If you really want to make it stringent, make the bounty require a password that only that (deceased) person knows. Best case scenario they do such a good job resurrecting you that you still remember the password, or at worst there's an incentive to picking the fact out of your brain, which might be only slightly less difficult than doing the full resurrection.
I observe there's a certain prejudice, in that law is written by the living.
The other ideas of cryptocurrency/escrow/private keys would escape the law... until you tried to spend it legally. You might as well bury gold in a chest.
[...] I don't know what this great think I'm meant to be doing is, and it looks to me as if I was supposed not to know. And I resent that, right?
"The old me knew. The old me cared. Fine, so far so hoopy. Except that the old me cared so much that he actually got inside his own brain - my own brain - and locked off the bits that knew and cared, because if I knew and cared I wouldn't be able to do it. I wouldn't be able to go and be President, and I wouldn't be able to steal this ship, which must be the important thing.
"But this former self of mine killed himself off, didn't he, by changing my brain? OK, that was his choice. This new me has its own choices to make, and by a strange coincidence those choices involve not knowing and not caring about this big number, whatever it is. That's what he wanted, that's what he got.
"Except this old self of mine tried to leave himself in control, leaving orders for me in the bit of my brain he locked off. Well, I don't want to know, and I don't want to hear them. That's my choice. I'm not going to be anybody's puppet, particularly not my own."
Zaphod banged the console in fury, oblivious to the dumbfolded looks he was attracting.
"The old me is dead!" he raved, "Killed himself! The dead shouldn't hang about trying to interfere with the living!"
Uploads aren’t even the biggest worry. If it turned out to be possible to upload analyse and upload personalities, it would also become possible to synthesize new personalities on demand to a required spec.
How much value does organic personality actually have?
Until the "dead" uploads outnumber the living, at which point they vote in a bloc to expropriate and enslave the meat-humans, as in the novel The Uploaded.
A. thanks for the suggestion, great, terrific, wonderful (was flux good?) but B. The dead shouldn't hang about trying to interfere with the living!
And of course let everyone know that's the case beforehand!
Edit: I read the article. So they are assuming in the future that they won't bother making a new human, but just load the brain state into a computer simulation, which would be even cheaper.
Could a computer host a human mind to its full capacity?
I guess they could just kill you again. But would the threat of that happening in the future deter you from lying at time of death, when you have nothing else to lose?
It seems like there would need to be system of proving possession of a password that would have to last 100 years. I have not thought through this kind of scenario (sorry!). Perhaps this has been considered before by those studying the problem in detail (e.g. science fiction authors)? What are the solutions?
It is debatable whether known public-key cryptography systems will survive attack for the amount of time under discussion here.
I suspect the hack will be to extract the secret from the brain being resurrected, recover the funds, and toss the brain in the trash.
Why bother resurrecting you fully?
You don't want to be the first but you want to be the tenth or so. Once the process takes off all the bounties will drastically lose their worth because such technology will likely disrupt a lot of what humans place value on.
There is a short chapter that is narrated by the detached consciousness of one of the patrons. She has lost all sense of self and is trapped in a dim loop of pure thought, constantly questioning what she is. Probably one of the most quietly terrifying things I have ever read.
Nothing like it has happened since.
Be aware that running code on a computer is just the computation of numbers. So if computing a number makes a consciousness, then all possible states of your consciousness are happening. All the numbers are there.
Because humans have now become overloards of your very conscience.
Imagine that I am a communist revolutionary and I take control of the governmental system and I don't like rich people, but I decide well all these virtual brains and their wealth they should be put to work for the state, to pay back their misdeeds and robbing of the earth of resources in their past life.
Maybe I am a Mengele and decide I have a wealth of experimental subjects. Difference is now I can bend and break you mind but you cant die, unless I delete you.
I see all kinds of ways this can go wrong and given time all possibilities will happen.
Many of them are run by corporations. Some civilizations even send young sinners on day trips to hell to keep them on the 'right' path.
You can read this remarkable story and Douglas Hofstadter's and Daniel Dennett's commentary on it here:
Chairman Sheng-ji Yang, "Essays on Mind and Matter"
Edit: The novels are much better than the Netflix videos. They are, in my opinion, crude hacks. Randomized and simplified. The virtual torture sequence in Altered Carbon is vastly more horrible than the one in the video. Even if I didn't care about spoilers, I'd hesitate to describe it here.
