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“MindFile-Uploaded-into-Cyborg” is our Favorite Life-Extending Option, claim 800+ Transhumanists
Hank Pellissier   Aug 17, 2012   Ethical Technology  

“Mindfile-in-Fresh-Body” is close runner-up in Terasem Survey; “Inhabiting Different Types of Bodies” is third; Cryonics trails far behind

This essay is the fourth in a series of reports on the statistical results of the Terasem Survey. Information on “TS” is provided at the end of this essay.

Question #5 of the Terasem Survey asked the 800+ transhumanist responders to:

Rank the Appeal of these Life-Extending Options:

Cryonics (full body)
Cryonics (head only)
Mindfiling (uploaded into fresh body)
Mindfiling (uploaded into cyborg)
Virtual Existence
Inhabiting Multiple Selves
Inhabiting Different Types of Bodies

By a large margin, the two mindfiling options were deemed the most appealing.

Mindfiling (uploaded into cyborg) received the top Rating Average of 4.12, with mindfiling (uploaded into fresh body) meriting a 4.01 score.
51.9% of respondents regarded mindfiling-into-cyborg as “very appealing” with mindfiling-into-fresh-body getting 46.9% of votes in this category.
Additionally, only 5.7% of voters thought mindfiling-into-cyborg was “unappealing”, with 6.0% regarding mindfiling-into-fresh-body as equally undesirable.

Inhabiting DIfferent Types of Bodies gained 3rd place, with a 3.9 Rating Average. 42.9% voted it as “very appealing” and only 7.3% found it “unappealing.”

Virtual Existence and Inhabiting Multiple Selves filled in the middle spots, with 3.52 and 3.53 Rating Averages, respectively.

Cryonics, Full Body and Cryonics, Head Only trailed significantly behind, with 3.02 and 2.51 Rating Averages. Only 21.5% of voters found full-body cryonics “very appealing” with approximately half that number - 11.8% - placing head-only cryonics in the same category. Far larger percentages of voters - 16.0% for full-body and 32.5% for head-only - rated cryonics as “unappealing.”

However, it is important to note that at least one responder pointed out that a person can initially “do cryo so you can do something else on the list.”

Finishing last was Cloning with a 2.47 Rating Average.

The strong support for Mindfiling obviously indicates a shift in support away from the preservative “Alcor” methods, to new technological ideas promoted by scientists like Randal A. Koene of, who promotes a process he calls creating Substrate-Independent Minds (SIM).  Additional techniques in personal mindfiling are also presently offered by LifeNaut and CyBeRev.

Enthusiasm for Mindfiling in cyborgs also lends credence to the pathway proposed by Russia 2045

Mind uploading has been discussed frequently by IEET contributors, for example, by Giulio Prisco, and also in a very recent essay by Patrick Hopkins, called Uploading Won’t Help You.

128 comments regarding Question #5 were also provided by the 804 responders. Many of the comments suggest alternative immortality options that my questionnaire failed to provide. I have posted all the comments below, and I heartily recommend reading them - there’s a huge variety of interesting suggestions enclosed:


Regenerative medicine or artificial modifications to our existing bodies.

Species wide hive mind.

Ability to live without oxygen in the vacuum of space.

Slowing down my own aging

Replacing my neurons with more robust, artifical ones so that the seat of my conscioussness wouldn’t be so fragile, then inserting the new brain into robot body.

Viral genetic therapy

I’m assuming that mindfiling means capturing the totality of information in the brain, and cloning merely makes a person with the same DNA.

Injected nanobots constantly “fixing” and rejuvenating cells.

Rather than thinking ways to extend life, I’d be more interested in contemplating ways to transform it or to elevate consciousness to a level that is not so much dependant on a technology but rather above it (as in A.C. Clarkes End of Childhood)

Cloning would be appealing only after significant debate over the ethical issues involved

I want to ride light as an energy/information entity

biological immortality

Artificial enhancement of a body

Gradual modification until I become something utterly post-human

Enhanced abillities (healing,strangth,speed) some people alread have preminitions or dreams that come true like myself it would be nice to have them enhanced.

Age reversal

A virtual existence & inhabiting different types of bodies would be OK as a starship OS/operator.

genetically assisted evolution

we need to define the ‘self’.

