Re: New Short Story, 2008

Postby Alikat » Fri Jun 13, 2008 4:58 pm

Wizard CaT wrote:
InterNutter wrote:Arguably, a clone could have a longer lifespan... given that their cell decay rates are initiated at a later stage than the originals... but that's a proof that would take a *real* long time to get.


Clones die faster. Our cells have their DNA ends already at 20 years, then you have to grow a body to a certain point, so it's 40 years now...

Yes, a clone would have shortened telomeres; however, in this story, it's quite probable that a backup sample of duodenal stem cells was taken at birth just in case a backup clone was needed. And apparently some method of accelerating the physical development of the clone and even forcing the clone to develop working muscles without ever exercising them is available to the people in that story.
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Re: New Short Story, 2008

Postby Wizard CaT » Fri Jun 13, 2008 8:34 pm

Alikat wrote:That's the problem with ascribing such importance to something as ineffable as a soul: Since it cannot be detected or measured in any way, the only way to tell if a soul is missing, damaged, or otherwise affected is by arbitrarily deciding it is so.


A hem,

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Re: New Short Story, 2008

Postby Alikat » Fri Jun 13, 2008 9:01 pm

It didn't detect the James Brown tape in his pocket, so obviously that's no soul detector.
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Re: New Short Story, 2008

Postby Anna » Fri Jun 13, 2008 11:46 pm

he he he

Remind this to "Amazon Women On The Moon"?
B.B.King was there sitting on a chair with his guitar and begged for a donnation for a man who has no soul.
But this guy made money with his handicap and made music LP/CD's with songs like "...bind a yellow ribbon..."

But there could be an other problem by downloading a memory into a "new" brain.

1. A brain does learn different as an computer, memories are also connected with emotions, and emotions creating chemical things in our brain, so maybe, they say, a memory could be connected with this.
Means, with our modern techniques, we are not close enough to understand how a brain creates memories, and of course there is no way to save it, especially not like a harddisk.

In this case we are that far away from like Ada Lovlace from the first computer.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ada_Lovelace

2. A damage of a brain can have cruel results.
You can become a savant
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Savant_syndrome
Or your love for rock music can go and you suddenly become a fan of classics.

This gentleman has described something like this.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sacks%2C_Oliver

So a download can be very risky if the wrong regions are connected, or if it is not complete, or is doubling itself.
So beside the things you asked before, you really should ask yourself, am I the same person as before?


The telomeres, well, the nature repairs it usally, yes, - if a new baby is coming into the life.
The old cell's from mother and father must be repaired, and getting be younger again, to give a full lifespan.
If the nature wouldn't do that, life on earth wouldn't possible.
So this is a small problem, and I'm sure it will be solved.
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Re: New Short Story, 2008

Postby Alfador » Sat Jun 14, 2008 10:49 am

Jennifer Diane Reitz wrote:This story was born from my speculating about what it would be like to awake from being revived, to awake from a backup of your personality and identity inside a fresh clone body.

You wouldn't feel any time had passed at all. That would be the weird thing about sitting down to have your memories and identity uploaded for storage - the last thing you think as you are being uploaded would be the first thing you think as you are revived, so to you, no time would pass. The world would just blink, and skip a beat, and suddenly everything would be different around you, but you would be the person that sat down on that chair.

It would be strange to sit in a backup chair, the actual sitting down part. You sit down, and you would realize that in just a few moments, either you would experience getting up and going off on your mission, or you would experience climbing out of a clone tank, one or the other, with no gap, no switch, no time, just one or the other, right after someone says, "Ok, that's it!"

It would be a little creepy, putting your butt into that chair, knowing that in just a few moments, either everything goes on, or you will be saddled with one hell of an existential problem as to what and who you really are, and what identity really means.

Some folks might just shrug, and go 'huh!', shake the goo off, and want to know how they were killed, what happened.

Some might be really surprised, not really believing that such a thing could actually happen to them.

And some, I figure, might be really traumatized, once the weight of it sunk in.

But always the problem would be that they would feel no different, at all, than the moment that they stuck their butt in that chair. They would feel like the same person, they would have all of their memories, it would seem as if the world changed and not them.

