Re: Uploading and sensory deprivation

From: Nathan Russell (
Date: Fri Mar 08 2002 - 10:17:31 MST

At 02:45 PM 3/8/2002 +0100, you wrote:
>On Fri, 8 Mar 2002, Nathan Russell wrote:
> > Just out of curiosity, how many folks here think sensory deprivation
> > would be a serious issue for a recent upload, especially if people are
> > being uploaded in large numbers prior to the singularity? Getting a
> > brain, one neuron at a time, into a computer may well be far easier than
> > giving said brain inputs from a world sufficiently similiar to reality
> > to not feel like living in Toy Story! I don't know if insanity would be
>You're wrong. If you can do an upload, the resources required dwarf that
>of an artificial reality renderer by many orders of magnitude. Plus, you
>could use a telepresence puppet.

The puppet might have trouble pacing the thinking speed of an upload. Even
diamond is likely not capable of, say, jogging at one million times the
speed of a human body.

I've seen a procedure for copying one neuron at a time into a computer, but
not for producing the proper 'inputs'. It's difficult as it stands for us
to 'crack', say, the format in which Microsoft encodes their Word
documents, a format that was written by human beings. Figuring out the
exact pattern of impulses associated with, say, looking at the Mona Lisa
with both eyes might be more difficult.

> > a problem, but "what if the rest of my life is like this?" would be, at
> > least for me.
>Whole point of an upload is self modification, driven by adaptation and
>co-evolution (the others). You'll become rather inhuman, rather quick.

I can't help thinking about the perspective of myself, a college sophomore
living in a dormitory and learning to be a professional computer
scientist. I can understand how intuitively grasping code, and making no
errors from forgetfullness, could make me a much more efficient programmer;
I can't really understand what it would be like to be able to input a
shockwave movie, for example, as a bit stream and immediately know how it
was laid out, and exactly what bit pattern produced the anvil hitting Daffy
Duck on the head, and which other produced his scream in stereo.

I suppose I'd become inhuman in a matter of time, but I don't know how much
time it would take. Understanding things more efficiently would definately
help, and I wonder how much time I would have for human thought if I were
constantly busy calculating, for example, the exact hyperbolic tangent of
the angles of every pair of blades of grass I passed, and aware of doing so.


This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Wed Jul 17 2013 - 04:00:37 MDT