Podcast No. 40 Posted 4/18/2011   Leave a comment

Podcast No. 40 Posted 4/18/2011

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TITLE:  Truths of Terasem – The “What” of Terasem  2.8 – 2.8.6

SUB TITLE:  Assuring paradise for posterity.

SUMMARY:  This week we look at the fascinating subjects of protecting lives by copying them, and resurrecting all good lives as copies of forever joyful data emulations.  We’ll talk about why the fidelity of emulations will yield ethical emulations and faithful resurrections.  We’ll also see how we can assure paradise for posterity by modifying data emulations to delete tortuous aspects of lives.

Music  – “Earthseed” fades out, as the voice recording begins.

(Fred)  Hi, we’re Fred & Linda Chamberlain, with podcast 40 on the Truths of Terasem.  Today, we’re going to be talking about identity emulation and what that means for all of us regarding immortality, or identity survival.

(Linda)  I really like this part, Fred.  Forty years ago when we got together and were excited about the prospects for saving our lives through cryostasis, it was a thrilling time.  The only down side to that was that we couldn’t see any alternative to remaining biological, with all the limitations and inconveniences that represents.  Now, with the prospects of transcending biology, it’s even more exciting than ever!

(Fred)  I agree.  And, I’m going to take this in stages.  Back in the late 1980’s, I wrote and presented a paper called “New Directions in Cryonics”, and it’s online at lifepact.com/newdirections.htm. To date, it still represents my best thinking on how to get people back out of cryonic suspension, perfectly reanimated, or if that doesn’t work out, rebuild them from data alone if necessary, but the treatment in “New Directions in Cryonics” is far too complex to even synopsize here, so I’m going to cut through the red tape and give you the simplest vision I have on how this might work, in a way that would be satisfactory to me.

Others will surely disagree, saying that this would not satisfy them, and I’m OK with that.  All I’m going to do is describe what I would find entirely adequate as a baseline, and I think it’s likely that any who share this outlook will have no problem with anything else that comes later.

I’ll keep it “biological”, with no appeals to mindfile emulation, brain-map uploading, memory implantation, creation of exact or inexact duplicates, or other yet-to-be-developed information or nanotech repair technologies.  There will be a few assumptions about the guided growth of a cloned biological body, under hypnosis, but that’s all.  Later, I’ll talk about getting people back from nothing beyond inscriptions on tombstones, but by then, those who are still with me will have no trouble with that, and all of the Truths of Terasem for today will seem perfectly straightforward and acceptable.  Want me to take a shot at that, Linda?

(Linda)  Sound’s pretty wild to me, but give it a try.  I’m not sure anyone has ever gone at it this way, before!

(Fred)  As Neo said in the movie Matrix, “That’s why it’s going to work!”  More seriously, here we go.  Let’s assume that a cloned infant is brought to full term and cared for by a surrogate mother, nanny, whatever you want, probably a simple chatbot with a memory foam body would do, as long as the voice was sufficiently warm and expressive, and then the guided ‘upbringing’ would begin.

The idea, and this would be a pretty standard protocol, would be to employ any necessary level of hypnotic guidance to bring about acquisition of language and development of physical capacities.  If a virtual reality were required, as in Matrix with the body cared for and exercised in a pod, with social interactions of an almost holodeck kind, that would be OK.  The social mystery that would be generic to this virtual culture would be, “Where did we all come from?  Who am I?”  So far, this is all science fiction, but I think it is believably within the scope of current or near term technology, would you agree?

(Linda)  At least you’re not talking about making copies of people with matter transporters.  Where is this all going, though?  Sooner or later, this clone of yours is going to have to find out it’s all a ‘guided growth’ situation.

