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Keith Wiley
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Go viral my sweet child.
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An article I tossed together this morning in response to an article from yesterday.

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A thoughtful review of my book, both critical and supportive at the same time. Thank you.
A Taxonomy and Metaphysics of Mind Uploading

I’ve just finished reading Keith Wiley’s A Taxonomy and Metaphysics of Uploading, which is concerned with the core question of mind uploading, namely under what circumstances, if any, and according to what interpretations, if any, might be judge a mind-uploading scenario to have successfully transferred a mind from one brain to another.

Ultimately the book makes an argument for every mind uploading procedure resulting in a split of that mind, and that each thread that then traverses its future light cone from that instant, is to be afforded identical rights and “primacy” of individual identity. Keith goes to lengths to avoid the use of words like copy, duplicate, original because such language naturally denigrates individual minds; such language can trigger biases, empower prejudices, and result in discrimination and is the only way to elevate the perspective of an upload over its original or vice versa.

The Taxonomy of Mind Uploading Scenarios Includes:

Gradual replacement processes in which each neuron or group of neurons is replaced one-by-one by a computerised alternative. This broad category is broken down into a number of different threads such as (i) whether the person is conscious or unconscious during the procedure, (ii) whether the neurons are destroyed and replaced by nanobot copies or copied into a synthetic brain and remain unharmed, (iii) whether the replacement rate of neurons occurs at a slow 10,000 neurons per second (100 days to upload or some other rate, (iv) whether spatial or temporal discontinuities between neuron replacement matters, (v) whether the neurons are copied by a network of nanobots sitting alongside them in the same brain, and (vi) others.

Scan and duplicate processes in which the neuronal structures are scanned and replicated on some other substrate. This broad category is broken down into a number of different threads such as (i) whether the second substrate is a biological brain (clone), physical (neuromorphic) computerised brain, or virtual brain emulation on a computer, (ii) whether the brain is frozen or not and destroyed or not, (iii) whether a virtualised emulation dispenses with lower-level structures or not, (iv) whether copied brains are awakened in identical or variable environments, (v) whether the brain is conscious or unconscious, and (vi) various percentage brain division scenarios.

Other Comments

While generally accessible I did find chunks of the text to be tedious. A glossary is presented in Chapter 2; this is a slog at times and was done to define terms to be used in the text in order to avoid confusion, but I believe this exercise was largely unnecessary as many terms didn’t need to be defined at the outset and those that did would have been better defined when needed.

I found the whole philosophical discussion on tokens, types, and occurrences to be needlessly abstract, confusing, and detracting from core arguments. The book took me a long time to complete and sometimes weeks would pass before I came back to it, which resulted in a patchy read and this review that is much shorter and less detailed than normal.

Keith also discusses consciousness, free-will, zombies, and related philosophical concepts and I found my positions on these topics different to, or in disagreement with, his views here. The presentation was useful nonetheless as finer distinctions were presented than I’d seen previously and a more nuanced understanding of the reasons for these differences between different people was hinted at.

Overall, in general, I can't fault the conclusion presented of equality of primacy of all minds. I've always had a preference for the gradual replacement uploading procedure while fully conscious but this is driven by a default, emotional mode of thinking; when thinking about it deeply I can't escape the logic that there really appears no difference regardless of procedure (a long post in and of itself). The only caveat I bring to my agreement here concerns the aspects above, particularly consciousness, and the possibility of computerised p-zombies that lack consciousness due to insufficiency of the substrate; I acknowledge this is an unpopular opinion in this space but take comfort from some eminent company.

Given the topic it is suitable that I move onto Robin Hanson’s The Age of Em, which I’ve just started reading.

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Check out my new video: Voyages of the Ship of Theseus, Variations on the original thought experiment

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Well, I'm officially a published fiction author now!

Read my short story, Persistence, included in the Lifeboat Foundation's anthology, titled Visions of the Future.  My contribution humbly nestles among those of Hugo and Nebula award winning authors.  As Zoidberg once said, what an honor!

Persistence conveys the experience of a conscious Von Neumann probe as it arrives in its target solar system.  Our central character is nervous but vigilant, mildly fearful but wonderfully excited to reach the end of a long voyage and begin the next stage of its existence.

Enjoy!

http://www.amazon.com/Visions-Future-J-Daniel-Batt/dp/0692513787

https://lifeboat.com/ex/books
Visions of the Future
Visions of the Future is a collection of stories and essays including Nebula and Hugo award-winning works. In this anthology, you'll find stories and essays about artificial intelligence, androids, faster-than-light travel, and the extension of human life. You'll read about the future of human in...
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Well, I'm officially a published fiction author now!

Read my short story, Persistence, included in the Lifeboat Foundation's anthology, titled Visions of the Future.  My contribution humbly nestles among those of Hugo and Nebula award winning authors.  As Zoidberg once said, what an honor!

Persistence conveys the experience of a conscious Von Neumann probe as it arrives in its target solar system.  Our central character is nervous but vigilant, mildly fearful but wonderfully excited to reach the end of a long voyage and begin the next stage of its existence.

Enjoy!

http://www.amazon.com/Visions-Future-J-Daniel-Batt/dp/0692513787

https://lifeboat.com/ex/books...
Who are you with?...

Rubbing elbows at the SpaceVR launch event. #beanastronaut

My latest article: http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/wiley20150720 This is an editorial length (and depth) version of a much longer article that should be available (one way or another) toward the end of the year. Cheers!

In your experience, what are typical response times for peer-reviewed journals in your field?
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