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At 5:54 AM -0800 2/15/07, Carmelo Ruiz wrote:
>http://www.innovationwatch.com/choiceisyours/choiceisyours-2007-02-15.htm
>
>"Uploading is the (so far hypothetical) process of
>transferring the mental structure and consciousness of
>a person to an external carrier, like a computer. This
>would make it possible to completely avoid biological
>deterioration (aging, damage), allow the creation of
>backup copies of the mind, very profound modifications
>and postbiological existence."

While the software/hardware analogy for the mind/brain relation is 
helpful for some purposes, it's easy to get carried away. I suspect 
that the fact that the brain is a biological organ capable of growth 
and development is not incidental to its role as physical substrate 
for the mind. Even when people memorize large amounts of information, 
part of the hippocampus physically enlarges (see "Navigation-Related 
Structural Change In the Hippocampi of Taxi Drivers," Proceedings of 
the National Academy of Sciences, vol. 97, no. 8, April 11, 2000, pp. 
4398-403 <http://www.pnas.org/cgi/content/full/97/8/4398>, which 
demonstrated this by studying the brains of London cabbies before and 
after they had mastered "the Knowledge".). Until we have computers 
that behave like artificial life forms, I don't put much credence in 
the idea of "postbiological existence." --PG