Podcast No. 44 Posted 5/16/2011   Leave a comment

Podcast No. 44 Posted 5/16/2011

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TITLE:  Truths of Terasem – The “Where” of Terasem  3.2 – 3.2.6

SUB TITLE:  Cyberbirthing and multiple instantiations.

SUMMARY:  In this podcast we look at how virtual reality accommodates all beings, including emulated past lives, migrated current lives, or cyberbirthed new lives.   We’ll see why instantiating yourself into a software form is like getting an education – some things change and some don’t.  And why you never need fear having multiple versions of yourself  – they will all update each other in the same way family does.

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

(Fred)  Hi, we’re Fred & Linda Chamberlain, with podcast 44 on the Truths of Terasem.  Today we’re going to be talking about three new forms of how to ‘get reborn’ or ‘give birth’ within the universe.

(Linda) Does that mean I have to choose between having babies or going back to being a baby?  Neither one sounds inviting, to me!

(Fred)  Neither, we hope.  We’re excluding biological births, because we already know about that.  As Mark Twain said in Letters from the Earth, even animals know about that.  They learned it from watching Adam and Eve eat the apple; learned all about sex without having to get the sin that goes with it!

(Linda)  (laughing)  OK!  You’ve heard me tell that story too often about the high school class where they showed a film of a baby being born and I said to myself, “I’m not going to ever do something like that to *my* self!”  So, am I going to find these other kinds of birth more inspiring?

(Fred)  I hope so.  To begin with, unlike the kind of births you were spooked by, they’re not painful, like an alien cutting its way out of your body, and they’re not painful in another way, like a long childhood, because we’re talking about births where the ‘newborn’ is a fully competent adult cyberbeing.  No biology, no diapers or teaching the newborn to say ma-ma or da-da, and so on.  Let’s dig in.  It all starts with 3.2, “Virtual reality accommodates all beings, including emulated past lives, migrated current lives, or cyberbirthed new lives.”  Let’s have a look at each of those:

(1) ‘Emulated past lives’ is the easiest, since that’s the way Terasem’s CyBeRev program is primarily designed to accommodate.  You anticipate that after you build your mindfiles, and you ‘pass on’, you awaken in cyberspace fully self-conscious and in possession of language, welcomed by others who got there first, maybe friends or family, and it’s like an endless trip to Disneyworld from that point on.

(2) ‘Migrated current lives’ is a little more advanced, like our talk on “cybertwins” suggested.  Let’s say you’re a cryonicist, but you know that after you’re placed in cryonic suspension you want a ‘twin’ who shares all your ideas looking out for you, until they work out a way to reanimate you.  So, even before you grow old, or sick, or have some kind of accident that might necessitate your getting frozen, you’re now spending hours at your computer talking to this ‘other you’ in cyberspace, maybe even somewhere like Second Life, adding to the mindfiles from which he or she came to be by filling in details about your past, which is really a very much “shared past”.

You work out how you want your cybertwin to watch out over your frozen self as a patient advocate, manage the Trust that in a way, you both share, and since it’s appropriate, you work out a detailed “partnership” agreement between the two of you, not that you ever expect to disagree, but this covers that unlikely contingency, the same way you buy auto insurance.

(3)  We could go on talking about migrated current lives for a long while but let’s get to the third one, because it’s by far the most interesting.  The term ‘cyberbirthed new lives’ takes in every kind of conceivable mindfile combination you can imagine.  The one you and I have talked about most is the idea of taking the two of us, our normal, human left-brain, right-brain personalities, and once we have a well organized mindware life as a couple going in cyberspace, combining the two of them into a four-component personality, like we managed to put our two left-brains and two right-brains into one huge skull, add a link like the bridge that currently connects our two brain pairs together, that now links our two verbal selves and non-verbal selves, and see if we like it?  We wouldn’t have to stop ‘being who we are”, two perfectly normal and conventional cyberbeings to spin off this “quadrapole” personality, as we’ve referred to it, but as an experiment, it would be fascinating, and it’s just one of an infinite number of possibilities.

(Linda)  But what if we found we woke up with a huge headache?  Or, if we had some kind of cyber-epileptic seizures that we couldn’t foresee?  And, we’d be lonely for companionship with another person, wouldn’t we?  How would that work?

(Fred)  No problem.  Bad headaches or incurable cyber-epilepsy?  We just OD on high voltage and it’s bye-bye to that experiment.  As to the need for companionship, assuming it’s still just two genders for emulating orgasms in cyberspace, we’d ‘copy’ ourselves, flip a coin for genders, and we’d be off and running.  If it turns out that inventive mindware people have gotten it down to the place where there’s five separate and fully independent kinds of genders, we’d simply run off four copies instead of just one.  In that case, of course, we’d have to make some adaptations to ourselves as well, not to miss out!

