Bruno wrote:

"...I am not my body - I am not my brain --
I can change everything and anything I want about me and still remain me
ergo "I" am an immaterial something: probably a number or a very long
bitstring which can, like any data, be crunched..."
I like the 'probably', with a 'meaningless' word to answer the unanswered
question (What am I?) and the same with the 'bitstring' kind.

Bruno, I wonder if you 'mean' BRAIN as part of your (material?!) body ONLY,
restricted to physiology and physical (figment) data? I don't think so.
Suppose we agree to call 'brain' the function of ideation included as well
which leaps into the Chalmers's hard problem, but definitely more than just
the goo in our skull. I call it a complexity of unlisted parts, one of them
the 'goo': the tool to manipulate mental aspects in a sense described in the
figment-details of the physical world. We have in conventional science a
(reductionist) description how the brain might work and shove all the
unknown functions into open "SOMEHOW"-s.
It may even go beyond 'numbers' since they, too, are within the
manipulations of the figment. Would you have another 'word'?

(Conventional science - with all its 'empirics' - is based on assumptions to
explain what we could not understand in phenomena halfway perceived. So it
is a kind of religion with a bit different vocabulary. So much to your
Science - 1  ---   Religion - 1.)

Please, do not say: "mind", without identifying properly what you mean by
Also "body" is suspect (see the 1st line of this text).

I am scared to apply half-way the eliminated conventional (figmentous)
concepts together with th 'new' ideas similarly halfway identified.
I wouldn't call such wording "too technical".
Best regards

John M

On Fri, Dec 12, 2008 at 8:27 PM, Kim Jones <> wrote:

> Bruno
> Thanks for the very useful summary and the warning that we might be
> zooming in on fractal infinity - no way will that happen from here on!
> > The mechanist hypothesis is the hypothesis that we are machine so
> > that, in principle, any part of us can be replaced. There is no
> > special organ or part of us which should not be replaceable by an
> > equivalent (artificial or natural) part. All right?
> No problem

