This is only a brief summary. For more information, see the web pages listed below.

I am not sure how many of these ideas are new. I came to write a synthesis of them while writing a large novel. Two ideas are key: the first is that a person can exist in a virtual reality world hosted on a supercomputer. The second is that such a person does not have to be just a copy of its realworld predecessor, but can actually be that person. Creating a copy of yourself in a computer is not true immortality, because that person is only a copy, no matter how good a copy. But I claim that the person himself or herself can be transfered into the virtual reality world.

There are two metaphors which illustrate this point. One is the notion of putting two computers in parallel, having them work in parallel for a while, then shutting one down. Suppose a large neural network hosted on a supercomputer as a model for a person is synched to a person, using as much of the person’s own inputs and outputs as possible to maintain synchronization. Then a biological computer and an electronic one are working in parallel. At that point the biological computer can be shut down, leaving the syncronized electronic one to continue. That can be seen as a transfer of a person into the virtual reality world maintained on the electronic supercomputer. This may be at least a metaphor, possibly a practical method for achieving true immortality.

Another metaphor is related, but simpler and perhaps easier to understand. Imagine a two necked 12-string guitar, with each neck having the same pitch range. Let a chord be started on one neck, one set of strings, and sustained with the feedback based sustain lever. Now finger the same chord on the other neck, other set of strings, perhaps with the aid of another person. Even without anyone playing (striking) the second set of string, they will start to vibrate through sympathetic vibration. Then both sets of strings will be synchronously playing the same chord. Now if the first set of strings is completely damped to soundlessness, probably with the aid of another person wielding a felt damper, the original sound, unchanged in any way, will continue on the second set of strings. Think of this as a transfer of personality and identity from one medium to another.

Through consideration of both metaphors and especially the first, which may be a practical method, I have come to the conclusion that real immortality in a virtual world is possible. Computers powerful enough to host such a virtual reality world and some number of inhabitants probably already exist and will certainly be widespread in the future.

I have another way of thinking about this, based on wave mechanics and integral transforms, but that is a bit much for now. I’ll post it on request.

I hope anyone who reads this will also look at the Finding Compatibles on this on this site. It may seem to be on an entirely different topic, but I claim that to accomplish anything, even making immortality practical for everyone, one must start by finding people who can work together.

Pages related to Practical Immortality

  • Trans-Human Condition , a page related to a common meaning of immortality, and the object of several well-known organizations.
  • Technological Fantasies , a page about future technology
  • and Practical Immortality , not the immortality of the body, nor making a copy of the mind in a machine,  but actual transfer of a person, personality, memory  and consciousness into a supercomputer


    Related Web Pages are:

    The main Social Technology page.

    FindCompatibles , the key page, with the real solution to all other problems explained

    Technological Fantasies , a page about future technology

    Practical Immortality , not the immortality of the body, nor making a copy of the mind in a machine,  but actual transfer of a person, personality, memory  and consciousness into a supercomputer

    Social Tech a page about Social Technology, technology for social purposes.  I think I was the first person to use this phrase on the Internet, quite a long time ago.

    Roughly corresponding to these web pages are the following blogs :

    FindCompatibles devoted to matching people with friends, lovers, jobs, places to live and so on, but doing so in ways that will actually work, using good math, good algorithms, good analysis.

    Technological Fantasies devoted to future stuff, new ideas, things that might be invented or might happen, such as what is listed above and below.

    Practical Immortality yes, practical immortality.   Don’t write this off as insanity, please.  See the first entry in the blog first.

    Sex-Politics-Religion is a blog about these important topics, which I have been told should never be mentioned in polite conversation.  Alright that advice does seem a bit dated, but many people are still told not to bring up these subjects around the dinner table.

    I believe I was the first person on the Internet to use the phrase Social Technology — years before the Web existed.

    Those were the good old days, when the number of people using the net exceeed the amount of content on it, so that it was easy to start a discussion about such an upopular topic.  Now things are different.  There are so many web pages that the chances of anyone finding this page are low, even with good search engines like Google.   Oh, well.

    By Social Technology I mean the technology for organizing and maintaining human society.  The example I had most firmly in mind is the subject of  FindCompatibles , what I consider to be the key page, the one with the real solution to all other problems explained.

    As I explained on my early mailing lists and later webpages, I find that social technology has hardly improved at all over the years.   We still use representative democracy, exactly the same as it was used in the 18th century.  By contrast, horse and buggy transporation has been replaced by automobiles and airplanes, enormous changes.

    In the picture below you will see some 18th century technology, such as the ox-plow in the middle of the picture.  How things have changed since then in agricultural technology.  But we still use chance encounters, engagements and marriages to organize our home life and the raising of children.  

    I claim that great advances in social technology are not only possible but inevitable.  I have written three novels about this, one preposterously long, 5000 pages, another merely very very long, 1500 pages.  The third is short enough at 340 pages to be published some day.  Maybe.  The topic is still not interesting to most people.   I will excerpt small parts of these novels on the web sometime, maybe even post the raw text for the larger two.

    This site includes many pages dating from 1997 to 2008 which are quite out of date.  They are included here partly to show the development of these ideas and partly to cover things the newer pages do not.  There will be broken links where these pages referenced external sites.  I’ve tried to fix up or maiintain all internal links, but some will probably have been missed.   One may wish to look at an earlier version of this page , rather longer, and at an overview of most parts of what can be called a bigger project.

    Type in this address to e-mail me.  The image is interesting.  See Status of Social Technology

    Copyright © 2007, 2008, 2009, Douglas Pardoe Wilson

    I have used a series of e-mail address over the years, each of which eventually became out of date because of a change of Internet services or became almost useless because of spam.  Eventually I stuck with a Yahoo address, but my inbox still fills up with spam and their spam filter still removes messages I wanted to see.  So I have switched to a new e-mail service.  Web spiders should not be able to find it, since it is hidden in a jpeg picture.   I have also made it difficult to reach me.  The picture is not a clickable link.  To send me e-mail you must want to do so badly enough to type this address in.  That is a nuisance, for which I do apologize, but I just don’t want a lot of mail from people who do not care about what I have to say.

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