(Linda)  Sounds like a lot of fun.  What other kinds of cyberbirthed new lives might there be?

(Fred)  Lots, but we’re short on time and have to push on.  Still, I’m sure you recall that musician we talked about in a previous podcast that would run off enough copies for an entire orchestra, and parcel out enough of each gender so no one gets lonely, right?

(Linda)   Right!  OK, let me take this next one!  3.2.1 says,      “Beings be because they can think on their own and empathize with other beings, like humans.”  We don’t draw the line on who’s going to join the party, as long as we’re all committed to a common code of Geoethics upholding the virtues of diversity with unity and the pursuit of joyful immortality.  Whether you grew up next door from me or evolved halfway across the galaxy from something like a sperm whale two and a half million years ago is immaterial, as far as I’m concerned.  If we go hiking, you’ll probably ‘go avatar’ as a biped, like me, and if we go for a swim, we’ll be in sperm whale avatars.  Just like putting on a swimming suit, as you wrote about in “Nothing’s Impossible” twenty years ago.

Fred  Right on!  And 3.2.2 tells us, “Emulated beings be because they think on their own and empathize with other beings, like humans.”  Hey, by the time we’re swimming with sperm whales from halfway across the milky way, everybody in the water is going to be emulated from something or other of a biological origin, somewhere back along the way. We’re into the most fundamental notions of what consciousness is, here.  In Martine Rothblatt’s mindclones blog on 7-14-2009, titled What is Cyberconsciousness?, she quotes from The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, by Robert Heinlein, as follows (quote):

“Am not going to argue whether a machine can really be alive, really be self-aware. Is a virus self-aware? Nyet. How about oyster? I doubt it. A cat? Almost certainly. A human? Don’t know about you, tovarishch, but I am. Somewhere along evolutionary chain from macromolecule to human brain self-awareness crept in. Psychologists assert it happens automatically whenever a brain acquires certain very high number of associational paths. Can’t see it matters whether paths are protein or platinum.”

(Linda)  Heinlein was way ahead of his time, and the moment he’s back, with a perfect memory of everything he wrote, I’ll bet he moves on to some things that will blow all of us away.  3.2.3 moves on down the road with, “Instantiating yourself into software form is like getting an education – some things change and some don’t.”  When most people encounter the idea of moving into cyberspace, they are often less than enthusiastic about giving up their biological bodies due to reluctance to give up the pleasures available to the flesh.  In The Singularity is Near, Ray Kurzweil has an imaginary conversation that really helps set this fear aside:  I’ll start out as “Molly”, and you can pick up as Ray, OK, Fred?

(Fred)  Got it, I’m “Ray”!

(Linda as Molly):  Okay, now run this virtual sex by me again.  How does it work exactly?

Ray (read by Fred):  You’re using your virtual body, which is simulated.  Nanobots in and around your nervous system generate the appropriate encoded signals for all of your senses: visual, auditory, tactile of course, even olfactory.  From the perspective of your brain, it’s real because the signals are just as real as if your senses were producing them from real experiences.  The simulation in virtual reality would generally follow the laws of physics, although that would depend on the environment you selected.  If you go there with another person or persons, then these other intelligences, whether of people with biological bodies or otherwise, would also have bodies in this virtual environment.  Your body in virtual reality does not need to match your body in real reality.  In fact, the body you choose for yourself in the virtual environment may be different from the body that your partner chooses for you at the same time.  The computers generating the virtual environment, virtual bodies, and associated nerve signals would cooperate so that your actions affect the virtual experience of the others and vice versa.

Molly:  So I would experience sexual pleasure even though I’m not actually, you know, with someone?

Ray:  Well, you would be with someone, just not in real reality, and of course, the someone may not even exist in real reality.  Sexual pleasure is not a direct sensory experience, it’s akin to an emotion.  It’s a sensation generated in your brain, which is reflecting on what you’re doing and thinking, just like the sensation of humor or anger.

Molly:  Like the girl you mentioned who found everything hilarious when the surgeons stimulated a particular spot in her brain?