Plentiful strawberry icecream

nanotechnological augmentation

living independent of physical substrate


May want to try any combination ofb the above. One can’t tell just from words w/o the actual experience.

extending the life of my natural body as long as possible

Extended existence in my own body through cybernetics or reversal of aging.

en forma de energĂ­a

Nanite Cloud

Life through augmentations to body, in the form of physical enhancements but also DNA modification to change longvity of body and increase performance, are interesting ways to extend life.

Regeneration of first body

Reduced aging


so long as the pattern continues i care not the medium.

cosciousness uploaded into a body made entirely of nanomachines that can be morphed into anything.

Cloning for the sake of spare parts only, not duplicates.

body immortal

Mind uploading into a computer, not necessarily mobile under its own, which can then be upgraded without halting my consciousness. This is the most appealing.

Artificial organs (appealing), Genetic therapy (appealing), Cellular repair (appealing)

enhancement of our body

just regenerating myself….

Replacing wear-out body parts and radically improved medicine that keeps me sane and intelligent through my whole life. Life worth living undependent of its lenght.

Plastination of the brain as an alternative to cryonics.

Upload part of me into something like what today we would call a Web Service, so things can access me and I can access things

Plasticization consciousness reference model resurrected in separate modular pieces for study

Being roleplayed by more than one person, the impersonation being good enough to convince others I am ‘me’. Moderately appealing.

Swarm consciousness

Enhancing the body/mind I’ve got.

Body upgrades (e.g. synthetic blood, unfailing organs)- appealing

Cloning? Unless we are assuming a nonpysicalist world, would not the clone of an experiencing being (me) necessarily be an experiencing thing as well? The clone and I would differ in our experiences and so my clone and I would necessarily not be identical (and so, not me).

suspended animation, but not todays cryonic tech. See Induced hypothermia and hydrogen sulfide.

None of these constitute what I would find most appealing at all: cognitive continuity. Gradual enhancement over time. If at some point all parts are replaced, that’s fine, as long as there is a continuity of consciousness. Otherwise, while I may seem like “me” to others, in most of these scenarios, I would in fact be dead, and some replica of me would be continuing on in my place.

Comment (as it relates to my previous one about identity): memory erasure is death; cloning is death (otherwise having children would make you immortal, which under certain points of view (like that of the very gamete that produced the child) it actually does.

cloning, if part of mindfilling (but not inhabiting multiple selves)

Biological immortality (with the same brain, Not copied)

We already live in a multiverse virtual existence that involves a veil (memory erasure) which I aspire to overcome (ascension).

Continuous regeneration of all the body including the brain - very appealing

My preference is for transition into an organic dragon body.

Kill Switch Option?

I’d like to get to a point where the Theseus Ship argument applies to my body.

Genetic Engineering for extended Lifespan, Brain-in-a-Jar

SENS foundation has much realistic options. Stopping the mechanism of ageing and refreshing your cell pool. Never expiring of old age. I think this is the most feasible of all proposed here.

Note that cryonics is a last bet—it wouldn’t be my choice unless I were dying, in which case it would be very appealing indeed.

Best would be to be a full (no improved) feature upload being with ability to inhabit virtual and physical bodies when desired.

I want to be an AI God ruling over a volume of space, embodied in millions of Dyson sphere and Jupiter sized nodes interconnected via wormholes

slow neuron-by-neuron replacement without loss of consciousness

Augmentations and Medicine

We could spend eternity as gods of universes of our own design.

Regeneration (very appealing)

optogenetics—very appealing

We can not currently now what technologies are actually feasible, and which will become common practice, if any. If I am guaranteed to survive as a continuous consciousness, I will use it.

Gradual conversion to cyborg, through implants

just fixing/updating/retrofitting this body?

Gradual conversion to cyborg, through implants

Extend life by not dying

Fusion with a loved woman or just an attractive one (different from inhabiting a different self)

virtually extended personality, swarm personality

Placing my physical brain in a cyborg body is ideal.

The first two options seem to be of a different kind than te rest of the list. You do cryo so you can do something else on the list.

Biomedical technologies to repair and replaces decaying bodies (SENS) with your own cells would also be very appealing.

