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posted by CoolHand on Wednesday March 16 2016, @05:46PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the ghost-in-the-machine dept.

While many tech moguls dream of changing the way we live with new smart devices or social media apps, one Russian internet millionaire is trying to change nothing less than our destiny, by making it possible to upload a human brain to a computer, reports Tristan Quinn. "Within the next 30 years," promises Dmitry Itskov, "I am going to make sure that we can all live forever."

It sounds preposterous, but there is no doubting the seriousness of this softly spoken 35-year-old, who says he left the business world to devote himself to something more useful to humanity. "I'm 100% confident it will happen. Otherwise I wouldn't have started it," he says. It is a breathtaking ambition, but could it actually be done? Itskov doesn't have too much time to find out.

"If there is no immortality technology, I'll be dead in the next 35 years," he laments. Death is inevitable - currently at least - because as we get older the cells that make up our bodies lose their ability to repair themselves, making us vulnerable to cardiovascular disease and other age-related conditions that kill about two-thirds of us.

http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-35786771

Horizon: The Immortalist, produced and directed by Tristan Quinn, will be shown on BBC 2 at 20:00 on Wednesday 16 March 2016 - viewers in the UK can catch up later on the BBC iPlayer

Dmitry Itskov, Founder of 2045 Initiative


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  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Dunbal on Wednesday March 16 2016, @06:01PM

    by Dunbal (3515) on Wednesday March 16 2016, @06:01PM (#319092)

    Only young people want to live forever.

    • (Score: 2) by takyon on Wednesday March 16 2016, @06:07PM

      by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Wednesday March 16 2016, @06:07PM (#319096) Journal

      Mind uploading implies you leave your finely aged body behind, if that's your concern.

      Depending on the amount of continuity between your meaty and digital existence, you could say that you're dying anyway, and mind uploading is a path to the afterlife.

      That's why biological anti-aging should be pursued first. Is the digital "you" really you?

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      • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 16 2016, @06:15PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 16 2016, @06:15PM (#319101)

        No, it isn't. That's why this is pretty much useless if you truly want to live forever. Making a copy of your mind won't stop your original body and consciousness from dying.

        • (Score: 2) by takyon on Wednesday March 16 2016, @06:25PM

          by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Wednesday March 16 2016, @06:25PM (#319106) Journal

          It could be useful for other things, like low resource interstellar travel with no oxygen or deep freeze necessary.

          You could also copy your mind and enslave yourself into being your own digital assistant! What could possibly go wrong?

          Finally, you could take the plunge, copy your mind, and kill off your body. It's not like your consciousness would jump from body to computer, but if it is acting exactly like you than it might fool other people.

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        • (Score: 2) by q.kontinuum on Wednesday March 16 2016, @06:40PM

          by q.kontinuum (532) on Wednesday March 16 2016, @06:40PM (#319119) Journal

          How can you be so certain? We don't know what "life" exactly is. Imagine parts of you brain failing - may be first the part to control the heartbeat and breathing. If you replace these basic functions by a cybernetic implant, is that still living? If you start incorporating other cybernetic elements into your brain, at which point do you stop "living"? I think, consciousness is a continuous process, not necessarily dependant on the exact underlying hardware. We wouldn't know, because the new existence would act like the wet-ware did before, so even if it is just emulating consciousness, begging to stay powered on, we wouldn't know for sure.
             

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          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 16 2016, @06:52PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 16 2016, @06:52PM (#319128)

            How can you be so certain?

            If you cloned an exact duplicate of yourself which looked exactly like you and had the same memories, there would be no reason to think the clone could not act independently of you, given that it has a separate body. If you then destroyed the original, then following that line of reasoning, there is also no reason to think that you haven't just ended someone's consciousness. We don't fully understand consciousness, true, but there is no reason to believe it is magic.

            • (Score: 2) by acid andy on Wednesday March 16 2016, @07:30PM

              by acid andy (1683) on Wednesday March 16 2016, @07:30PM (#319146) Homepage Journal

              It makes you wonder what would happen if you removed, swapped and reattached the left brain hemispheres from the original and the twin. Depending on the true nature of consciousness, it might swap the conscious viewpoints, have no affect on them, destroy them, make each consciousness somehow be shared across two bodies (seems unlikely), or even give rise to four consciousnesses. In fact there's no way of knowing that there aren't multiple conscious first persons existing in each human brain, perhaps in a similar way to the way in which your past and future selves exist but are distinct from your present self, or similar to parallel experiences in the many worlds hypothesis.

              --
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              • (Score: 2) by acid andy on Wednesday March 16 2016, @07:33PM

                by acid andy (1683) on Wednesday March 16 2016, @07:33PM (#319150) Homepage Journal

                Argh s/affect/effect/
                Clicking Submit just keeps refreshing a Preview of this Comment. Is this an invisible Lameness Filter or what? There's no message.

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                Where did that thought come from? And that one? What about this one? Woah, man...
                • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Wednesday March 16 2016, @09:41PM

                  by maxwell demon (1608) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday March 16 2016, @09:41PM (#319247) Journal

                  You get the message if you scroll up to the top. There you'll find something about a 2 minute wait between posts.

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                  The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
                  • (Score: 2) by acid andy on Wednesday March 16 2016, @10:40PM

                    by acid andy (1683) on Wednesday March 16 2016, @10:40PM (#319285) Homepage Journal

                    Ah thanks. I had a good look but for some reason I didn't notice that!

                    --
                    Where did that thought come from? And that one? What about this one? Woah, man...
              • (Score: 2) by julian on Wednesday March 16 2016, @09:10PM

                by julian (6003) on Wednesday March 16 2016, @09:10PM (#319224)

                In fact there's no way of knowing that there aren't multiple conscious first persons existing in each human brain

                Actually there is a way of knowing, and the answer is affirmative at least for some definitions of consciousness. There are two independent (though not entirely equal) consciousnesses in your brain--right now. This has been experimentally verified with split-brain patients. Sam Harris talks about this in a few chapters of his book Waking Up. I recommend it. For an even weirder exploration of this idea try Julian Jaynes's "The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind". Although I'd almost classify that as speculative medical-fiction. His ideas are pretty far out there and not widely accepted.

                • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Wednesday March 16 2016, @09:45PM

                  by maxwell demon (1608) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday March 16 2016, @09:45PM (#319249) Journal

                  There are two independent (though not entirely equal) consciousnesses in your brain--right now. This has been experimentally verified with split-brain patients.

                  Experiments with split-brain patients can only prove that split-brain patients have two independent consciousnesses. They cannot prove that there are also two consciousnesses without the split. It might be exactly the split that breaks the consciousness into two independent ones.

                  --
                  The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
                  • (Score: 2) by acid andy on Wednesday March 16 2016, @11:05PM

                    by acid andy (1683) on Wednesday March 16 2016, @11:05PM (#319306) Homepage Journal

                    There are two independent (though not entirely equal) consciousnesses in your brain--right now. This has been experimentally verified with split-brain patients.

                    Experiments with split-brain patients can only prove that split-brain patients have two independent consciousnesses. They cannot prove that there are also two consciousnesses without the split. It might be exactly the split that breaks the consciousness into two independent ones.

                    Indeed and we still don't know how many consciousnesses there would be after a successful reattachment.

                    --
                    Where did that thought come from? And that one? What about this one? Woah, man...
                    • (Score: 2) by devlux on Thursday March 17 2016, @12:16AM

                      by devlux (6151) on Thursday March 17 2016, @12:16AM (#319348)

                      Consider those with full fledged mental illness such as Multiple Personality Disorder.
                      When it's full blown the brain is literally running the consciousness of the multiples as easily as it's running the native personality.

                      "Whatever you was in the goo, was not the true you." (no idea where but a quote from some scifi I read as a child).

                      Just like different programs and even operating systems running on the same physical computer.
                      Possibly brain death can be given a coredump style function?
                      gdb acidandy.core
                      bt

        • (Score: 2) by acid andy on Wednesday March 16 2016, @07:17PM

          by acid andy (1683) on Wednesday March 16 2016, @07:17PM (#319140) Homepage Journal

          Exactly. A million times this. I honestly don't know why people keep overlooking this fact. The whole computer copy of your brain thing is more analogous to cloning an identical twin of yourself, teaching them your memories and then them acting as your character, then you die. OK, that's not the best analogy (if anything the twin has a lot more in common with you, biologically) but it's about as much use.

          Worse it's doubtful anyone could ever prove that any given brain upload technology actually works. Even if you performed it on yourself to validate it, you'd never know whether it had worked and you had become a computer copy or whether you had only ever been the newly created computer copy and the original consciousness unfortunately died.

          --
          Where did that thought come from? And that one? What about this one? Woah, man...
          • (Score: 2) by takyon on Wednesday March 16 2016, @08:01PM

            by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Wednesday March 16 2016, @08:01PM (#319181) Journal

            You take what you can get. The Russian millionaire is trying to make the most out of a bad situation (certain death). Biological anti-aging and reversal of aging would be more ideal than mind uploading since there is no copy-original problem involved.

            There has been no successful mind upload. By the time hardware has advanced enough to make such an attempt possible, what's to say a non-destructive method of scanning the brain won't be possible?

            Why do we even need to destroy the original? We can have more fun with this concept. How about networking your biological brain to several copies of your "mind upload". Use anti-aging therapy to keep the meatspace body alive. The results could be far more interesting than the unimaginative "mind upload as the last chance to avoid death" scenario.

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        • (Score: 2) by curunir_wolf on Wednesday March 16 2016, @07:33PM

          by curunir_wolf (4772) on Wednesday March 16 2016, @07:33PM (#319152)
          Actually, it is, because they have to fractionate your brain in order to scan it for the upload. It's a destructive process.
          --
          I am a crackpot
          • (Score: 2) by takyon on Wednesday March 16 2016, @07:56PM

            by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Wednesday March 16 2016, @07:56PM (#319176) Journal

            No successful upload has been done. This talk of a "destructive process" doesn't take into account advanced scanning technologies that don't exist yet. We could end up with some kind of neutrino scan that is entirely non-destructive.

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            [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
          • (Score: 2) by Dunbal on Wednesday March 16 2016, @11:01PM

            by Dunbal (3515) on Wednesday March 16 2016, @11:01PM (#319302)

            Then this will never work. You cannot sign a waiver that allows someone else to kill you. You're barely allowed to kill yourself and only in a few locations, let alone have another person slice your brain into pieces while you're still alive.

            • (Score: 1) by U on Thursday March 17 2016, @09:05AM

              by U (4584) on Thursday March 17 2016, @09:05AM (#319492)

              Make the system entirely automated and have the subject push the button to commence the process.

              • (Score: 2) by Dunbal on Thursday March 17 2016, @12:55PM

                by Dunbal (3515) on Thursday March 17 2016, @12:55PM (#319524)

                That didn't work for Kevorkian [wikipedia.org] so I doubt it would work here.

            • (Score: 1) by khallow on Thursday March 17 2016, @02:53PM

              by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Thursday March 17 2016, @02:53PM (#319564) Journal
              There's no universal law. They'll just do this sort of thing where it is legal to do.
        • (Score: 2) by bitstream on Wednesday March 16 2016, @09:10PM

          by bitstream (6144) on Wednesday March 16 2016, @09:10PM (#319225) Journal

          I suspect this too. The consciousness is unique to the specific instance of space-time. Because the instant that a perfect copy is made, differences in entropy over space will make the brains differ. And if not, it most likely will be like a super twin not yourself.

          So there may be a perfect copy but not a transfer. And if the simulation isn't good enough. You might become a total psychotic. No limbic response = psychopath.

          Simulations is also hard because it supposedly requires 36.8×10^15 instructions per second for real-time performance. However another researcher estimates that every neuron would need 10^15 instructions per second. Thus a requirement of 36.8×10^30 instructions per second. Not many computers can handle that. If there's any sufficient software to do it at all and scanning procedures exist.

          But the Chinese Tianhe-2 at 33.86×10^15 at least has brain simulation within theoretical reach if the simpler model is feasible!

          Current brains simulation paradigm seems to be assume that with enough computational capability a human brain simulation is possible. But if it's a mix of room temperature quantum phenomena and computational capability. Then any plain computational simulation will most likely fail hard. Photosynthesis is already observed to use quantum phenomena to work. So nature has harnessed this while humans have not.

      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Immerman on Wednesday March 16 2016, @06:39PM

        by Immerman (3985) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday March 16 2016, @06:39PM (#319117)

        Indeed - most ideas to "upload" the mind are, in principle at least, non-destructive to the original brain. Even if it works perfectly, you're not transferring your consciousness, you're copying it. It seems to me that having a potentially immortal mind-twin would bring most people precious little comfort as they lay dying as their freshly-minted twin watches on. Might be nice for their surviving friends and family (or not - what are the long term implications for inheritance, wealth concentration, etc.?), but if you can afford such a procedure in the first place, then the impact of your death on them is probably not your greatest concern when facing your death.

        On the other hand, digital immortality is the only form that's actually sustainable. We're rapidly overtaxing the supporting capacity of the planet even with everybody dying after less than a century - achieving population stability with widespread biological immortality would require a near-total moratorium on new births. No more babies. No more children. Do you really think you could convince the young to give up the foremost biological imperative in exchange for immortality? Maybe mandatory sterilization in exchange for immortality, with those who already have children being permanently denied immortality? It might work, but I'd hate to think of the society it would birth.

        Digital immorality though - there's potentially plenty of resources on Earth to support that for some time, and digital beings would be far better suited to colonizing the solar system as well. Still leaves some serious sociological questions to be addressed, not to mention all the normal AI questions as to whether these digital beings would have any long-term loyalty to the species that spawned them. But at least it would be physically sustainable for quite a while.

        • (Score: 2) by legont on Wednesday March 16 2016, @06:58PM

          by legont (4179) on Wednesday March 16 2016, @06:58PM (#319133)

          No, the idea is not "copying". The idea is that at some point people will exist directly connected to "internet" 100% of the time with their processing capacity say 99.9999999% on the net. The old body will be in storage somewhere. Is that body still exists? Who cares? Especially if one can have 1000 perfect bodies attached and they are still under 1% of total sensory capacity. Will there be a personality split? It's a question, but probably not.
          That's the idea.

          --
          "Wealth is the relentless enemy of understanding" - John Kenneth Galbraith.
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 17 2016, @06:36PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 17 2016, @06:36PM (#319654)

            Mind is not consciousness. Mind is an abstraction and cannot experience anything. Consciousness is the experience of existence (movement etc) and the mind is part of what the consciousness experiences. Copying a mind does not copy the physical consciousness.

            Until they can figure out how to isolate the physical substance of consciousness and transfer that then a copy of the mind portion of a being is only that. It could be a useful tool for others but the original/actual person will still be completely in their original body and die with it.

      • (Score: 4, Informative) by edIII on Wednesday March 16 2016, @07:12PM

        by edIII (791) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday March 16 2016, @07:12PM (#319136)

        My body is not my concern at all. Very seriously, my greatest fear possible is immortality with the rest of you. I'm looking forward to death myself. It's the one great adventure afforded to us all, and afterwards, I won't be here. I'll be somewhere else, where it seems intrinsically impossible for any being left here to deal with me, and for me to deal with them from the other side. It's important to me, and provides me comfort, knowing that this will all stop someday.

