to help with certain neurological problems, it wouldn't surprise me if someday I have a microchip or two.

I've seen some stories on that. I think the key is that we will have to be able to 'train' the implants after they are installed. I don't think a one-size fits all approach would work. In fact, I would think that every person would be unique in that regard. We've seen healthy brain tissue take over the functions of damaged brain tissue, which implies that the specific architecture of every brain is a little different.

Chuck
2012-Aug-02, 03:42 PM
As we load up our brains with increasingly sophisticated implants the organic tissue will, as a percentage of the whole, have less and less to do. When the organic part eventually dies it will have been contributing so little that it won't be missed.

HenrikOlsen
2012-Aug-02, 03:56 PM
Having an infinite computer is not sufficient to guarantee that it will compute everything. If the program is calculating all digits of pi it won't produce any Shakespeare sonnets.

Just like infinite space doesn't guarantee that everything exists somewhere. For analogy, simply thing of an infinite black and white checkerboard, it's definitely infinite, but it won't have any red circles anywhere.

Solfe
2012-Aug-02, 05:43 PM
For analogy, simply thing of an infinite black and white checkerboard, it's definitely infinite, but it won't have any red circles anywhere.


Darn it... my infinite checkerboard is wrong.

17355

primummobile
2012-Aug-02, 06:16 PM
Tipler wasn't saying that it would be calculating all the digits of Pi. He also isn't saying it would be calculating anything 'infinite'. He was saying it would be simulating all the possible quantum states, which is a finite number, infinitely. You guys are getting backwards what he said. It isn't an infinite simulation of infinite variables. It is an infinite simulation of finite variables.

HenrikOlsen
2012-Aug-02, 08:36 PM
Still hasn't shown how it would be infinite.

swampyankee
2012-Aug-02, 08:45 PM
Don't trouble yourself on my account, I'll just wait and see how the universe ends. It's more fun that way. ; )

There's a nice restaurant at the end of the universe. We'll get all the CQers reservations. Pamela can narrate ; )

And why do my smileys keep disappearing?

primummobile
2012-Aug-02, 08:56 PM
Still hasn't shown how it would be infinite.

That was in Tipler's paper. It was peer reviewed and published in a respected physics journal. From that paper, he wrote a popular book with John Barrow from Cambridge. It isn't some fringe science that he just made up. The math is solid, and to be honest, this is the only time I've ever seen people question that part of his results.

The thing is, I'm not advocating Tipler's theological beliefs. Nor am I qualified to critique his math other than to say that I did not see any errors in it. I can't post the paper on here because that would be illegal. I attempted to find a free link to it and I could not but your local college library should have it.

It's not up to me to show his math is correct. I told you what paper it was in and I directed you to where you could read it. No one in the know has ever, to my knowledge, said it was wrong. All he was saying in this paper was that the computational capacity of the universal computer system would diverge to infinity as the universe was shrinking. You're attacking a straw man here because the issue isn't how we get the computational capacity of the computer to diverge to infinity. That was already shown in the paper. The issue is whether or not any of the millions of highly unlikely events leading up to that point could ever reasonably be expected to happen and whether or not if it did happen if it would constitute a resurrection. My opinion is that the events leading up to it could not happen, and if they could that it still would not constitute a resurrection.

Hlafordlaes
2012-Aug-02, 09:16 PM
(gulp) ... the possibility, or impossibility, that consciousness could carry on, somehow, after death of the body and brain...

That's actually a pretty horrible prospect for those with Alzheimer's or dementia, perhaps also those with severe psychological conditions, if you think about it. Too, what about the prolonged sensory deprivation for a disembodied mind? Madness would follow.

At any rate, anesthesia showed me when my brain is off, I lose my internal clock and all sense of "being" during the time under. If the brain is off, I am gone.


just wondering, since I am getting quite old

I'm pretty happy to be recycled stardust, sharing atoms over my lifetime with beings, and stars, who have gone before. Someday part of one of us many be the tip of the finger of a descendant on another world altogether. Better yet, part of its brain.