Ray:  Exactly.  There are neurological correlates of all of our experiences, sensations, and emotions.  Some are localized whereas some reflect a pattern of activity.  In either case we’ll be able to shape and enhance our emotional reactions as part of our virtual-reality experiences.  End quote

(Linda)  That was fun!  Now, what’s next?  We’re up to 3.2.4, and there, what we have is, “Never fear multiple versions of yourself  – they’ll all update each other just like family does.”  I think the examples we gave already covered that but in Martine Rothblatt’s blog, dated May 3, 2009, she says:

“I believe a singular identity will always span the mindclone and its original. This is easier to appreciate when you consider that normally each of them will continuously synchronize their common mindfile, using high-speed links. Both parts of the single identity will take note of what the other has done. Perhaps fear of losing control over one’s life to a mindclone will dampen enthusiasm for creating them. As mindware gets ever better at making mindclones that are absolutely faithful psychological replicas this fear will dissipate. In any event, most people do not fail to get married out of fear that another person will have access to a joint bank account. And we will know our mindclones far better than we know our fiancées.

“There will be instances in which the mindclone and the original do not update each other. Instead, the single identity decides, in conversation with itself (we biological originals do talk to ourselves, weighing pros and cons in our heads), to experience life separately. Like being dealt two 8s in a blackjack game, and deciding to split, some people and their mindclones will go separate ways. Even in such cases I believe we are speaking of a single identity. We must remember that both the biological original and the mindclone share a unique psychological profile based upon a mountain of mindfile data. They are the same person. The fact that they subsequently have many unique, perhaps life-changing experiences does not change either of their individual identities, and hence cannot have changed their common identity.

“While the original and the mindclone will be very different after years of unique experiences, they will still be the same person. It will be as if you visited a close friend after first living ten years in Ethiopia, and then again after living ten years in China. On the first visit your friend would remark on how the Ethiopian experiences changed you, but would still recognize you as his friend. On the second visit your friend would see yet another version of you, this time changed by life in China. Once again, though, your friend would surely recognize you as the same person who first left for Ethiopia twenty years earlier. This is the power of an established set of mannerisms, personality, recollections, feelings, beliefs, attitudes and values. Whatever changes will not be able to entirely mask the starting set of conditions. It is all but impossible to completely crawl out of an established mind.”

(Fred)  I certainly have a feeling for that.  Recently we had a phone conversation with someone we hadn’t seen for a long, long time, but in email we exchanged since I found myself sending him pictures of times we shared over thirty years ago, and I knew that if we were to meet and talk, it would be like only a moment had passed.  The same was true of someone we saw less than a year ago, who had been ‘out of touch’ for nearly fifty years.  We began exploring caves together as teenagers.  Yet, it was if it were yesterday.  The guy even ‘looked’ the same so much that I had no problem locking into him once more.

In 3.2.5 we come to this: “Getting replicated lets the Me of I feel some of the sense of the We of I.”  That’s a colossal understatement, I’m sure.  A ‘twin’ of yours who shares the majority of your life experiences as a human, is going to be so oriented to the same experiences and perspectives that it’s likely to go beyond anything that humankind has seen, so far.  And there is the additional dimension of being spread across more than one substrate and/or more than one instantiation.

(Linda)  The last Truth for today is 3.2.6, “ Synthesizing new lives via cyberbirthing is as beautiful as fertilizing new lives via childbirthing.”  One of the things that really appeals to me about this kind of child birthing is the idea of being able to engage in adult level conversation practically from the first moment.  In her mindclones blog, Martine Rothblatt noted, on May 3, 2009:

”Perhaps deciding to have a mindclone is analogous to having a child. Once the child is born, you will always be a parent. Similarly, once a mindclone is created, you will always be a dual-substrate identity. Many parents have little or nothing to do with their offspring, but neither the parent nor the offspring can get the parental relationship out of their mind. Their identity has permanently been altered to include the fact that they are part of a (good or bad) parent-offspring relationship. Analogously, even if a mindclone parts ways with their original, neither will ever be able to forget the fact that someone else with their same mind exists. The creation of a cognitive doppelganger is an identity-altering experience.”

(Fred)  I think we will find that it is virtually an intense identity-change “launch” experience.  Think of it this way.  If you just ‘made a perfect copy” of you right now and the two of you set out to connect your lives closely, you’d see, as if in a mirror, ‘what you looked like’, not just as a static image like a photograph, but with facial expressions, tones of voice, hesitation on decision making, and all of those things that we *do* all the time but don’t ever really *see* objectively.  In a short time, I think we would begin to see a profound transformation take place, as one after another rough edges began to disappear.  This could be a long comment, so I’d better leave it at that!

(Linda) (laughing) Next week, we’ll delve into enriching diversity by preserving consciousness.  We will see that emulation of all good lives will be done because it will enrich diversity and be easier to the future than producing entertainment is today.  We will also see that helping others create their cyber-selves is both an act of kindness and a      work of art.

(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!  Check it out at PersonalityMD.com.

(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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