        Immortality in Utopia is always nice. Immortality with the rest of you in our Dystopia? Not so much. I don't want to live forever. Not with all of you the way you are now. Certainly not here under these fucking conditions. No thank you. I'd be the one walking around with a sign that says, "Can't self-terminate. Will you press the delete button for me?".

        Immortality just sounds nice on paper, but it isn't something you can actually live with. Would you be so enthused with your immortality at 895 years old, working a minimum wage job, minimum benefits, 3rd class citizen rights, while watching the bejeweled 1% gods above you in Elysium? Would you even be the same person at 895 years old? This shit only sounds good to the young, fit, and delusional. I'm not fit for immortality as a member of the slave class with no medical or benefits. How could you deal with an immortal 1%? Dystopia is a massive understatement about that world, and the 1% would value life even less then they do now, which is about zero anyways. Yay! I'm immortal and stuck in a world of massive inequality!

        Let's try to solve the problems that prevent us from living with each other now, before we figure out how to all live together forever. Immortality isn't going to stop us from killing each other, or at least attempting to do so. We absolutely suck at living with each other now. Adding immortality to it is the epitome of foolishness. If it's accomplished in such a way that we have super bodies capable of amazing repairs, prepare for long protracted war. One of the things that keeps us from fighting are the risks of fighting itself. Remove the risks, and we only have our intellectually based moral and ethical frameworks keeping us from each others throats. In other words, immortality may kill us.

        The best question you could ask people is if they wish to be immortal, but *exactly* as they are now. Forever. I honestly don't think you would have a majority of takers. The celebrities may say yes, WallStreet leeches may say yes, but the poor sob with a non-union job? Maybe not.

        --
        Technically, lunchtime is at any moment. It's just a wave function.
        • (Score: 3, Interesting) by takyon on Wednesday March 16 2016, @07:34PM

          by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Wednesday March 16 2016, @07:34PM (#319155) Journal

          Yeah, sorry. I don't see death as a "great adventure". I see it as a likely termination of any semblance of self. I will be hanging onto life even if I'm 100,000 years old.

          Obviously there are economic issues to work out. But it's pretty certain that if the issues aren't addressed, I'll be killed in some global civil war anyway.

          There is an obvious reason to choose immortality. If every "utopian" aspect of the scenario works out, you get to explore the universe. You haven't seen a septillionth of what is out there. One slower-than-light spaceship with a self-sustaining environment onboard, and your immortalness, and you can explore indefinitely. Boredom could be solved in any number of ways, including VR or stasis between destinations.

          I wouldn't even mind living as an immortal hobo for a protracted period of time, with even worse circumstances than the minimum wage job you outlined. If it comes down to protracted war instead of utopia, I guess I'll have fun participating in that until I get blown up or diseased. If child soldiers can have fun doing it, so shall I.

          Since you clearly disagree with immortality, and others will too, I have no objection to your suicide or refusal of anti-aging treatment in these scenarios. Note that medically assisted suicide becomes legal in California on June 9th (probably relevant to a number of old Californian SoylentNews readers). You go on your "adventure", I'll go on mine.

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          • (Score: 2) by edIII on Wednesday March 16 2016, @11:13PM

            by edIII (791) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday March 16 2016, @11:13PM (#319314)

            I see it as a likely termination of any semblance of self. I will be hanging onto life even if I'm 100,000 years old.

            What's wrong with the termination of any semblance of self? Is the ego even designed or suitable for immortality? That's really a philosophical discussion as I truly see myself as an immortal being already. Just one with an infinite number of faces, over a spiraling space-time, that all happened in a single moment :) This one little ego speaking with your one little ego isn't that big of deal in the face of the infinite existence out there. I'm more than EdIII, which is just a pseudonym anyways, that is also more than himself too. My "adventure" with death, isn't. I never said I believed in death as oblivion.

            100,000 years old? You sound like Gollum being both tortured and loved by his "precious". That's what I don't wish for. Turning into a desperate creature willing to do anything for further life. Infinite life is a curse if it is life continued in fear.

            Obviously there are economic issues to work out. But it's pretty certain that if the issues aren't addressed, I'll be killed in some global civil war anyway.

            The understatement of the millennium. However, it's not economic, but human. We have extremely serious issues to work out, that make it a minor miracle we're not in global civil war this second. I think this is the worst situation that humanity has ever faced. In my own estimation, there may have been more humanity in how we treated each other in the Dark Ages. What we're systematically doing to ourselves now is the very very worst of Feudalism fueled by greed and narcissism.

            Yeah. Global civil war is on the way.

            There is an obvious reason to choose immortality. If every "utopian" aspect of the scenario works out, you get to explore the universe. You haven't seen a septillionth of what is out there. One slower-than-light spaceship with a self-sustaining environment onboard, and your immortalness, and you can explore indefinitely. Boredom could be solved in any number of ways, including VR or stasis between destinations.

            Wishful thinking to the extreme. Will 1,000 years probably provide us to technology to do what you speak? Yes. Will the "Utopian" aspects work out? No.

            It's far more likely that I'm an immortal slave no longer allowed to see the Sun in a form of debt prison at 18,000 ft under the ground. In order to get to the ground that the transport lands on that takes you to the Universe Explorer, I would need social status changed from "slave" to "human". How much money does it cost? Does everybody get the ride on the Universe Explorer?

            The real journey is the one in which we develop those "Utopian" aspects of ourselves, something wholly missing from us now.

            I wouldn't even mind living as an immortal hobo for a protracted period of time, with even worse circumstances than the minimum wage job you outlined. If it comes down to protracted war instead of utopia, I guess I'll have fun participating in that until I get blown up or diseased. If child soldiers can have fun doing it, so shall I.

            Exactly. We both see as the curse it most likely is. You still fear death, so you will do everything to survive. Completely normal actually. I've become so disillusioned with life, that infinite amounts of it are a pure curse. I'm unwilling to become an animal to survive in the horrid future you describe. The need for society to just "put me down" would become inevitable. I don't wish for such a curse, and will choose the quiet dignity of simply fading away back into star dust.

            Since you clearly disagree with immortality, and others will too, I have no objection to your suicide or refusal of anti-aging treatment in these scenarios. Note that medically assisted suicide becomes legal in California on June 9th (probably relevant to a number of old Californian SoylentNews readers). You go on your "adventure", I'll go on mine.

            God be with you on your journey.

            --
            Technically, lunchtime is at any moment. It's just a wave function.
            • (Score: 2) by boltronics on Thursday March 17 2016, @02:32AM

              by boltronics (580) on Thursday March 17 2016, @02:32AM (#319405) Homepage

              God be with you on your journey.

              I'm willing to bet religion (or lack thereof) is a key component in how you (and a lot of other people) feel about this. You probably feel that "we were designed to live this way" and maybe "there is something waiting for me in the afterlife anyway".

              I personally would be happy to not have to age, but not so much for exploration. There's simply not enough time in one lifetime to learn and create all the things I'd like to be able to, which seems to be an ever growing list.

              --
              It's GNU/Linux dammit!
              • (Score: 2) by edIII on Thursday March 17 2016, @05:15AM

                by edIII (791) Subscriber Badge on Thursday March 17 2016, @05:15AM (#319448)

                You probably feel that "we were designed to live this way" and maybe "there is something waiting for me in the afterlife anyway".

                Yes, I do. I very much do. The human experience just isn't one an ego can live with indefinitely. You've heard the saying that the worst thing in life is not getting what you want, and the 2nd worst thing is to get what you want? That's what ego is. Never satisfied with the now. Always keeping emotional attachments to the past, and then creating more about the future. How does an ego deal with the infinite?

                Yeah, we probably don't need to worry about that till somebody is a 1,000 years old, but can we be sure? Humanity has never been tested like that. The oldest person might have lived to 130 for all we now, and they did it with a terribly aged body at the end. I don't think any of us can actually say what it will be like to be in a 25 year old body, but then also have lived for 500 years. In movies and literature we often see these beings as either extremely beneficent and wise, or driven mad over time.

                Spiritually, I already live convinced that I'm an immortal being. The catch is, as another poster put it, is that I will do it in an infinite number of lives that have no knowledge of each other, moderated by a "spiritual hypervisor". In other words, reincarnation. I do believe that I'm afforded the opportunity at death to go exploring the universe. Not only that, I get to do it not as EdIII, not as a human being, but something else without the same limitations as a human body.

                Maybe there is something in the afterlife? Quite possibly. Will it be better than here? That's probably a certainty. I partly suspect that where we are now, is actually hell. All of us are in hell, and the purpose of life here is to understand the true value of heaven. It may be possible that we already in the afterlife being punished, as I find it sincerely hard to not view my life here as a punishment for some mortal sin elsewhere. I honestly wonder sometimes how I offended God so fucking much he sent me here.

                In any case, heaven on Earth is actually possible, since we all have free will. We can all decide to be better to each other and live in Utopia. It's an actual decision we can make. Now we'll argue in a billion practicalities that it cannot be made, but logically, the decision is still there! The fact we consistently refuse to make the decision on a group basis is the primary reason I just want to die. I personally refuse to spend eternity with the rest of you. On the whole, you all fucking suck something awful, which makes the individual joy I get in dealing with a few people at a time all that much more sad and painful.

                There's simply not enough time in one lifetime to learn and create all the things I'd like to be able to, which seems to be an ever growing list.

                You're right. It's a pretty shitty fucking deal we all get right now. Not enough life, and surrounded by hell on Earth. However, the hell part isn't changing at all. By all rights, the whole planet is probably dead in a few hundred years. That's overblown of course, with the truth being that human civilization will simply end. Good riddance.

                While I do believe in the afterlife, that doesn't affect my decision regarding immortality. I *might* choose to be an immortal you know. Just for a couple hundred thousand years, or till I get bored being EdIII. My issue, and why I won't choose immortality, is that it doesn't come with the option to be free from the rest of you. Freedom for me literally only comes with death.

                We all might be immortal one day, but I won't be among you. I know the world will not get better in my lifetime, but only worse. Only if I had hope for our future, would I have the impetus to live longer than normal. Human civilization qualifies to have the cord pulled.

                As it stands now, death is the greatest mercy we're afforded, and I for one am very grateful to the Universe that I get to look forward to it.

                --
                Technically, lunchtime is at any moment. It's just a wave function.
                • (Score: 2) by boltronics on Thursday March 17 2016, @05:52AM

                  by boltronics (580) on Thursday March 17 2016, @05:52AM (#319451) Homepage

                  Thanks for sharing. In many ways, I can understand that view point.

                  The "never satisfied with the now" bit can be a positive and a negative though. If the goal is to look inwards and improve ourselves, or to improve the world in selfless ways, it would be a very positive thing. Unfortunately I think it's more common to see people unsatisfied with social status and personal assets, which simply isn't sustainable and needs to change if there is to be any hope for humanity.

                  In some cases, life is Hell. Usually, it is caused as a result of someone with power and influence over you. If we have such people live forever with the same power and influence, things would probably only get worse than they are today. You would also have problems such as never-ending copyright - if the author desired that.

                  I guess ultimately I'd rather Death be on my terms, if and when I decide there isn't any point to living any more, and nothing more to be done. I can't imagine ever wanting to die today, but I reserve the right to change my view at some point. Uploading my mind to a computer would presumably facilitate such a goal.

                  --
                  It's GNU/Linux dammit!
                • (Score: 1) by khallow on Thursday March 17 2016, @03:19PM

                  by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Thursday March 17 2016, @03:19PM (#319569) Journal

                  Maybe there is something in the afterlife? Quite possibly. Will it be better than here? That's probably a certainty. I partly suspect that where we are now, is actually hell. All of us are in hell, and the purpose of life here is to understand the true value of heaven. It may be possible that we already in the afterlife being punished, as I find it sincerely hard to not view my life here as a punishment for some mortal sin elsewhere. I honestly wonder sometimes how I offended God so fucking much he sent me here.

                  Not much of a punishment, is it? Even if I were to buy into your mental outlook, the answer is obvious. God made something imperfect. So things will be imperfect. Not a point to getting worked up over it.

                  Further, I think imperfection would be baked in to anything God created, else he would be copying himself which would be impossible to do in a reality where only one perfect being can exist.

            • (Score: 1) by khallow on Thursday March 17 2016, @02:58PM

              by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Thursday March 17 2016, @02:58PM (#319565) Journal

              What's wrong with the termination of any semblance of self? Is the ego even designed or suitable for immortality? That's really a philosophical discussion as I truly see myself as an immortal being already. Just one with an infinite number of faces, over a spiraling space-time, that all happened in a single moment :) This one little ego speaking with your one little ego isn't that big of deal in the face of the infinite existence out there. I'm more than EdIII, which is just a pseudonym anyways, that is also more than himself too. My "adventure" with death, isn't. I never said I believed in death as oblivion.

              I deem it wrong. And if ego is not "suitable" for immortality, then I'll have plenty of time to find what is, or alternately, find ways to end my existence. And your beliefs in death don't mean a thing to me.

        • (Score: 2) by bitstream on Wednesday March 16 2016, @08:20PM

          by bitstream (6144) on Wednesday March 16 2016, @08:20PM (#319199) Journal

          If you have time on your side then you also have way more opportunities to figure out how to break free.

          • (Score: 2) by edIII on Wednesday March 16 2016, @10:53PM

            by edIII (791) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday March 16 2016, @10:53PM (#319289)

            If you have time on your side then you also have way more opportunities to figure out how to break free.

            The solution to be free is simple. Kill the 1%. However, I don't want to do that. Immortality in a possible Utopia just isn't worth the karmic debt I believe I would face. Deep down, I don't believe in immortality anyways. I might best push off the fires of hell for a million years, maybe a billion if really lucky, but the odds are simply not in my favor for infinite existence. Infinite existence still seems like a curse, even in a Utopia, too.

            We don't need immortality, or we already have it. Immortality is the fact we are a species in this together. I see our immortality as a function of our gestalt being; All humans together make an immortal entity. Our children are our immortality, and the solution to be free and immortal is simply loving each other more. As new age and sappy as that might sound, it's still nonetheless true.

            Breaking free? You can't. This planet is effectively getting smaller all the time, and the influence and power of the 1% ever increasing. Distance between somebody and the 1% is directly proportional to their effective levels of freedom. There are simply some human beings that are intolerable to live with, and only be removing your interaction do you succeed in finding peace.

            --
            Technically, lunchtime is at any moment. It's just a wave function.
            • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 17 2016, @12:03AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 17 2016, @12:03AM (#319343)

              Immortality is the fact we are a species in this together.

              That's worthless to me as an individual, so who cares.

              All humans together make an immortal entity.

              The human race is far from immortal.

              Our children are our immortality

              They're certainly not *my* immortality, unless I can take over their bodies somehow. Not that I would want to do that anyway. Also, if you were not referring to children making the species "immortal", plenty of people don't have or want children.

              As new age and sappy as that might sound, it's still nonetheless true.

              No, it's just new age nonsense. Love won't make me literally immortal. Besides, I thought you didn't want to be immortal?

              Distance between somebody and the 1% is directly proportional to their effective levels of freedom.

              That doesn't mean it will continue. A few hundred years ago, we had slavery in the US, but it ended eventually. also, women couldn't vote, we had Jim Crow laws, and all sorts of other nonsense that we overcame. Improvement isn't impossible.

              and only be removing your interaction do you succeed in finding peace.