Barring the fancy tech discussed in the thread, the only possibility that any semblance of "me-ness" might persist lies in the entirely unsubstantiated speculation that some sort of quantum entanglement ties the particles that are "me" together even after physical dispersal, and that that can sustain my "operations." Nah, don't think so.

Noclevername
2012-Aug-02, 09:28 PM
Too, what about the prolonged sensory deprivation for a disembodied mind? Madness would follow.

Assuming that that's what a disembodied mind actually experiences. If there were some unknown mechanism for preserving the informational patterns found in the brain without a brain, there might also be some mechanism for stimulating the sensory portions of that pattern.

Solfe
2012-Aug-03, 01:33 AM
Still hasn't shown how it would be infinite.

Well, I know they are still squashing bugs. I didn't want to mess up the DB with the entire thing. : )

(When are we going to get real smilies again?)

Noclevername
2012-Aug-04, 06:40 AM
(When are we going to get real smilies again?)

In the last moment at the end of the universe there will be infinite smilies.

DoggerDan
2012-Aug-04, 07:05 AM
If the program is calculating all digits of pi it won't produce any Shakespeare sonnets.

Yet if pi is truly random, all of Shakespeare's sonnets are in there, somewhere.

Chuck
2012-Aug-04, 02:26 PM
Every CD and DVD ever published is also probably somewhere in the binary expansion of pi, so all copyright holders are claiming strings of bit that already existed and aren't original works.

Noclevername
2012-Aug-04, 07:51 PM
Even if a finite-universe-sized computer with infinite time did exist, it still wouldn't have infinite memory storage, so it couldn't retain even one of the universe-sized simulations it came up with and still have room for its own operating system.

potoole
2012-Aug-06, 08:11 AM
Stated by Hlafordlaes :
"Too, what about the prolonged sensory deprivation for a disembodied mind? Madness would follow."

When we dream, we walk, we talk, we observe, we experience beautiful as well as ugly occurances. We see faces of humans who we have never met in our lives. We speak and communicate with thos people. We also visit with old friends, some of whom are long dead. Since our bodies are immoble (asleep, and unmoving), aren't our minds essentially disembodied at the time?

potoole
2012-Aug-06, 08:54 AM
Stated by Hlafordlaes :
"I'm pretty happy to be recycled stardust, sharing atoms over my lifetime with beings, and stars, who have gone before. Someday part of one of us many be the tip of the finger of a descendant on another world altogether. Better yet, part of its brain."

Not me. The idea that a few of the atoms of my body, and a couple of atoms that once were part of my conscience brain will end up as atoms that will make up an infinitesimal part of a snail's shell, or a rock, or the tip of a tree's leaf. Well, that isn't very satisfying. I'm sure you are right, but its sad. Very sad that life should have no more meaning than ending up as 'stardust'.

Noclevername
2012-Aug-06, 08:59 AM
Very sad that life should have no more meaning than ending up as 'stardust'.

The meaning in life lies in your effect on the world around you. Helping others or just making people happy, or contributing in some way to making things better, even a little bit.

primummobile
2012-Aug-06, 01:23 PM
Even if a finite-universe-sized computer with infinite time did exist, it still wouldn't have infinite memory storage, so it couldn't retain even one of the universe-sized simulations it came up with and still have room for its own operating system.

I don't argue that. That's why I said it would simulate each moment an infinite number of times, but there wouldn't be any continuity other than the illusion of continuity created by the memories of each quantum state. The simulations probably couldn't tell the difference, but to an outside observer it would appear to just be a jumbled-up mess.

Noclevername
2012-Aug-06, 01:40 PM
I don't argue that. That's why I said it would simulate each moment an infinite number of times, but there wouldn't be any continuity other than the illusion of continuity created by the memories of each quantum state. The simulations probably couldn't tell the difference, but to an outside observer it would appear to just be a jumbled-up mess.