And if you like Kovach, check out Stover's Caine novels. He also wrote the Star Wars novels, but don't hold that against him.
However I really liked the noir protagonist and the scene you described was my favorite episode in the show. I am interested how the story continues.
Are the books much better than the show? How would you rate the trilogy among your favorite cyberpunk novels? Thanks.
I started with that one though, and then read the other two.
I'd say overall as a triology, it rates alongside neuromancer /the sprawl triology. A little more pulp - but a similar serious take on technological evolution.
[ed: the netflix series is to ac, a little like the Johnny Mnemonic film is to the short story. Although the series is a bit closer to the books]
Also, I'm very impressed by Morgan's skill in writing action. Maybe that's what you mean by "pulp".
I also loved the "A Land Fit For Heroes" trilogy. I hadn't read fantasy for years. And from that, I discovered Joe Abercrombie and Matthew Woodring Stover.
Significantly. I have read the trilogy several times, and the Netflix series, whilst cool, doesn't come close to the depth and pacing of the books.
"On-Topic: Anything that good hackers would find interesting. That includes more than hacking and startups. If you had to reduce it to a sentence, the answer might be: anything that gratifies one's intellectual curiosity."
"Please don't complain that a submission is inappropriate. If a story is spam or off-topic, flag it. Don't feed egregious comments by replying; flag them instead. If you flag something, please don't also comment that you did."
The purpose of YCombinator was to start new companies, not to argue about brain slices.
If you want to argue about brain slices, that's cool, I'm just saying. Not what this discussion board was meant for.
Best part of the article for sure
If a 'Hitler' VM was publicly available online, how many people would torture it? What are the ethics around torturing virtual consciousnesses of evil people?
Nonetheless, here in our time, it brilliantly crosses/combines...
funeral services, a highly lucrative field
scifi, including all its expansiveness
the desperate compensatory technological hubris of people who know deep down that the world is quietly going down the shitter
and/or narcissism (on which nobody ever went broke)
Guy needs to not be so pessimistic.
> Altman tells MIT Technology Review he’s pretty sure minds will be digitized in his lifetime. “I assume my brain will be uploaded to the cloud,” he says.
It's like the cloud is _still_ just a pseudo-magical place  we just need to get access to, then all our dreams can come true.
Like Tahiti. It's a magical place.
Dying is not something to be paraded around as a virtue. I only hope people figure it out sooner rather than later.
EDIT: Some quick math on deflation in storage costs. The IBM 305 RAMAC was introduced in 1956, provided 5MB of magnetic storage and cost $3,200/month in 1956 dollars. To pick a random modern storage provider with a similar pricing model, in 2018 Dropbox offers 1TB for $10/month. Putting aside all the other advantages Dropbox gives you over a 305, the pure storage value of $1 (nominal) has gone from 1.6KB/month to 100GB/month, a multiple of over 50 million.
If you want to pay 2118 people to resuscitate you (in the unlikely event the technology is feasible and people are willing and able and developed) you're going to need to invest that money well.
We are incredibly more wealthy than people of a hundred years ago, in almost every respect.
The fed would never allow this to happen. That would be deflation.
What we should pray for is $0.25 loaves of bread, $10 rent, and a $1000 minimum wage.
We want a future where human time is valued and basic resources are plentiful enough to be cheap for everyone.
My point remains:
> We want a future where human time is valued and basic resources are plentiful enough to be cheap for everyone.
it always boggles me why people scoff at deflationary economics with this line of reasoning - i see little evidence that the average person is so wise with spending money today.
Although, given that their target market is already those planning to be euthanized, I suppose the tradeoff of one's brain being an amusing curio vs. one's brain being worm food is not a reason to avoid this service.
If they are correct, it brings up an interesting question: given that the technology requires a slow, planned process to preserve the brain, at what point should a uniquely brilliant person be euthanized, in order to preserve them, rather than allowing them to die by sudden misadventure, e.g. not paying attention and getting hit by a car crossing the street.
Given that the output of so many brilliant people is skewed to when they are young, do we just start proactively euthanizing the top 0.05% of the population when they reach 50, to preserve our best for the future?
(Ritual suicide at age 60 embedded in culture)
I was actually thinking of Logan’s Run when writing my comment.
(Ritual suicide embedded in culture, age 21 in the novel and 30 in the film)
And anyway, if people have cybernetic implants, I wonder what being human will mean.