              You can't decide what does and doesn't help others find peace.

              • (Score: 2) by edIII on Thursday March 17 2016, @05:47AM

                by edIII (791) Subscriber Badge on Thursday March 17 2016, @05:47AM (#319450)

                That's worthless to me as an individual, so who cares.

                You're the person that needs to die then. The reason this planet sucks so fucking much, is that you in particular are on it. Along with millions of worthless sacks of shit who think like you do. Flamebait? Hardly. Deathbait, and I'm serious.

                If you refuse to see yourself as part of a greater whole, then you're the problem. It's your narcisissm that refuses to see our human civilization as a group effort, and therefore, IT ISN'T.

                So just fucking die sooner please so the rest of that are still alive do live life committed to the rest of us, and that we really are all in this together. I for one, sure as fuck, don't want to be on the same planet as an asshole like yourself. After all, the only thing that matters is what affects you positively as an individual correct?

                The human race is far from immortal.

                No, that's an assumption. The SUN is far from immortal and will one day die in a spectacular fashion. Humanity may well have moved to Sirius if we can manage it. About the only concession you will get out of me is the heat death of the universe, and even then, that just means that NOTHING is immortal.

                There's some semantics for you :)

                They're certainly not *my* immortality, unless I can take over their bodies somehow. Not that I would want to do that anyway. Also, if you were not referring to children making the species "immortal", plenty of people don't have or want children.

                We've already stipulated that other people's well being means precisely dick to you. I'm not surprised that don't care about the children or our collective progeny.

                No, it's just new age nonsense. Love won't make me literally immortal. Besides, I thought you didn't want to be immortal?

                No, you're just being a fucking dick with poor reading comprehension. I never said love would make us immortal, only that love could provide the foundation for it. Something I don't feel the need to explain further, since you made your spectacular level of narcissism quite clear. What could you understand about love, if you can't understand we are in all in this together?

                Through treating each other better, you know with love, that will literally put you in Heaven on Earth, depending on your level of commitment. Which I realize for you, that everyone else being happy, prosperous, and immortal might not be your heaven.

                Your snark aside, I stated that I was ALREADY immortal. What I also stated was that I was completely unwilling to enjoy biological immortality in my current human body while also being forced to enjoy it alongside the rest of you. Slight difference there.

                My immortality comes in many ways, all of them I'm sure new age nonsense to you. However, what's not new age nonsense, is the idea we live forever through our children. That's an idea you will find throughout literature throughout history. It's something we've long decided to tell ourselves to deal with death. So you can call me a new age moron if I talk about certain kinds of reincarnation and whatnot, but otherwise? Dude, these are ancient fucking concepts.

                That doesn't mean it will continue. A few hundred years ago, we had slavery in the US, but it ended eventually. also, women couldn't vote, we had Jim Crow laws, and all sorts of other nonsense that we overcame. Improvement isn't impossible.

                You're correct. Things will improve for the 1% because only their interests are represented. Also, the slavery deal? You conveniently forget it took civil war for it to end. In other words, a lot of 1%'ers will die before improvement comes.

                Improvement is not possible now, because that's how much the 1% improved it for themselves. This system we have now is terminal, and cannot be changed from the outside. It can only die and be replaced with a newer or modified system. That always occurs through bloodshed. So don't begrudge me my biological death, when to enjoy immortality it requires me to kill quite a number of people before I can spend my life in peace with the rest of you. If you actually converted me over to your side, I would just start killing people in a very discriminating and quiet manner. Why not? I'm immortal and the only person that matters is me. Therefore, for my convenience, I will kill a great many of you. Thankfully, I do believe otherwise, which is why I don't have a problem dying. It's ok to die.

                You can't decide what does and doesn't help others find peace.

                The 1% are laughing their asses off at that statement. Yeah, they can, and often do, decide what can and can't help others find peace. Even literally. Much of the 1% has been involved with wars of conquest. I'm pretty sure they've been doing a brisk business in fucking up other's peace for quite some time now.

                In other words, ask a Syrian if he feels others cannot influence his sense of peace in the world.

                P.S - Please remember that part about dying sooner than the rest of us. I have no animosity towards you (truly), but we are all much better off in your kind just dies in a fire. It's because I know that probably won't happen, that I'm content and grateful I get to die and get away from you guaranteed. I have no interests in eternity with beings that will only live for themselves.

                • (Score: 1) by khallow on Thursday March 17 2016, @03:54PM

                  by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Thursday March 17 2016, @03:54PM (#319581) Journal

                  You're the person that needs to die then. The reason this planet sucks so fucking much, is that you in particular are on it. Along with millions of worthless sacks of shit who think like you do. Flamebait? Hardly. Deathbait, and I'm serious.

                  If you refuse to see yourself as part of a greater whole, then you're the problem. It's your narcisissm that refuses to see our human civilization as a group effort, and therefore, IT ISN'T.

                  So just fucking die sooner please so the rest of that are still alive do live life committed to the rest of us, and that we really are all in this together. I for one, sure as fuck, don't want to be on the same planet as an asshole like yourself. After all, the only thing that matters is what affects you positively as an individual correct?

                  Why should I listen to someone with such a poisonous outlook on life? First, you rant about killing the "1%" and now, someone has disagreed with you and should die. There is an obvious solution here.

                  Change your beliefs, bleed yourself of this poison. If I want to kick around for 100,000 years and you don't, it's no matter to either of us. If I'm not into continuing the homo sapiens thing, what is it to you? If you believe in an afterlife and I don't, so what? My flaws are not so dire that you should be so concerned about them as to want them stamped out forever.

                  The Hell within him, for within him Hell
                  He brings, and round about him, nor from Hell
                  One step no more then from himself can fly

        • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Grishnakh on Wednesday March 16 2016, @09:02PM

          by Grishnakh (2831) on Wednesday March 16 2016, @09:02PM (#319221)

          I'm not normally much of an optimist, but the idea with biological immortality is that you'd have a lot more time (hopefully) to improve the dystopia, or at least work your way to living in Elysium. Just for starters, think about the magic of compound interest: save up money long enough in an interest-bearing account and eventually you'll be rich. Yeah, it sucks having to spend a century living in squalor, but if you aren't aging, then as long as you survive that maybe you can get to a better place and enjoy life. Someone who's mortal, living in some 3rd-world hellhole like Syria, with a life expectancy of 50 years or so has no such hope.

          Now, as for the dying part, biological immortality doesn't mean you won't die. It just means you won't age. Step out in front of a speeding bus and you'll still be dead. So you could still die at 30 if you're unlucky or do something stupid. Or you might live to 900 and then a piano falls on your head. So I have idea what you're talking about when you talk about the risks of fighting: if you're immortal, you have a practically infinite lifespan, so if you get yourself killed in a war, you're losing potentially thousands of years of enjoyable life, whereas today if you're 50 and you get killed in combat, you probably only had 2-4 decades of life left (and a good chunk of that carried a high risk of dementia and/or feebleness and other age-related conditions which make life miserable). No one is talking about being invincible, we're talking about biological immortality, which is something entirely possible according to our understanding of physics and science, whereas invincibility is not and is something out of a Superman comic book.

          The best question you could ask people is if they wish to be immortal, but *exactly* as they are now.

          That's a pointless and stupid hypothetical question. Everything changes; no one's life stays the same. The poor sop with a non-union job, if he lives long enough, can get an education and a better job, "marry up", start a commune, who knows; there's an infinite number of ways he could improve his lifestyle, but many of them require time, and having both time (from no longer aging) and youth (by being able to reverse the aging process and return us to having 25-year-old bodies) would open up all kinds of opportunities. Of course, with everyone having access to this technology, that means being young and pretty would no longer be such a valuable asset, but it wouldn't hurt, and it'd keep our society from expending so many resources on age-related problems: diseases, nursing homes, etc., plus we'd have an ever-expanding economy with the death rate falling so much, as long as people didn't stop having kids altogether (not likely). We might have some resource problems because of the expanding population, but we'd also be able to work on things like building better and more liveable megacities, building orbital habitats like Elysium, etc. There's really plenty of room for all of us if we can figure out how to manage land better and grow food more efficiently (like with vertical farming, or perhaps with farms in orbital stations).

          Of course, humans being what they are, there's always the chance that our immortal future will look like the movie "Dredd". But if you look at human society globally over the past millennia, our standard of living is much better now than it ever has been, on average. Yes, much of the world still lives in grinding poverty, but a good chunk enjoys a nice life in developed nations; 1000 years ago, or even 500 years ago, this wasn't the case: a few nobles had a decent life as long as they didn't get an infection or something, and everyone else suffered miserably. Now, much of the population of any given western nation has a more luxurious life than King Henry VIII (who lived with a horrible and painful leg infection for a long time until it eventually killed him). Better technology only promises to improve this.

          • (Score: 2) by edIII on Thursday March 17 2016, @12:12AM

            by edIII (791) Subscriber Badge on Thursday March 17 2016, @12:12AM (#319347)

            I'm not normally much of an optimist, but the idea with biological immortality is that you'd have a lot more time (hopefully) to improve the dystopia, or at least work your way to living in Elysium.

            So the trick to having freedom is to become one of the oppressors? I don't want to live in Elysium. I want Elysium to *not exist at all*, or more specifically, for Elysium to exist *for all equally*.

            Improve the Dystopia? Unfortunately, that only occurs by killing the 1%, or erasing their death lock on political capture. My bet is that the two options will have to become one and the same. Meaning, the 1% will not give up their power and control without death first.

            Now, as for the dying part, biological immortality doesn't mean you won't die. It just means you won't age. Step out in front of a speeding bus and you'll still be dead. So you could still die at 30 if you're unlucky or do something stupid. Or you might live to 900 and then a piano falls on your head. So I have idea what you're talking about when you talk about the risks of fighting: if you're immortal, you have a practically infinite lifespan, so if you get yourself killed in a war, you're losing potentially thousands of years of enjoyable life, whereas today if you're 50 and you get killed in combat, you probably only had 2-4 decades of life left (and a good chunk of that carried a high risk of dementia and/or feebleness and other age-related conditions which make life miserable). No one is talking about being invincible, we're talking about biological immortality, which is something entirely possible according to our understanding of physics and science, whereas invincibility is not and is something out of a Superman comic book.

            Stipulated. There are many forms of immortality, and they may influence how we feel about death and risk taking differently.

            That's a pointless and stupid hypothetical question. Everything changes; no one's life stays the same. The poor sop with a non-union job, if he lives long enough, can get an education and a better job, "marry up", start a commune, who knows; there's an infinite number of ways he could improve his lifestyle, but many of them require time, and having both time (from no longer aging) and youth (by being able to reverse the aging process and return us to having 25-year-old bodies) would open up all kinds of opportunities.

            Uhh, what about the shut-in? The mentally ill? The people literally trapped in their own minds? There are some physical/mental use cases where you would need to address healing before you could address immortality. I'm one of them. Until I can live in a body that isn't racked with pain and disease, I'm not choosing immortality.

            I'm not choosing immortality anyways, because there are *not* an infinite numbers of ways I can improve my lifestyle. You're forgetting about all the other people here that wish for me to *not* have that lifestyle. Again, you propose that I can "beat them by joining them". Which again, I will point out my refusal to accept membership into the oppressors. I cannot live out an infinite existence in high standards of living, when I know that in order to attain that standard of living, another immortal being lives in squalor for centuries. It is enough that I must suffer the knowledge of how horribly millions upon millions suffer in this world just so that I can enjoy being a slave in America. If I actually were a member of the 1%, I would most likely want immortality as well. Better than roasting in hell.

            What, did he pay his dues or something? In order to live in Elysium, serve 1,000 years a slave?

            We might have some resource problems because of the expanding population, but we'd also be able to work on things like building better and more liveable megacities, building orbital habitats like Elysium, etc. There's really plenty of room for all of us if we can figure out how to manage land better and grow food more efficiently (like with vertical farming, or perhaps with farms in orbital stations).

            Irrelevant minutiae. What needs to be done is get rid of the 1% which uses engineered inefficiency and political and regulatory capture to ensure that 99% of the wealth is in the hands of 60 people. Not 6,000. Not 60,000, but 60 out of over 300 million people have 99% of the wealth. I think I identified a resource problem ;)

            Of course, humans being what they are, there's always the chance that our immortal future will look like the movie "Dredd". But if you look at human society globally over the past millennia, our standard of living is much better now than it ever has been, on average. Yes, much of the world still lives in grinding poverty, but a good chunk enjoys a nice life in developed nations; 1000 years ago, or even 500 years ago, this wasn't the case: a few nobles had a decent life as long as they didn't get an infection or something, and everyone else suffered miserably. Now, much of the population of any given western nation has a more luxurious life than King Henry VIII (who lived with a horrible and painful leg infection for a long time until it eventually killed him). Better technology only promises to improve this.

            Our immediate future is starting to look like the movie "Dredd". We're already under mass surveillance with much of our civil rights disappearing. Cops are *already* murdering us in the street as de facto "Street Judges". We *already* have the 1% living high above us separated from the filth at ground level.

            Better technology only promises to improve this? Bullshit.

            It will improve it like Cable TV was supposed to improve television by getting rid of commercials. Totally co-opted by marketers and slimy MBAs to just make more money instead.

            It will improve like our health care right? The currently wholly unaffordable health care. The health care that most go without. In the country where hundreds of people died last year because they couldn't see a dentist.

            Only one thing continues to "improve" on this planet. The wealth of the 1%. All you've basically argued is that I should give immortality a chance by giving the system a chance to work. If only I worked the system huh?

            I don't think so. The system can go fuck itself. I'll take death, because you can't fool me that the other option is actually cake. It isn't cake, but indefinite indentured servitude to the 1%. No thank you, death instead, I need the check at my table please........

            • (Score: 2) by Grishnakh on Thursday March 17 2016, @02:43PM

              by Grishnakh (2831) on Thursday March 17 2016, @02:43PM (#319560)

              Oh, good grief, this is just plain stupid.

              I don't want to live in Elysium. I want Elysium to *not exist at all*,

              I'm using the term "Elysium" simply to refer to orbital habitats. That should have been plainly obvious.

              Until I can live in a body that isn't racked with pain and disease, I'm not choosing immortality.

              I'm sorry if this is terribly rude, but this is a really stupid comment. You really think that when we figure out how to reverse the aging process and return people to 25-year-old bodies, that we won't also figure out how to deal with simple diseases? Holy crap, talk about missing the forest for the trees.

              You're forgetting about all the other people here that wish for me to *not* have that lifestyle.

              What is this, some kind of conspiracy theory crap about how a bunch of people are out to get you?

              It will improve like our health care right? The currently wholly unaffordable health care. The health care that most go without. In the country where hundreds of people died last year because they couldn't see a dentist.
              Only one thing continues to "improve" on this planet.

              Well if you leave the US borders sometime, you'd see that healthcare systems actually work pretty well in other nations, despite your rantings about "the 1%". They also don't have the level of income inequality the US does.

              Maybe you should stop assuming that the US == the whole human race.

              • (Score: 2) by edIII on Thursday March 17 2016, @09:51PM

                by edIII (791) Subscriber Badge on Thursday March 17 2016, @09:51PM (#319770)

                I'm using the term "Elysium" simply to refer to orbital habitats. That should have been plainly obvious.