Ah, got it. So it's basically just a huge random number generator, that just coincidentally sometimes gets patterns that happen to map to the memories of someone who once lived.

primummobile
2012-Aug-06, 02:20 PM
Ah, got it. So it's basically just a huge random number generator, that just coincidentally sometimes gets patterns that happen to map to the memories of someone who once lived.

Yes. At least, that's my take on it.

Noclevername
2012-Aug-06, 02:35 PM
Yes. At least, that's my take on it.

But what about the dynamic and interactive aspects of the brain's functions? If all it's duplicating are memory patterns and quantum states, is the duplicate just a static "imprint" of a mind or is there really conscious awareness? It sounds to me like drawing a picture of every atom in your kidney and expecting the drawing to work like a kidney.

primummobile
2012-Aug-06, 02:49 PM
But what about the dynamic and interactive aspects of the brain's functions? If all it's duplicating are memory patterns and quantum states, is the duplicate just a static "imprint" of a mind or is there really conscious awareness? It sounds to me like drawing a picture of every atom in your kidney and expecting the drawing to work like a kidney.

I don't really know. It makes me a little dizzy when I really start thinking about what it would be like, or even if you could call it consciousness. I think it would be more like a static imprint. Aristotle said that the creator of the universe was a being outside of time who was caught in an eternal moment of contemplation of himself and was completely unaware of anything outside of himself. That's what I always think of when I read anything about Tipler's Omega Point theories.

HenrikOlsen
2012-Aug-06, 03:14 PM
Ah, got it. So it's basically just a huge random number generator, that just coincidentally sometimes gets patterns that happen to map to the memories of someone who once lived.
Yep, though how that could be considered a resurrection by any moderately sane definition of the word eludes me.
Sounds like an attempt at introducing the rapture under the guise of technobabble.

primummobile
2012-Aug-06, 03:22 PM
Yep, though how that could be considered a resurrection by any moderately sane definition of the word eludes me.
Sounds like an attempt at introducing the rapture under the guise of technobabble.

You're not too far off. Try reading one of his more recent books.

Romanus
2012-Aug-07, 10:09 PM
RE OP:
"Hey, I ordered a cheeseburger!"

Apologies to Gary Larson...

potoole
2012-Aug-07, 10:49 PM
RE OP:
"Hey, I ordered a cheeseburger!"

Apologies to Gary Larson...

"Sombody bring me a cheesburger !"
Apologies to 'Deep Purple'.

Noclevername
2012-Aug-07, 11:12 PM
"Cheeseburger! Cheeseburger! Cheeseburger!"

Apologies to John Belushi.

James Redford
2012-Aug-08, 09:05 PM
(gulp) I'm almost ashamed to bring up the subject. You know, the possibility, or impossibility, that consciousness could carry on, somehow, after death of the body and brain. I know most scientists abhor the subject, because it gets too close to 'religion'. I'm not a religious person, but just wondering, since I am getting quite old, if there coud be a scientific possibility.

I once read a book entitled "The Physics Of Immortality" written by a Physicist, in which he gave a difficut to understand idea of how once concious critters could be brought back into conciousness at the end of time.

Thank you:o

Hi, Potoole. For more on the subject of Prof. Frank J. Tipler's Omega Point cosmology, see my following article:

James Redford, "The Physics of God and the Quantum Gravity Theory of Everything", Social Science Research Network (SSRN), Aug. 6, 2012 (orig. pub. Dec. 19, 2011), 186 pp., doi:10.2139/ssrn.1974708,

Below is the abstract to my above article:

""
ABSTRACT: Analysis is given of the Omega Point cosmology, an extensively peer-reviewed proof (i.e., mathematical theorem) published in leading physics journals by professor of physics and mathematics Frank J. Tipler, which demonstrates that in order for the known laws of physics to be mutually consistent, the universe must diverge to infinite computational power as it collapses into a final cosmological singularity, termed the Omega Point. The theorem is an intrinsic component of the Feynman-DeWitt-Weinberg quantum gravity/Standard Model Theory of Everything (TOE) describing and unifying all the forces in physics, of which itself is also required by the known physical laws. With infinite computational resources, the dead can be resurrected--never to die again--via perfect computer emulation of the multiverse from its start at the Big Bang. Miracles are also physically allowed via electroweak quantum tunneling controlled by the Omega Point cosmological singularity. The Omega Point is a different aspect of the Big Bang cosmological singularity--the first cause--and the Omega Point has all the haecceities claimed for God in the traditional religions.

From this analysis, conclusions are drawn regarding the social, ethical, economic and political implications of the Omega Point cosmology.
""

HenrikOlsen
2012-Aug-09, 01:16 PM
With infinite computational resources, the dead can be resurrected--never to die again--via perfect computer emulation of the multiverse from its start at the Big Bang.
As can Donald Duck and the entire UU faculty.
So what?

How is emulating me together with everything else in potential existence resurrection?

primummobile
2012-Aug-09, 01:37 PM
As can Donald Duck and the entire UU faculty.
So what?

How is emulating me together with everything else in potential existence resurrection?

That was the OP's question in the original post of this thread, and it got sidetracked by questions of how the computer would work.

James Redford
2012-Aug-09, 04:23 PM
Hi, Potoole. For more on the subject of Prof. Frank J. Tipler's Omega Point cosmology, see my following article:

James Redford, "The Physics of God and the Quantum Gravity Theory of Everything", Social Science Research Network (SSRN), Aug. 6, 2012 (orig. pub. Dec. 19, 2011), 186 pp., doi:10.2139/ssrn.1974708,

Below is the abstract to my above article:

""
ABSTRACT: Analysis is given of the Omega Point cosmology, an extensively peer-reviewed proof (i.e., mathematical theorem) published in leading physics journals by professor of physics and mathematics Frank J. Tipler, which demonstrates that in order for the known laws of physics to be mutually consistent, the universe must diverge to infinite computational power as it collapses into a final cosmological singularity, termed the Omega Point. The theorem is an intrinsic component of the Feynman-DeWitt-Weinberg quantum gravity/Standard Model Theory of Everything (TOE) describing and unifying all the forces in physics, of which itself is also required by the known physical laws. With infinite computational resources, the dead can be resurrected--never to die again--via perfect computer emulation of the multiverse from its start at the Big Bang. Miracles are also physically allowed via electroweak quantum tunneling controlled by the Omega Point cosmological singularity. The Omega Point is a different aspect of the Big Bang cosmological singularity--the first cause--and the Omega Point has all the haecceities claimed for God in the traditional religions.

From this analysis, conclusions are drawn regarding the social, ethical, economic and political implications of the Omega Point cosmology.
""

As can Donald Duck and the entire UU faculty.
So what?

How is emulating me together with everything else in potential existence resurrection?

Hi, HenrikOlsen.

Only the actual multiverse gets emulated during the multiversal resurrection of the dead, so only those things that did actually exist will be brought back. The multiverse is not the powerset of this universe (in terms of bit complexity), but rather a proper subset of that powerset. Only those universes which are consistent with beginning at an initial singularity and ending at a final Omega Point singularity actually exist. So not all bit-permutations exist (almost all of which would just be nonsense static).

For more on this, see Sec. 3.3: "The Universal Resurrection of the Dead" of my aforecited article.

slang
2012-Aug-09, 04:28 PM
James Redford, please do not use the Cosmoquest forum for promoting your article, as a quick google shows you're doing in a lot of places. Welcome to the forum, it might be a good idea to review our rules as linked below.

