Podcast No. 99 Posted 04/17/2012
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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, resurrecting all good lives as copies of forever joyful data emulations, why the fidelity of emulations will yield ethical emulations and faithful resurrections and 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 99 on the Truths of Terasem. Today, we’re going to talk 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 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. So let’s jump right in. 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:
“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.)”
(Linda) I think Perry takes on the broadest perspectives here, addressing the serious question 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” movies. But the other side of the coin is that this kept the door open for such individuals to experience a ‘change of heart’ and backpedal out of the misery they had created both for themselves and others.
(Linda) Good point! Such people might even become strong supporters of helping others find cures for their own negative behaviors. An important issue, 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.” As long as there’s a genome and biographical information, there’s a way to go on, in one way or another. And, in all the more diverse ways in which we now picture mindfiles or brain-map uploading, being backed up is even more of a protective shield against being lost, for lack of such backup.
(Fred) In her fascinating blog, Mindfiles, Mindclones and Mindware, dated February 20, 2011 and titled: “What If My Mindclone Wants To Be Me?”, Martine Rothblatt opens with:
“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, let’s say it all comes down to how you define what makes ‘me’ me.)”
“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.”
(Linda) 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.”
(Fred) 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.”
(Linda) 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:
“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.”
(Fred) 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.)
(Linda) “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) “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?”
(Linda) “Of course.”
(Fred) “How about paralyzed from the neck down? Still you?”
(Linda) “Horrible, but yes, still some shrunken form of me.”
(Fred) “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.’”
(Linda) “Then at what point is my me-ness totally gone?
(Fred) “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.”
(Linda) “Such as if both my mindclone and flesh body were gone?”
(Fred) “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.”
(Linda) “Wow. That would mean that I continued to live as kind of a fractured self embedded in others?”
(Fred) “Exactly. Advanced psycho-metric techniques might even be able to detect this, and extract it back into a mindclone.”
(Linda) “Whoah, that’s wild!”
(Fred) “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.”
(Linda) “I rather like me, so I think I’ll stick with my mindclone. At least I know that’s really me.”
(Fred) “There you go.”
(Linda) 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. The first of these says that if a life is emulated, it exists, it’s real. That is to say, if it walks and talks like a duck, and lays duck eggs, it’s a duck.
(Fred) The final Element about a duplicated life being durable, and not diminished, is similarly pretty obvious. Let’s say, while using my nanobot 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.
(Linda) More likely, with the surprise appearance of eight of you, the muggers would have parachuted off the roof quickly (rooftop muggers always wear parachutes), after which the eight Freds would chuckle about it for a moment, re-coalesce into one, and continue the stroll, or, you might find yourselves in such an immediate conversation about how to complete all of the projects you were working on in one eighth the time or less, as a team, that you’d elect to stay eight vs. one, or even duplicate one more time into sixteen.
(Fred) Who knows? What seems impossible today may seem so easy and sensible tomorrow that everyone will be doing it. If we could split into sixty couples, we could knock out 120 podcasts every week!
(Linda) Sounds like a perfect time to invite listeners to find out how to join Terasem and be part of spreading these fascinating and 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.
(Fred) For those of you who love games, Mike Clancy, at Terasem, has created the maze-based, mind-file building 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.
(Linda) We had a lot of really great quotes for you today from Martine Rothblatt’s blog. If you would like to read more, go to: mindclones.blogspot.com. And you can find the text version of these podcasts at truthsofterasem.wordpress.com.
(Fred) And we have a new blog to mention that we think will inspiring to say the least. It’s by Gabriel Rothblatt, Pastor of the Satellite Beach Ashram. The first posting is about transhumanism. Check it out at Terasemian.wordpress.com.
(Linda) 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.
(Fred) Join us, and our quest for an endless future…
(Linda) Come with us – into Tomorrow!
Closing music – no fade – full length.