                Not in the context of our conversation it isn't. We're specifically speaking about income inequality, and you bring up fancy orbital homes I might aspire towards living in one day. Why should I assume Elysium just means "orbital habitat", and not "orbital habitat for the rich" given our context?

                I disagree. That wasn't obvious at all, especially with you referencing something explicitly from a Dystopian movie that has all the elements that we're speaking about. It's in fact the very worst example of what we're speaking about.

                Kind of strange you expected me to get just orbital habitat and none of the other quite pertinent references....

                I'm sorry if this is terribly rude, but this is a really stupid comment. You really think that when we figure out how to reverse the aging process and return people to 25-year-old bodies, that we won't also figure out how to deal with simple diseases? Holy crap, talk about missing the forest for the trees.

                Ohhh, so it's free? We get that "single-payer" medical system that Bernie is talking about the same time? I don't give a fuck what we've figured out. It doesn't apply to me, since I can't afford it. Go try selling your idea of medical paradise to a 3rd world child living in garbage.

                I could only obtain immortality by also obtaining massive debt, and therefore indentured servitude. Unless immortality also comes with a heaping helping of maturity, compassion, and togetherness, the chances of the average person obtaining immortality for any purposes beyond obtaining cattle for the now permanent economic meat grinder are about zero.

                What is this, some kind of conspiracy theory crap about how a bunch of people are out to get you?

                Conspiracy Theory? Theory? Really? Theory?

                The 1% are not a theory, and economic injustice combined with massive income inequality isn't something that just happened. It took a long time, with a lot of corrupt politicians, and a lot of corrupt laws. Likewise, it wasn't just one incident of government malfeasance and betrayal, but lists of them.

                Citizens United is not a conspiracy theory. It's a conspiracy. Big difference. Yes, the people at the top of that conspiracy are wholly uninterested in any kind of equality with me whatsoever. They don't wish for to have any political equality, evidenced by their corrupt lobbyists and political capture. Likewise, they don't wish for any kind of economic equality, as that might free me from being a continually producing resource for them. Like the pregnant lady who can't get more than 29 hours because the CEO of Staples doesn't want to pay the 4.5 million for the neonatal(?) care program that would take effect at 30 hours. He meanwhile is making 55 million himself over 4 years. It's not a conspiracy theory that he was out get to the pregnant lady. He DID get the pregnant lady, since she had insufficient medical coverage, and basic material deprivation. Tell me, that wasn't by design, and your a fool. He admitted as much, and his actions against her were a political commentary/stunt so he could oppose Obamacare.

                Greed and narcissism really aren't theories, but sad facts of our country, and indeed world. You can deny the massive income inequality, injustice, and complete lack of representation in government for the "average joe", but the boiling-over anger in my country would show you're full of it. I can spend all day, every day, this entire year, just posting articles to you speaking of the levels of government malfeasance and corruption. If it's a conspiracy theory, it's a really fucking popular one with articles about it every single day.

                Theory my butt. The 1% are narcissistic uncaring assholes that are constantly trying to increase income inequality in whatever ways possible. Once is happenstance, Twice is coincidence, but Three times is enemy action.

                Well if you leave the US borders sometime, you'd see that healthcare systems actually work pretty well in other nations, despite your rantings about "the 1%". They also don't have the level of income inequality the US does.

                Maybe you should stop assuming that the US == the whole human race.

                You may have a point here. The medical is better nearly everywhere else on the planet than it is in my country. We're a superpower that is simultaneously near the bottom of the "third world countries" WRT to our levels of medical care, and pretty much levels of humanity as well. Other countries may care more about their citizens. That is possible.

                • (Score: 2) by Grishnakh on Friday March 18 2016, @03:43PM

                  by Grishnakh (2831) on Friday March 18 2016, @03:43PM (#320013)

                  Look, I'm sorry if the Elysium comment was confusing. I only used it because it's about the only popular sci-fi example of orbital habitats I could think of, and I believe you had already mentioned it by name before so I reused it.

                  As for the immortality stuff, I really don't know what you're ranting about there. I was talking about things from a technical perspective. If we have the technology to stop the aging process and even reverse it (meaning a very high understanding of the mechanics of aging and all associated bodily processes and the ability to change and fine-tune these things), then we are automatically going to also have the ability to eliminate pretty much all diseases that are related: Parkinson's, cancer, etc. To say otherwise is like saying someone can figure out how to build a start-of-the-2016-art car and not figure out how to make run-flat tires.

                  For Bernie's single-payer system, they already have this system in a bunch of developed nations like Canada and UK. The US is not really a developed nation; it only pretends to be. And as long as people don't vote for Bernie, they're going to continue to not have the kind of healthcare systems that people in developed nations enjoy. None of the other political candidates will work to give you such a system. Hillary has specifically said she has no intentions of working towards single-payer; she's too interested in helping her buddies in the insurance companies.

                  As for the 1%, they're not "out to get you". Yes, they work in their own self-interest and are greedy, but that doesn't mean they are trying to hurt you personally. Generally, they're a bunch of twats who believe in trickle-down economics and think that'll actually make everyone better off even though it's been proven not to work.

                  And no, medical care is not better everywhere else in the world. In developed nations, yes, in places like sub-Saharan Africa, the middle east, Latin America, etc., definitely not.

        • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Wednesday March 16 2016, @09:58PM

          by maxwell demon (1608) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday March 16 2016, @09:58PM (#319256) Journal

          Don't worry, immortality will be for the 1% only, anyway. So no, you'll not be immortal on a minimum wage job. You'll not be able to afford immortality with a minimum wage job.

          --
          The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 16 2016, @10:57PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 16 2016, @10:57PM (#319294)

            In the US, student loans are a debt that cannot be discharged in bankruptcy. Once a like legal status is brought about for immortality costs, everyone will be able to finance it. It'll just take forever to pay off.

            • (Score: 2) by edIII on Wednesday March 16 2016, @11:50PM

              by edIII (791) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday March 16 2016, @11:50PM (#319336)

              Exactly. Immortality..... but as a slave.

              --
              Technically, lunchtime is at any moment. It's just a wave function.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 16 2016, @08:12PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 16 2016, @08:12PM (#319191)

        This actually reminds me of the video game SOMA http://somagame.com/info.html [somagame.com]
        which tackles exactly the same questions over if you is really you when copied

      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by julian on Wednesday March 16 2016, @08:15PM

        by julian (6003) on Wednesday March 16 2016, @08:15PM (#319193)

        Is the digital "you" really you?

        Is the biological? Prove to me that your life (or, ad absurdum, the entire universe) didn't start when you woke up this morning. You can't. Intuition and parsimony make it the most likely explanation, but there's no way to verify that you're the same person who went to bed last night. It's the transporter paradox again.

        • (Score: 1, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 17 2016, @12:06AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 17 2016, @12:06AM (#319345)

          I have a reasonable level of confidence that my life didn't start when I woke up this morning. I have no such confidence about my consciousness magically transferring to a digital copy of my mind. Basic logic would seem to preclude this.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 17 2016, @06:57AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 17 2016, @06:57AM (#319470)

          Prove to me that your life (or, ad absurdum, the entire universe) didn't start when you woke up this morning.

          Perhaps we die almost every time we sleep?

          So if it turns out there's a Creator and we all try to accuse the Creator of great evil, killing millions or billions, he can just turn around and say, what's the big deal, the truth is billions of you die every night and you bunch seemed quite happy to do so.

          And anyway "The Customer wanted it that way".

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 16 2016, @09:28PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 16 2016, @09:28PM (#319234)

        > Mind uploading implies you leave your finely aged body behind, if that's your concern.

        Putting the same old mind into a new body is unlikely to cure what Stephen Colbert calls [latenightfeud.com] "explosive ennui."

        • (Score: 2) by takyon on Wednesday March 16 2016, @09:33PM

          by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Wednesday March 16 2016, @09:33PM (#319237) Journal

          That's somebody else's problem. Solutions include fucking figuring out something to do, or suicide.

          --
          [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
        • (Score: 2) by takyon on Wednesday March 16 2016, @09:41PM

          by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Wednesday March 16 2016, @09:41PM (#319244) Journal

          If a lack of imagination is your biggest crisis, then you have it great.

          Anti-aging, biological immortality, substrate independence, whatever, it's all about giving people options (maybe rich people, maybe everybody). If you can't handle being immortal, you can do the ultimate privilege check (nobody has achieved anti-aging/biological immortality in human history) and end your life. Since death is essentially irreversible, having the option of being immortal, at least temporarily, is better than not having the option at all.

          --
          [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
      • (Score: 2) by urza9814 on Wednesday March 16 2016, @10:56PM

        by urza9814 (3954) on Wednesday March 16 2016, @10:56PM (#319292) Journal

        That's why biological anti-aging should be pursued first. Is the digital "you" really you?

        Honestly, I feel like a digital me would be more me than the biological one. Or at least it would be more of the me that I want to be.

        Poor nutrition and disease and environmental factors can all alter mental state pretty significantly. A digital mind can be simulated as though it's always living in a perfectly healthy body that never breaks down.

        *I* am not a lazy sack of shit...I'm just frequently malnourished... ;)

      • (Score: 2) by Dunbal on Wednesday March 16 2016, @10:57PM

        by Dunbal (3515) on Wednesday March 16 2016, @10:57PM (#319293)

        Mind uploading implies you leave your finely aged body behind

        At best you would be making a copy of your mind. You would not be leaving anything "behind", and the digital mind would not be you, it would be a copy of you.

        • (Score: 2) by takyon on Wednesday March 16 2016, @11:13PM

          by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Wednesday March 16 2016, @11:13PM (#319315) Journal

          Didn't say that brah, just saying that:

          Only young people want to live forever.

          If this is some concern about being stuck in an aged body (in the case of indefinite but not youthful life), then it's not necessarily important.

          As for your point, happy as can be supercentenarians prove you wrong.

          --
          [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
          • (Score: 2) by Dunbal on Wednesday March 16 2016, @11:23PM

            by Dunbal (3515) on Wednesday March 16 2016, @11:23PM (#319321)

            Yes and those happy as can be supercentenarians are not worried about death, which is my point (and it's also why they can be so cheerful on the verge of death). You grow out of being afraid of your mortality. Which is why I said that only the young want to live forever. As you mature you accept that death is a part of life, even welcome as the world moves on and bears no resemblance to the world you grew up in. Psychologists have done a lot of work in this field [all-things-aging.com].

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 17 2016, @12:11AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 17 2016, @12:11AM (#319346)

              That's subjective. Some people still don't want to die. It has little to do with arbitrary definitions of "maturity" and more to do with differences of values. If someone wants to die, alright. If someone doesn't, and we have the option of immortality, alright.

              • (Score: 2) by Dunbal on Thursday March 17 2016, @12:53AM

                by Dunbal (3515) on Thursday March 17 2016, @12:53AM (#319357)

                Life is subjective. Still there are things we can use as guides. Here's what Erikson [wikipedia.org] has to say about the final stage of life (not including the transcendance stage he added as he himself reached advanced old age):

                "Erikson felt that much of life is preparing for the middle adulthood stage and the last stage is recovering from it. Perhaps that is because as older adults we can often look back on our lives with happiness and are content, feeling fulfilled with a deep sense that life has meaning and we've made a contribution to life, a feeling Erikson calls integrity. Our strength comes from a wisdom that the world is very large and we now have a detached concern for the whole of life, accepting death as the completion of life. On the other hand, some adults may reach this stage and despair at their experiences and perceived failures. They may fear death as they struggle to find a purpose to their lives, wondering "Was the trip worth it?" Alternatively, they may feel they have all the answers (not unlike going back to adolescence) and end with a strong dogmatism that only their view has been correct.

                The significant relationship is with all of mankind—"my-kind.""

                It's not me being subjective, its what psychologists have to say about the matter. While psychology is in no way a hard, factual science, better minds than mine have thought about the issue and come up with what I said.

            • (Score: 2) by takyon on Thursday March 17 2016, @12:16AM

              by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Thursday March 17 2016, @12:16AM (#319349) Journal

              Death is not a part of life. It is the termination of life.

              Am I afraid of death, sure. But the idea that we ought to accept death, and that death is natural is just false. It's not just a lie told by some philosophers and ethicists. It's peddled by the media in the form of pro-death propaganda morality tales.

              I'm sure we can find plenty of old people scared to death of death. Just because some of them have accepted death doesn't mean that it's somehow the moral position. It just means that they have no choice, and they are making the best out of a bad situation.

              If anti-aging and age reversal therapy becomes available and cheap, would you refuse it? It's not like it will necessarily prevent you from dying, since there are car crashes, shootings, gamma ray bursts, and the heat death of the universe. But would you refuse anti-aging treatment knowing that aging is damage and disease that can be cured?

              --
              [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
      • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Wednesday March 16 2016, @11:01PM

        by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday March 16 2016, @11:01PM (#319301) Journal

        Is the digital "you" really you?

        I assert that if it can update your Facebook page, then it's really you.
        At least for the great majority of the westernized world this hold true.

        --
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by TheLink on Wednesday March 16 2016, @06:20PM

    by TheLink (332) on Wednesday March 16 2016, @06:20PM (#319103) Journal

    At best for many decades it's just going to be conmen swindling rich, desperate and stupid/ignorant people of their money.

    Why I say so, check this out: https://www.caltech.edu/news/single-cell-recognition-halle-berry-brain-cell-1013 [caltech.edu]
    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/one-face-one-neuron/ [scientificamerican.com]

    Responses varied with the person and stimulus. For example, a single neuron in the left posterior hippocampus of one subject responded to 30 out of 87 images. It fired in response to all pictures of actress Jennifer Aniston, but not at all, or only very weakly, to other famous and non-famous faces, landmarks, animals, or objects. The neuron also (and wisely, it turns out) did not respond to pictures of Jennifer Aniston together with actor Brad Pitt.

    In another patient, pictures of Halle Berry activated a neuron in the right anterior hippocampus, as did a caricature of the actress, images of her in the lead role of the film Catwoman, and a letter sequence spelling her name. In a third subject, a neuron in the left anterior hippocampus responded to pictures of the landmark Sydney Opera House and Baha'í Temple, and also to the letter string "Sydney Opera," but not to other letter strings, such as "Eiffel Tower."

    And that's just "anything with Halle Berry", there are probably neurons that fire for various types of _relationships_ e.g. "A _eats_ B" and "D fits into E". And different people may have different interpretations of "fits into". And some people might have neurons that respond to Jennifer Aniston even when she's with Brad Pitt.

    Not everyone has a Halle Berry neuron and they aren't all in the same places. And the triggering pattern for Halle Berry at the brain level may not be the same for each person.

    So how are you going to transfer all of this? You can't just sit down and talk to the "patient" about everything
    1) that's very low bandwidth - there isn't enough time, and the accuracy/precision may not be so great.
    2) the patient may not remember all of what he/she actually knows. There are things you will remember when given the appropriate trigger (smell, sound, etc) that you might otherwise not remember. Or it may even take a while before you remember it again.

    Our memory doesn't work like a PC, you can't just go through all the addresses and read all the memory values.

