RE: Static uploading is SL3 (was: the 69 of us)

From: Ben Goertzel (
Date: Wed Nov 22 2000 - 06:26:18 MST

> But I
> can't see a transhuman upload as vulnerable to insanity, even
> leaving aside
> fine-grained control of simulated neurology or the ability to
> self-modify. A
> transhuman should simply be able to think faster than the forces that are
> responsible for insanity in biological humans - see any problems
> a mile away.

Frankly, I think this is an excessively Utopian point of view

First: I don't think that insanity has to do with thinking fast or thinking
slowly -- if so, why
do intelligent people go nuts just as often as stupid people? Of course,
you could say that
insanity is cured by fast thinking only once thinking gets beyond a certain
critical threshold
of speed, but this seems like "special pleading"...

Second: It's a better argument that a system with the ability to modify
itself, would be able to
fix the types of problems we refer to as 'insanity' -- or ask others to fix

This second argument makes some sense. It's not fast thinking, but rather
the ability to modify
one's 'hardware', that will eliminate a lot of what we call insanity from
transhuman minds...

However, even self-modification isn't necessarily a magic cure for
craziness. Much insanity is
motivational and emotional in nature -- with cognitive consequences that
follow from these underlying

I.e., why can't a transhuman get into a state where it's nuts and doesn't
want to modify itself into
"non-nuts-ness"? In this case, should other transhumans intervene and fix
its mental structures, so it's
not nuts anymore? This will presumably almost always be possible (although
there may be tough mathematical
problems in determining how to tweak someone's mind to leave them with their
"self" but not their insane
features) ... at least to some extent... but even so this gives rise to
serious ethical issues to do with
individual freedom.

I do not believe that you guys have resolved this issue in a definitive way.
It seems, rather, that you've
brushed the issue aside due to optimism and confidence in the power of
intelligence (a habit that I also
possess, to be sure).

In my view, it's wrong to consider it likely that transhuman minds will be
driven nuts by the blurring of
the mind-reality boundary. But it's also wrong to say that transhumans will
be intrinsically sane due to their
intelligence and self-modifying abilities.

-- Ben

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