From Molecule to Metaphor
I hope I can make it to Jerome A. Feldman’s talk today. BOLD and EXCITING are feeble understatements to describe the efforts in pursuit of a Unified Cognitive Science; which, as far as I understand it, is an absolute prerequisite to safe and effective uploading.
Dvorsky is right to caution against hasty assumptions; nevertheless, courageous researchers like Feldman are doing the insanely complex interdisciplinary empirical work that will directly inform and influence the ultimate viability of uploading. Just thinking about the task of specifying a methodology ties my own neurons in knots.
Feldman: “Understanding language and thought requires combining findings from biology, computer science, linguistics, and psychology. A theory that seems perfectly adequate from one perspective may contradict what is known in another field. Problems that seem intractable in one discipline might be quite approachable from a different direction. Taking all the constraints seriously is the only way to get it right.” From Molecule to Metaphor, Preface: “While we are far from having a complete neural theory of language, there have been enormous scientific advances in all the relevant fields. Taken together, these developments provide a framework in which everything that we know fits together nicely.”
“The goal of this book is simple; I would like you, at the end, to say: This all makes sense. It could explain how people understand language. There will be no attempt to convince you that other theories are wrong - in fact, I will assume that most of them are partially right. The book can be seen as part of a general effort to construct a Unified Cognitive Science that can lead the effort to understand our brains and minds. I will try to present a story that is consistent with all the existing scientific data and that also seems plausible to you as a description of your own mind.”