> > Now, there is a natural an objection which we can hear from times to
> > times. If my heart is broken, I can survive with the heart of Mister
> > X, who died accidentally in a car crash. But if my brain is broken
> > or is threatening to break, can I really expect to survive with
> > Mister X's brain? If we accept the lesson of neurophysiology it
> > looks more like the fact that  Mister X survives, with its own
> > memory and brain, and with my body.
> >
> > OK. In order for me to survive with Mister X brain, we will have to
> > clean its memories from his brain, and to reconfigure Mister X's
> > brain with the data collected in my own brain. The situation is the
> > same with a computer. We can exchange the keyboard, but we have to
> > be cautious not exchanging too rapidly the hard disk. If we exchange
> > the hard disk, we have to make a backup of my computer  before, then
> > we have to be sure we got a new clean hard disk on which we can load
> > the backup. All right?
> No question
> >
> > So if you are a machine, it means you can survive with an artificial
> > brain, or with an entire artificial body. We have just to be
> > cautious of retaining the right configuration of the elementary
> > parts, at some level of description. In the case of the brain, this
> > is a tremendous work, but we will need only the idea that Mechanism
> > makes such thing possible in principle, at some level. All right?
> All right
> >
> > So, now, let me offer you, for your unbirthday feast, a new brain.
> > Oh! You don't seem to happy. You already got  six artificial brains!
> > And you already have six artificial bodies. My gift is not so much
> > original, sorry.
> I could go a really fantastic high-end stereo system though
> >
> > Yet, now, each morning you can choose which body you will hang on
> > (and have a different body for each day of the week now!). Of course
> > in the evening you make a backup of the entire plan of the whole
> > machinery which constitutes yourself, and in the morning (after
> > having made the "plan"  running on your big home computer for the
> > delight of dreaming, for example) you have the ability to choose
> > which body and which brain suits better for the day, a bit like you
> > can choose which clothes suit you better. All right?
> entendu - I think the Japanese have close to a working version of this
> right now
> > But if you can choose which body (including the brain) you can use,
> > this means you are NOT your body. Your body is much more like a
> > vehicle, like a car.
> >
> > You can also dispose your seven different bodies in seven different
> > planets, and use the internet as a locomotion transport. You can
> > travel at the speed of light (except for the month of encoding-
> > uploading and downloading-decoding, alas, we are only in the year
> > 2508!).
> >
> > The point is that you are more of the type of an immaterial pattern
> > or information structure. You still need some material world around
> > you (apparently), for interpreting that information pattern, so that
> > your experience can be manifested relatively to that material world,
> > but, it seems to me, *you* are immaterial, as immaterial as a
> > number, which can encode your soul on a disk.
> That appears to be the deal right there, yep - up to here the score is kind
> of:
> Religion 1
> Science 1
> Isn't it great that we may soon be able to capture the soul to
> disk!!!! You could have a Catholic soul, try an Islamic soul, reboot
> as a Buddhist - any religion you want
> there are immense practical applications in this. Just an engineering
> problem now. Brent!!
> > That is *digital* mechanism, the machine's plan is what count, as
> > far as it captures the relevant instantaneous state from which you
> > hope to survive the substitution that the plan makes relatively
> > possible.
> Are you saying the machine may not be "good enough"? - that it could
> somehow fail to "capture the relevant instantaneous state"? What might
> the implications of that be?
> Don't answer that - I will shut up
> >
> > A less fictionful argument in favor of (relative) digital mechanism
> > is the discovery of a plan of the molecular organization which
> > supports us, and the fact that by eating and defecating and
> > breathing we change quasi-completely our molecular structure every
> > seven years. Actually a much shorter time for most organ, but the
> > bones are slower; I think. I guess Stathis knows more on this.
> > Molecular biology is what has made most biologist convinced that our
> > bodies are organic ("natural") machines, self-repairing and self-
> > transforming through a rather incredible giant chemical reaction,
> > itself evolving through a long chemical history.
> >
> > But once we make precise the hypothesis, fictionful argument are no
> > less valid, and you see that once a machine bet she is a machine, by
> > explicitly embracing a complete substitution of the (relative) body,
> > she has to bet "she" is not material.
> If "she" has enough brains and imagination to think it through, that is OK
> - I have seen the shining light of understanding
> > *she* can be better captured by an invariant patten, or by a slowly
> > variant pattern, capable to survive wherever the correct plan is
> > instantiate with respect to the expected context.
> >
> > Xenocrates said: "the soul is a number which moves itself".
> The hammer hits itself
> The eye sees itself move
> The tongue tastes itself
> >  Here the "plan of the machine", codable by a number (and may be
> > downloadable on the net), plays a role similar to Xenocrates' soul.
> what if I download a corrupted version or one with a virus?
> > In some sense I disagree with Xenocrates, but at this stage of the
> > reasoning, you can identify yourself with the number which encodes a
> > description of your body and mind, and in that sense, you are a
> > number, which each evening put itself on a disk, and each morning
> > choose among seven bodies to fit the day.
> > With mechanism, you can save your soul on a disk.
> >
> > All right?
> So that means we already exist on a disk somewhere, right...
> I hope these disks are in safe hands
> > This is almost the definition of the comp hyp. You say "yes" to the
> > doctor who proposes to you an artificial, and actually digital, brain.
> > The mechanist assumption is that, with all the usual by default
> > assumptions, you do survive, in the usual sense of surviving an
> > hospital operation.
> >
> > But then *you* can choose your body, so you are not your body. All
> > right?
> I am not my body - I am not my brain
> > Do you see in which sense I am saying that *you* are immaterial,
> > once you assume Mechanism?
> I can change everything and anything I want about me and still remain me
> ergo "I" am an immaterial something: probably a number or a very long
> bitstring which can, like any data, be crunched

> >I see and agree - there is nobody who would argue fiercely against you
> up to here? Is everyone in accord with the details up to here?
> Is there anything like as convincing an alternate stance?
> >Just wondering
> >cheers,
> >Kim
> >
> >
> >

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