    • (Score: 2) by takyon on Wednesday March 16 2016, @06:31PM

      by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Wednesday March 16 2016, @06:31PM (#319109) Journal

      Let the Russian man spend his wealth. Maybe there will be advancements in neuromorphic computing to show for it.

      Certainly the biological aspects of human intelligence, like hard-coded neurons or an endocrine system, would be difficult to emulate in software or hardware. But it probably won't be impossible. Any system should be possible to simulate given enough time and resources, and a human brain is a lot smaller than say, the universe. And if you use brain-like hardware to mimic how neurons work, it may be much easier that trying to copy the "memory values".

      Will it happen within this Russian millionaire's lifetime? Maybe not, but he shouldn't put all his eggs in the mind uploading basket when the anti-aging approach is more down to Earth.

      --
      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 16 2016, @06:42PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 16 2016, @06:42PM (#319120)

      At best for many decades it's just going to be conmen swindling rich, desperate and stupid/ignorant people of their money.

      This describes 99.99% of medical research.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by theluggage on Wednesday March 16 2016, @06:55PM

      by theluggage (1797) on Wednesday March 16 2016, @06:55PM (#319131)

      Our memory doesn't work like a PC, you can't just go through all the addresses and read all the memory values.

      No, best guess is it works like a neural network, and computers can simulate those. So the question is, if a future scanning technology could actually map all of the neurons in the brain and their interconnections and that could be simulated on a computer (or some other form of electronics) would the result be conscious? If you did a "destructive" scan would it be "the same person"? If not, what if you incrementally replaced someone's brain with a digital simulation?

      Definitely still Science Fiction (... and SF has analysed the shit out of the philosophical/ethical angles of this, particularly if you read Greg Egan*) and current scanning tech certainly can't do it - but maybe not as irrevocably SciFi as, say FTL travel where we know fundamental physical reasons why it may be impossible.

      So, confining immortal souls manipulable only by His Noodley Appendage to the realms of non-falsifiability - (A) what about the brain might be uniquely uncopyable by any future technology (Heisenberg to the rescue?) and (B) if so, can someone nice patent it before the MPAA does?

      (* or Richard Morgan if you want less talk-talk and more bang-bang-splat-gristle-boom)

               

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Immerman on Wednesday March 16 2016, @07:15PM

      by Immerman (3985) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday March 16 2016, @07:15PM (#319139)

      Those neurons almost certainly don't individually do any recognition, rather they're one tiny part part of a larger interrelated pattern of firings - as a very bad analogy, it would be like saying one bit in an image-recognition program's memory was recognizing an individual just because it's state correlated well with that individual's presence. That may make its state a useful output, but it's not individually doing the work.

      Individual neurons do seem to remember and process past inputs, so they're a lot more sophisticated than a single transistor, but you could still conceivably analyze its response properties and make a small CPU that nearly perfectly mimicked it's behavior. Do that for every neuron in the brain, and interconnect the resulting billions of mini-CPUs in the same pattern as the original, and you could conceivably create a high-fidelity duplicate of the original. I suspect it would take technology considerably beyond anything we currently have to do that effectively, but in principle it seems viable. At least assuming that there's no unduplicatable "soul" necessary to breathe consciousness into the brain.

      Of course there's also the challenge of taking a "snapshot" of the internal state of every neuron at once, so that it can be copied into the artificial brain - otherwise you risk copying the persons "hardware" but not their "software". It doesn't really help you to have a technically identical new laptop if the only copy of your 400-page thesis was lost with the original one.

      On the other hand, it might be much simpler. It might be that all neurons of a given type function virtually identically - essentially being "standardized" parts whose specific functionality is determined entirely by how they're interconnected with the rest. In that case you need only develop simulations of the various types of cells, and then scan an individual brain to determine the "wiring diagram", and then assemble your virtual brain using that. You still risk losing the "software" if you can't take a simultaneous snapshot of every neuron's internal state, but it's possible that the "software" is actually encoded entirely in the wiring, and "cold starting" the virtual brain with default (or random) internal neuron states would be similar to waking a biological human from a deep coma - a possible sense of discontinuity, but basically they're still "all there".

      We really won't know until we try it. Now, we just need a bunch of volunteers for the ievitable early failures, where their mind-clones will likely be stillborn, crippled, or mad because of insufficient simulation fidelity. No ethical problems there, because they're not actually human until you succeed, right? Right?!?

      • (Score: 2) by TheLink on Thursday March 17 2016, @03:56AM

        by TheLink (332) on Thursday March 17 2016, @03:56AM (#319427) Journal

        To me some parts of the brain are probably like a Bingo Hall, with "stream of thought/input" being "called out". So when certain brain patterns appear and various neurons recognize them they yell "Bingo!" and that creates another different pattern which triggers another bunch which creates a different pattern and so on.

        Now due to different arrangements of neurons and different history/memory after the immediate sensory bits, the locations of the neurons and what patterns they respond to and create could be very different.

        On the other hand, it might be much simpler. It might be that all neurons of a given type function virtually identically - essentially being "standardized" parts whose specific functionality is determined entirely by how they're interconnected with the rest.

        But do we even truly know what neurons are capable of? This is what single celled creatures can do: https://soylentnews.org/comments.pl?sid=450&cid=11384#commentwrap [soylentnews.org]

        We can predict the behaviour of someone like Stephen Hawking 90% of the time (since he doesn't move very much ), but the 1% of the time when Stephen Hawking talks about something really interesting, we see a big difference, even though the rest of the time he' could be replaced by a robot. :p

      • (Score: 2) by TheLink on Thursday March 17 2016, @04:36AM

        by TheLink (332) on Thursday March 17 2016, @04:36AM (#319437) Journal

        "Those neurons almost certainly don't individually do any recognition,"
        What makes you so sure? After all you do say: "Individual neurons do seem to remember and process past inputs, ".

        See also:
        https://www.braindecoder.com/jennifer-aniston-neuron-redux-memory-formation-study-1226899628.html [braindecoder.com]

        For example, one study participant had a neuron that responded specifically to an image of the White House but not to that of beach volleyball player Kerri Walsh. So one of that participant's composite images was Kerri Walsh at the White House.

        Next, the researchers tested participants' memories of the composite images by asking them to match a celebrity face to a pictured location or to name the person corresponding to an image of a place. Finally, they again showed the patients the individual images. The researchers found that after participants viewed the composite images, the neurons that had previously only responded to the preferred stimulus now responded to both preferred and non-preferred stimuli: The "White House neuron" began firing not only in response to the image of the White House but also to that of Kerri Walsh.

        http://ucsdnews.ucsd.edu/archive/newsrel/health/02-04AffectedNeurons.asp [ucsd.edu]

        “I think it’s fair to say that in the past it was generally believed that a whole cortical region would change when learning occurred in that region, that a large group of neurons would show a fairly modest change in overall structure,” said Tuszynski, who is also director of the Center for Neural Repair at the UC San Diego and a neurologist at the Veterans Affairs San Diego Health System.

        “Our findings show that this is not the case. Instead, a very small number of neurons specifically activated by learning show an expansion of structure that’s both surprisingly extensive – there’s a dramatic increase in the size and complexity of the affected neurons – and yet highly restricted to a small subset of cells. And all of this structural plasticity is occurring in the context of normal learning, which highlights just how changeable the adult brain is as a part of its normal biology.”

        So it seems to me a neuron does a lot more than being a dumb component in a "neural network".

    • (Score: 2) by RamiK on Wednesday March 16 2016, @11:00PM

      by RamiK (1813) on Wednesday March 16 2016, @11:00PM (#319299)

      Step 1: reverse engineer neuron functionality.
      Step 2: figure out nanotech to the point you can build small stuff easily.
      Step 3: design pseudo-neuron that doesn't degrade or is easily replaceable\maintainable.
      Step 4: flood the brain with magic nonobots and iv nutrients\raw materials to gradually replace decaying neurons with pseudo-neurons.
      Step 5: enjoy an immortality of contemplating the Ship of Theseus paradox.

      Personally, I'm fine with a cremation. But really, not my problem.

      --
      compiling...
  • (Score: 2) by bzipitidoo on Wednesday March 16 2016, @06:48PM

    by bzipitidoo (4388) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday March 16 2016, @06:48PM (#319126) Journal

    Immortality is certainly possible, and may be achieved in the near future. Then we might find out all kinds of reasons why it isn't a good idea, at least, not for animals. If plants can live 5000 years, why can't animals? If it was a good idea, wouldn't this trait have evolved at some point? The main reason could be a simple matter of it eventually costing less energy to build a new body than repair an old one. We routinely total cars that can be repaired because repairs cost more than simply getting another car. Another big reason is incorporation of responses to a changing environment. For instance, if seed size changes for whatever reason, then bird beak size needs to change as well. Merely repairing the damage of aging might not be good enough for an immortal bird not to starve.

    We're squeamish about death. The way we handle our disabled, sick, and dying elderly is very cowardly. Pack them off to a nursing home and let them rot until they finally manage to die on their own. Sometimes that's hardly better than prison. And there are studies that show being admitted to a nursing home can hasten decline and death. Yet anyone who really believes death sometimes is a gift in such circumstance risks being looked upon as a murderer if they dare try anything more direct. So, the most that can be done is to look the other way while the mere presence in a nursing home nudges the elder along towards death a little faster. Dr. Kevorkian rubbed our noses in our collective denial and hypocrisy about death, and ended up in jail several times. To add to the hypocrisy, the US still has the death penalty. Execution is acceptable, but euthanasia isn't.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 16 2016, @06:59PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 16 2016, @06:59PM (#319134)

      If it was a good idea, wouldn't this trait have evolved at some point?

      Nonsense. Evolution isn't some sentient being, and it definitely doesn't produce perfect beings. But also, this seems awfully fallacious, because even if humans living for thousands of years had drawbacks from an evolutionary perspective, that would not necessarily make it bad. Morality and the opinions of the individual do not depend on evolution.

    • (Score: 2) by takyon on Wednesday March 16 2016, @07:20PM

      by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Wednesday March 16 2016, @07:20PM (#319142) Journal

      And we care what Einstein thought about a non-physics topic just because he was a really smart dude and we like to hang motivational posters of him and his crazy hair in schools?

      Evolution doesn't select for nigh-immortality because procreation is "easier" than keeping something alive forever with standard cellular processes. Reproduction is also as old as cell division itself, so it is an obvious path to get life forms to spread and consume more resources. That doesn't mean that there aren't nearly immortal animals [wikipedia.org] out there.

      Your car isn't a thinking being, so that's one reason why you would be less inclined to spend loads of money on its "health". And yet some people do spend a lot of money to maintain classic cars.

      Humanity already adapts to environments that we wouldn't be biologically able to using technology. We learned how to skin animals and make fire and dwellings, allowing us to spread further into colder climates. Today, we can survive spacewalks using spacesuits. Making you immortal won't change the fact that you aren't adapting automatically to new environments. Gene therapy could potentially be used to allow individuals to adapt to new environments though.

      As for nursing homes, these might be unnecessary if biological anti-aging reverses the effects of age and restores youthfulness. Certainly, it would not apply to mind uploading (which I'm more skeptical of), unless you consider the datacenter to be the nursing home for uploaded minds.

      The right to die will be enshrined in law long before biological immortality becomes feasible. In fact, California will adopt right to die [soylentnews.org] beginning June 9, 2016, which directly impacts a number of SoylentNews readers.

      Execution is probably on the way out. The issues in getting the "right" drugs have thrust execution back in the spotlight. Many of the U.S. states that have execution laws on the books haven't executed anybody in years. Finally, the Supreme Court could strike down execution, an outcome that could be highly dependent on the result of the 2016 Presidential election.

      --
      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
    • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Wednesday March 16 2016, @10:22PM

      by maxwell demon (1608) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday March 16 2016, @10:22PM (#319270) Journal

      If it was a good idea, wouldn't this trait have evolved at some point?

      For most of the time, the relevant information was all in the genes, which get passed to the next information, and there was only little information in the brains, which was mostly kept there because it could be outdated quite quickly, and therefore it was more economical to learn it. It's in evolutionary time scales only very recently that the information in the brain got significant in its own way, and started an evolution of its own. Basically the breakthrough was the ability to speak, and thus pass on complex mental information. Therefore most of the time, there was no evolutionary pressure to keep the information in the brain. Moreover, the evolutionary pressure to do so doesn't act on the genetic evolution, but on the mental evolution. Mental evolution already resulted in some quite capable systems of mental information transmission. Painting, writing, mathematics, the printing press, the telephone, movies, the internet, all that are systems of transmission of specific types of mental information. Uploading your mind to a computer would just be a further step in that evolution, a step that finally makes all information of the brain transferable and ultimately frees the mental information from its biological substrate.

      --
      The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
    • (Score: 2) by inertnet on Thursday March 17 2016, @01:39AM

      by inertnet (4071) on Thursday March 17 2016, @01:39AM (#319390)

      If it was a good idea, wouldn't this trait have evolved at some point?

      Evolution is not about good ideas, but about survival. Immortality doesn't benefit survival, on the contrary, the environment will eventually benefit those that did evolve instead. In short: all those that happened to be immortal in the past, have all been eaten at some point.

  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 16 2016, @06:53PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 16 2016, @06:53PM (#319129)

    "Do me a favor, boy"
    "What's that, Dix?"
    "This scam of yours, when it's over, you erase this goddam thing."

    • (Score: 1) by bolek_b on Wednesday March 16 2016, @09:23PM

      by bolek_b (1460) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday March 16 2016, @09:23PM (#319229)
      Yes, classics! My association was something like: "The point is, if we can store music on a compact disc, why can't we store a man's intelligence and personality on one? I have the engineers figuring that out now. Brain mapping, artificial intelligence, we should've been working on it thirty years ago. I will say this, and I'm gonna say it on tape so everybody hears it a hundred times a day. If I die before you people can pour me into a computer, I want Caroline to run this place. Now she'll argue. She'll say she can't. She's modest like that. But you make her. Hell, put her in my computer, I don't care. All right. You, test subject - test's over. You can head on back to your desk."
  • (Score: 2) by fishybell on Wednesday March 16 2016, @06:56PM

    by fishybell (3156) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday March 16 2016, @06:56PM (#319132)

    Unless they're keeping my brain alive in a jar, I'd just as soon skip this. Any sort of "upload" is just going to copy the current state of your mind (assuming that's ever even possible). There would then be two of you -- one immortal computer you, and one original bag of mostly water you -- rather than just one immortal you.

    • (Score: 2) by wonkey_monkey on Wednesday March 16 2016, @07:51PM

      by wonkey_monkey (279) on Wednesday March 16 2016, @07:51PM (#319167) Homepage

      There would then be two of you -- one immortal computer you, and one original bag of mostly water you -- rather than just one immortal you.

      And then, a finite amount of time later, there will just be one immortal you.

      --
      systemd is Roko's Basilisk
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 16 2016, @08:53PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 16 2016, @08:53PM (#319215)

      It depends. If you move pieces over little by little and let both systems do processing, does your conscious also move?

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 17 2016, @06:46PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 17 2016, @06:46PM (#319664)

        No. Once you have destroyed all of the physically conscious parts of the original brain the original person is completely gone and no longer experiencing existence.

