I probably would not join, but I would try to research it to figure out why people who join usually like it. Depending on what I learned, I could change my mind.

What I would prefer is to have the option of sending/receiving thoughts/emotions/memories when and with whom I choose, with consent of those involved. Other mental abilities would of course have to be implemented as well, to allow this kind of telepathy to be manageable.

As an upload, would you join the society of full telepaths/empaths?

by shminux 1 min read15th Oct 2013120 comments


I asked this question on IRC before and got some surprising answers.

Suppose, for the sake of argument, you get cryo-preserved and eventually wake up as an upload. Maybe meat->sim transfer ends up being much easier than sim->meat or meat->meat, or something. Further suppose that you are not particularly averse to a digital-only existence, at least not enough to specifically prohibit reviving you if this is the only option. Yet further suppose that sim-you is identical to meat-you for all purposes that meat-you cared about (including all your hidden desires and character faults). Let's also preemptively assume that any other attempts to fight this hypothetical have been satisfactorily resolved, just to get this out of the way.

Now, in the "real world", or at least in the simulation level we are at, there is no evidence that telepathy of any kind exists or is even possible. However, in the sim-world there is no technological reason it cannot be implemented in some way, for just thoughts, or just feelings, or both. There is a lot to be said for having this kind of connection between people (or sims). It gets rid of or marginalizes deception, status games, mis-communication-based biases and fallacies. On the other hand, your privacy disappears completely and so do any advantages over others the meat-you might want to retain in the digital world. And what you perceive as your faults are out there for everyone to see and feel.

As a new upload, you are informed that many "people" decided to get integrated into the telepathic society and appear to be happy about it, with few, if any, defections. There is also the group of those who opted out, and it looks basically like your "normal" mundane human society. There is only a limited and strictly monitored interaction between the two worlds to prevent exploitation/manipulation. 

Would you choose to get fully integrated or stay as human-like as possible? Feel free to suggest any other alternative (suicide, start a partially integrated society, etc.).

P.S. This topic has been rather extensively covered in science fiction, but I could not find a quality online discussion anywhere.