My cell phone and computer augment my ability to do things to such a degree that I feel I'm not myself without those abilities. I rely on note apps to remember things, calendars to schedule, internet searches to re-discover information or lookup specifics. My social life, my professional life, and my personal life are all significantly changed by computers.
I honestly feel taking your eyes and hands out of the equation and putting stuff directly into your brain is going to be more evolutionary than revolutionary.
That fact that people sometimes survive lightning strikes and epileptic fits suggests that normal brain activity can be restarted after a disruption.
Still, that synapse is thought to be the main modification area of neuronal firing, in that it acts like a classical memristor. So, though electrical activity is not required and lightning/shocks can be sustained (by some miracle), the 'self'/mind is the network of the synapses (GIANT caveats apply here). Also, even under heavy anesthesia, the neurons are firing and active, jsut not coherently.
If you can preserve the synaptic weights, their dynamics, and their network, you should be able to reconstruct the 'mind' of another person. However, that is one instant in time and space. You'd need to know where pretty much every ion was and it's momentum, and I'm pretty sure that's impossible (Heisenberg and all that jazz).
As parent said, people do stuff like trans-cranial electric stimulation which surely changes where some ions are, yet they do not lose their personality afterwards.
I'm pretty sure our brain is more robust than the exact position of every ion. Biology is very messy, and stochastic.
Also note how artificial neural networks are very noise resistant, which allows people to run them on low-precission numbers.
Is this really the case? If so why do salaries increase with age? What do you mean by "young"? The bottom half of living people by age? How do you explain the years our children spend in school generating no value at all?
The portion of kaizendad’s comment that I replied to specifically mentioned “output”. I interpret this to mean economic benefit or “value”.
The time students spend in school is time they are not working. Children generate almost zero economic benefit until they are out of school and the type of person kaizendad references is likely to spend a lot of time in school. Their economic contributions probably do not start until their late 20s.
I think a persons maximum economic output is probability closer to middle age than their early adult years. Perhaps kaizendad and I simply misalign on the definition of “young”.
From link, "As of October 2015, 49 percent of all youth ages 16-24 were employed in any work, either full- or part-time. Youth enrolled in high school had an employment rate of 18 percent, while the rate for those in college, either full- or part-time, was 45 percent."
You have cited a problem. The fact that we make children work to support their families holds them back from being the ones who kaizendad refers to.
Children who have the benefit of education early on are more likely to be productive later in life.
I also had my first paying job at a young age. My economic benefit today is much larger in comparison and continues to increase year over year. My maximum economic contribution has yet to occur even though my youthful employment was decades in the past.
DP/DR is quite possibly the worst mental disorder you can ever fall into. It is the feeling where you are convinced everything around you is not real, you see people you know, you know they are significant, but they just feel like actors in a show and you don't care. You look in the mirror, and you don't recognize yourself as you, you just see a body. Worse, your body just moves around the world and accomplish things on autopilot, while you watch everything unfold on what feels like a screen, completely detached. If you died, you wouldn't care much, because you wouldn't feel it's you dying, in fact you want to die, because you are trapped in a hell from which there is no escape.
I've never suffered from this disorder, but I investigated it for some time and am convinced it reveals something we do not yet understand about our existence in this world. The source of our existence may not be where we think it is.
the money they’ve raised so far is due to the possible improvements this proposed technology will bring to neuro research.
I have a serious medical condition. I frequently suffer somatopsychic side effects. It's incredible what chemistry can make you feel.
I happen to also believe in a lot of woo stuff. But the reality is that no known cause is not proof that there is a spiritual explanation or cause.
I'm not very interested in seeking the Nobel Prize in this area. I am busy doing other things that I fantasize will lead to a Nobel Prize.
Mind alterations are induced by drugs. Chemical imbalances influence the same. I just am not convinced that these evidences are enough.
I did a research paper in high school on Functional Hypoglycemia. Chronic low blood sugar is known to promote anxiety and paranoia. I've blogged about managing various somatopsychic side effects with diet, such as eating oranges for the vitamin c while enduring random fits of rage to get that under control and eating beef with potatoes to mediate the salt lithium connection and calm bipolar-like mood swings.
But I am not interested in fighting some uphill battle to convince a skeptic who is just pissing all over me with every reply. So I had no reason to stick my neck out and share any of that. I get enough flak from the world for managing my medical condition with diet and lifestyle.