(Fred)  Right.  At some point, just like Neo in “The Matrix”, and without even the benefit of choosing the ‘red pill’, this genomic twin has to wake up in the real world, and be told exactly what’s happened.  The clone would probably be given a copy of an autobiography and told, “Here’s who you are and the instructions about reanimation you left before you were placed into stasis.  You wrote this before you went into cryostasis.  You said that you never wanted to be uploaded, because you thought that ‘wouldn’t be you’, but you did agree that if we couldn’t foresee ever getting you back by biologically reanimating you, you’d rather come back this way, than not at all.  So, this is what you got.  Are you happy with it?”

Now of course, if I were the resuscitation tech in this scenario, I’d be pretty surprised if the clone didn’t flash me a wide grin and say, ‘Yes!’ And, knowing what I do now, I’d also be pretty surprised if, after finding out that only a few biological people were still around, the clone  didn’t ask, ‘Why are there so few people left in the world, who are also biological?  Are they all still waiting to be brought back like I was?’

The resuscitation tech would probably be somewhat perplexed and sadly reply, “Are you serious?  Almost no one left instructions to come back in biological form.  Most biohumans, about 99.99 percent of all those who were still alive when cyberconsciousness was perfected, chose to make the jump into cyberspace as soon as possible, trading in those old biobodies first for avatars in virtual realities and then for bodies made of nanobots swarms, for any space exploration adventures they wanted, or even probing places on Earth not so easily accessible, like the depths of the oceans or caves as yet undiscovered due to the sizes of passageways, underwater character, etc.

“You’re living in a tiny colony of people who, at an earlier time, didn’t believe anything like that would ever be possible.  Now what you have to ask yourself is, and you’ve got all the time in the world to think about it and talk it over with others in your colony, do you want to stay the way you are, or join the rest of us?”

And, of course, I’d hope that even if I had been that clone, stubborn to the point of not believing it was going to be possible, I’d have adjusted and finally made the decision to join the rest of Humanity, in cyberspace!”

Now, I’ll get into the Truths for today, if that’s OK!

(Linda)  Well, that was an interesting scenario.  Assuming that it leads into today’s topic matter, I’ll begin with, 2.8  “Resurrection is promised to all good lives, which shall be copied as forever joyful data emulations.”  Because they are so closely related, this can be coupled with 2.8.3   “Paradise for posterity is assured by modifying data emulations to delete tortuous aspects of lives.” And in this regard, Michael Perry, in Forever for All, says it very well: Quote:

“In particular, evil beings will be resurrected along with everybody else and cured of their unfortunate tendencies, to join the others in advancing to unlimited heights.  (For I regard propensity to evil, rather than being an innate or identity-critical property of certain “lost” natures, as a treatable ailment.)  Beings with other shortcomings can be similarly assisted and can then join the advance.  Yuai [Universal Immortalism], then, is a form of Universalism—proclaiming that all shall be saved in the end and enjoy an eternal reward.”

I think Mike Perry takes on the broadest perspectives here, transcending all of those identity questions you were battling with to address the more serious questions about those whose personal histories are laden with dark choices.  Can we, should we, even think about leaving them behind?  Or, should we bring them along?

(Fred)  I’m going to say a few kind words about the Catholic Church here, because I think it is so important.  Their practice of confessions and forgiveness has been unfairly labeled as unjustified coddling of criminal impulses, such as was so well portrayed in the “Godfather” film series, but the other side of the coin is that this kept the door open for those who might have had mixed feelings about what they were doing to experience a ‘change of heart’ and want to backpedal out of the misery they had created both for themselves and others.

Taken to extremes, those who have had a history of finding themselves in circumstances of either taking a savage delight in causing terrible pains for others, or doing so under inescapable pressures, when they are finally confronted with adjusting to a society that had done away with such actions as being despicable beyond imagination, or being excluded from such a society as being an ‘untouchable’, might become among the most vocal of those acknowledging the terrible burden of what in the Buddhist culture is known as ‘karma’, and being among the strongest of all who would proclaim the importance of ‘never forgetting’ the pitfalls that such actions represented.

I guess I picture that among those who were in the grip of the Nazi horror preceding the Second World War, there would have been far more who found themselves in positions that forced them to either work in the death camps as enforcers, or be punished by immediate execution or even worse, being thrown amongst the incarcerated to await execution with the history of their previous roles, neither choice being psychologically tolerable.