James Redford
2012-Aug-09, 05:03 PM
Robert Redford, please do not use the Cosmoquest forum for promoting your article, as a quick google shows you're doing in a lot of places. Welcome to the forum, it might be a good idea to review our rules as linked below.

Hi, Slang. Yes, I looked at the forum's rules and posting links to my article is perfectly acceptable within the rules. That is called the Scholarly Method.

By the way, Slang, my name is not Robert Redford, but rather James Redford. Robert Redford is my cousin.

slang
2012-Aug-09, 05:33 PM
Hi, Slang. Yes, I looked at the forum's rules

Apparently you did not look closely enough. Arguing moderation in-thread is not allowed, please don't do that again. If you have an issue with a post, use the report icon, PM a moderator, or open a thread in the feedback forum (or use an existing one).


By the way, Slang, my name is not Robert Redford, but rather James Redford. Robert Redford is my cousin.

I apologize to both you and your cousin for getting your name wrong, I have no idea where that came from. (Another mod noticed it too and fixed my post.)

James Redford
2012-Aug-09, 08:36 PM
Apparently you did not look closely enough. Arguing moderation in-thread is not allowed, please don't do that again. If you have an issue with a post, use the report icon, PM a moderator, or open a thread in the feedback forum (or use an existing one).


Then according to you in your above statement, you are violating the forum's rules.



I apologize to both you and your cousin for getting your name wrong, I have no idea where that came from. (Another mod noticed it too and fixed my post.)

You should apologize to me for how you have treated me here, but not for that mistake on your part.

PetersCreek
2012-Aug-09, 09:44 PM
James Redford,

As slang mentioned, arguing/questioning/discussing moderation in-thread is a violation of our rules. It's also a distracting, off-topic hijack of the thread. If you wish to take exception to a moderator's action, please use the report feature, private message, or start a thread in the feedback forum...but no more argument in-thread.

Noclevername
2012-Aug-10, 11:37 PM
I've wondered for a long time; if it's possible to download the information of the brain, but not to duplicate the dynamic aspects of the mind, would it be possible to "re-download" that data back into a living brain? (I realize it would probably take a long time to "grow" a brain to the right specifications, probably years or even decades.) But if it could be done, then even without becoming digital infomorphs we could still preserve the mind, sort of.

James Redford
2012-Aug-14, 07:25 PM
I've wondered for a long time; if it's possible to download the information of the brain, but not to duplicate the dynamic aspects of the mind, would it be possible to "re-download" that data back into a living brain? (I realize it would probably take a long time to "grow" a brain to the right specifications, probably years or even decades.) But if it could be done, then even without becoming digital infomorphs we could still preserve the mind, sort of.

Per the Law of Identity in the field of logic, A = A, and so all that is necessary in order to resurrect a person is to perfectly recreate a person's mind (or their total body; or the total environment which they exist in [which would also include their body, and hence mind]). For details on this, see Sec. 3.3: "The Universal Resurrection of the Dead" of my following article:

James Redford, "The Physics of God and the Quantum Gravity Theory of Everything", Social Science Research Network (SSRN), Aug. 6, 2012 (orig. pub. Dec. 19, 2011), 186 pp., doi:10.2139/ssrn.1974708.

HenrikOlsen
2012-Aug-15, 08:29 AM
Hi, HenrikOlsen.

Only the actual multiverse gets emulated during the multiversal resurrection of the dead, so only those things that did actually exist will be brought back.
Duh wha'?!

What mechanism would make that happen?
I though the point of the infinite computer was that it would calculate everything, of which a simulation of me would be a subset, thus ensuring that I would be simulated,

Per the Law of Identity in the field of logic, A = A, and so all that is necessary in order to resurrect a person is to perfectly recreate a person's mind (or their total body; or the total environment which they exist in [which would also include their body, and hence mind]).
Except this is not the field of logic, so your primary assumption is flawed.

captain swoop
2012-Aug-15, 10:24 AM
James redford Do not Spam your books on this site. You have been warned previously about this.

