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(Science Daily)   Waiting for your first immortality treatment? Look no further   (sciencedaily.com) divider line 90
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5878 clicks; posted to Geek » on 01 Feb 2013 at 7:38 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-02-01 11:29:28 AM

Bungles: hobberwickey: Bungles: The problem with being alive now is that we're probably only 60 or 70 years from the average human lifespan of a new born hitting 200.

Which is a bummer, to be last people boarding the Titanic.

Unless you're 30 like me. 30 years from now the average life span will be 100 or so, and 40 years from then, 200, and 100 years from then 500. I'm in just under the curve, or so I'd like to think.

\I'm going to be the first person to get out of life alive
\\just like everyone else


I''m probably the same age as you, but I think we've missed the boat (or rather, the boat hasn't launched yet and only takes babies)

I suspect that a lot of the genetic ending to aging (which is coming) will require a little pre-birth fiddling, to stop teleomere degradation and all that. The people in 60 years or so who won't age to infirmity any more are probably going to be the new folk, not us. I'm sure I read somewhere that the average age of death, if we eliminate aging, will be in the low 200s.


I'm factoring in the ability to manipulate genes in adults, which is far off, but not that far off considering what we can do now and considering it was only what 10-15 years ago that we sequenced the first human genome? The pace genetic research has on has been amazing and from my understanding we're still in the 'let's try this and see what happens' stage of genetic research. Once we start to figure out predictive models for DNA like we have for physics, forget about it, we'll have pills that let you grow tails.
 
2013-02-01 11:39:59 AM
 
2013-02-01 11:59:05 AM

geek_mars: The only way I'd want immortality is if I could live digitally. I read about a month ago or so about scientists working on developing the kinds of computers that would let people download into them at the end of their lives (or sooner), and I think the idea is kind of intriguing. If I could have some control over my virtual environment (I wanna fly, dammit!) then I might be happier going Matrix style.


So do you think that your consciousness would continue in your digital self, or would it be a copy that thinks it's a continuation of the original you?  Put another way, lets say that you merge your organic brain with a digital brain.  If your organic body dies, is the digital brain really now "you"?  I'm sure it would believe it is, but I'm also sure that if we revived your organic body, it would disagree.

Much like the teleporter thought problem, I tend to think that if you download your consciousness into a computer (or teleport your body to another place) the original you dies, and is replaced by a copy that has all of your memories.  To an observer, there is no difference.  But there would be no continuity of self and thought, so you're still dead.

/no, seriously, I'm not high
 
2013-02-01 12:21:22 PM

geek_mars: The only way I'd want immortality is if I could live digitally. I read about a month ago or so about scientists working on developing the kinds of computers that would let people download into them at the end of their lives (or sooner), and I think the idea is kind of intriguing. If I could have some control over my virtual environment (I wanna fly, dammit!) then I might be happier going Matrix style.


I have long argued that advanced civilizations "go Matrix style" when they achieve the capability, rather than spreading out into their galaxies. Interstellar travel for living organisms seems so difficult that it simply isn't done, and may even appear pointless once a civilization is capable of making its own Matrix-like universes.
 
2013-02-01 12:26:44 PM

Erix: geek_mars: The only way I'd want immortality is if I could live digitally. I read about a month ago or so about scientists working on developing the kinds of computers that would let people download into them at the end of their lives (or sooner), and I think the idea is kind of intriguing. If I could have some control over my virtual environment (I wanna fly, dammit!) then I might be happier going Matrix style.

So do you think that your consciousness would continue in your digital self, or would it be a copy that thinks it's a continuation of the original you?  Put another way, lets say that you merge your organic brain with a digital brain.  If your organic body dies, is the digital brain really now "you"?  I'm sure it would believe it is, but I'm also sure that if we revived your organic body, it would disagree.

Much like the teleporter thought problem, I tend to think that if you download your consciousness into a computer (or teleport your body to another place) the original you dies, and is replaced by a copy that has all of your memories.  To an observer, there is no difference.  But there would be no continuity of self and thought, so you're still dead.