Those who, in that situation, fully embraced the ‘dark side of the force’ might have sunk to the utmost depths of psychological derangement, if they ever managed to adjust to a realization of what monsters they had been, would be part of the ‘cultural memory’ of such times, and be willing to go forward as living ‘red flags’ against the possibility of such a time ever coming again.  Who’s to say?  A lot to think about, without rushing at this moment into foreseeing what would be the best answer.

(Linda)  A lot to think about, for sure, and we will look at it again next week.  For now, let’s go back and pick up 2.8.1 “Copied lives are protected lives.”  By your first description above, as long as there’s a genome of yours and that autobiography you mentioned, there’s a way to go on, in one way or another.  And, in all the more diverse ways in which we now picture mindfile or brain-map uploading, being ‘backed up’ is even more of a protective shield against being lost, for lack of such backup.  In her fascinating blog, Mindfiles, Mindclones and Mindware, dated February 20, 2011 and titled: “What If My Mindclone Wants To Be Me?”, Martine opens with, (quote):  “Your mindclone will want to be you because your mindclone will be you.  I know this is tough to swallow, so with a nod to former President Bill Clinton[i], let’s say it all comes down to how you define what makes ‘me’ me.  ;-)” (end quote)

Martine continues,

“Much of philosophy and psychology grapples with the meaning of me.  Yet there is little that is agreed upon.  To most people, ‘me’ is a first person pronoun for a consciousness.  There is also general agreement that no two consciousnesses are the same, so  ‘me’ is equivalent to personal uniqueness.  To such people, if they came upon someone exactly like themselves, they would have to conclude that ‘me’ was a two-body self – still unique, but spread across two bodies.  We never have that experience, so we feel strongly that me is a totally unique entity, both in consciousness and embodiment, and it is that very uniqueness, that makes ‘me’ me.”

After the subheading “Unique-Entity Definition of Me”, Martine continues as follows:

“Now this unique-entity definition of me does not require that me’s uniqueness be static.  Everyone realizes we are constantly forgetting, and more-getting, thinking good thoughts on one day and bad thoughts on another.  Hence, me’s uniqueness really means a unique stream of connected conscious states.  I am ‘me’ because I have pretty much the same (but not exactly, as I know they are subtly changing) mannerisms, personality, recollections, feelings, beliefs, attitudes and values as previously, or at least I remember once having them and evolving from them.  This is what is meant by ‘connected conscious states.’  I am me because, for starters, when I wake up each morning, I remember (ie, I know) where I am, who I am, when I am, what I should do, why I’m doing it, and how I got to these states of being.  It’s not like I need a user’s manual.”

In the next Element, 2.8.2, we find “Original lives can be replicated with the same fidelity as analog sounds can be digitally duplicated,” and here again, from Martine’s blog:

“Part of the unique-entity view of me is the perspective that ‘me’ is kind of a fiction.  In this philosophical-psychological theory, the concept of a ‘me’ is something the immense neural web in our brain naturally makes up (greatly assisted by language and social conditioning).   A constant ‘me’ is an effective organizational axis for a brain that receives blizzards of input.  A body that does what ‘me’ says will usually be a happier body.   ‘Me’ is not an organ in my brain.  It is simply a term for a neural pattern that associates its connected body, and its safety and even survival, with relatively consistent personal characteristics.   In the same way that the brain interprets the jerky images sent to it by the eye as a stable image, the brain interprets the jerky thoughts arising in it as a stable identity — me.  Brains that did not do this did not pass on that survival-threatening dysfunction to many offspring.   Something in our genetic coding predisposes neural patterns to construct a ‘me.’  Perhaps it is related to our propensity for language.”