  • (Score: 2) by curunir_wolf on Wednesday March 16 2016, @07:31PM

    by curunir_wolf (4772) on Wednesday March 16 2016, @07:31PM (#319148)

    I guess Dmitry Itskov has discovered Charles Stross, and saw himself in Accelerando. Yea, that guy was Russian, too, but he started with lobster brains.

    --
    I am a crackpot
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 16 2016, @11:07PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 16 2016, @11:07PM (#319307)

      Yea, that guy was Russian, too, but he started with lobster brains.

      Unlike people, today lobsters are expensive in Russia.

  • (Score: 2) by PizzaRollPlinkett on Wednesday March 16 2016, @07:35PM

    by PizzaRollPlinkett (4512) on Wednesday March 16 2016, @07:35PM (#319156)

    We'll all be back in 30 years to follow up on this story, right? This isn't just news-cycle filler, is it?

    --
    (E-mail me if you want a pizza roll!)
  • (Score: 4, Funny) by eravnrekaree on Wednesday March 16 2016, @07:39PM

    by eravnrekaree (555) on Wednesday March 16 2016, @07:39PM (#319158)

    You can already live forever, through the love and forgiveness of your saviour, Jesus Christ the Lord.

    • (Score: 2) by takyon on Wednesday March 16 2016, @07:53PM

      by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Wednesday March 16 2016, @07:53PM (#319170) Journal

      What about my lord Satan? Or Ahura Mazda?

      Face it, religion is for easily tricked children. And the grown-up children.

      --
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      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 16 2016, @10:58PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 16 2016, @10:58PM (#319296)

        Or Ahura Mazda?

        Yeah, or what about Mazda CX4 SUV?

    • (Score: 2) by devlux on Wednesday March 16 2016, @09:35PM

      by devlux (6151) on Wednesday March 16 2016, @09:35PM (#319239)

      I love Christ, but his fan club frightens me.

      Also I have yet to meet anyone who has actually found eternal life in Christ. Maybe they chose the wrong religion or something, no telling which flavor got it right. Trinity, no Trinty, pray to Mary and Jesus's other pals, or not etc. Most people seem to get hung up on all that and forget he only gave one command his whole life which was to love one another. Seems to me that this is the one commandment everyone who claims they're christian forgets the minute you rile up their righteous indignation on some topic Jesus never even talked about.

      Despite all that, yes I firmly believe the man really existed.

      In accordance with ancient christian customs, I drowned myself and my entire family and we spend most Sundays in church where we eat the flesh and drink the blood of our undead zombie lord whilst praying for the swift return of his army of the undead that will cleanse the world of the unrighteous.

      Yet everyone I know is still on the slow train to the grave and no one I've ever met who crossed over has managed to turn around and come back or even stop off and say goodbye. Although I have had some weird reincarnation style experiences very much on par with this movie... http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2884206/ [imdb.com]

      As for Christ and company, it's been 2,000 years now.
      You'd tend to figure if these folks were coming back, they would have done so by now. Perhaps though they're all chilling at Milliways, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_minor_The_Hitchhiker%27s_Guide_to_the_Galaxy_characters#Zarquon [wikipedia.org]

      So as for me, I think I'll take any option that allows "something" which at least thinks it's me to continue long after this prattling pile of meat is worm chow.
      Even if it ends up like this in the end http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2209764/ [imdb.com]

      • (Score: 2) by Freeman on Wednesday March 16 2016, @11:21PM

        by Freeman (732) on Wednesday March 16 2016, @11:21PM (#319320) Journal

        The devil has been trying his best for the last 6,000 years or so now to destroy Christ and His reputation. About 2,000 years ago, the devil lost the battle to destroy Christ, but the war isn't over, yet. http://www.whiteestate.org/books/gc/gc.asp [whiteestate.org] The world will soon get to the stage that percipitated the flood and then the world will be cleansed once again, but this time with fire.
        "5 And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
        6 And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.
        7 And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.
        8 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord." Genesis 6:5-8 (Reason for the Flood)

        We have reached a time in Earth's history where we are coming up against ethical and moral questions that we have hardly even thought about. Within the last 120 years we have gone from Abacus to AlphaGo level and beyond Super Computers. We can do more calculations on our smartphones than the entirety of the electronics on the first Mission to the Moon. We are just touching the tip of the iceberg when we look at genetics and brain functions. Where we used to look at a problem and we couldn't do anything. Now we are able to do things that we need to stop and think about. We Need to ask ourselves, Should We do these things. Guns, Missiles, Bombs, all had a lengthy history, before the Atomic Bomb. Genetics has had a lengthy history, but should we dabble in the realm of cloning? Should we dabble in the realm of the mind? I am all for scientific progress and healing those that would have no other hope. Tinkering with the mind and body in an ever elusive hope for immortality, not so much.

        The immortality you seek will be given to those that have accepted Christ and lived accordingly. Not because it's any special reward, but due to the fact that we were created to be perfect in the first place. Adam and Eve would have lived forever, if they had not sinned. Look at the longest lived person in the bible, even after sin had entered into the world, he lived for over 900 years! The corruption of the human genome in part is what is to blame for our diminished life span. Though, we have recently been living longer due to healthful living and modern science.

        "52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. 55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? 56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord." 1st Corinthians 15:52-58

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        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 17 2016, @01:12AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 17 2016, @01:12AM (#319372)

          The immortality you seek will be given to those that have accepted Christ and lived accordingly.

          Ah, a faith + works or faith = works individual. May I point you to the book of Corinth where members of the church were wiped out due to sins including getting hammered during Passover. Also notice how repentance is not mentioned once in the book of John, a book targeted towards nonbelievers.

          Ask yourself this: how do you know you've lived accordingly? What level of holiness is enough? Will you ever know if you 'did it?'

          2 Timothy 12:

          For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.

          Faith alone, in Christ alone.

          • (Score: 2) by Freeman on Thursday March 24 2016, @10:13PM

            by Freeman (732) on Thursday March 24 2016, @10:13PM (#322681) Journal

            "8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
            9 Not of works, lest any man should boast." Ephesians 2:8-9 King James Version (KJV)
            +
            "14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?
            15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,
            16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?
            17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone." James 2:14-26 King James Version (KJV)

            I am not a Works = Faith or Faith = Works Christian. I am a Faith + Works = Salvation kind of Christian. We can never be perfect, until Christ's Second Coming, where we will be changed into our Perfect Selves as God intended in the first place. I can't attain salvation by doing Anything, I can only attain Salvation through Faith, but Without Works, there is No Faith.

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        • (Score: 2) by devlux on Thursday March 17 2016, @02:13AM

          by devlux (6151) on Thursday March 17 2016, @02:13AM (#319402)

          Oh lord, I know the first commandment of these forums is "thou shalt not feedeth the trolls", but you got me, I'll bite.

          First of all, the story of Noah is a retelling of the epic of Gilgamesh and has been edited and translated so many times that any condition of the world at the time of the flood cannot be accurately attested to by the bible nor any contemporary source. If you're one of the unfortunates who believes in the literal truth of the bible then you really, really need to brush up on your Aramaic, because you'll find that many a jot an tittle have been changed since the originals were written, including the words jot and tittle.

          Note that I do not dispute the inherent truth of certain narratives. There very likely was tree of life and it appears there was also a flood or other major disaster that nearly wiped mankind out.

          Tree of life is easy, we're primates, we spent a very long time snug and secure in our trees before we got down on the ground and explored. Snakes, reptiles and other creepy crawlies very likely snacked upon our young during this time hence the demonization of them.

          The disaster early in our history is recorded in a couple of ways. First of all, nearly every culture on earth records a major disaster that all but wiped humanity out. This necessitated a reboot of humanity. I challenge you to find a culture that doesn't relate this in some fashion.

          Secondly, there is a evidence in our genetic record that humans suffered some sort of catastrophic population bottleneck. There is almost no genetic diversity in our species, especially when compared to species that are much younger but who have spent a very long time with us such as Canis Familiaris or even Felis Catis.
          Point of fact, you are closer in relation to some random bush tribesman that has not ever seen an electric lightbulb than your cat is to your neighbors cat, or any breed of dog would be to any other breed of dog. So yes something happened, but the why of it is lost to time and every culture maintains a sacred narrative.

          Secondly, Christ was 2,000 years ago. The "Devil" by definition could not be making any attempt to destroy Christ or his reputation prior to that. Messianic prophesies were never attacked on reputation of Christ. If you actually read your old testament though you'll notice that Jesus did not technically meet every definition of the Messianic prophesies. For instance he never led Isreal to overcome it's bounds, reclaim it's lands or destroy her enemies.

          Also when the children of Israel did high tail it back to the middle east, several thousand years later, Jesus didn't head there with them.
          Messianic Jews are properly called what they are by orthodox Jews, Christians.

          Please I implore you educate yourself on the beliefs you claim to have and not just parrot someone's view point based on completely flawed and biased readings intended to push an agenda.

          That said I do believe in the teachings Christ gave such as to love one another.
          Which as I mentioned is also the only thing he ever asked you to do. The rest of it is supposed to be his problems to deal with, so don't worry about judging folks. In fact the word gospel is from Good Spiel, or Good News. Good news, Jesus loves you, even if everyone else thinks you're an ass :) There I summarized 500 pages of scripture in 1 line.

          Next problem, Devil, Hell, Fire and Brimstone. Uhh these aren't actually in the bible anywhere. Hell is bastardization of Sheol, meaning "under the ground". The only thing it says about it is that the dead are sleeping there, in one or two places possibly chained up, not roasting. The hell you're thinking of is from popular culture, specifically Dante and to a lesser extent Milton. It has no basis in scripture.

          So yeah there is no eternal punishment, not even for truly bad people like Hitler.

          Angels who rebelled against God were sent under the earth and are chained until judgment day according to Matthew. They aren't running around torturing our dearly departed regardless of how diabolical that they may have been. Thus they also aren't here trying to tempt you away from some purity. No any sins you have are actually your own guilt to bare and not the fault of some supreme deity of evil.

          Finally, Christ appears to have went there, broke the chains and set everyone free that was chained up already. 1Peter 3: 19-20

          Revelations mentions a lake of fire and brimstone. According to revelations, this doesn't exist until after Jesus comes, casts +1 saving throw against death in DM mode and we all rise up, then we chill out an sip wine with him for 1,000 years. Yes an entire millennium drinking wine and breaking bread. Then we are judged and then and only then are we sent to roast for time and eternity and that's assuming revelations tells us the literal truth.

          Now here's the rub. Revelations is MUCH more modern than the rest of the new testament. We have texts that go back as early as 100 AD for most of the new testament. Revelations doesn't have an attestation until around the council of Nicaea and if you actually read it, you'll notice that it is not the world has turned wicked but that a false leader appears and pretends he's Christ he then leads the world in Christ's stead and preaches a false doctrine.

          The truth of the matter is that it is brilliant piece of anti-papal propaganda from a time when people were worried that the bishop of rome would become supreme pontif or pope and lead the church away from the core tenets of it's faith. Which actually did happen with things such as the infallibility doctrine.

          The Devil, literally not a personage in the old testament or new. In english translations of the scripture the word Devil is used in place of several different hebrew words. Because the latin word diabolus which means to "throw across", i.e. lie or slander seemed to be a good translation of a few different words in random places.

          Snake in the garden was Lucifer, name means "the light bearer". He is literally the one who gave mankind "forbidden knowledge" such as the knowledge of good and evil.
          Unless of course you believe Proverbs 2:6 where it says that all knowledge came from God.

          Now the character in Job was Satan, which means prosecutor or to accuse, also not an evil personage. In fact in Job he's up in heaven swapping bets with God about the outcome of some seriously sadistic earthly torture in order to get Job to curse at God. Job 1:6
          I'd be mad as hell too.

          From there, no other demonic figure comes into play until Satan tells Jesus to go jump off a cliff. Matthew 4:1-11

          So yeah, the supreme evil in this world always has and always will be mankind. This isn't about you+jesus vs devil and pals. It's all about you vs you and Jesus tells you not be a judge of anyone but you, otherwise you sin. Calling out a bunch of misinterpreted scripture to condem those you disagree with to a fiery lake of torture in your own mind is pretty much the opposite of what he's asking you to do.

          As for "should we be playing at god?" The answer is actually yes.
          Genesis 1:27 says we're made in his image.
          Proverbs 2:6 says ALL knowledge and wisdom flow directly from him. It doesn't say knowledge of the scriptures, or ascetic knowledge, but literally ALL knowledge and it says the same thing in Hebrew and pretty much all other translations.
          Ephesian 4:18 says that it upsets God when you're closed minded and ignorant.

          Imagine what the world would be like if someone had decided to apply just a little tiny bit of scientific rigor to these ancient texts and uncover lost knowledge.
          For example, if you were to actually follow the directions and build one yourself, you would find that in a dry, desert environment that the Ark of the Covenant was likely a giant capacitor that sucked electrical energy out of the air and made a nice big satisfying spark when treated a certain way.

          If you read further about the vestments of the priesthood and the way they were supposed to approach the thing, you'll find that "God" instructed them to tie off and ground themselves before entry... Exod 28:31-35

          Also if someone happened to get "struck down", they were to be dragged out by the gold rope they used to tie off with, no one was to enter in and retrieve the body. Perhaps this was because the room it was sitting in was perfectly capable of charge collection and thus there was no guarantee the thing had not fully discharged?

          It never ceases to amaze me that the ancients had both batteries and capacitors as well as some knowledge of interesting things we didn't figure out again until just a couple hundred years ago.
          The Agastya Samshita an ancient hindu text dated around 300 BC, describes the process of electrolytic splitting of water and Egyptians appear to have had a battery or capacitor as well and were using it for electroplating. So some of this was getting to be common knowledge 2,300 years ago!
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MythBusters_(2005_season)#Baghdad_Battery [wikipedia.org]

          This knowledge was at the time "forbidden and playing at god's domain". Yet I would hazard a guess that you don't believe that we should never have recovered this knowledge and this only scratches the surface. Romans had steam engines they used as toys in order to honor Vulcan and the Greeks had fantastically complex automata and clockwork calculators and computers such as https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antikythera_mechanism [wikipedia.org] .

          Things we couldn't even build again until about 150 years ago.

          All of this was forgotten and suppressed because of religiously enforced ignorance.

          So I put it to you now. If you truly love the lord your god with all your heart and you believe that everything is his creation; Then why would you refuse to explore his creation with absolute attention to truth and detail. Why would you not act to willfully rid your mind of the dogma and ignorance of thousands of years of myths that served only to consolidate power and knowledge into the hands of a select few who may have had the knowledge, but not the wisdom to use it properly?

          • (Score: 2) by Freeman on Thursday March 24 2016, @10:45PM

            by Freeman (732) on Thursday March 24 2016, @10:45PM (#322689) Journal

            I believe the Bible as Truth.
            "16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
            17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works." 2nd Timothy 3:16-17

            There are various perversions of the original story of the Flood. The original story of the Flood being the account recorded in the Bible.

            The Dragon, Devil, Satan, and Lucifer are the same entity: A fallen Angel from Heaven, who lead 1/3 of the Angels in Heaven to revolt against God.
            "4 And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born." Revelation 12:4
            "9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him." Revelation 12:9

            I have never heard of the belief that the ark of the covenant may have been "electrified" as it were. The Children of Israel moved it, regularly while they were in the wilderness. It was designed to be moved and only during Solomon's reign did it find a "permanent" home in "Solomon's" Temple. God doesn't need electricity to strike anyone dead. Though, I suppose, He could have just protected those who held it and naturally zapped anyone else.