Think, for a moment, what it would be like, your butt hovering over that chair, knowing this. It's better to be backed up, just in case, it's better to save your game... but there's always that chance, that chance that you won't just get up out of the same chair you sat down in, and then to know that the you that did get up out of that chair died. Perhaps horribly. Are you... you? You know absolutely that you are yourself, yet... are you? And however this question is answered, whichever way you answer it, causes problems for the sense of identity, of self. Either way is troubling.

Someday, I wish within my lifespan, though I doubt it, we may actually have to deal with just this problem.

I find that wonderful and horrifying at the same time; I find it sublime.

How would I deal with this? I don't know. I think I would be contemplating it for a long, long time afterwards, trying to wrap my mind around what it means.


I would be miserable at the loss of the memory of traveling through space. "I spent 3 years on a beautiful alien world but can't remember any of it because I died before they could back any of that up."

No, I'd have to go with the continuous backups that'd come with being transhuman. If I were still religious, I'd rationalize it by theorizing that the soul can't be fooled by our technology, I know I'm me so no matter what kind of body I have, meat and bone or cloud of nanorobots, I'm still me. The soul is described as the essence of identity, of who I am... so if that can be backed up, where's the problem? #_@ I dunno, sometimes it's difficult to get back in the whole "rationalize new knowledge learned through science with old beliefs by saying that the beliefs were right but incomplete, here's the new stuff that fits it together" mindset, and that's probably a good thing. If I hadn't grown out of religion, I might've turned into one of those "Christian Scientists" who are trying to shove religion into the classroom these days.
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Re: New Short Story, 2008

Postby strange_person » Sat Jun 14, 2008 11:07 am

Ah, but continuous, automated backups could cause other problems.
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Re: New Short Story, 2008

Postby Alfador » Sat Jun 14, 2008 11:15 am

Jennifer Diane Reitz wrote:If you buy a CD, and you copy the data to your computer, and your CD is destroyed -broken-, and you burn a new CD to replace it, is the music the same music? Are the songs the same songs, or are they new songs that just happen to sound identical to the original CD?


It depends, did you compress the music after you transferred it to your hard drive?


...Imagine the soul as an infinite CD-R, into which a permanent archive of all memories, all aspects of personality from birth to death are recorded. The sum total of your existance. Now imagine that the brain is your desktop computer, which doesn't have native support for reading CD-Rs, but has a program to automatically burn everything you download or create onto that infinite CD-R. Synchronizing the data from the hard disk.

Problem is, the hard disk itself isn't infinite, and you need to sometimes compress or delete data so the operating system doesn't overload trying to cross-link all the files on it. That's pretty close to how memory works in a brain, except that you don't have conscious control over what gets erased. Sometimes you get a virus (brain damage) that can erase whole sections of the hard disk, but if the soul (CD-R) is real, then it doesn't matter in the long run, it's still backed up.

Death is when the hard drive finally grinds to a halt. Cloned backup is copying a ghosted image to a new hard drive. And the continuous backup of the transhumans... a RAID array!! The operating system and most of the data are intact when you restore from a backup--you're still you, you're still running the same soul, you just have new hardware.

This metaphor even allows for reincarnation. That's where you throw away a computer that you stupidly didn't back up before it died, and buy a new one with a clean hard drive and a basic operating system. Hook up the CD-R to start recording memories and there you go.

The afterlife, of course, would be like unto a big computer at a university that you dream of putting your CD-R into, because IT has NATIVE support for READING the CD-R, so everything you ever saved to your hard drive can be recalled with clarity, and you'll finally have the chance to cross-link everything, because it's THAT FAST!!

...but in time you might get bored with just crosslinking all your past life experience, limited in what you can do with it by what you've experienced already. Then it's time to go buy a new PC and start living again...
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Re: New Short Story, 2008

Postby Alfador » Sat Jun 14, 2008 11:28 am

Jennifer Diane Reitz wrote:Here is an even trickier problem which asks 'would we even know ourselves?'

You take a person, and sedate them to full unconsciousness. Then you backup their brain and immediately download that backup into a pre-prepared absolutely identical clone, which is already sedated and thus not capable of unconsciousness. Now you take both unconscious people and put them in a room side by side. Then, you have a nurse go in and randomly shuffle the sleeping people, by just moving the wheeled palets around a bit so that nobody knows who is who. The nurse has no knowledge of any of this, she just does the task.

