Is uploading feasible?

Richard Wilson WilsonR at LILHD.Logica.com
Fri Dec 17 11:33:08 EST 1993

In article <2eptdk$cni at nucleus.harvard.edu> Dan Crevier <crevier at husc.harvard.edu> writes:
>Subject: Re: Is uploading feasible?

>	Who says that neural activity can "choose," and what is choosing?  

I do and I agree with you: what is choosing?

>Looking at the brain as a machine, with input as the axons projecting 
>into the brain, and output as the axons projecting out of the brain, if 

Why exclude the neurons in the brain?

>you believe that the laws of physics are deterministic (ignoring quantum 
>mechanics), then it seems that the brain must be deterministic.  This 

Ignoring QM: how can you do that?! Anyway, my argument is not dependent
on QM: I'm not talking physics, I'm talking cybernetics.

>seems to contradict our ideas of consciousness and free-will, but it 
>seems to me that you have invoke religous arguments for a soul to get 
>free will.

Not so and I don't. Traditionally, the scientific focus has been on
linear systems. Even then we still have the show-stopper of the 3 (or more)
body problem. The activity in the brain is certainly non-linear and no
one claims to have a theory to account for it.
>	Of course, the brain has so many neurons, and there is so much going on 
>in the brain with neuromodulators and other things we don't understand 
>very well, that there is no way that we could predict responses, but it 
>seems to me that the brain is ultimately deterministic.

Possibly, but I don't think so and one example is that of choice, which
I consider to be a real phenomenon in need of explanation.


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