Edit: There's also lots of interesting stuff about nutrition and state of mind in this discussion about nutrition and the prison population: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=16140867#16141719
I am not invested in this topic, although I should be. In fact, some of the information you shared is valuable to my personal life.
I have a problem with oversimplification of hard problems, then claiming that they are currently understood. Then proceeding to build more extravagant and potentially dangerous solutions on the said platform.
The point you are debating - that of the influence of salts/neurotransmitters/more on brain chemistry, and hence on one’s mental state, can be so profound as to create a world where one experiences a vastly different emotional response to everyday events than what most others anticipate - is understood.
I contested that this is not enough to encourage experimentation with consciousness itself.
edit: the impact of chemistry can render itself in ways where the idea of one’s personality becomes fluid. chemistry can control my reaction to simple things, and render my ability to live my life debilitated. I understand that chemistry can shake at the very sense of having control over my self. I also understand that the external world barely acknowledges the role of chemistry in this, and likes to blame it wholly on the individual.
You are reading in something I never said or addressed in any way.
"DPDR is just your brain's ways to help you survive a situation you're unable to escape/fight. It tries to make you unaware of what's going on so you can endure it until it's over. It isn't supposed to be permanent. DPDR itself isn't anything to fear."
I've tried for years to recreate the effect with no success.
I prefer to believe instead that I'm a character in an MMORPG. But if that's true, my consciousness still resides within the simulation. At best, the entity controlling me has some superset of my consciousness. At worst, my consciousness is still totally disposable, and my player is just interested in a fun ride.
Also, there's probably usually a lot of brain matter dedicated to redundancy, memories, and enabling connections between ideas to foster creativity, and this person may be lacking in these areas in hard-to-measure ways. If most of our brain truly had no purpose, evolution would have selected against it forever ago. (Instead, evolution went through large lengths to keep our heads so big.)
You're just an NPC
My favourite argument against this idea is that it would violate the law of conservation of energy. In any case it looks to me that all these dualist theories of mind are non-falsifiable
Rather, the brain's processes themselves are probably what makes you you. Regardless of whether they generate consciousness, the biochemical sensory-processing, storage-and-modelling, and decision-making algorithms (which we can detect by looking at synapses) are where you lie.
If your brain was somehow modified to take completely different decisions and make different statements ('dumb' magic-less rewiring), with the magic/antenna/emergent/quantum/whatever consciousness part kept intact, I am pretty sure that I would not consider the resulting being 'me'.
Of course everyone is free to believe otherwise.
In other words, we know with certainty that there is no physical mechanism by which some "external consciousness" could influence the brain. So the answer to that hypothesis is a definitive "nope, that's not how it works."
CalTech quantum physicist Sean Carrol explains: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x26a-ztpQs8&t=836
Plus, there are all kinds of problems and contradictions if the mind reduces to matter.
This has never been a good proxy for truth. It is also completely irrelevant given that the majority of the world has never studied neuroscience.
>science has no idea what consciousness is
Not true. Neuroscience has discovered a lot about consciousness. I recommend Principles of Neural Science if you're interested: https://www.amazon.com/Principles-Neural-Science-Fifth-Kande...
>Plus, there are all kinds of problems and contradictions if the mind reduces to matter.
Perhaps you can explain what science has discovered about consciousness. As far as I know, the closest is a network analysis metric used to signify whether something is conscious. But that does not tell us what consciousness is, only some of the necessary conditions, if that.
Here is a list of problems off the top of my head regarding material minds:
- Math is inherently immaterial. I cannot destroy the number 1. Infinity cannot physically exist. Negative numbers, zero, imaginary numbers, the real number line do not correspond to physical objects.
- If our mind is material, there is no way we can know any kind of truth. Truth doesn't really have meaning. Yet we do know some degree of truth.
- If consciousness is a particular configuration, then the same configuration is the same consciousness, which would imply instantaneous awareness of two completely distinct parts of the universe by the same consciousness with two copies of the configuration.
- Free will and qualia have no meaning in a materialistic worldview, yet are essential to just about everything we do everyday.
What problems and contradictions?
And then there are the normal people walking around with almost NO brain...
Still, I find it at least as likely as the "consciousness just sort of happens when information processing gets complex enough" explanation.
You might find this interesting https://www.quantamagazine.org/a-new-spin-on-the-quantum-bra...