/no, seriously, I'm not high


I have also spent many minutes pondering that exact dilemma, whilst not high. A copy of you may be indistinguishable from you to others, and even to yourself, and while both might think they were the original since they have the same memories, only one really is. Only one is really you, so if you die and the other takes over there may still be a version of you in the world doing exactly what you'd do, but it's not you. Your consciousness has ceased. The same as a transporter in Star Trek. I'm not a star trek fan but from what I gather it breaks you down into atoms to scan and then rebuilds but using different atoms. It would cease the stream of consciousness coming from your head, and create a new one.

I think I might be high now. I've certainly taken what you said, clear and concise, at least as concise as one can be on this topic, and done nothing to help. I applaud my efforts.
 
2013-02-01 12:27:05 PM
I don't know. Doc Brown didn't look any different.
 
2013-02-01 12:31:22 PM
Well, so much for the population problem solving itself.
 
2013-02-01 12:35:07 PM

LewDux: Who wants to live foreveeeeeeeeeer


Forever? I don't know. Ask me in 500 years.
 
2013-02-01 12:39:44 PM

Slaxl: I have also spent many minutes pondering that exact dilemma, whilst not high. A copy of you may be indistinguishable from you to others, and even to yourself, and while both might think they were the original since they have the same memories, only one really is. Only one is really you, so if you die and the other takes over there may still be a version of you in the world doing exactly what you'd do, but it's not you. Your consciousness has ceased.


What makes you say that? After all, in 'real life' you are constantly flushing spent cells and growing new ones. IIRC, the longest lived cells in you body live only about 7 years, some live only a matter of days (skin cells?). IOW, you're constantly doing a slo-mo Star Trek-like decomposition and recomposition. Yet nobody seriously claims you're not the same person you were yesterday or 7 years ago.

The key, it strikes me, is continuity. If continuity is maintained, the new you IS you, irrespective of your form.
 
2013-02-01 12:43:49 PM

Stone Meadow: Slaxl: I have also spent many minutes pondering that exact dilemma, whilst not high. A copy of you may be indistinguishable from you to others, and even to yourself, and while both might think they were the original since they have the same memories, only one really is. Only one is really you, so if you die and the other takes over there may still be a version of you in the world doing exactly what you'd do, but it's not you. Your consciousness has ceased.

What makes you say that? After all, in 'real life' you are constantly flushing spent cells and growing new ones. IIRC, the longest lived cells in you body live only about 7 years, some live only a matter of days (skin cells?). IOW, you're constantly doing a slo-mo Star Trek-like decomposition and recomposition. Yet nobody seriously claims you're not the same person you were yesterday or 7 years ago.

The key, it strikes me, is continuity. If continuity is maintained, the new you IS you, irrespective of your form.


I think you're right, it's all a matter of continuity.  If you just "download" your brain, you're really making a copy, not moving your consciousness.  You'd have to essentially merge the two, and then slowly shut down the organic portion.  How slowly?  Does it matter?  I dunno, but I think it does for some reason.
 
2013-02-01 12:45:32 PM

geek_mars: The only way I'd want immortality is if I could live digitally. I read about a month ago or so about scientists working on developing the kinds of computers that would let people download into them at the end of their lives (or sooner), and I think the idea is kind of intriguing. If I could have some control over my virtual environment (I wanna fly, dammit!) then I might be happier going Matrix style.


That's my plan.  I'm going to download my self into 10,000 deep space probes and explore the galaxy.
 
2013-02-01 12:46:46 PM

Slaxl: I have also spent many minutes pondering that exact dilemma, whilst not high. A copy of you may be indistinguishable from you to others, and even to yourself, and while both might think they were the original since they have the same memories, only one really is. Only one is really you, so if you die and the other takes over there may still be a version of you in the world doing exactly what you'd do, but it's not you. Your consciousness has ceased. The same as a transporter in Star Trek. I'm not a star trek fan but from what I gather it breaks you down into atoms to scan and then rebuilds but using different atoms. It would cease the stream of consciousness coming from your head, and create a new one.

I think I might be high now. I've certainly taken what you said, clear and concise, at least as concise as one can be on this topic, and done nothing to help. I applaud my efforts.


Hah, well I'm not sure how clear an existential topic like this can really get.