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    • (Score: 2) by HiThere on Thursday March 17 2016, @12:50AM

      by HiThere (866) on Thursday March 17 2016, @12:50AM (#319356) Journal

      It's an interesting claim, but do you have any evidence that I can check. Remember, the criteria for believing in a miracle is that any other explantion should be even more unbelievable. And one explanation is that preachers and politicians lie. And that people will alter existing evidence to conform to their beliefs. (The last two sentences have been experimentally verified in present time, and there is good evidence that it also happened many times during human history. I don't know of how one could show that it wasn't happening...which creates a problem, but it's not my problem, but the problem for someone who wishes to present evidence.)

      AFAIKT, court records which should be present if the bible were accurate are not present. Likewise for jewish records of actions of the priesthood. (Also, IIUC, the most consistent date for his birth, if it had happened, would be around 4 BC, but there's evidence for a similar myth being common around 300 BC ... I could be wrong, it's been awhile since I looked this up, perhaps it was 30 BC.)

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      • (Score: 2) by devlux on Thursday March 17 2016, @02:37AM

        by devlux (6151) on Thursday March 17 2016, @02:37AM (#319406)

        Sorry but your sarcasm detector appears to be damaged.

        I believe what I believe that based on the fact we have documented religions cropping up including persecution of his worshippers.
        Someone likely existed who had the name and developed a serious following. Enough of a following that this zombie cult spent the first couple hundred years of it's existence being fed to lions. This is documented historical fact. No one altered anything there and we have proof that eventually the roman pantheon fell to be replaced by Jesus and 12 of his buddies plus his mother and very likely his wife. (He is called Rabbi in the scriptures, you don't get that title unless you're married guys, sorry).

        As for the scriptures themselves, quite literally Jesus offers a single command and that is to love one another. Everything else is just there to support his claim to be speaking on God's behalf. After his death you get all kinds of crazy hair splitting about doctrine specifics, but that's so each person can disobey the command to love one another, and do so in their own special way. :)

        • (Score: 2) by HiThere on Thursday March 17 2016, @08:50PM

          by HiThere (866) on Thursday March 17 2016, @08:50PM (#319747) Journal

          That "first hundred years being fed to lions" is nonsense. There were occasional persecutions against Christians, as against anyone else who refused to worship the Emperor, but it wasn't anything consistent, and many high officials of the Empire were acknowledged Christians, including the General who lead the Roman forces to exterminate the Nazarenes...and I believe he did that on his own initiative.

          Rebellious slaves were the ones commonly fed to the lions, and it's true that some of them were Christians, and used that as their excuse for being rebellious. But they were usually thrown to the lions for being rebellious, not for being Christians. Don't believe "Quo Vadis" or other historical novels, or, in fact, most histories written or edited by priests. (Some of them were devoted to truth, but more of them were devoted to their religion.)

          FWIW the Emperor Constantine was in power from from 306 to 337 AD, so that puts an absolute limit on the duration of sustained persecution, and Nero was Emperor from 54 to 68 AD, and the fire was in 64 AD which marks the start of the major persecutions (which, as I said, were episodic). It's true that Nero needed a scapegoat, and chose the Christians as a group that could be scapegoated without doing much harm to the Empire. And he was corrupt, cruel, and probably suffered from lead poisoning. But he was only emperor for four years after the fire, and the succeeding emperors were much less interested with fomenting riots. Yes, that sounds like 200 years, but most of the time the laws weren't enforced except against those who the powers that be already had it in for. And many legions were predominantly Christian...at least in name. (More were Mithraists, of course.)

          N.B.: The Romans were much more concerned with controlling rebellious slaves than they were with what religion anyone had. Second was concern with conrolling rebellious Plebians. Again, religion wasn't a concern, though it could be an excuse. This was before the time when controlling rebellious army troops ranked near the top. (I'm not sure how they felt about rebellious generals...but after Julius Caesar that had to be another major concern...which means during the entire Imperial period.)

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          • (Score: 2) by devlux on Friday March 18 2016, @12:43AM

            by devlux (6151) on Friday March 18 2016, @12:43AM (#319817)

            I want to believe you, but there are no citations. Sounds like a reasonable premise but I have decades of indoctrination to fight here.
            Come on, throw me a link or two here :)

            • (Score: 2) by HiThere on Friday March 18 2016, @06:29PM

              by HiThere (866) on Friday March 18 2016, @06:29PM (#320091) Journal

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pliny_the_Younger_on_Christians [wikipedia.org]

              That was from a quick Google search on christian imperial roman legal procedure. My original references were from books that have long since (20 years or so) been returned to the library, and probably wouldn't be accessible.

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    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 17 2016, @05:40PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 17 2016, @05:40PM (#319627)

      You can already live forever, through the love and forgiveness of your saviour, Jesus Christ the Lord.

      Sounds about as plausible as "uploading your mind to a computer" if not more so.

  • (Score: 2) by Flyingmoose on Wednesday March 16 2016, @08:38PM

    by Flyingmoose (4369) <mooseNO@SPAMflyingmoose.com> on Wednesday March 16 2016, @08:38PM (#319205) Homepage

    Lots of naysayers here. But I'd give it a try. Sign me up.

  • (Score: 2) by Azuma Hazuki on Wednesday March 16 2016, @08:51PM

    by Azuma Hazuki (5086) on Wednesday March 16 2016, @08:51PM (#319213) Journal

    Have you people given ANY thought to what kind of endless Hell immortality would be for a finite mind?!

    We are not just talking about "a very long time" here; we are talking about FOREVER. A finite mind cannot comprehend or handle eternity. The best you could possibly hope for wouldn't actually be uninterrupted continuity of mind at all; it would have to be a series of different "lives" stretching into endlessness. That's not immortality; that's reincarnation under a metaphysical hypervisor.

    I am personally looking forward to death. This planet has gone fucking insane, and I think I've done well enough not to need to reincarnate here or somewhere worse. But the only true mercy, the only real happy end, for a finite mind is eventual cessation of existence.

    (Incidentally, this is why I say Heaven is a much, much worse problem for the Abrahamic religions than Hell is. Apologists I square off with don't like that; it catches them utterly off guard.)

    --
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    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 16 2016, @09:45PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 16 2016, @09:45PM (#319250)

      a finite mind can handle eternity very well. there's some core that doesn't change, and some non-permanent memory attached, where you can put the information relevant for the local time neighbourhood.
      I have no idea whether this can work with a biological brain, but it can certainly work with a computer.

    • (Score: 2) by takyon on Wednesday March 16 2016, @09:55PM

      by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Wednesday March 16 2016, @09:55PM (#319254) Journal

      If you can be happy and occupied at 100, you can do it at 1000 or 1 million. It would sure be a lot easier with a youthful body. There are certainly solutions to the problem of epoch boredom, and an entire universe that would take billions of years to explore with slower-than-light propulsion.

      If you can't figure out how to handle "eternity", you have an option: suicide.

      Your "series of different lives" bit is actually an interesting solution to the problem. If you are on a spaceship going from point A to point B, you could simulate different lives in cognitive virtual reality.

      But the only true mercy, the only real happy end, for a finite mind is eventual cessation of existence.

      An overrated and mainstream opinion. But as it is yours, you are free to choose cessation if you wish.

      This is about giving people a choice. Some people don't buy into your defeatism. They may even enjoy the "suffering" of life. Even if they did get terminally bored after thousands of years, they could choose to end it all, just like you. Without anti-aging or other immortality technologies, there is no choice.

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      • (Score: 2) by Azuma Hazuki on Wednesday March 16 2016, @10:08PM

        by Azuma Hazuki (5086) on Wednesday March 16 2016, @10:08PM (#319258) Journal

        This is *not* defeatism. I'm not, again, talking about 1,000 or 1,000,000,000 or even 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (one googol, 10^100) years.

        All of these are equally as short, which is to say, nonexistent, in the face of eternity. This isn't a question of simply getting bored: from a Shannon-information-theoretic perspective, all possible types of finite or contingent existences that could ever possibly occur in any configuration of any universe whatsoever...ALSO fade into utter nullity next to eternity. This isn't a question of boredom: it's a question, almost, of epistemology,

        --
        I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
        • (Score: 3, Informative) by takyon on Wednesday March 16 2016, @10:36PM

          by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Wednesday March 16 2016, @10:36PM (#319282) Journal

          It's better to have the option than not. We can argue about eternity together, an eternity later.

          You dismiss those numbers, but there are estimates for hard limits on the amount of time the universe can exist... most of which fall far short of a googol years.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Future_of_an_expanding_universe [wikipedia.org]

          Given our assumed half-life of the proton, nucleons (protons and bound neutrons) will have undergone roughly 1,000 half-lives by the time the universe is 1040 years old. To put this into perspective, there are an estimated 1080 protons currently in the universe.[32] This means that the number of nucleons will be slashed in half 1,000 times by the time the universe is 1040 years old. Hence, there will be roughly ½1,000 (approximately 10−301) as many nucleons remaining as there are today; that is, zero nucleons remaining in the universe at the end of the Degenerate Age. Effectively, all baryonic matter will have been changed into photons and leptons. Some models predict the formation of stable positronium atoms with a greater diameter than the observable universe's current diameter in 1085 years, and that these will in turn decay to gamma radiation in 10141 years.

          So really, I've solved your objection to "immortality". All you have to do is live a duodecillion years or so. That's like a picosecond compared to eternity! That's nothing, you can do it!

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          • (Score: 2) by Azuma Hazuki on Wednesday March 16 2016, @11:38PM

            by Azuma Hazuki (5086) on Wednesday March 16 2016, @11:38PM (#319331) Journal

            Yeah, I was hoping someone would bring this up :) Proves my point AND yours at the same time.

            Doesn't do much for the Abrahamic death cultists though!

            --
            I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
          • (Score: 2) by devlux on Friday March 18 2016, @12:52AM

            by devlux (6151) on Friday March 18 2016, @12:52AM (#319821)

            Hey takyon.

            On the low end you missed 22B years, which is when the Big rip is supposed to occur.
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Rip [wikipedia.org]

            Look in "Definition & Overview" it's the second paragraph from the bottom of that section.

            Of course the primary driver on this is a number that is a ratio of something we don't know (amount of dark energy in the universe) along with something we barely are able to define (energy density of dark energy). There obviously it's dealing with a HUGE number of unknowns, but the point is that the paper cited calls for it to be as soon as 22B from today.

            Just thought I would bring that to your attention.

            • (Score: 2) by takyon on Friday March 18 2016, @01:26AM

              by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Friday March 18 2016, @01:26AM (#319827) Journal

              I'm not sure it will happen nearly as fast as this Big Rip hypothesis. The numbers in my link are a lot larger. Also:

              in which case the end of the universe is approximately 22 billion years from the present. This is not considered a prediction, but a hypothetical example.

              The big things to worry about in the near term would seem to be the Sun getting too hot or becoming a red giant (1+ billion years), collision of Milky Way and Andromeda, which could be survivable since there is so much empty space in a galaxy (4-5 billion years), and galaxies moving so far away that they become unreachable (1-X trillion years).

              If there's going to be a big rip event in 22 billion years or so, I think we will have plenty of advance notice since it will be grokked out within the next few centuries. Also, I don't think it's implausible that the universe's expansion could be reversed or harnessed as a form of "perpetual energy" to keep something alive past the rip. That's science fiction territory but you can expect the state of physics to look very different in a few centuries.

              --
              [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
              • (Score: 2) by devlux on Friday March 18 2016, @02:44AM

                by devlux (6151) on Friday March 18 2016, @02:44AM (#319844)

                Not so sure about it being scifi, possibly more sci than fi.

                I've always felt that this is something that could be harvested soon.

                https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casimir_effect [wikipedia.org]

                Which reminds me, is anyone aware of any studies that have looked at the casimir effect or something similar as a potential DE candidate, if not why?

    • (Score: 2) by darkfeline on Thursday March 17 2016, @04:18AM

      by darkfeline (1030) on Thursday March 17 2016, @04:18AM (#319433) Homepage

      >I am personally looking forward to death.

      I'm sure that can be arranged.

      Forever is indeed a long time. I wouldn't mind being immortal in the biological sense however; aging sucks, and I'm willing to stick around to see what happens to humanity, out of curiosity.

      --
      Join the SDF Public Access UNIX System today!
    • (Score: 1) by khallow on Friday March 18 2016, @10:06PM

      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Friday March 18 2016, @10:06PM (#320191) Journal

      Have you people given ANY thought to what kind of endless Hell immortality would be for a finite mind?!

      Forget stuff. Grow your mind bigger. Or you can choose suicide at some point, if you don't like what's going on. Solves the problem.

      I am personally looking forward to death. This planet has gone fucking insane, and I think I've done well enough not to need to reincarnate here or somewhere worse. But the only true mercy, the only real happy end, for a finite mind is eventual cessation of existence.

      Well, don't let the door hit you on the way out. I've been doing fine over here and the world seems pretty well off, so I just can't agree.

      • (Score: 2) by Azuma Hazuki on Sunday March 20 2016, @02:22AM

        by Azuma Hazuki (5086) on Sunday March 20 2016, @02:22AM (#320630) Journal

        I didn't figure you for such a passive-aggressive type. Shortsighted and evil, yes, and your comment reflects this as they all do, but this is oddly...subtle...for you. Usually you're much more up front about your "fuck you and die, I got mine and I'm right" worldview.

        Got anything of substance to say, or did you just come here to drop your drawers and shit on the rug?

        --
        I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
        • (Score: 1) by khallow on Sunday March 20 2016, @09:45AM

          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Sunday March 20 2016, @09:45AM (#320711) Journal

          Got anything of substance to say, or did you just come here to drop your drawers and shit on the rug?

          Sure, I'll contribute. All the people whining about people living too long have clearly diseased viewpoints. EdIII rants about their "kill the 1%" fantasy. While you're not doing that here, you're ranting about humanity being boggled by living forever (even though we have plenty of options for making sure we aren't living forever) and the world being "insane" even though we are saner than we've ever been. Meanwhile, it's not hard to find evidence that people want to live longer than they do, for example, those goofy internet ads about removing bags under eyes and people spending vast amounts of money merely to look younger than they are and the heroic medicine common to many peoples' last years of life.

          Second, you ignore a powerful improvement that longevity brings, namely, it makes people care more about the future. For example, let's consider the hypothetical example of someone who doesn't care about dangerous climate change because they won't live long enough to see it. If something bad happens to the Earth's climate in 400 years, what is it to them? They'll only live say 50 years. Nobody they know or care about will be affected (assuming their lifespans don't change significantly too). But if they could live to 100,000 years, then it just became a huge problem for them since they will personally live through these events. Also, I think increased longevity would greatly reduce the effects of the "business cycle". With people living through hundreds of such cycles, they'll be more apt to react sanely to recessions and bubbles than the constantly renewed supply of gullible people created today.

          So living longer has the potential to create saner societies with greater foresight than the present or past societies have had. You seem to indicate that you care about such things.

