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Wetwire: Visionaries Part One- The Human Technology
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questions > Would You upload your brain into a new body

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message 1: by Erik (new)

Erik Rodgers | 8 comments And what would it do to you? Would you be the same, or would the body make you different?

message 2: by Neal (new)

Neal (infinispace) Depends on the circumstances I guess. Is my current body failing or warn out? Is the new body one that I would choose to be transferred to? I guess if it meant the chance to live on (and I wanted to) I would probably go forward with it.

Our minds as we know them now certainly aren't prepared for something like this. Might need some therapy. =)

This is an interesting question, especially the first one posed. Writers often treat transference like this in a very trivial manner.

message 3: by Erik (new)

Erik Rodgers | 8 comments Exactly, Neal. It would be a much more complicated scenario. I don't know if therapy would really be enough, though. Our consciousness us such a complicated web, there'd be hormonal differences, different muscle memory, the whole bit. Definitely would be fascinating to see what would really happen.

message 4: by Bill (new)

Bill (kernos) | 117 comments Absolutely! In fact I'd like a closet of bodies I could change like clothes.

message 5: by *Kashi* (new) - added it

*Kashi* | 12 comments interesting question. well I agree that our minds are not prepared for this. but we have to consider some points like: Body and Gene quality, Body size and Skills, the mind controls the body but will this new body respond to the Brain's command?!

And you say Upload your brain as if it were a program. every brain is different and has different neural pathways or roads that are quicker or slower, according to your skills and usage.

When you say "Upload" you mean a Memory and knowledge transfer? or the actual Brain?

message 6: by Erik (new)

Erik Rodgers | 8 comments Hey Kashi! Memory and knowledge transfer is closer to what I had in mind (pun intended). Basically an electric and chemical "map" of one brain loaded into another waiting brain. There's a huge amount of variables, so a matching body, like a clone would be optimal, I would think. A 'worn' brain that's already developed significant habits would be much harder to transcribe to, even if you, sorta wiped the recipient brain first (which I think would be necessary).

message 7: by *Kashi* (new) - added it

*Kashi* | 12 comments wipe the Recipient Brain First?!? If you Think a clone would be optimal, then what about a synthetic Brain or substitute with better Neural pathways.
I Recommend "This is your Brain on Music" by Daniel Levitin. and "The Age of Spiritual Machines"by Ray Kurzweil.

message 8: by Deana (new)

Deana Zhollis | 7 comments After reading all these comments, I thought I had an easier answer, but now I think my answer would be "no". Used brains? Therapy? Memory and knowledge transfer? Body Skills? Clones? There's just too much that could go WRONG! I think I'll just settle for the time frame of what my current body has to offer. LOL!

message 9: by *Kashi* (new) - added it

*Kashi* | 12 comments I'm having fun with this discussion. I just remembered Duncan Idaho's seudo-Resurrection in DUNE by Frank Herbert. but Deana Imagine this stuff being possible by Technology, it could help a lot of people, without thinking in what you could call immortality. I see it as a way to regenerate brain tissue or help people who had been affected by accidents or disease.

message 10: by Tom (new)

Tom Kepler | 10 comments Author Robert Heinlein, with his novel Methuselah's Children and Time Enough for Love, has his long-lived character Lazarus Long get a new body. LL is an interesting character, showing how longevity can affect one's perspective.

message 11: by Erik (new)

Erik Rodgers | 8 comments Tom, Robert Heinlein was one of my favorite authors growing up. I owe him a huge debt of gratitude for waking my young mind up to many ideas.

message 12: by Erik (new)

Erik Rodgers | 8 comments Matt, It's an interesting question whether or not there's an "original" you or not somewhere. I suppose it in some part depends on whether or not you believe in a soul or a spirit, or if you think consciousness is really just a neurological phenomenon. If the former is true, then we could never duplicate ourselves. If the later is true, then I would have to think we could.

message 13: by Erik (new)

Erik Rodgers | 8 comments *Kashi* and Deana -- I wonder, would a transferred brain bring along with it the abnormalities that resulted from chemical or biological defects into the new environment or would you quickly adjust to the new biological host?

message 14: by Deana (new)

Deana Zhollis | 7 comments You mean if you had cancer before, and in your new body, you still think you have cancer, or at least can't get over the idea, and you develop cancer again? Or maybe it's just fate that you're suppose to have it and no matter what you do, you fate follows the same path.

Either way, I don't like that idea. LOL!

Are we duplicating ourselves, or can we actually transfer ourselves? Or if the duplicate is exact, and the old copy is destroyed, would the soul, being out-of-body, then go into the new body? You know....those "out of body experiences" could happen.

