Re: physics of uploading minds

From: Phillip Huggan (
Date: Fri Oct 28 2005 - 12:06:07 MDT

I'm thinking the only two tenable positions are all or nothing. Either a single neuron in a brain can be replaced and still yield an identical personal identity to the original mind, or it can't be. Obviously one's thoughts wouldn't be likely to be significantly altered until some critical threshold is reached due to redundancies in our brain functions. The physics that give rise to emergent quantum effects place only a very small part in the functioning of our neurons and synapses. But these tiny differences will chaotically add up quickly if the uploading level of resolution is not sufficient to eliminate them. And initiating identical quantum effects to preserve identity in an upload requires god-like powers, as opposed to merely reproducing very similiar quantum (or even coarser neuronal) effects to upload an identical twin.

Martin Striz <> wrote:
<snip> At the other extreme, it seems intuitively obvious that sequential
single-neuron replacement of endogenous wetware with some functionally
equivalent silicon or nanotech hardware would in the end yield the
same (identity) mind running on a new substrate. So at what point
between these two extremes to do we reach a threshold at which
identity is conserved or lost? Could we, for example, remove one
entire cerebral hemisphere and replace it, then remove the other
hemisphere and replace that? My intuition is that this would also
work (maybe I'm wrong). What if we removed 75% of the brain in the
first procedure, then the other 25%? Now I'm no longer so sure. <snip>
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