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Hayworth has spent much of the past few years in a windowless room carving brains into very thin slices. He is by all accounts a curious man, known for casually saying things like, "The human race is on a beeline to mind uploading: We will preserve a brain, slice it up, simulate it on a computer, and hook it up to a robot body." He wants that brain to be his brain. He wants his 100 billion neurons and more than 100 trillion synapses to be encased in a block of transparent, amber-colored resin—before he dies of natural causes.
Why? Ken Hayworth believes that he can live forever.
But first he has to die.
"If your body stops functioning, it starts to eat itself," he explains to me one drab morning this spring, "so you have to shut down the enzymes that destroy the tissue." If all goes according to plan, he says cheerfully, "I'll be a perfect fossil." Then one day, not too long from now, his consciousness will be revived on a computer. By 2110, Hayworth predicts, mind uploading—the transfer of a biological brain to a silicon-based operating system—will be as common as laser eye surgery is today.
It's the kind of scheme you expect to encounter in science fiction, not an Ivy League laboratory. But little is conventional about Hayworth....
He wants to plastinate his brain and have it uploaded to a computer to achieve an immortal consciousness. Is he brilliant? Is he crazy? Is he both?
Actually, he would be well aware of that. The brain is indeed the hardware, and it is the electrical activity which flows through the hardware which generates the consciousness. Just as on a normal computer, if you run some software, electrical signals will be processed by the CPU and other hardware... however, the software is typically stored permanently, just like our memories are stored in our brain. There is a way to read the memories stored in a brain, because ultimately they too are stored via electrical and magnetic methods.
I think he's missing the boat myself. It's not about the physical brain at all. The brain is the hardware. The mind and consciousness are the software. He's suggesting that if you cut up the computer into little slices and "upload" it into another computer, albeit a different variety, that the initial computer will still work.
Essentially, you could make 1 or 100 copies of the same thing. None of which would be "you".
Originally posted by ChaoticOrder
Just as on a normal computer, if you run some software, electrical signals will be processed by the CPU and other hardware... however, the software is typically stored permanently, just like our memories are stored in our brain. The is a way to read the memories stored in a brain, because ultimately they too are stored via electrical and magnetic methods.