On Wed, May 1, 2013 at 9:41 PM, Stephen P. King <stephe...@charter.net>wrote:


> 1) Brain functions are not computable because* *most of its important
> features are the result of unpredictable, nonlinear interactions among
> billions of cells.

Well 10^11 neurons in the brain is a big number and 10^15 synapses in that
brain is a even bigger number, but it is no where near to being infinite
and every one of those neurons and every one of the 10^4 neurons in that
neuron operates according to the laws of physics, therefore it is
computable. It's true that random behavior is not computable, but hardware
electronic random number generators cost about $2 if you think having one
is important.

> 2) we may never be able to explain how and why we have qualia

Even if that is true it would be irrelevant if you're reverse engineering a
brain, if a upload works you don't need to understand why it works.

> 3) we still need to figure out how our brains segregate elements in
> complex patterns, a process that allows us to distinguish them as discrete
> objects.

Computers can perform object recognition, I admit that today's computers
are slow at it but they are rapidly getting better and it is certainly no
show stopper.

> > 4) Mind-body dualism is true, consciousness lies somewhere outside the
> brai*n*, perhaps as some ethereal soul or spirit.

We know for a fact that if we change the brain consciousness changes and we
know for a fact that if our consciousness changes so does our brain, and
that certainly doesn't sound like dualism to me. And so ethereal soul joins
luminiferous aether and phlogiston as obsolete scientific terms, although
this point is sure to be a hit with  Jesus freaks and snake handlers.

> 5) It would be unethical to develop

I see nothing unethical about it but it would be irrelevant even if it was.
This was supposed to be a list of reasons why uploading couldn't happen not
why it shouldn't.

> 6) We can never be sure it works[...]  the* *continuity of consciousness
> problem

We can't be sure about anything. I think. And there is no continuity
problem, the external world might jump ahead but to itself consciousness is
always continuous.

7) Uploaded minds would be vulnerable to hacking and abuse

And non uploaded biological brains are vulnerable to bacteria, viruses, and
physical abuse; and at least with uploads you can always keep a up to date
backup stashed away in a safe place far away.

In short  these pathetic "reasons" would not convince one single member of
the species Homo sapiens that uploading was impossible unless they already
very much wanted to be convinced.

  John K Clark

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