Sharding: splitting into multiples and then merging back into the ‘original’

Cloning of an anencephalic body followed by brain transplant

Anything where there is continuity of *self*.

good health

Life extension via less permanent medical methods (i.e. increasing life expectancy)

advances in biogerontology

I see no potential for life extension in any of these speculative technologies. Nothing in the next question is of value for producing immortality. Most are silly speculation, even for a biohost. Had you asked about “life extension” the question might have had value. I have answered it AS IF you asked about life extension.

Cognitive enhancement, sexual enhancement

cyborg with a biological regenerative system which includes regeneration of the biological part of the brain

Mind transferred to animal or non humanistic machinery.

Altering cognitive abilities and regulating thought patterns via germ cell engineering or a similar form of genetic engineering.

mindfiling would be “very appealing” if converging with cryonics, i.e. a mindfile based on post-cryonics synapse-resolution destructive scan, connectome level or better; main aim is to keep existing with the same amount of informational complexity, the rest is nice but merely gadgets that would come anyhow eventually

MInd Uploading

Gene therapy-based human enhancement - very appealing; Implanting brain-augmenting devices - very appealing;

Prosthetic augmentation of organic components.

see John Smart: Transcention Hypothesis

Inhabitating a hybrid body, one that is comprised of both a biological and mechanical/technological substrate..

Higher plane - headed there regardless

I think that mindfilling is just a copy of your mind, and it won’t really be you.

Gradual, continuous augmentation. (fwiw “multiple selves” is either a misnomer or a malformed concept, as is virtual existence.)

Consciousness merging with Nature: Very Appealing

Gradually uploading

Halted aging is my preferred method. All these are either not life extending or life altering.

Gradually uploading. (gradually transforming into a non-biological entity)-very appealing

having a body that can assemble and deassemble and change into any form with nanobots

suspension of cognitive functioning for a duration of time (enabled by above)

WORLD OUT OF TIME: of little appeal

Resurrection through accessing the past space-time record

My life may already be indefinitely extended in some sense, due to the effects of brute-force materialist resimulation being possible in a Big Universe; but this is untestable

diet and exercise

Cloning is not life-extension, you dolts. It’s a form of reproduction. A clone is a new person.

continual regeneration of same organs

On demand regeneration of existing body.

Thesus Shipping.

Resurrection into a perfect human body

molecular treatments

Gradual body augmentation - replacing body parts as they start to fail - very appealing

Whole brain emulation and downloadable in transhuman body

Biologically reverse-aging the organism to optimum physical health (SENS): Very Appealing

Low-temperature hibernation.

Mind uploading would be my preferred next state.

Uploaded into evolving supercomputer to serve humanity

Unlimited repair of existing body.

uploading into posthuman body, such as “Primo Posthuman” future body prototype, which is a whole body prosthetic


gradual cyborgization

extending and improving current physical form

alien technology, vampire, nano tech android a la Virtuosity

Repairing my current body and seamlessly upgrading it with available options, from unbrdidled choices.



Additional Information on the Terasem Survey

The Terasem Survey was conducted via a surveymonkey poll that was set up by my project collaborator, Teresa Dal Santo Ph.D., a Research Associate at University of California San Francisco, with expertise in conducting qualitative and quantitative studies, and specialties in research methods and statistical analysis.

Getting transhumanists to complete our poll was easy; we garnered a total of 818 respondents very quickly. My thanks to everyone who assisted us, especially:

David Orban, who notified his 2,798 Facebook friends, his 3,480 Twitter followers, and his 5,732 Google+ people-in-whose-circle-he-is
Alex Lightman who notified his 5,000 Facebook friends and his 3,500 subscribers
Rachel Marone, editor of, who made our survey the feature article on July 12.

IEET also permitted me to post an announcement.

Amara Angelica declined to post a link to the survey at, where she is Editor, due to various reasons, such as concern about privacy issues and the methodology of the survey.

The completed survey left me with 500 pages of raw data. I will be delivering all of this info to the funder, Terasem Movement Inc., plus I’m preparing a summary for one of the Terasem Journals online. Additionally, I will be publishing statistics and comments from the survey in multiple short sections, at IEET and the World Future Society website.

Final Note: Thanks once again to Terasem Movement Inc. for their generous support of this project.

2nd Final Note If readers are interested in participating in the radical life extension / immortalism movement, I encourage you to check out the recently-formed international Longevity Party.

Hank Pellissier serves as IEET Managing Director and is an IEET Affiliate Scholar.

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