I've often thought of writing a sci-fi short story where the teleporter is invented, and one guy realizes that it's essentially destroying the original people and replacing them with soulless copies, but everyone else uses it anyways, until he's the only person left with a soul on earth.

/don't really believe in souls, but I still think it's a cool idea.
//of course, this has probably already been written..
 
2013-02-01 01:07:51 PM

Erix: Stone Meadow: The key, it strikes me, is continuity. If continuity is maintained, the new you IS you, irrespective of your form.

I think you're right, it's all a matter of continuity.  If you just "download" your brain, you're really making a copy, not moving your consciousness.  You'd have to essentially merge the two, and then slowly shut down the organic portion.  How slowly?  Does it matter?  I dunno, but I think it does for some reason.


Hans Moravec addresses this issue in one (or more) or his books. He speculates that the merger process would proceed as fast as the technology is capable, with one's consciousness starting off wholly in the brain and smoothly transitioning to partially, then wholly in the 'computer'. IIRC, he says the process is inherently destructive, as the computer is literally creating a virtual network based on the physical interconnections of your brain as it's progressively mapped-by-destruction. Whether he's correct is an open question that will only be answered in time, but I for one hope to be there, and slowing/reversing senescence is the start.
 
2013-02-01 01:49:32 PM

Stone Meadow: I have long argued that advanced civilizations "go Matrix style" when they achieve the capability, rather than spreading out into their galaxies.


Yes. This has always been my answer to the Fermi Paradox.
 
2013-02-01 01:51:33 PM

Mr. Eugenides: That's my plan.  I'm going to download my self into 10,000 deep space probes and explore the galaxy.


I would switch my consciousness on for a fraction of a second every century or so so I could get a sense of motion with my travels and not "die" of boredom.
 
2013-02-01 01:56:13 PM

Mr. Eugenides: geek_mars: The only way I'd want immortality is if I could live digitally. I read about a month ago or so about scientists working on developing the kinds of computers that would let people download into them at the end of their lives (or sooner), and I think the idea is kind of intriguing. If I could have some control over my virtual environment (I wanna fly, dammit!) then I might be happier going Matrix style.

That's my plan.  I'm going to download my self into 10,000 deep space probes and explore the galaxy.


Which would be awesome, but without instantaneous communication between them, I think you'd probably be limited to just directly experiencing one of them.  Better to hang back and have them send their experiences back to you.
 
2013-02-01 02:00:24 PM

Stone Meadow: Slaxl: I have also spent many minutes pondering that exact dilemma, whilst not high. A copy of you may be indistinguishable from you to others, and even to yourself, and while both might think they were the original since they have the same memories, only one really is. Only one is really you, so if you die and the other takes over there may still be a version of you in the world doing exactly what you'd do, but it's not you. Your consciousness has ceased.

What makes you say that? After all, in 'real life' you are constantly flushing spent cells and growing new ones. IIRC, the longest lived cells in you body live only about 7 years, some live only a matter of days (skin cells?). IOW, you're constantly doing a slo-mo Star Trek-like decomposition and recomposition. Yet nobody seriously claims you're not the same person you were yesterday or 7 years ago.

The key, it strikes me, is continuity. If continuity is maintained, the new you IS you, irrespective of your form.


If you make an identical copy of yourself, and you stand next to it, one is the one that created the copy, and one is the copy. So only one would really be you, as in the original you that made the stuff happen.

Yes we are all fresh every 7 years or so, but there is continuation throughout. If we regenerated by ceasing to exist, collapsing into a pile of atoms, and then regrowing out of a whole new, unconnected atoms, we would not be able to continue to exist as ourselves, it would be a copy consciousness, not an original. For you it would be as dying.
 
2013-02-01 02:55:11 PM

Slaxl: Yes we are all fresh every 7 years or so, but there is continuation throughout. If we regenerated by ceasing to exist, collapsing into a pile of atoms, and then regrowing out of a whole new, unconnected atoms, we would not be able to continue to exist as ourselves, it would be a copy consciousness, not an original. For you it would be as dying.


Not if those atoms were entangled with the atoms on the other side of the transportation!
 
2013-02-01 03:15:40 PM
So, we're going to have Lazarus Pits? Hope we can conquer the temporary psychosis.
 