(Fred)  2.8 and 2.8.3 were/could be coupled together as above.  2.8.3 says, “Paradise for posterity is assured by modifying data emulations to delete tortuous aspects of lives.”  In 2.8.4 we have, “Introspection plus computation, growing double exponentially and supported with self-replication, yields ethical emulation and faithful resurrection.”  Here again, Martine’s blog so well addresses these that quoting from it is our best choice, (quote):

“The Your Life or Mine Challenge” (that’s the title line, and continuing, Martine says, “At most presentations I give about mindclones, I can count on one of the following questions:

“Come on, if either me or my mindclone is forced to choose one of us to die, who do you think will get the slug to the head?   Proof that we are not one person is that I would fry my mindclone and my mindclone would fry me.”

A variant of this challenge is as follows:

“Suppose I have a mindclone, but I then find out that I have a fatal illness and will die.  You know that I’ll be very sad to leave this good green earth.  That sadness alone is proof that I’m not my mindclone and my mindclone’s not me.  If we were one person, then I wouldn’t be sad.”

“These two challenges fail to realize that making a choice that favors part of you, or being sad about losing part of you, is a natural aspect of our composite me-ness.   Those choices or sadness are not proof of different identities.  Any composite being will have different feelings about different parts.”

And a little further into her blog:  “The answer to the “Your Life or Mine” challenge is that making a larger me, via mindcloning, implies different mental biases with respect to decisions, as well as both more possible sorrow over loss and more possible comfort over survival.  The software substrate of you will think, if there must be a choice, that you will be more happy as IT substrate than as flesh, and the flesh substrate of you will think the opposite.   This doesn’t make them different people.  They are both trying to make the best of the situation for YOU, taking into account their substrate biases.  But there is a continual stream of conscious states that transcends substrate.  That continual stream is YOU.   Each manifestation of YOU is trying to make the best decision for YOU.  Let’s give our conversational skeptic another visit:

(Fred and Linda alternate with the two voices L=Master; F=Royal.)

(Linda) Master Me:  “I get the point about one ‘me’ transcending two forms.  But the fact remains that if the flesh ‘me’ is killed, then I will no longer have all these flesh sensations I appreciate.  The mindclone continuation of me will never reprise my flesh feelings.  That ‘me’ is gone.”

(Fred) Royal Me-ness:  “Losing your flesh body would be a humongous tragedy, no doubt about it.  But suppose you lost just your legs.  Would you still be you?”

Master Me:  “Of course.”

Royal Me-ness:  “How about paralyzed from the neck down?  Still you?”

Master Me:  “Horrible, but yes, still some shrunken form of me.”

Royal Me-ness:  “Then you have agreed that if all that is left is your mind, you have suffered a terrible loss, but it is not the end of your ‘me-ness.’”

Master Me:  “Then at what point is my me-ness totally gone?

Royal Me-ness:  “It is partly a matter of fact, and partly a matter of philosophy.  Objectively, your me-ness is gone when observers could not find evidence that your unique pattern of thoughts and memories responded to events in the world.”

Master Me:  “Such as if both my mindclone and flesh body were gone?”

Royal Me-ness:  “Yes.  But it could still be hypothesized that your unique pattern of thoughts and memories were responding to events in the world as interlaced subroutines within the minds of other people who knew you.”

Master Me:  “Wow.  That would mean that I continued to live as kind of a fractured self embedded in others?”

Royal Me-ness:  “Exactly.  Advanced psycho-metric techniques might even be able to detect this, and extract it back into a mindclone.”

Master Me:  “Whoah, that’s wild!”

Royal Me-ness:  “And philosophically, if your unique pattern of thoughts and memories are simply expressions of a deeper, underlying humanity-wide mindspace, then nothing has really been lost at all.  You live on in the global mindspace, although you don’t feel like you any more.”

Master Me:  “I rather like me, so I think I’ll stick with my mindclone.  At least I know that’s really me.”

Royal Me-ness:  “There you go.”

(Fred – Continuing)  That was an interesting journey.  We have two more elements to go.  They are: 2.8.5 “Emulated lives are existential lives.” And 2.8.6 “Duplication of a life makes it durable, not diminished.”  These, when you look at them closely, are virtually self evident, and that’s the kind of ‘truth’ that’s easiest; one that’s ‘true’ on the surface.

