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SteveDeFacto

Selling eternal life! Is anyone interested?


65 posts in this topic

I've been thinking about brain computer interfaces a lot lately since in my opinion they are the future of video games and the internet as a whole. Imagine actually being inside a video game or accessing facebook or twitter with your mind or even pulling up information from google without physically typing one word or carrying a laptop/cell phone.

I also think this would bring into affect a new open source government utilizing collective intelligence in which citizens would be able to vote on key issues with nothing more than a thought. Eventually we would be able to emulate neural networks surpassing 100 billion neurons and true artificial intelligence would be born. At this point one could simply scan their brain and live forever but all of this is very far into the future.

Except possibly a super high resolution brain scanner which would allow you to live forever on no more than a few terabytes of hard drive space! Think about, if there were a scanner capable of capturing imagines with high enough resolution to see cellular structures and what they are made of, this could [font="Arial"][size="2"]conceivably be used to construct a virtual model of a human brain. In the future these images could be used to emulate the the person exactly as they were at the time of the scan.[/size][/font]
[font="Arial"] [/font]
[font="Arial"][size="2"]So in conclusion, I'm wondering how many of you would be interested in such a scan if the technology were available today? I know I would jump on it in a heartbeat![/size][/font][img]http://public.gamedev.net/public/style_emoticons/default/laugh.gif[/img]
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Assuming that there exists such a scanner, it doesn't follow that there necessarily exists the technology to reconstruct a brain with the exact state as the scanned one. But assuming that there is such a technique..

Yeah, I think it's obvious that almost everyone would do it. The question is whether everyone could afford it.

I'm curious why you seem to think it would be good to have a pure democracy -- one in which everyone voted on everything. I look around this country and the average level intelligence and I thank god most these people are too lazy to get off the couch and go in to vote.
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[quote name='rip-off' timestamp='1304605971' post='4806929']
You wouldn't live forever... the copy of you on the computer might though.
[/quote]


It's essentially the same thing but you just have to look at it from a logical prospective instead of an emotional one. It's known fact that every living cell in your body is replaced in a period of no more than 7 years. The structures and information that makes "you" are maintained but the physical living cells are gone. The structure of your brain and your DNA is information that can be stored on a hard drive. This information can be used to rebuild "you" just like the natural processes in your body do in no more than 7 years.
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[quote name='A Brain in a Vat' timestamp='1304604231' post='4806919']
Assuming that there exists such a scanner, it doesn't follow that there necessarily exists the technology to reconstruct a brain with the exact state as the scanned one. But assuming that there is such a technique..

Yeah, I think it's obvious that almost everyone would do it. The question is whether everyone could afford it.

I'm curious why you seem to think it would be good to have a pure democracy -- one in which everyone voted on everything. I look around this country and the average level intelligence and I thank god most these people are too lazy to get off the couch and go in to vote.
[/quote]

I don't think a pure democracy would work with stupid people. This is the reason I think there should be a competency test on every vote made. Personally I also think the right to have children should be restricted which would solve the idiot problem in the long run and over population as well...
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I would not want to live on a hard drive as I couldn't do anything besides exist. If there were a significantly powerful CPU attached, I would have to think about it more.
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I dont want to live on a hard drive, I live a "hard" life already...ugh life sucks x(
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[quote name='SteveDeFacto' timestamp='1304606879' post='4806935']
[quote name='rip-off' timestamp='1304605971' post='4806929']
You wouldn't live forever... the copy of you on the computer might though.
[/quote]
It's essentially the same thing but you just have to look at it from a logical prospective instead of an emotional one. It's known fact that every living cell in your body is replaced in a period of no more than 7 years. The structures and information that makes "you" are maintained but the physical living cells are gone. The structure of your brain and your DNA is information that can be stored on a hard drive. This information can be used to rebuild "you" just like the natural processes in your body do in no more than 7 years.
[/quote]

This reminds me of something in the [url="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0482571/"]The Prestige[/url] (not going to put any spoilers here). I'd have to agree with rip-off. The computer version might see it that way, but I'm not sure the original who has to actual die will.