Now wait for both to wake up.

You are one of those people. The two versions of you are identical in every way, they literally are the same person.

Here is the big question: are you the clone, or the original?

How could you tell? Both of you have the same memories of being the original. Both of you would be equally sure and unsure of your status.

Even the original techs that did the procedure would not know which was which, and the nurse that did the shuffle (or not) was not informed of any part of this experiment, so she has no idea either.

I submit that you cannot know who you are. You cannot know yourself - you cannot know if you are clone or original.

This said, apply this understanding to the conditions of the story above for added depth of dilemma.


I personally wouldn't care. Since there'd be no way to tell who's who, we're both essentially me, with all the nomenclature-destroying sexual activity that implies. People would ask "Is sex with your clone incest or masturbation?" to which we'd reply "Who gives a fuck?" #_@ We'd also have fun messing with a society that would probably be in the midst of debating clone rights, pointing out that if they can't prove one of us is a clone, and one of us is definitely the original, they can't go treating us differently because they'd risk treating an original human unconstitutionally. (not that the current administration has any problem with that these days)

To extend my earlier computer metaphor, this would effectively network the CD-R writer with two computers sharing a copied image. To those who would religiously bluster that the soul can't connect to two different bodies, I'd reply with a shit-eating grin, "So now you're putting limits on what God can and can't do with your soul? I'd watch out for lightning bolts if I were you!" Then walk briskly away before some lightning-associated power like Zeus or Thor or something decides that now's the appropriate time to put in an appearance. (Being agnostic is fun! I can posit all sorts of weird theological situations because I'm not atheist, and not worry about blasphemy because I also don't really believe any one of them!) B^D
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Re: New Short Story, 2008

Postby angelkitty21 » Sun Jun 15, 2008 3:40 pm

Jennifer Diane Reitz wrote:This is not something religion ever considered before, because all religion dates from pre-technological times. This is something new.


Concerning dogma, doctrine and fundamentalism, that's true. But to the spiritual, philosophical side, I think the answer would be

"I am, that I am."
(^zen-taoist thought that happens to be judeo-christian)

You are not the same person as when you were eight. You're not the same person as you are five years from now. Why should it matter if you happen to be in two places at once? It's just splitting hairs, really. (or lines-of-space-time-continuum)
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Re: New Short Story, 2008

Postby strange_person » Mon Jun 16, 2008 3:15 pm

Jennifer Diane Reitz wrote: all religion dates from pre-technological times.

Most, sure, but not all.
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Re: New Short Story, 2008

Postby Wizard CaT » Mon Jun 16, 2008 4:38 pm

strange_person wrote:
Jennifer Diane Reitz wrote: all religion dates from pre-technological times.

Most, sure, but not all.


http://www.scientology.org/
http://urbanlegends.about.com/library/w ... 41601b.htm
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Re: New Short Story, 2008

Postby strange_person » Mon Jun 16, 2008 5:03 pm

Urbanlegends.about.com needs to get their facts straight.
Wikipedia wrote:At least two real churches based on the Jedi religion exist. In 2005 Temple Of The Jedi Order was incorporated as a Texas non-profit religious corporation. The Temple's ministers may legally conduct marriages in the United States. In 2007, two brothers Barney Jones and Daniel Jones, set up a Jedi church in Holyhead, Anglesey that had thirty members. It was based on improving life using the Jedi principles.
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Re: Pop Bottle Empty (Story from Wednesday)

Postby strange_person » Mon Jun 16, 2008 8:12 pm

Perhaps the threads should be merged?
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Re: Pop Bottle Empty (Story from Wednesday)

Postby Tychomonger » Mon Jun 16, 2008 8:18 pm

strange_person wrote:Perhaps the threads should be merged?

Done.

Shackler wrote:
Volair wrote:I fear you have more or less accurately predicted what the humans will be like once transhumans like us have moved on. But I suppose it will be their loss.
Personally, I think that's a somewhat arrogant attitude. Who guarantees that you'll be transhuman? I'm sure all of us strive to reach that goal, but we can't imagine that it's a certainty. There's a great deal of hard work and effort that we'll need to put in in order to realize the dream.