2013-02-01 03:19:27 PM

Slaxl: Stone Meadow: The key, it strikes me, is continuity. If continuity is maintained, the new you IS you, irrespective of your form.

If you make an identical copy of yourself, and you stand next to it, one is the one that created the copy, and one is the copy. So only one would really be you, as in the original you that made the stuff happen.


If one makes an identical copy, then yes. However, I was referring to Moravec's description of a hypothetical destructive process. As I note above, though, he may simply be wrong about the need for destruction to occur. It may be, and increasing seems more likely to me, that we will be able to recreate your brain's neural network virtually by increasing the resolution of MRI-like imaging technologies. If that is the case, then *you* would continue to live out your life while an alter-ego enters the Matrix. There would be no need to stand next to it...you would be you and it would be it.

That brings up a whole host of legal and ethical issues, though, and there may be laws in future to prevent autonomous multiple copies of oneself.  

Yes we are all fresh every 7 years or so, but there is continuation throughout. If we regenerated by ceasing to exist, collapsing into a pile of atoms, and then regrowing out of a whole new, unconnected atoms, we would not be able to continue to exist as ourselves, it would be a copy consciousness, not an original. For you it would be as dying.

Going back to Moravec's scenario, you wouldn't experience any death, as you would remain conscious throughout the transfer procedure. At its conclusion your body would be there, brain dead and awaiting organ harvesting, and ultimately feedstock for the soylent green vats, but your existence would continue without interruption. ;)
 
2013-02-01 03:45:10 PM

Stone Meadow: Going back to Moravec's scenario, you wouldn't experience any death, as you would remain conscious throughout the transfer procedure. At its conclusion your body would be there, brain dead and awaiting organ harvesting, and ultimately feedstock for the soylent green vats, but your existence would continue without interruption. ;)


The trouble is, whether or not it really was the same "continuous" you, the digital you wouldn't be able to tell the difference.  Not that it would make any difference to anyone but you.

Never read any of the Moravec scenario, but the destructive aspect of it seems almost like a ploy to avoid having to deal with the implications of having two copies of the same consciousness running around.  If you merge a mind with a computer, copying all of the important info over, and then shut down the body, I could be convinced that there was a continuation of consciousness and you really have transferred.  But if the body just gets shut down by being placed in a deep coma, then gets separated and subsequently revived, where does the "continued" consciousness reside?  Which half?  They'd both think it was them, but only one could really be it.. right?
 
2013-02-01 06:33:30 PM
There will always be some timer or another that's going to send us down the road to old age. The body will continue making small missteps, with mutated and divergent results as time goes by. Also,  women run out of eggs eventuall. They only get so many and when that process ends, their body chemistry shifts.

I have some atheist friends who refuse to believe in god and heaven, but believe they can be frozen and brought back or who are lobbying the government to find a "cure" for old age. They've replaced one cultish belief with another. No matter how many times I tell them that there will be no profit in resurrecting an elderly computer programmer in poor health and in poor shape with defunct skills, they persist in believing that someone will bring them back because they are somehow valuable. No, sweetcheeks, you're not.
 
2013-02-01 06:36:08 PM
Hooray. Now I can be a wage slave forever!!!
 
2013-02-01 06:40:39 PM
mandatory abortions with each immortality shot, It's the only way,


besides, some people need to die


I got to wait 200 years to inherit the house? Dad, have you seen my gun?
 
2013-02-01 06:48:20 PM

DarkSoulNoHope: Hooray. Now I can be a wage slave forever!!!


That. Unless the planet magically becomes a post-scarcity based society, there's no much of a point in living forever if you're going to need to work for another several hundred years just to survive and afford whatever treatments needed to stay immortal. No turn over, no job openings for the younger generation growing up, no chance to retire and live out your final years doing whatever the hell you want. Yeah, I think I'll wait for immortality thank you very much.
 
2013-02-01 06:59:32 PM

Kanemano: mandatory abortions with each immortality shot, It's the only way,


besides, some people need to die


I got to wait 200 years to inherit the house? Dad, have you seen my gun?


I have to have an abortion?  I don't.. won't that.. huh?
 
