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Date: Mon, 22 Apr 2002 10:21:47 -0800 (PDT)
From: david@slack.com (David DiGiacomo)
Subject: (urth) Re: Mr Million v Oreb

>The trouble is, of course, that a human personality needs a human brain to
>hold it.   A smaller brain will not do.    Only a fraction of a human
>prsonality could be embedded in a chough .

This is still unknown.  Perhaps the personality is stored only in the
human-specific parts of the brain, which are a fraction of the total
size.  If the information were organized efficiently, and non-essentials
removed, it might be possible to find room for it in a smaller brain.

>Today we guess that the fastest supercomputers carry out about the same
>number of switching events per second as a human brain does.  But they are
>BIG and consume a LOT of power.

I don't think today's computers have anywhere near the storage capacity of
an animal brain.

>Candidly, organic data processing is not digital and it is probably
>impossible to "download" a human or animal mind into a computer, full stop.

The conclusion may be valid, but the premise doesn't support it.  Audio
signals are not digital, but we have no problem downloading music into our

(There is also no technical obstacle to incorporating analog circuits in

>The whole buisness of the Holy Hues being visual downloading of personality
>is very, very, dodgy.   But it is a familiar SF trope and Wolfe uses it

The downloading is questionable enough, but what about the uploading?!?
Just how do the bios of the Whorl transmit information through their eyes?
All I can think of is that the upload version of the Holy Hues triggers
evoked potentials which can be detected in some way, but that's not very


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