My answer is still no. Too many weird things to consider, and there's no guarantee that's still me.

message 15: by *Kashi* (new) - added it

*Kashi* | 12 comments I don't want to talk about souls. but Your question about the abnormalities is so valid, it's super important. but it is my opinion that if you have a different biological vessel (a new one) then it would be maybe a 50-50% of probabilities, I see the Mind as a Powerful TooL and Weapon, if you know how to use it. many diseases come from the lack of understanding of this mindpower and lack of exercise and nutrition. but as you well know Genes are a Gamble and Chemical & Biological defects are very common, so I guess a clone would very much deteriorate in the same manner unless genetically altered, but then, would this be a True copy? .... about the Transferred brain(knowledge,Mind), if you talk about Data only, then it shouldn't have the same chemical imbalances in a new Brain & Body. This could get quite complex.

message 16: by Derek (new)

Derek (derek_broughton) Well, of course I'd upload into a new body - but subject to numerous conditions!

- I'd have to have got all the use out of this brain that I'm going to get.
- The new brain would need to be capable of everything the old brain is, and then some...
- The new body would need to be sexier than this one (I know, that would be difficult.)

That said, I'm convinced that the new mind/brain/body combination would not be "me", there would be continuity of "self" but I'd still end up being a different (hopefully better) person.

message 17: by Penumbra (new)

Penumbra Publishing (Penumbra_Publishing) | 7 comments A lot of valid and interesting points raised. The real question is, assuming that transference of the psyche is possible, WHAT MAKES YOU YOU. Is it your physical body? Is it your physical brain? Is it your collection of memories chemically and electrically stored in your brain? Is it some combination of all of the above that makes you unique among all other people? When you consider each item separately, you can come up with reasons why one factor alone does not define an individual. For instance...

YOUR BODY. Your body changes over time. Hence, your identification of you in relation to your body changes over time. If you have an accident and get a scar, then your body has changed. But that doesn't mean you are not YOU anymore. So your body does not define who you are. You could be a brain floating in a jar and still be YOU as long as your thought processes have a sense of being and knowing and recognition of self with intact memories. So the 'housing' of the self is just a housing. It is the sense of self that makes you YOU.

EPHEMERAL MIND. Your sense of self, your awareness of yourself as an individual, is key to defining who you are. Your 'consciousness' recognizes you as you. But, when you dream you are someone else (and presumably many people have such dreams), while you are asleep and are having that dream that you are someone else, does that mean you are in fact a different person during that dream? Well, your mind thinks you are. But, when you wake up, you return to yourself and recognize who you are, and perhaps have a vague memory of the dream where you fantasized about being someone else. Does that mean you changed identities temporarily?

Let's say you get Alzheimer's or some similar brain affliction that erodes your memories and at some point destroys your recognition of who you are. Does that mean you are no longer that same person? In a literal sense, other people see you as that same person, that same physical person, but you and the other people are not able to interact on the same level as before. Same as if you were in a coma or had severe memory loss and no longer knew who you are/were. You will have lost your identity, but you are still functioning on some level as a person. However, at that point in time you are no longer functioning as the person, the self, you once were, and you may never reach a point where you will again function as that same person you were.

SO... the real point may be that due to the nature of human existence as we now know and accept it, change is inevitable, and YOU, your self, can and will be different with the accumulation of memories and experiences. At what point in this progression of change do you identify yourself as yourself? It is not a moment in time or a certain state of status quo in your physical existence that defines you. It is a combination of surroundings, experience, memories, and functionality that all combine together to define you as a person over the course of time when you are aware of yourself as a person.

IF you were to then attempt to transfer or copy your identity, your SELF into a new body or storage facility, whether it be a clone blank of your own body or a mechanical body capable of maintaining the electrical impulses necessary to keep your memories intact, at the point of transference, your SELF would be in a new form, and if everything went well, you would maintain your sense and awareness of SELF.

The problem would be if your former or 'original' self continued. You would have in fact made a COPY of yourself (your mental) self) that would go from that point forward, believing it was YOU, while the old you would continue on to have different experiences, believing it was YOU. But both YOUs couldn't be you, so the copy would have to be considered a copy, a different individual. Same with identical twins. At the moment of conception, for all intents and purposes, the two individuals are identical, but they are not the SAME individual. And they will become more different as time goes on and they each have experiences that will make them unique and different from each other, although they essentially look alike.

Now let's assume that the essence of YOU (your collection of thoughts and memories and experiences) at a certain point in time could be collected and MOVED to a new body. 'Moving' implies that once the transference is accomplished, the old body from whence it came would be an unoccupied shell without a mind to run it. (Like the Dr. Who concept.) If that were the case, then the new body would have the thought processes intact that came from the old body, and there would only be one YOU in existence, albeit with a different storage facility intact. It wouldn't be the original YOU in the sense that body and mind are exactly like the old, but it would be a version of YOU that could continue on with the belief that YOU are still an individual intact and able to function in a sense that gives you a unique place in the world. The old body would presumably be dead without a working mind to keep everything going at the autonomic level (heart pumping, etc.). So then that body would die, and YOU, your mental essence, would move on, leaving that old shell behind like a reptile shedding its skin.

The mechanism for mental transference dictates whether there are two YOUs or just one that will continue. If there are two, then there will be an original and a copy. If there can only be one due to the nature of the transference, then the original simply assumes a new shell.

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