2013-02-01 07:00:54 PM

rickycal78: DarkSoulNoHope: Hooray. Now I can be a wage slave forever!!!

That. Unless the planet magically becomes a post-scarcity based society, there's no much of a point in living forever if you're going to need to work for another several hundred years just to survive and afford whatever treatments needed to stay immortal. No turn over, no job openings for the younger generation growing up, no chance to retire and live out your final years doing whatever the hell you want. Yeah, I think I'll wait for immortality thank you very much.


Well, it would certainly be a catalyst for an off-world exodus then..
 
2013-02-01 07:04:32 PM

Erix: Kanemano: mandatory abortions with each immortality shot, It's the only way,


besides, some people need to die


I got to wait 200 years to inherit the house? Dad, have you seen my gun?

I have to have an abortion?  I don't.. won't that.. huh?


OK sterilizations,

give me a break it's 2PM and I am hung over.
 
2013-02-01 07:16:48 PM

Kanemano: Erix: Kanemano: mandatory abortions with each immortality shot, It's the only way,


besides, some people need to die


I got to wait 200 years to inherit the house? Dad, have you seen my gun?

I have to have an abortion?  I don't.. won't that.. huh?

OK sterilizations,

give me a break it's 2PM and I am hung over.


I really would rather have seen you try to explain the abortions for everyone part.
 
2013-02-01 07:28:12 PM

Erix: Kanemano: Erix: Kanemano: mandatory abortions with each immortality shot, It's the only way,


besides, some people need to die


I got to wait 200 years to inherit the house? Dad, have you seen my gun?

I have to have an abortion?  I don't.. won't that.. huh?

OK sterilizations,

give me a break it's 2PM and I am hung over.

I really would rather have seen you try to explain the abortions for everyone part.


OK

The sperm in each man is naught but a miniature man waiting to grow to full size so we must pluck these little men apart and dispose of them to preserve our way of life in the future because they are not our children, but our competitors for dwindling resources.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homunculus

and you thought your great grandpa was smart
 
2013-02-02 05:07:23 AM

0Icky0: What if you and your wife only have enough money for one treatment?
Who gets it?
You or your girlfriend?


Me.  My wife has Asian-time-warp, and will look 16 for the next 30 years, so she's already set.
 
2013-02-02 10:49:41 AM

Z-clipped: Me.  My wife has Asian-time-warp, and will look 16 for the next 30 years, so she's already set.


I know what that's like.
And I like it.
 
2013-02-02 08:11:42 PM

Erix: But there would be no continuity of self and thought, so you're still dead.


If you think "continuity of self" is critical to identity maintenance, you don't understand the process of cellular replacement within your body.

If you think "continuity of thought" is critical to identity maintenance, you must hate going to bed every night. "Sleep, those little slices of death -- how I loathe them."
 
2013-02-03 06:37:58 AM

jfarkinB: Erix: But there would be no continuity of self and thought, so you're still dead.

If you think "continuity of self" is critical to identity maintenance, you don't understand the process of cellular replacement within your body.

If you think "continuity of thought" is critical to identity maintenance, you must hate going to bed every night. "Sleep, those little slices of death -- how I loathe them."


When you go to sleep your entire personage and every cell and every atom is not replaced by a new set. It is a gradual process, which allows the "continuity of self" to continue.

If you think being deconstructed and reassembled elsewhere will leave you as the same you that entered the magic transportational teleportamatron, then you're mistaken. Our self, our thoughts, etc are all tied to these atoms in our bodies. If they were destroyed to be reconstructed elsewhere then the reconstruction would think it was you, and so would everyone else, but the original you still died, you would never rematerialise.
 
2013-02-03 07:29:56 AM

Slaxl: jfarkinB: Erix: But there would be no continuity of self and thought, so you're still dead.

If you think "continuity of self" is critical to identity maintenance, you don't understand the process of cellular replacement within your body.

If you think "continuity of thought" is critical to identity maintenance, you must hate going to bed every night. "Sleep, those little slices of death -- how I loathe them."

When you go to sleep your entire personage and every cell and every atom is not replaced by a new set. It is a gradual process, which allows the "continuity of self" to continue.

