thisimpetus t1_j722kbb wrote

Well this is just a strawman argument; the article wasn't proposing mass human migration to mars.

Astronauts are people.

Beyond which nothing precludes doing both of those things, nor eventually having sufficient industry on Mars to provide luxury.

Nevermind the possibility of generations raised in less luxury who don't have to give it up because they never had it. I mean honestly I could sit and draft caveats to this comment all morning.


thisimpetus t1_j5i1y6l wrote

Well the atmosphere staying put bit is easy, mars has 2/3 earth's gravity, it once had a thicker atmosphere, and was lost over millions of years. So at least there's that.

Obviously the getting the right atmospheric mix and density requires us first to have automated mining in space, which we haven't even started yet.

but that's all you actually need to terraform mars. that and a century or two to complete it


thisimpetus t1_j24vor3 wrote

Well, I'm no expert in this field but I do have a little academic training in it and I'll tell you that these claims you're making are very, very big claims that a great many PhD's have debated and I think if you're really interested in this subject you might consider getting into some of the reading.

Because the thing is, I don't think you'll find much agreement with your position at the top of the game, but that's because these are really, really hard questions and our intuitions about them tend to be really bad. That makes a lot of sense; we certainly can't expect ourselves to have an evolved understanding of these ideas. But all the same, if you're really interested, there are some fundamental ideas that you're challenging and I'd wager you might reconsider some of them if you got some exposure to some rigorous investigation of them. It's very interesting stuff, I know my thinking was forever changed by it. D.C. Dennet is a great place to start because his writing is enjoyable in addition to being top-shelf cognitive philosophy.



thisimpetus t1_j24roa0 wrote

Well "moving it" isn't a meaningful thing to say, there is nothing to move, structure and data aren't material things. You're literally constantly changing, there is nothing static about you. You are the information in motion; where it is and by what means it moves doesn't mean anything. Copying a PDF doesn't physically relocate parts of your drive to another location, it represents that information identically somewhere else. So too your consciousness; just as reading the same song from different devices changes absolutely nothing about the song—and just as a song has to be happening in time to actually be the song—what makes you you is the data structure connected in real time to the environment, not the medium.


thisimpetus t1_j24pn4w wrote

> you can't just move that into code form onto a machine

That's an absolutely enormous claim I will be utterly shocked if you could truly defend, and that's not to insult you but to suggest that you might vastly underestimate the scale of that claim. It is absolutely not something that can be taken as obvious.


thisimpetus t1_j24p36p wrote

No cell in the body you typed that with was with you when you were born, and no cell you were born with is with you still. You've replaced them all.

So, you've already moved your entire consciousness from one medium to another, you just did it piecemeal and without a disruption in function.

Now, if you fall in a frozen lake and, after being technically dead for a few minutes, are revived, I'll wager you still think that's you.

So if we can find practical examples of both disrupted function and transference to another medium, we'd have to suppose that doing both all at once is what makes the difference. I don't see that at all.

You are not your body, you are just that pattern of data dancing about. So long as it dances, it's you. If there were two of you for a moment, or a thousand, they'd all basically immediately start being someone else because the dances would begin to be different. But this idea that there is an authentic you of which copies are something else really doesn't hold up under scrutiny unless you believe in a soul.


thisimpetus t1_j24o1d6 wrote

Well, first of all

> it's a perfect copy of you...which isn't the same

I mean that's simply incoherent. That's what perfect means. The only way those two things aren't identical is if you subscribe to religion and the concept of a soul.

As for "realistic", consciousness just is the operation of the brain. If you are able to flawlessly replicate that function, then the subsequent consciousness is, again, identical.

There is lots of room there for deniability; a perfect copy might be impossible or else so tremendously difficult that we don't find it useful—it may also be relatively easy—but unless you can point to why such a copy of you isn't identical to you, I suggest that you consider the possibility that you simply have an emotional resistance to the idea that you aren't inherently unique and inviolate.

We're just information in motion, wherever you wish to house it and however you wish to move it.


thisimpetus t1_j0m01ku wrote

I think you're vastly, vastly underestimating musical composition and our relationships with it, and I say relationships because what we hear and enjoy and why varies enormously from person to person.

I'll just give myself as an example: I studied audio engineering and also play music. I also have ADHD. My absolute favourite music is my favourite in part because of my tastes in melodies and rhythms, in part because I have training in the actual recording process and can hear things that the untrained ear simply cannot (there's no conceit, here, it's just the consequence of knowing what you're listening for and a very great deal of practice) and then finally I have neurological mechanisms that affect my tastes. My favourite music sounds like cacaphony to some of my friends, who don't at all enjoy listening to sixty-four simultaneous tracks while lying perfectly still in the dark concentrating as hard you can.

Meanwhile I also enjoy dancing and and everything I just said goes straight out the window into irrelevance as soon as moving my body is involved, whereupon the criteria for what I enjoy is fundamentally different. A dirty beat that makes my feet work is just repetitive and boring if all I'm doing is listening; a pop-orchestral synthesis of myriad musical styles all engineered to precision sounds great on good monitors and almost like noise as background.

Any AI that sought to do what you're proposing has a much, much greater task in front of it than simply assigning acoustic data to a particular pattern of brain function. The degree to which such an AI would have to meaningfully grasp subjectivity is way, way, way more complicated than you're imagining. I don't mean that the AI would have to understand what it's doing, exactly, but rather that it would have to train on such a staggeringly vast corpus of data that it is, for the moment, unimagineable.

Consider training an AI on images. It takes thousands of them, and the training usually has be done on a rented super computer or cloud network to have enough computing power to get it done in a reasonable period of time. And that's just pixels. The size of the data between a corpus of images vs the entire operation of brains in all their myriad complexity is so vast I can't really express it, gigabytes vs petabytes at the very least.

So we can't currently collect that data, never mind begin to process it, nevermind train that data, and even if we had all that we don't have hardware that can even begin to monitor your brain activity in anything like the real-time fidelity such an AI would need to make intelligent choices about what to feed you, and we definitely don't have that kind if hardware at the consumer level.

What you might see is a much, much, much simpler service, in the next decade or two, that can match some very basic musical choices to mood and attention. That's vastly, vastly different from an AI authoring music that's matched in terms of enjoyment by our favourite artists today.

AI can write music now; it might soon write popular music, but it won't be using neural data to train on, it'll use social media and downloads and playlists etc. to figure out what will be popular. Custom, personalized, real-time music is a whole other ballgame and not currently even on the horizon.


thisimpetus t1_j0lmikn wrote

For someone who entered this conversation with a reasonable point, that pessimism is not philosophy, it's pretty incredible how rapidly this went entirely off the rails into the land of utter, utter nonsense.

And to be clear, I've been a devout Buddhist for twenty years, I take no issue with spirituality; I take enormous issue with nonsense.

We don't want or care about "milk", we want a particular flavour, texture and nutrient profile with a feasible ecological footprint. Your projecting emotion and ideology into protein synthesis is ridiculous behaviour that has no bearing in reality whatsoever.


thisimpetus t1_izsj9x4 wrote

Pressure or tension, really; the appendix is a small sack of tissue, about the shape of a finger. It can become infected and fill with pus, or an obstruction can block part of the surface tissue; in either case, the wall of the appendix is strained and so easier to tear. Under that strain, normal activity can represent dangerous additional strain, pushing the strained area beyond its mechanical limit. And that's what a "burst" is, really, a small tear in the outer wall of the organ that lets it leak into the rest of the abdomen.