Also, how will you really know the copy of you is "you"? Given the fact that the two will co-exist at some point, wouldn't that prove it really isn't you, since from that point on it really is two separate lives making separate decisions.
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[quote]
It's essentially the same thing but you just have to look at it from a logical prospective instead of an emotional one.
[/quote]
Not really. I know cells get replenished, that is beside the point. I might be constantly gaining and losing cells, but from moment to moment there is a lot of continuity.

The desire to live a long life is that ones perceived state of consciousness gets to continue. If you creates an independent copy of yourself, then if it continues for a long time it doesn't change the fact that your consciousness will still lead a divergent life and eventually face a biological end. I don't know how much consolation having such a copy would provide, trapped as we are in our mortal bodies.

Marketing it as "eternal life" seems like false advertising to me.
[quote]
I don't think a pure democracy would work with stupid people...
[/quote]
I don't necessarily believe the average person is [i]stupid[/i]. That is the impression one gets from having to listen to a loud minority. I believe most people are apathetic and uninterested, stemming from the limited control they have over the decisions they care about. Direct democracy where you are voting on individual issues would probably increase political engagement and decrease apathy, if it could be done in an efficient manner. The proposed system, barring fraud concerns, would be a candidate in enabling some form of direct democracy.

It would certainly be interesting so see the outcome of such a process. I know Switzerland has some form of direct democracy but even then they are limited by the physical nature of the polling system.
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[quote name='Promit Roy' timestamp='1304611020' post='4806956']
Caroline deleted.
[/quote]

I'd say, that about sums it up.
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[quote name='Rattrap' timestamp='1304609165' post='4806944']
This reminds me of something in the [url="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0482571/"]The Prestige[/url] (not going to put any spoilers here). I'd have to agree with rip-off. The computer version might see it that way, but I'm not sure the original who has to actual die will.

Also, how will you really know the copy of you is "you"? Given the fact that the two will co-exist at some point, wouldn't that prove it really isn't you, since from that point on it really is two separate lives making separate decisions.
[/quote]

What would you think about it from a species advancement perspective? If we could store our smartest minds on a harddrive to keep on working post death, we could see some amazing advancements. Any reasonably driven person could reach many times the knowledge gained by any biological human. It would also be interesting to see how much a human brain could think of with the entire knowledge base of humanity interfaced with their "brain".
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A modern harddisk has an alleged MTBF of 600,000 hours (about 68 years). The [i]observed [/i]MTBF of the disks that I owned during the last 10 years was around 15,000 hours (there used to be a time, during the 1980s, when harddisks were of a much better quality).

I would really hope for my personal MTBF being somewhat higher than 15,000 hours.

(This means: no)
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[quote name='way2lazy2care' timestamp='1304613253' post='4806969']
What would you think about it from a species advancement perspective? If we could store our smartest minds on a harddrive to keep on working post death, we could see some amazing advancements. Any reasonably driven person could reach many times the knowledge gained by any biological human. It would also be interesting to see how much a human brain could think of with the entire knowledge base of humanity interfaced with their "brain".
[/quote]


Can you really call it a human brain after it has been digitized?
Would it perceive itself as human anymore and if not, would it care about humanity anymore like [url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dr._Manhattan#Doctor_Manhattan"]Doctor_Manhattan[/url] in Watchmen?
Which species would it be more interested in advancing: human or electronic?
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[quote name='Rattrap' timestamp='1304615112' post='4806990']
[quote name='way2lazy2care' timestamp='1304613253' post='4806969']
What would you think about it from a species advancement perspective? If we could store our smartest minds on a harddrive to keep on working post death, we could see some amazing advancements. Any reasonably driven person could reach many times the knowledge gained by any biological human. It would also be interesting to see how much a human brain could think of with the entire knowledge base of humanity interfaced with their "brain".
[/quote]


Can you really call it a human brain after it has been digitized?
Would it perceive itself as human anymore and if not, would it care about humanity anymore like [url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dr._Manhattan#Doctor_Manhattan"]Doctor_Manhattan[/url] in Watchmen?
Which species would it be more interested in advancing: human or electronic?
[/quote]


It would be the person who was copied though I guess over time it's perspective may change. Like if you gave a hobo a million dollars they would become stuck up over a very short period of time. If you gave someone eternal life who knows what may happen?