Hlafordlaes
2012-Aug-15, 08:48 PM
Stated by Hlafordlaes :
"I'm pretty happy to be recycled stardust, sharing atoms over my lifetime with beings, and stars, who have gone before. Someday part of one of us many be the tip of the finger of a descendant on another world altogether. Better yet, part of its brain."

Not me. The idea that a few of the atoms of my body, and a couple of atoms that once were part of my conscience brain will end up as atoms that will make up an infinitesimal part of a snail's shell, or a rock, or the tip of a tree's leaf. Well, that isn't very satisfying. I'm sure you are right, but its sad. Very sad that life should have no more meaning than ending up as 'stardust'.

Not perhaps too warming for the individual, but I see it as a slow cosmic dance that's beautiful to imagine and be part of. Besides, individuality is of anecdotal importance, regardless of my quite exaggerated view of myself as being astoundingly wonderful, six sigma out and running rampant.

On a serious note, I find a rational view of mortality and finality gives me a greater respect for life, as in: loath to see one taken under most any circumstance.

Noclevername
2012-Aug-20, 01:59 PM
Besides, individuality is of anecdotal importance,

That's not the same as unimportant.

My individuality is the only thing I really have. I'd hate to lose it. I know from personal experience that I don't like to see someoe else lose theirs, either.

James Redford
2013-Mar-14, 06:49 PM
Hi, HenrikOlsen.

Only the actual multiverse gets emulated during the multiversal resurrection of the dead, so only those things that did actually exist will be brought back. The multiverse is not the powerset of this universe (in terms of bit complexity), but rather a proper subset of that powerset. Only those universes which are consistent with beginning at an initial singularity and ending at a final Omega Point singularity actually exist. So not all bit-permutations exist (almost all of which would just be nonsense static).

For more on this, see Sec. 3.3: "The Universal Resurrection of the Dead" of my aforecited article.

Duh wha'?!

What mechanism would make that happen?

I though the point of the infinite computer was that it would calculate everything, of which a simulation of me would be a subset, thus ensuring that I would be simulated,


This is why reading is fundamental. All of your questions here are already answered in my previously cited article.

Given an infinite amount of computational resources, recreating the exact quantum state of our present universe is trivial (per the Bekenstein Bound), requiring at most a mere 10^123 bits (the number which Roger Penrose calculated), or at most a mere 2^10^123 bits for every different quantum configuration of the universe logically possible (i.e., the powerset, of which the multiverse in its entirety at this point in universal history is a subset of this powerset). So the Omega Point will be able to resurrect us using merely an infinitesimally small amount of total computational resources: indeed, the multiversal resurrection will occur between 10^-10^10 and 10^-10^123 seconds before the Omega Point is reached, as the computational capacity of the universe at that stage will be great enough that doing so will require only a trivial amount of total computational resources.

For more on the above, see Sec. 3.3: "The Universal Resurrection of the Dead", pp. 24-24 of my following article:

taken out referred paper




Per the Law of Identity in the field of logic, A = A, and so all that is necessary in order to resurrect a person is to perfectly recreate a person's mind (or their total body; or the total environment which they exist in [which would also include their body, and hence mind]). For details on this, see Sec. 3.3: "The Universal Resurrection of the Dead" of my following article:

taken out referred paper

Except this is not the field of logic, so your primary assumption is flawed.


All of physics and indeed science is based upon the generalizability of logic. If logic did not apply to these fields then no result in physics or science could ever have the slightest validity. (Indeed, existence and hence consciousness wouldn't even be possible, since A =/= A would mean that a thing is not itself, and hence that a thing is not a thing, i.e., that existence is not existence.)

tusenfem
2013-Mar-15, 08:13 AM
James Redford, this is not a commercial board for your book.
Still adding it after being warned several times.
Infraction.

James Redford
2013-Mar-16, 09:33 PM
James Redford, this is not a commercial board for your book.
Still adding it after being warned several times.
Infraction.