Don't get me wrong, I think consciousness arising from sufficient complexity is also very much a possible answer, and I don't discount it. I'm just not totally convinced that there isn't more too it. Until a general AI arises, I don't think I will be convinced, and even if it did, who's to say it inst still just an approximation? Multiple AI intelligence domains slapped together with some approximation of a pre-frontal cortex. Even then, biology may still be something entirely different.
Sure, you start venturing into the supernatural realm talking about this, but who's to say that given sufficient time and study of this phenomena, the supposed "consciousness is everywhere" becomes the new natural science, and gives rise to new technologies we couldn't even conceive. It would be like discovering Electromagnetism all over again.
Then again, the last time I checked we don't actually know if time is quantized or not, or if that's even a meaningful question.
A slightly modified version of this idea is explored in
The concept of "multiple realizability" says that a brain/consciousness/mental state can arise from non-biological matter, like digital computers.
Modern proponents of this view do not view the brain as a seat of consciousness. To them, the view of a singular consciousness that houses in the brain like a theatre, is like a Descartesian illusion. Consciousness is distributed and all parts of "you" and your environment contribute.
As for "out there": I am always a bit worried when archeologists unearth some treasures with our current state of technology. Likely, in a 100 years they will have much better methods to research and preserve unearthed treasure, and so we may be spoiling their more effective methods by digging it up and putting it on display. What if, after the 8th great AI hype, another YC company claims it has found successful methods to upload your consciousness, which is 100% fatal to your preserved brain in the process? You'll be stuck in the MVP FORTRAN digital world of uploaded consciousnesses.
Or maybe they take our current infatuation with AGI to mean permission to create a huge ensemble of preserved brains, filling an entire room like did our 1960s computers, because it turned out that consciousness is only transferable to biological "organisms", and the only way to superhuman intelligence is to combine 20 human intelligences. The AI hype bubble will become a literal fulfilling prophecy.
I personally would either jail these consciousnesses (honor their will, but put them in a boring digital world with Archive.org access to the internet) or put them on display, much like we do with preserved Egyptian Pharaoh's. I'd call it Earth, and make Trump a president.
I myself worry that even if somehow we combine all these domain specific AI's with some approximation of a neo-cortex, and then every AI researcher says "See, there it is! Behold the AGI, told you there was nothing to it!", all we're REALLY going to get is an approximation of the real thing. Then we'll be too busy playing with our new AGI's to realize we missed the mark long ago. The new treasure preservation technology never even arises because victory was declared prematurely. We hit another mark instead of the real thing. Constant refinement of the bizarro superman version of real consciousness.
I hypothesize the REAL mark being that somewhere in the brain, quantum effects, maybe in microtubules, couple with some yet to be conceived discoveries or epithanies, act as a conduit to your real consciousness software existing somewhere "out there" in the simulation ether lets suppose. Extrapolate the AI hype and one day the super intelligent Matrioshka planet size brain emerges (YC backed of course), pours over ancient abandoned research and points out "Hey, you dumb monkeys missed something Yuge here eons ago..."
We're at the point now where your 'receiver' is doing basically all the work and, if it's connected to anything else, that thing just supplies formless 'mojo' that has no identifiable effect on the working of the mind.
And of course you cannot will yourself to become drunk.
It is pretty trivial that the matter affects the mind, not vice versa.
The "somewhere" is distinguished due to the fact that a given person is a specific person and not another person (if you deny this, this makes ethics and emphatic transfer unworkable, which doesn't seem right).
They are already finding quantum effects in plants:
And that our brain contains micro-tubules that exhibit quantum effects:
Maybe they ARE the antenna.
This is like the guys who says "prove to me god doesn't exist". Well, it doesn't work that way. You came to me with the "god exists" or "there is an antenna that connects my brain to some magic world". You prove that it is there and show me how it works.
Of course, everything we perceive the material world to be is merely a concept we are holding in our mind.
DNA is an idea.
Similarly, if consciousness is a fundamental component of the Universe/reality, it may not supervene (a technical term in philosophy) on the physical structures of the brain. 
 See the arguments of the philosopher David Chalmers.
There’s zero evidence of quantum mechanical effects playing a role in any aspect of cognition. Worse, the classical model suffices. Far worse, the review you cited has been thoroughly trashed.
