Could you possibly transfer your consciousness to another body?

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My guess is it will always be no more than science fiction. The mind and the body are not two different things, and a map of all neurons, if possible, still wouldn’t be the entire self. Our self is determined just as much by what our glands are doing, and what our other organs are doing… I suppose you could go further and say one’s possessions are also part of the self, in a way.


I know that much fuss is made about this problem; but it is really quite trivial.

Simply charter a Ship of Theseus, place the consciousness aboard; and set sail. By the time you return from Crete, all the rotten planks in the consciousness will have been replaced with new ones; but it will still be the same ship.

Um, er, wait a moment…


I think it’s a case of when, not if, this will happen.

Can’t see it happening any time remotely soon though, maybe a century or so down the line.


Those things can be simulated too, it’s just a case of sheer processing power and modelling every process.


Yes, I know, and FTL travel is an article of faith too. Forgive me if I’m skeptical - especially if Microsoft comes after my head with a knife, promising me immortality.

Down and Out In the Magic Kingdom :smile:

Immortality, but eventually the Universe will end.

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It could be worse. It could be Facebook.

That. Also, quite many of the relevant developments behave exponentially - and once one approach goes to saturation and tapers off, there is another just at it heels to jumpstart it again.

It’s not just the connectome. But it is the most important part of the overall scheme of things.

If the experiment with the head transplant gets successful (the patient survives for a significant time), the severed spinal nerves will provide us with enough data of how the brain behaves without nerve signals from the body. Various syndromes where this or that subsystem fails are also providing data about how brain deals with the absence of various glands and other organs.

There will always be philosophers arguing why a given method is not perfect. The important part here is to ignore them and do the lab work and get the hard, repeatable data, which are much more useful than philosobabbling.

Enough time to figure out how to break out of its confines and escape to the parallel ones.


Personally, I’d advocate a mandatory ‘cooling-off-period’, checks to ensure that the subject is not being coerced into consciousness transfer and/or simulant immortality, and a compulsory reading of I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream (possibly also the section of Gulliver’s Travels that takes place in Luggnagg) by all prospective transferees.

In all seriousness, even if the technology were bulletproof, the ontological hazards of immortality markedly exceed those of oblivion.

And that’s why it should be attempted. Let’s have some fun!


Not that you’d tell me if you were; but are, by any chance, actually SHODAN impersonating shaddack while working out how to use the Von Braun’s FTL drives to nefarious ends?


Have fun replacing the keel while you’re sailing…

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Oh, it’s not just philosophy; I think the engineering problem is pretty much insurmountable. Look, cloning was supposed to change the world, but it turns out most animals cloned grown up with weird defects and health problems. Much to everybody’s surprise, biology turns out to be more complicated than Tab A in Slot B.

Another example is those sheath cells, I forget the name… the things that surround the spinal cord, and outnumber the nerve cells 10 to 1, and turn out to be a lot more important than anybody guessed. They’re not just shock absorbers, they might be involved in thinking.

I really liked the unstated warning in Total Recall, that when you let corporations tinker with your brain there may be unintended consequences.

Hey, there are whole universes for taking. The meek shall inherit the Earth, they can keep that stupid rock.

Early alpha version. Nothing unexpected. Our SoC chips have pedigree tracking down to vacuum tube arrays where some filament blew up or a cathode succumbed to poisoning every couple hours. Biology is in that stage now.

And yet it is fairly simple underneath. The complexity grows from simplicity, in a chaos-like way.

So include them in the model. That’s why the models aren’t set in stone - they are supposed to evolve. And to be thrown out and started from scratch when they turn out to be crap.

There are always unintended consequences. That’s why you need the overall system to be decentralized and heterogeneous enough to absorb them. It’s part of the fun.

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I do hope that’s not my “self” you’re throwing out because it’s defective.

Unless, of course, the thing we call the “Universe” is actually a simulation, in which case it doesn’t so much end, as complete the current iteration.



I just replayed it a few weeks ago, still great.


No. The brain is the tuner that selects the thoughts focused on; thoughts then affect (and are affected by) the emotional state. Mind is outside of the body and is rather mysterious, but, being that “it from bit” (via John Archibald Wheeler) is the basis of our universe, the body is controlled from our slice of mind, its nature being information-based.

The materialists’ notion that the thoughts are created in the brain is as much rubbish as our being is 100% dependent upon our genetics. The genetic code is perhaps a shadow of (or interrelated with) our being, just as our brain is a shadow of our minds, which is connected to our free will, which controls the physical body. If our genetic code was 100% of our being, why do we have half the genes of a sea urchin?

No, there is something much deeper and more dimensionally interwoven than just the physical body contains the mind. Being that the mind is not contained in the body/brain, consciousness cannot be transferred body to body. Sorry, this life is a one-time-good-deal, choose well and notice how important karma is. Create happiness in others and reap that to everyone’s great benefit, most especially yours.

The answer is yes. It is called re-incarnation if you are given to take a new life form after your old one dies.
It is a mistake to think your consciousness was ever -in- your body in the first place.
A life form is just a remote peripheral.