That is what is called the Scholarly Method, of which all of science and scholarship is founded upon. Regarding "this [not being] a commercial board", my article addressing the topics of this thread is also not commercial, but instead is released under free and open source licenses. I make no money from it. The entire point of directing people here to it is because it answers the questions which they asked here. Indeed, that was the entire point of my bothering to write it, so as to edify people concerning such matters.

You are not following the rules of this forum, since nothing in the rules states anything against citing a scholarly work, even if it be one's own. The rules state, "Do not post advertisements of any kind without securing the express consent of the administrators beforehand. Do not use this bulletin board as a vehicle to promote your own website, product, or forum, nor to sell merchandise."

I have not posted any advertisement of any kind, nor have I promoted any website, product, forum, or merchandise, whether my own or anyone else's. You are making up your own arbitrary and secret rules.

tusenfem
2013-Mar-17, 06:33 PM
James Redford, this should be considered arguing moderation in thread, which is a no-go. If you have a problem with a post (also moderation posts), then you report it using the /!\ button in the bottom left of the message.
I will let this go, and not infract this time.
However, note that mentioning your book in every post you write is well considered (self)promotion and advertisement, this has nothing to do with the "scholarly method", but will bring you e.g. lots of google hits, which promotes your (non)commercial book.

profloater
2013-Mar-17, 07:00 PM
So, it seems a functional copy of the biological neuron map could be conscious, in theory, after death of the original. Replacement inputs of vision etc seem even easier. That's conscious AI. This conscious AI could have agency, with all manner of external actuators, communications etc. Free from biology this new individual could have a very long life ahead. What to do? Survival of the biological consciousness seems a very low probability, that seems to be agreed. Given that the new one is still vulnerable in many ways, what is the survival strategy for a conscious AI personality? Like many fictional intelligences, this one thinks "What is the point?" So what is the point?

Drunk Vegan
2013-Mar-17, 08:16 PM
I've wondered for a long time; if it's possible to download the information of the brain, but not to duplicate the dynamic aspects of the mind, would it be possible to "re-download" that data back into a living brain? (I realize it would probably take a long time to "grow" a brain to the right specifications, probably years or even decades.) But if it could be done, then even without becoming digital infomorphs we could still preserve the mind, sort of.

Chances are if you can copy the information from one brain, and upload it to another, it may also be possible to "overwrite" the information on the receiving end. Why wait to grow a new brain? I'm sure there would be some ethics-free people who would be willing to snatch someone off the street and take over that person's brain. Maybe I've watched Freejack too many times or seen too many episodes of Dollhouse, but it seems plausible to me that if you can copy the information at all, you'd be able to upload it just as easily, even on "hardware" that already has a brain pattern loaded.

publiusr
2013-Mar-17, 08:22 PM
If you are not careful, you just make a copy that thinks it is you and you are dead. The trick is to make a bridge very gradually. First to find some tech for the mind to migrate to as the brain cells die off over time to keep continuity, and then--if we ever get an ansible--to do the same gradual process in a quantum fashion. To make a clone, you just send a copy all at once. I think the important thing for you to be alive is how gradual the process is.

galacsi
2013-Mar-17, 09:17 PM
I don't know about zombies but however I know something about this thread ! It is a zombie thread !

starcanuck64
2013-Mar-17, 10:03 PM
I have no idea how plausible it is but I saw something about a quantum soul on a program recently.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iIyEjh6ef_8

Noclevername
2013-Mar-17, 10:36 PM
Quantum Soul? Is that related to Quantum Funk or Quantum Blues? ;)

galacsi
2013-Mar-17, 10:59 PM
18324

starcanuck64
2013-Mar-18, 07:21 PM
Quantum Soul? Is that related to Quantum Funk or Quantum Blues? ;)

Yes, played on tiny, tiny instruments that can be many places at once giving that classical, "wall of sound" effect.