Saturday, 22 April 2017

Memories And Now

Recent posts have discussed works by Poul Anderson and John C. Wright in which:

memories can be transferred from one brain to another;
Artificial Intelligences can be programmed with the memories and apparent experiences of human beings.

In a civilization where it was known that such procedures were possible, or even routine, then no one would be certain either that he was who he thought he was or even that he was a human being in a material body and environment.

I have already come to the view that my sense of self is a mental construct. All that exists here and now is a psychophysical organism responding to its environment. My name and identity are memories. Memories change and our attitude to them can change through meditation. We need not identify with them. Remembered events are not happening now. The universe is conscious of itself through this organism now: not a unit of a hive mind but a unique though transient perspective.

Maybe such realizations would come more easily in the civilizations envisaged by Anderson and Wright?

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

Your second paragraph is alarming! I mean the idea that anyone, including myself, can doubt " I " am real, that the physical body I have and the physical environment I allegedly live are not real.

I agree, despite the skepticism I have for some of their speculations, Anderson and Wright are providing much food for thought.