If you think being deconstructed and reassembled elsewhere will leave you as the same you that entered the magic transportational teleportamatron, then you're mistaken. Our self, our thoughts, etc are all tied to these atoms in our bodies. If they were destroyed to be reconstructed elsewhere then the reconstruction would think it was you, and so would everyone else, but the original you still died, you would never rematerialise.


This position is really only valid if you believe in the supernatural (the soul, for example).  From a scientific perspective, you (your memories, your consciousness, everything that makes you "you") are nothing but an arrangement of indistinguishable particles.  An object with precisely the same arrangement as you would be "you" in every measurable sense... not a "copy of you", but, in fact "you".

The passage of time, and the perception of "past", "future", and "now" are all illusions.  There's no way to be certain that any of your memories are real, or that you even existed a second before you read this.  Your consciousness is also an illusion, created by the manner in which you experience time.  If you were to cease existing in one place, and go on existing in another, there would be nothing to differentiate between the consciousnesses. Ergo, a teleported you would still be you.

The interesting extrapolation that can be made from this is that, if the "many worlds" conjecture is true, it's likely that you will never die (at least from your own perspective).  At any given moment, there is a finite possibility that you'll die, and a finite possibility that you will go on living.  This is true no matter how old you get. Therefore, since there exists at least one possible scenario (or universe, if you like) in which you live forever, you will continue to find yourself in it.
 
2013-02-03 04:10:48 PM
I was thinking my opinion was only valid if the soul doesn't exist. A real soul might be able to go to different bodies, but since that doesn't exist if one brain is turned into nothing then why should the consciousness transfer to the new one?

I suppose there's so much about the brain we don't know that we might be able to identify that what we consider consciousness as a series of electical signals we can copy, and somehow have one person existing in two places, but it all starts to get a little bit hazy in my brain after that.

Z-clipped: Therefore, since there exists at least one possible scenario (or universe, if you like) in which you live forever, you will continue to find yourself in it.


When I was a kid I saw someone on a TV show say something similar, basically that you can play Russian Roulette all you like, you can't die. Your friends and family may see you die, but since you can't not exist you will always find a way to exist in an alternative world where the chamber was empty or the gun misfired.
 
2013-02-04 09:36:46 PM

0Icky0: Z-clipped: Me.  My wife has Asian-time-warp, and will look 16 for the next 30 years, so she's already set.

I know what that's like.
And I like it.


Meh...by that time Z-clipped will be old and fat and she will be farking some other dude.
 
2013-02-04 10:13:35 PM

Stone Meadow: 0Icky0: Z-clipped: Me.  My wife has Asian-time-warp, and will look 16 for the next 30 years, so she's already set.

I know what that's like.
And I like it.

Meh...by that time Z-clipped will be old and fat and she will be farking some other dude.


Women, more likely. But even if I got too old and fat to participate anymore, I'm sure she'd still let me watch. She's cool like that.
 
2013-02-04 10:23:21 PM

Z-clipped: Stone Meadow: 0Icky0: Z-clipped: Me.  My wife has Asian-time-warp, and will look 16 for the next 30 years, so she's already set.

I know what that's like.
And I like it.

Meh...by that time Z-clipped will be old and fat and she will be farking some other dude.

Women, more likely. But even if I got too old and fat to participate anymore, I'm sure she'd still let me watch. She's cool like that.


Ah...a keeper. Why din't you say so? ;)
 
2013-02-04 10:44:28 PM

Stone Meadow: Z-clipped: Stone Meadow: 0Icky0: Z-clipped: Me.  My wife has Asian-time-warp, and will look 16 for the next 30 years, so she's already set.

I know what that's like.
And I like it.

Meh...by that time Z-clipped will be old and fat and she will be farking some other dude.

Women, more likely. But even if I got too old and fat to participate anymore, I'm sure she'd still let me watch. She's cool like that.

Ah...a keeper. Why din't you say so? ;)


Holy shiat, is she ever. I'm a lucky guy. Either that, or it's cosmic payback for all of the crazy, lying, fickle, dishonourable, capricious biatches I had to wade through to get to her.

May both you and 0icky0 have the same good fortune.
 
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