The “quantum mind” is just another case of quantum mechanics being used as the new woo of choice where “because God said so” wouldn’t be well received. Believe me, I’d love to discover that we’re not just meat hurtling towards our own extinction, but the evidence doesn’t bear out a rosier hypothesis. Even with the surprising duration of coherent state in “hot” systems, the human brain is a poor candidate for a quantum mechanical system, and the math strongly supports that. Where quantum mechanics is concerned, math is God.
As an additional fun fact - we don't know how general anesthesia works.
It’s just not scientific or rational to point at some things we don’t understand with the assumption that it must mean God did it. That’s mysticism and religion, not science, and if it uses the language of science, but not the substance it’s called pseudoscience.
If you want to postulate a soul within the rubric of QM/GR complementary theories, it’s very much on you to hypothesize and test. What field is carrying the signal? What machinery is receiving it? What’s sending it? Why is there no lag? Why is it all totally undetectable? Why are we trying to add a whole new set of assumptions on top of existing ones? Occam’s Razor really applies here, especially when it’s science vs. “devoutly to be wished.”
Just because we want reality to conform to ancient beliefs and present desires doesn’t make it so.
We have unexplained phenomenon - consciousness, everyone (well, at least me) experience it. We don't have the mechanism for it, so we reject that phenomenon exists. I don't think it's a good idea to outright reject hypothesis, that have evidences behind it, but don't have a mechanism. Remember what happened to theory of washing hands for surgeons or to continental drift (it took half a century for it to be taken seriously!)
* There are mental disorders, drugs, experiences that seem to imply dualism; those are entirely inside those people's mind with no way to prove those experiences are true, or simply products of the brain.
* Damage to a brain seems to change consciousness (this is falsifiable, and proven) which seems to suggest that it is where our consciousness is; damaging the receiver damages the connection, it's obvious that something must bind the consciousness.
This is a well thought about topic. If you have some sort of falsifiable test, please suggest it, otherwise, far wiser people have tried and failed to think of one (and as a note, it's up to you to prove that your hypothesis can be falsified, it's your claim).
You just made an assertion. Now you have to prove it.
If the idea that the spirit is another fundamental force of nature is true, then it can be tested and be falsifiable.
Science isn't about proof, if observations change (primarily improve) then we change what we think we know. Which is why the above is all the "proof" I need. you can falsify it very simply. Provide a test. I have met my burden.
Go back 90 years. How do you know there isn't a 4th fundamental force of nature?
Science isn't about making assertions and not being able to back it up.
I have backed up the assertion. I have pointed to the existing literature, and the many people who have tried and failed to write a test. I have a very basic hypothesis, one that could be broken by a very simple piece of evidence: a test.
But here is the real problem. You are treating this as an argument. And I am not. This isn't about winning or loosing to me, I am just trying to understand the universe better (as are the people above saying this isn't falsifiable), and you want to win. Besides if this were a proper argument, you'd have a clearly stated position I could argue against, and you don't seem to have one (outside of 'dualism can be proven', which is a ridiculous assertion, easily refuted).
> Go back 90 years. How do you know there isn't a 4th fundamental force of nature?
How do you know there isn't a fifth now? We have no clue how we would test for it, but there are unexplained phenomena which might involve a fifth force (dark matter and the perplexing way that gravity works for example). Saying something is non-falsifiable doesn't mean it's "proven" to be wrong. Just that science can't say anything about it yet. With more knowledge and more time we learn that our previous understanding was wrong, and that we can test for new things we couldn't even imagine before (and some that we could).
> Science isn't about making assertions and not being able to back it up.
You're right, it's not. Which is why I have been able to back it up, by pointing out that many very smart people (scientists among them) have tried to think of a way to test this and failed. My assertion stands with the caveat all science has: given what we know now. Science is wrong all the time - I don't mind being wrong about this - but for the time being it appears true. And that is what is useful.
Erlangolem made that explicit assertion, and now has to back up that statement up.
If you really want that argument, life and the internet are overloaded with opportunities to have it until all parties are dead. Very little ever moves or happens, but occasionally someone gets a book deal.
As someone who has lived through many backup formats that stop being supported, don’t work, or decay with time this seems monumentally stupid as anything other than basic research.
I applaud their goal, digital sentience, but sorry for any of their customers. They need a pitch that works on the recently dead (eg, current cryo companies) as I don’t think there are any countries that allow euthenasia for life extension purposes.
I agree that there's research to be done, which is why we're not offering a product at this time, and may not for years.