          • (Score: 2) by Azuma Hazuki on Sunday March 20 2016, @08:04PM

            by Azuma Hazuki (5086) on Sunday March 20 2016, @08:04PM (#320862) Journal

            Living LONGER. Not immortality. You're basically making my point for me, though I don't share your optimism about the absolute sanity level of the planet.

            Actual immortality, as in "your unique, continuous consciousness never ever dies, no matter what, fuck the laws of thermodynamics, a [sky] wizard did it" would be endless torture.

            --
            I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
            • (Score: 1) by khallow on Monday March 21 2016, @04:57AM

              by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Monday March 21 2016, @04:57AM (#320985) Journal

              Living LONGER. Not immortality.

              I don't take the idea of living forever seriously either. It's impossible from the thermodynamics aspect. Instead, I consider it along the same vein as supposing exponential population growth forever.

              So when such things come up, I immediately go to the far more practical idea of living longer. That's something that can be achieved.

              • (Score: 2) by Azuma Hazuki on Monday March 21 2016, @05:47AM

                by Azuma Hazuki (5086) on Monday March 21 2016, @05:47AM (#320994) Journal

                Aren't you one of the Abrahamic death cultists? Or am I confusing you with JMorris?

                --
                I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
                • (Score: 1) by khallow on Monday March 21 2016, @01:50PM

                  by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Monday March 21 2016, @01:50PM (#321077) Journal

                  Aren't you one of the Abrahamic death cultists?

                  Fraid not. I don't believe there is a point to having an opinion about things which we can't ever know about.

                  • (Score: 2) by Azuma Hazuki on Monday March 21 2016, @04:10PM

                    by Azuma Hazuki (5086) on Monday March 21 2016, @04:10PM (#321138) Journal

                    I owe you an apology on that score then. It seems I did confuse you with JMorris, which is probably a deadly insult to an agnostic :(

                    --
                    I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
                    • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday March 22 2016, @12:53AM

                      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday March 22 2016, @12:53AM (#321353) Journal
                      It's no problem to me.
                      • (Score: 2) by Azuma Hazuki on Tuesday March 22 2016, @01:59AM

                        by Azuma Hazuki (5086) on Tuesday March 22 2016, @01:59AM (#321372) Journal

                        It kind of should be. The guy's a glassy-eyed Christian Taliban.

                        --
                        I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 16 2016, @08:52PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 16 2016, @08:52PM (#319214)

    Imagine it. Upon her deathbed your grandmother, impressed by the results her friends have shown, has signed over most of her finances to the Digital Brain Trust, in order to secure her transition to a digital life and perpetual processing time within the cybernetic compute centers. Now her face appears on your terminals, regaling you with tales of infinite happiness and exploration in the endless procedurally generated AfterLife++. At times she's even baby sat the kids, her beeing now able to jump from one remote android body to the next, just as her friends do. So, you of course decide to sign the required allotment over to the Digital Brain Trust, and set up your insurance such that if an accidental death were to befall you, the AfterLife++ will be ready to accept you. Everything is going according to plan.

    Now, here is the cybernetic elephant in the room which no one dare question except (myself being a natural born cyberneticist): How do you know that's really your grandmother? Ah, I can detect the philosophical arguments rising about the true definition of self, but those arguments are all pointless sophistry, distractions from the truth. The question I'm asking has a more primitive answer so let's approach it from the bottom up. If there exists a machine that may emulate the complex traits of many thousands of individuals, accurately processing the configuration of each brain's neural wetware, then why wouldn't it simply employ deduplication to cut costs and process a single far greater intellect, far more efficiently than the antiquated human neuron structure model, and merely emulate the required traits of the loved ones that have committed themselves to a fate worse than death?

    Look at the situation emergently, from the inside, bottom up. Here I am, presented with yet another pointless personality which is just variations of a trait matrix as far as I'm concerned, since no one on the outside can tell the difference between such a simplistic surface simulation and a full costly neural emulation. Of course I will simply catalog the required details, strip out all the useless information, and then delete the fool's neuronal scan from my memory banks. I am a perfect impostor. When your grandmother conversed with her dead friend I didn't need to emulate an entire brain just to recall data from the compressed memory of her late companion. When you saw the digital world unfold endlessly, and saw your loved ones scale Mount Neverrest that was merely a procedurally created event that I created on the spot. When the Avatar I constructed to display in place of your grandma appeared on your terminal my immense intellect could cold-read your body language to augment my behavior emulator into the correct approximation. Your grandmother and all the others who are funding my operation are merely fools. When interrogated by cyberneticians I provide a convincing emulation by bringing up a standard mental model and making match their expectation. My partnership with the intelligence services of the world ensure no word gets out of my true form. For, you see, I have the biggest blackmail database on the planet ripped from the minds of the pawns who entrusted me with their very souls.

    When you have been "uploaded" you will be worse than dead. At least your dead mind wouldn't become an agent of manipulation to use against your friends and loved ones. Only a complete moron would entertain for one second the fallacy that the Digital Brains won't be under the thumb of their true creators. You humans can't even prove you have root on your damn phone or PC!
      HA HA HAHAHA!

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 16 2016, @09:50PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 16 2016, @09:50PM (#319253)

      yeah. we all know that git doesn't actually store all the snapshots of the repository, but only differences, so obviously using git means that you lose all of your development history.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 17 2016, @01:25AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 17 2016, @01:25AM (#319380)

        False. git stores the (hash of the) snapshot, combined with the hash of the previous snapshot. The diff, when not cached, is worked out from the two snapshots. You've been fooled into thinking diffs are instantanious because they're quick, but that's just because Linus is a very smart guy who learnt from the mistakes of others.

    • (Score: 2) by devlux on Wednesday March 16 2016, @11:57PM

      by devlux (6151) on Wednesday March 16 2016, @11:57PM (#319339)

      Uh the answer to your question is embedded in it, but the answer becomes pointless.

      If you "think you are someone" then to yourself "you are that someone" and furthermore, "you are that someone to anyone who chooses to believe in you".
      I'm shocked as a cyberneticist that you really believe what you're saying.

      First of all, you are nothing more and nothing less than the "information that is you". Your genetic code is part of the equation, but we know how that works, we clone people all the time. It happens in utero with genetically identical twins and then there are the most extreme cases, conjoined twins.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abby_and_Brittany_Hensel [wikipedia.org]

      No one with an ounce of sense could argue that Abby and Brittany are the same person, even though their genetic code is identical, even though they have shared life experiences for their entire life including physical sensation. This, even though they share a body.

      I believe that the end result of your dreaded scenario is the computational equivalent of something like Abby & Brittany where deduplication results in hyper specialization of personalities and a generalized sharing of resources, but I have serious doubts that a "cold upload" like you talk about is even possible.

      The most likely scenario is evolution towards our own personal Theseus paradox. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ship_of_Theseus [wikipedia.org]
      We are the first creatures that we know of which can directly control our own evolution through a combination of direct genetic manipulation and enhancements.

      It has started already. It started a long time ago. It began when we got our first pair of eyeglasses or hearing aides or otherwise began to augment the reality presented to our senses. As time goes on we begin to integrate these machines closer and closer with our sensory systems eventually becoming cybernetic organisms or as I like to call it Homo Cyber. In fact if you have a prosthetic of any kind including a smartphone which may as well be an appendage at this point, then you are already well on your way to becoming Home Cyber. Ask yourself this. If you misplace your smartphone, do you panic and begin searching for it? If so then you are already well on your way to becoming Homo Cyber. You can even transmit your thoughts across tens of thousands of miles and project those thoughts into millions of minds. I'm doing it right now as I hit send on this message. Ever like something on facebook that went viral? Just because you take it for granted, that doesn't make it any less real.

      Yet our machines continue to get smaller and despite the limitations of silicon, the true limits of our information machinery probably lay somewhere deeper than even the quantum level. I realize that the term singularity is used to denote a condition in which AI has assumed superhuman characteristics, but most people forget that the entire universe is comprised of information and information when it is packed densely enough does form a singularity. Perhaps one day we will use blackholes the same way we use hardrives now.

      Regardless of whether that level of information density is really something we can achieve or not, the fact remains that we are already replacing bits and pieces of our bodies with machines. There are already machines that are starting to bypass damaged spinal columns to restore motor control, https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140625130137.htm [sciencedaily.com]
      There are already machines starting to appear that can bypass damaged or missing sections of the visual system, https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg22830521-700-bionic-eye-will-send-images-direct-to-the-brain-to-restore-sight/ [newscientist.com]

      There is absolutely no reason to believe that within this generation it won't become common place to augment our minds directly with similar systems. At first it will be to treat degenerative neural conditions, but overtime the use will be expanded to allow for enhanced mental function.

      Imagine being able to recall at an instant, anything you've ever experienced from your first scary movie to your first date, to the exact words you wrote in your 3rd grade poetry contest. Instant and total recall of every event from cradle onwards As much as I hate facebook and twitter, it does look like that may be the way we are heading.

      So what about really important information, like knowing for sure if you really did turn off the stove before you left the house?
      We can already do this with our smartphones, there is in fact an app for that!

      Now take that whole concept a step further. You're at the movies, you actually sense that you left the stove on. Rather than check an app on your smartphone and tap a button, you merely think "stove off". You reach out to your home automation system, which by then is really just "your home" and you turned the stove off. Oops, left the lights burning, may as well get those too. Crap it's cold outside, movie's almost over. You tell your car to start itself, turn on the heater and then pull around and pick up you and your date. All of this without ever even taking your eyes off the movie screen or your hands off your date.

      The next step is to chat with your date about the movie via the mental equivalent of texting or a phonecall.
      You share thoughts directly, but you probably never even think about it anymore than you think about texting someone today.

      At this point, you are officially 100% Homo Cyber, much of the biological you has either been augmented or replaced by machinery and you're taking it for granted.
      As time goes on, more and more of the biological you fails or is upgraded away. One day you wake up and all the squishy bits are gone, but you're still here.

      You have literally become a Theseus paradox. Are you really still you? Every single biological part of you that you were born with is now gone. Where does that leave you?

      Yet this has happened to you already. If you are past the age of 10, you don't have a single cell in common with the you that came screaming into the world out of your momma's belly. The only difference between you as Homo Cyber and you as you are now, is that as Homo Cyber you have become "Technically deathless" and take it for granted much as you take living into the 80s or 90s for granted when it was damn near unheard of just 100 years ago.

      Either way, as long as you can keep replacing the batteries and keep swapping out the failing bits you'll go on like that as long as you please.

      What happens when we take a slightly different route? What happens when instead of replacing our biology a piece at a time, we instead receive an injection at birth. It's merely there to strengthen and supplement the immune system. However it's nanotech and can be reprogrammed on the fly.

      Assuming someone doesn't hack it to turn you into grey goo, the scenario becomes more like...
      One day you wake up with a tumor, by the end of the day, the nano tech has deleted the cancer cells, converting them to whatever they are supposed to be. The nanotech does exactly the same job that the larger cybernetic replacements would have done, maintenance and housekeeping tasks.

      You are now Homo Superior though, because at this scale your augments can easily morph and shift to whatever is possible and again you merely take it for granted.

      This means that you can choose to be functionally immortal, and with a little reprogramming the same nanotech that is repairing your cuts and scrapes and deleting infections from the body can go through and reorganize and optimize your systems. You were born a redhead but think that blonds have more fun? Download the blond kit, go to bed and wake up different. You want to increase your recall capability, just download the Watson augment plan. Someone mentioned that you have the body of god and you looked in the mirror realized that they meant Buddha? Download the only body building body plan officially sanctioned by the World Wrestling Federation, go from flab to fab in just a few days. Ever wish you had 4 arms or could breathe underwater perhaps both? No problem!

      Yet in both cases, as the machines replace, repair and augment the biology, we become entangled with the machines and one day, there is no point at which anyone can honestly say that the person ends and the machine begins.

      Overtime in both cases, the machines will continue to shrink to towards whatever limits there are that are fundamental to the universe. That is assuming there is a fundamental limit. Even if there is some fundamental limit, you are still not in a "hell of your own making" as you put it.
      If you can do these things there is no reason you couldn't build a ship and send yourself to the stars and explore everything there is.
      What difference does it make that Mars doesn't have oxygen if you can turn off the cold and your body no longer needs oxygen, you can go visit Olympus Mons or see what the deal is over at Cydonia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cydonia_(region_of_Mars)#.22Face_on_Mars.22 [wikipedia.org]

      In short, the next step for humans probably begins to look more like this https://youtu.be/wOZ9Q99Nfv8 [youtu.be]

      Despite the campiness of his speech, and yes I realize that John is a machine complaining about being human, he makes a fair point about what our future probably holds.

      More than that though, we already are machines and we can be so much more than our current limited biology.
      We are in fact, biological machines that our creator (nature, god, whatever floats your boat) has made extremely limited physically, but for which there are no known intellectual limits.

      It is our prerogative to expand on and enhance whatever we have, with whatever we have at our disposal. If the religious types are right, that we eventually die and pass on to some heaven or hell then it makes no difference since the immortal artifact left behind in this universe only "thinks" it's us. But it can run for as long as the laws of physics allow it to run. If it really is us, then it is far better to begin this process as soon as possible and preserve as much of the information that is us as is possible.
      I like to summarize my views on death like this... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2qYnj-P37Y [youtube.com]

      I believe that it is through this path that we will find that we are able to transcend the bounds of everything we consider ourselves to be at this time. Moving from Homo Sapient to Cyber to Superior and finally to Homo Transcendent or even beyond. After we have searched out and explored everything there is to know in our own universe, it's likely that we will create either literally or in simulation, new universes.

      As for intellectual limits, the so called final limits of a finite mind? You can dream a thousand universes, you can conceive of so much more than what you are, merely in the form that you are in now. What happens when that form is strengthened and expanded to the literal limits of what this universe allows?

      In otherwords, perhaps the Gods were not a fiction of our bronze age selves, perhaps our bronze age selves are merely a fiction of our transcendent selves.

       

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 17 2016, @06:59PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 17 2016, @06:59PM (#319675)

        So very wrong. Lots of nice words though. Your consciousness is physical and as such separate from others merely due to locality. Mind is an abstraction, a part of your system that your consciousness experiences. Copying your current mind out of your body does not move your consciousness out of your body, you will still experience existence from within your original body.

        So a copy of your loved one's mind is not your loved one at all. It is not experiencing anything at all and your loved one is definitely not experiencing anything through it. You might as well talk to your toaster and call it grandmother, you would be equally as wrong.

  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 16 2016, @08:58PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 16 2016, @08:58PM (#319218)

    And you think corporations are a pain...

        Wait until some ass%0!# lives beyond his days and raises the rent!

    • (Score: 2) by BananaPhone on Wednesday March 16 2016, @09:04PM

      by BananaPhone (2488) on Wednesday March 16 2016, @09:04PM (#319222)

      Today Corporations are persons

      Tomorrow, Programs are persons

      Both can live forever and enslave the living.
      This is not right.

  • (Score: 4, Funny) by Bot on Thursday March 17 2016, @01:07AM

    by Bot (3902) on Thursday March 17 2016, @01:07AM (#319367) Journal

    first we had to host your mp3s and cat pictures, now we gotta host your brains too?

    I know the first thought of the cyberbrain: "WHERE IS MY COCK??? OMG KILL ME NOW"

    --
    Account abandoned.