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[quote name='Rattrap' timestamp='1304615112' post='4806990']
Can you really call it a human brain after it has been digitized?
Would it perceive itself as human anymore and if not, would it care about humanity anymore like [url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dr._Manhattan#Doctor_Manhattan"]Doctor_Manhattan[/url] in Watchmen?
Which species would it be more interested in advancing: human or electronic?
[/quote]

I don't think I called it a human brain. I'd still argue it was a human consciousness though, as it started that way. Really it comes down to what makes you human; your physical body or something else? In the case of Doctor Manhattan, I would still consider him a "human" consciousness despite having a non-human form and vastly expanded capabilities. I will say it did always bug me how he seemed to lose humor after becoming more intelligent as, in my experience, intelligence affects humor positively rather than negatively.
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[quote name='way2lazy2care' timestamp='1304617010' post='4807001']
I don't think I called it a human brain. I'd still argue it was a human consciousness though, as it started that way. Really it comes down to what makes you human; your physical body or something else? In the case of Doctor Manhattan, I would still consider him a "human" consciousness despite having a non-human form and vastly expanded capabilities. I will say it did always bug me how he seemed to lose humor after becoming more intelligent as, in my experience, intelligence affects humor positively rather than negatively.
[/quote]


I don't believe it had anything to do with his intelligence, as much as his perception of reality. He barely saw himself as human. In fact I think the only reason he did was due to his perception of all events on his life, past, present, and future, all at the same time. He knew the future, but he also knew he couldn't change it. His conversations with Laurie on the Mars were some of my favorites, where he would talk about conversations they hadn't had yet. The women in his life were pretty much his only real tie to humanity, which when those were severed, he pretty much gave up on humanity.
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You have to take into account the presently unimaginable pressure of immortality.

A human's entire span of existence has traditionally been ~40-50 years. It's only recently that it has become feasible for any given person to expect to live for 80 years or so. Discounting the jarring transition from having a body to having only thoughts, how long could your mind really tolerate persisting?

Would you run out of things to think about after 200 years of being able to do nothing but think? And you wouldn't be wasting any time sleeping either. I feel like the human psyche would need to be significantly altered to deal with existence on the order of centuries rather than decades, especially with the risk of death coming from so many fewer quarters. Would a human mind, transferred this way, survive for all that much longer without losing a grip on sanity? Would a mind that can successfully last in this state be recognizably human at all?

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[b][url="../../user/183304-a-brain-in-a-vat/"]A Brain in a Vat[/url] just posted what I was gonna say
[/b]
if u copy yourself (say its possible & will last forever) i.e. u hold a chip in your hands & declare now I will live forever.
How much comfort is that for you, would you stick a bullet through your head (cause you know you will still live on) the answer is NO it doesnt change anything at all, your soul (not used religiously) dies when your body dies

If you want to live forever the better method is nanobots (or something)
cruising through your body removing all aging effects/disease etc
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[quote name='zedz' timestamp='1304627384' post='4807061']
[b]A Brain in a Vat just posted what I was gonna say
[/b]
if u copy yourself (say its possible & will last forever) i.e. u hold a chip in your hands & declare now I will live forever.
How much comfort is that for you, would you stick a bullet through your head (cause you know you will still live on) the answer is NO it doesnt change anything at all, your soul (not used religiously) dies when your body dies

If you want to live forever the better method is nanobots (or something)
cruising through your body removing all aging effects/disease etc
[/quote]

How do you feel that your body differs from any other vessel that might hold your mind? It's fine to say that you aren't using the word soul in a religious sense. Then how are you using it? What if it's not a copy-paste operation, but a cut-and-paste? The first causes a bifurcation of identity, but the second doesn't.

It's true that even if there's only a single, persistent entity before, during, and after the mind-digitization process there will still be a pretty significant event which will likely alter that entity afterwards. But is that fundamentally different from any other significant event, even if the body (as a construct of constantly changing components) persists along with the mind? There are lots of anecdotes about people who are quite different after a near-death experience than they were prior to it; are these different people under your (and Brain in a Vat's) conceptualization?
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Living forever is such a waste. I do think though, that this could be useful in a manner such as [u]We Can Remember It for You Wholesale[/u] (aka Total Recall) once you can figure out how to implant brain images.

Then again, this could lead to not so great conclusions. While being able to have an entire life's knowledge & education implanted within a young child sounds good, this is heavily exploitable.
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