I would say that even more research needs to be done for any hope of a protocol that preserves synaptic details in postmortem cases hours after death (as many cryonics companies seem to be peddling). If you're saying "recently" to mean <20 minutes after death, that complicates the distribution enormously, but it's not outside the realm of what Nectome may develop later.
From their site:
"What if we told you we could back up your mind?"
No: 100% chance of death.
Yes: 100-X% chance of death, X% chance of getting to see a super-interesting future.
For me, X wouldn't have to be very high to make it worth trying.
We're even more liberal with the concept of identity in society -- consider that I share nearly nothing (physical or memory) with 1-day old me, yet we are considered the same person.
Really, what we have here is a quasi-religio-philosophical argument for reincarnation. I'm somewhat sympathetic to the idea of reincarnation after death, in fact, but I think people who believe in uploading minds are implicitly pretending to have knowledge about the process that nobody has.
Any rules for where your consciousness ends up in the next instant in the event of a discontinuity are made up based on your preferences and prejudices. One may wish to believe that a computer that stores the patterns of your living brain captures your mind after you die, but it's no more or less valid (i.e. probable, provable) that the cliche that you are reincarnated into some particular living entity as reward or punishment for how you lived your life.
Reincarnation is, in my opinion, outside the realm of science, so I don't disbelieve in it, I merely doubt it is possible to know anything about it due to the impossibility of investigating scientifically.
...and "mind-uploading" is merely a subset of human invented systems of reincarnation.
Trade 99% chance of seeing tomorrow even if terminally ill for a 100% chance of not seeing tomorrow and a chance of resurrection which probability-wise is on a par with $insertreligionhere being broadly correct about the afterlife.
So while it is non-zero, that doesn’t mean it’s worth the cost. That’s why I brought up backups.
Remember Zip drives for backup? Imagine if there was no reader at time of launch. And how likely it was to build the reader without any changes to spec that the existing Zip disk could be used to restore without any problems. Even with read and write available, those things didn’t work well. You could say “0% chance of restore if you don’t buy, but non-zero if you do buy; therefore buy.” But that only works if the cost is zero.
You’re just as likely to be “recovered” from a photograph. Or from your Facebook profile. Or by tracing neutrinos that passed through you during your lifetime. Or a rock with your name written on it with a sharpie.
All of these things have the same evidenced probability of assisting with your recovery.
I hope nobody tells this guy about chemotherapy, he's gonna flip.
Or about vaccines. Or about antibiotics. Or about sterile surgery procedures. Or about running water and electricity. Or about....
Just about everything that makes up our modern quality of life was only available to a privileged class when it first came on the scene.
My bet is that future people won't be appalled in the slightest.
Something tells me that Professor Hendricks isn't living a Neanderthal lifestyle (or even a modern Third World lifestyle).
One group is (I think overly) critical of present vitrification approaches and the planned future of those approaches. They believe that these approaches are broken, and nothing of value is preserved. I think this is just as ridiculous as saying there is no room for improvement - it is clearly the case that, e.g. nematodes vitrified using the present technologies can be restored and show preserved memory.
That group has a strong overlap with pattern identity theorists, who are quite comfortable with a copy of them living in the future, and throwing away the original brain.
So the intersection of these two groups is motivated to work on technologies such as aldehyde-stablized cryopreservation (vitrifixation) that are incompatible with the future goal of thawing, restoration, and repair, as they are not reversible short of far distant molecular nanotechnology. Their aim is to produce the best possible record of data of the mind with the intent of reading into a machine environment in the future, then discarding it.
To my eyes this is a terrible, terrible, mistaken view on identity, and one that will cause a great deal of existential harm when it is extended from theory to action.
The rest of the cryonics community is interested in a technology path that leads to reversible vitrification in the near future, and some kind of union with the tissue engineering / organ engineering community. They want the flesh restored and repaired, and the end goal of cryopreservation is some form of advanced cell/bio/nanotechnology that can achieve that end.
This is why Alcor, etc, is not adopting vitrifixation.
So on the one hand, great to see progress, and vitrifixation is an excellent advance in tissue preservation in the general sense. It will be of use in many areas of research. On the other hand, pattern identity theory seems to have many of the aspects of religion. A copy of you is clearly not you, and no amount of handwaving is going to make that the case.
What an unnuanced way of stating your opinion. Views on what "identity" is differ, clearly.