I think what Volair was referring to was the the will to become transhuman. As in, if the technology arises, he will be one of those willing to change himself, as opposed to those who choose to remain the same, possibly for religious reasons.
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Re: New Short Story, 2008

Postby Alfador » Mon Jun 16, 2008 9:33 pm

Another consideration is that if you have continuous memory backups, say, through being a cloud of nanites, you can also create a biological body to put on like a set of clothes, wear it till it wears out, then toss it when you're done. The physical death of that body won't hurt you, because you can keep any sensory input gathered by that body right up to the end, even discarding pain over a desired threshold as if 'twere signal noise.

So being a glowing fog won't keep you from also being a furry, and it'd be the perfect time to experiment with any dangerous fetishes. If you scrape your clothes up, you can still wear them, repair them, replace them. Same for fleshly bodies in the future. And I'm sure some people will have lots of fun gathering up discarded, half-rotted bodies and putting on a performance as a rampaging horde of zombies to giggle at.
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Re: New Short Story, 2008

Postby strange_person » Tue Jun 17, 2008 2:15 pm

A stage-musical adaptation of Shaun of the Dead with live ammo and no special effects.
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Re: Pop Bottle Empty (Story from Wednesday)

Postby Volair » Wed Jun 18, 2008 8:45 pm

Tychomonger wrote:
Shackler wrote:
Volair wrote:I fear you have more or less accurately predicted what the humans will be like once transhumans like us have moved on. But I suppose it will be their loss.
Personally, I think that's a somewhat arrogant attitude. Who guarantees that you'll be transhuman? I'm sure all of us strive to reach that goal, but we can't imagine that it's a certainty. There's a great deal of hard work and effort that we'll need to put in in order to realize the dream.

I think what Volair was referring to was the the will to become transhuman. As in, if the technology arises, he will be one of those willing to change himself, as opposed to those who choose to remain the same, possibly for religious reasons.


Quite exactly so.

And I can assure you, if I am around long enough to augment myself into enough, ah, durability to continue moving upward and outward, my humanity will very quickly have less significance to me than the hospital I was born in has to me now.

I am not so arrogant to assume I will be one of the greater entities of this inhuman future-- I do not presume to one day be a God. But I will not be one of these lesser beings who stay behind.
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Re: New Short Story, 2008

Postby Volair » Wed Jun 18, 2008 8:50 pm

strange_person wrote:A stage-musical adaptation of Shaun of the Dead with live ammo and no special effects.


Jon Coulton wrote:Allllll we wanna do is eat your brains--
we're not unreasonable--
I mean, no one's gonna eat your eyes.

All we wanna do is eat your brains
we're at an impasse here, maybe we should compromise.
If you open up the door, we'll all come inside and eat your braaaaaains!
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Re: Pop Bottle Empty (Story from Wednesday)

Postby Alfador » Wed Jun 18, 2008 9:25 pm

Volair wrote:
Tychomonger wrote:
Shackler wrote:Personally, I think that's a somewhat arrogant attitude. Who guarantees that you'll be transhuman? I'm sure all of us strive to reach that goal, but we can't imagine that it's a certainty. There's a great deal of hard work and effort that we'll need to put in in order to realize the dream.

I think what Volair was referring to was the the will to become transhuman. As in, if the technology arises, he will be one of those willing to change himself, as opposed to those who choose to remain the same, possibly for religious reasons.


Quite exactly so.

And I can assure you, if I am around long enough to augment myself into enough, ah, durability to continue moving upward and outward, my humanity will very quickly have less significance to me than the hospital I was born in has to me now.

I am not so arrogant to assume I will be one of the greater entities of this inhuman future-- I do not presume to one day be a God. But I will not be one of these lesser beings who stay behind.


My reservations about modifying my body in a permanent fashion are simply that it must have a definite purpose. No ear piercings. No tattoos. No scarification. What'd be the point? But I will jump at the chance to fix my eyes, or make my skeleton more durable, or back up my brain.

And I wouldn't say no to a nice fluffy tail, either. Because that would be awesome and snuggly. *fluff*
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Re: New Short Story, 2008

Postby Tychomonger » Wed Jun 18, 2008 9:29 pm

What about a tongue piercing? That is decidedly non-permanent. I'm pretty sure the tongue heals completely within a few weeks if you leave the stud thingy out.
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