The first of these says that if a life is emulated, it’s a ‘real’ life.  That is to say, if it walks and talks like a duck, and lays duck eggs, it’s a real duck.  There are some who would argue that, but I think we lost them about three minutes into this podcast.

The final Element about a duplicated life being durable, and not diminished, is similarly pretty obvious.  Let’s say, while using my nanobots swarm body, I’m walking down a dark rooftop, and I’m confronted by four muggers.  By an act of will, the one of me turns into eight, each of them equal in size and armament to the muggers.  As a group, we’re not only more durable, but as a team, we each know each other so well, that if I picture myself pushing one of the muggers toward the edge of the roof, the other eight me’s likely have the same picture in his mind, and in defending ourselves, we may be like fingers on two hands playing a piano, rather than how it might be if I had turned myself into eight strangers instead of eight exact duplicates.

More likely, with the surprise appearance of eight of me, the muggers would have parachuted off the roof quickly (rooftop muggers always wear parachutes), after which the eight ‘me’s’ would chuckle about it for a moment, re-coalesce into one, and continue the stroll, or, we might find ourselves in such an immediate conversation about how to complete all of the projects were working on in one eighth the time or less, as a team, that we’d elect to stay eight vs. one, or even duplicate one more time into sixteen.  Who knows?  What seems impossible today may seem so easy and sensible tomorrow that everyone will be doing it.  After all, if we’re going to emulate the entire visible universe in six hundred years of real time, as elsewhere in the Truths is predicted, we’re going to have to do an awful lot of duplication to bring it off.

(Linda) (laughing)  If we could split into sixty couples, we could knock out 120 podcasts every week!  I was going to ask why you were walking on a rooftop, but we’re almost out of time!

(Fred)  Sounds like a perfect time to invite listeners to find out how to  join Terasem and be part of spreading these life enhancing memes.  It’s as easy as going to terasemfaith.net. And if you like the idea of being part of this sojourn into the future, without even any cost, start building your own mindfile at either CyBeRev.org or LifeNaut.com.  Plus, if you want to preserve your DNA very inexpensively, you can do that at LifeNaut.com, too.

(Linda)  For those of you who love games, Mike Clancy, at Terasem, has created the new maze-based game for the Android. It’s addictive because the difficulty ramps up quickly with multiple layers of challenges.  While you are trying to build motor neurons inside a brain, plaques are obstructing your path and you have to avoid macrophages that are hunting you down!

(Fred)  Here’s the premise from the introduction to the app: “You are an artificial intelligence charged with controlling a nanobot inside a human brain. The brain belongs to a person who has just been resuscitated after being cryonically stored for almost 50 years. You have been chosen because, ironically, the person being restored to life is the same person on whom you (the AI) were based! Their mannerisms, personality, recollections, feelings, beliefs, attitudes and values were recorded and stored with the CyBeRev project and later coupled with mindware to create your digital persona.

(Linda) And I’d like to invite everyone to discover, if you haven’t already, my favorite blog:  mindclones.blogspot.com.  Martine Rothblatt will treat you to fascinating discussions about mindclones, mindfiles and mindware that will take you far, far beyond what we are able to just sample lightly in these podcasts.  And you can find the text version of these podcasts at truthsofterasem.wordpress.com.

(Fred)  If you’ve been enjoying the music that we use on this podcast series, it’s called Earthseed.  It’s the Terasem Anthem.  It was written by Martine Rothblatt, who also plays the flute and the keyboard.  If you’d like to experience that music in a video, with spectacular astronomical artwork, go to the Join! tab on the terasemfaith.net website.

(Linda)  Join us, and our quest for an endless future…

(Fred)  Come with us – into Tomorrow!

Closing music – no fade – full length.

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Posted April 24, 2011 by Truths of Terasem - Podcasts in Uncategorized

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