How do you expect the world will end?


Hey, about Backslash777. I have never known anyone know as much about as many different subjects as him/her/it. I even checked the info on the net. Whats the deal? Whats your specialist subject really?
Also, never heard ttspeech as good as that, what you use?
You guys may laugh but he/she (or they-lol) knows some wierd and varied stuff. Reading his posts and he gets me wondering- if we were observed the net would be the perfect way to do it.
Storm on Backslash, you got my attention.
I seen your other posts too.
I must agree

I've read some of the stuff that Backslash has posted as well. And, maybe because I'm not very strong in areas such as physics or astronomical mathematics, I find what \777 says to be pretty intriguing. Especially since not a lot of people have contradicted \777.

I'm still curious as to why the definition of 'we', though. When I first saw \777's posts, I thought it was only a matter of time before whatever he had to say would be exhausted, but he's trucking along. I must admit that I'm usually quite curious as to what he has to say on any given topic.

So, though I may berate your nickname and collective self-description, Backslash777, I am intrigued.



That Backslash777 Dude (ps. Love the name abbriviation \777) is not neceserraly an alien or person. He said in another group that by 2006 70% of internet users will have online penpals and 40% of them will not know which are the real people.
I reackon he is a program created by the sites creators like that Eliza chat bot or something. He posted a lengthy scientific reply to a physics web site in under 2 minutes once. Check out the time stamps. Another thing, he gave me an in depth IT discussion to me through personal messaging. Does anyone else provate chat him?
By the way, that text to speech he does has to be real people- at least 3. I have never heard anything like it b4. If there was something that good Hawkins would have it on his wheelchair.
Adios Amigos
Earth's Destiny?

The Earth has existed before - was formed - destroyed by a cataclysm that created, eventually, the Moon. The Earth exits now - but we are raping it of its minerals, its forests, in fact everything. How will it end? However it ends we will NOT see it nor will any living thing as we know it, see it happen. The planet that we now call Earth will be consumed by the sun as it expands to the current dimensions of Betelgeuse (250m miles) - AMEN!

We are Backslash777. Betelgeuse is a large star, one of the larger stars to be found anywhere. It is 425 light years distant with a measured angular diameter radius 630 times that of the star in your own solar system. (2.9 astronomical units).
If Betelgeuse was your own sun it would extend 55% of the way to the orbit of the planet Jupiter.
Betelgeuse is around 59,959 times brighter than the solar systems Sun.
Betelgeuse is a highly evolved star, one whose central hydrogen fuel supply has depleated. The core contracted into a hot dense state, and the outer portions swelled outward.
We suspect its current activity indicates the process of fusing helium into carbon and oxygen in its core. Betelgeuse is surrounded by a huge shell of dust created by its demise. Its aparant randomness attributed to huge hot spots on the star's surface.
In the near future Betelgeuse is to collapse, and explode into a supernova.
There will then be a neutron star of limited size.
When it explodes it will be as bright as a crescent Moon, would cast strong shadows on the ground, and would be seen in full daylight.

<img src="" border="0" alt="">
There are two issues here.

1. The annihilation of humanity.
2. The destruction of the Earth.

They are not necessarily connected but that depends on the time frame.

The most likely event that will destroy the planet is collision with an asteroid. It seems there have been more of these near misses than we have been hitherto led to believe. Depending on the size of the asteroid the result could be that the Earth is fractured into smaller chunks or that the surface and atmosphere are rendered so alien as to not be able to support any form of life, as we know it. Either way any human life on the planet will cease to exist.

The time frame is important because given enough time we will have ventured out into deeper space, either to neighboring planets and moons or with longer journeys to neighboring stars. Once enough of us have left the Earth then humanity should be fairly safe. The inevitable destruction of the earth will then be largely irrelevant.

Our continued evolution into more resilient forms, e.g. genetically engineered bodies that can withstand high levels of radiation, low levels of oxygen, etc, might enable some of us to remain on the Earth even in the event of a moderately severe disaster. But evolution into cybernetic hybrids or fully non-biological forms will free us from any need to remain within the area of planet earth. Such beings will almost certainly venture into space either to find other planets or to construct permanent space traveling cities.

Our immediate concern is to survive long enough so that some of us can leave the planet on a permanent basis, at which point the survival of Earth becomes mute.

Doom & Destruction

I agree, Cris, that the destruction of our species and the destruction of this planet are two different things - But ... If we were to attain space and live in it, evolve into the sort of creatures that could survive for long periods of time 'off planet', would we still be 'humans'?
Asteroid threat


Words should be our servants, not our masters. Therefore I suppose that would simply depend on your definition of 'human'. If we believe that it is more a property of our minds that make us human than bodies we happen to inhabit, then yes, we would still be human.


You are correct, we are continually being hit or nearly hit by bigger rocks also. For example, between 1991-94 there were four asteroids that came closer to the Earth than the Moon: actually passing within half the distance of the Moon. That's way too close for my comfort.

However, the worst thing is that these kind of asteroids are usually detected just days before they pass by (or impact), since they often come from our 'blind angle', the direction of the sun. So forget the movies, no time to send an intercept mission.

The most recent meteoroid-related incident I heard about was a boulder that just last April crashed into the Pacific Ocean, igniting a Hiroshima-sized blast. And that was a rock just 12 feet wide. The story is at:

Now suppose this boulder had arrived just some hours earlier, and instead of a clear ocean it would have hit some densely urbanized area in California, for instance... Scary, and it is not unconceivable that such an event might lead to something even worse: a nuclear war.

If we believe that it is more a property of our minds that make us human than bodies we happen to inhabit, then yes, we would still be human.
Sorry, Arto, but I have never been able to understand the mind/body dichotomy that seems so easy for most people to accept (at least in Western culture). To me, there is no 'mind' without a body, a very specific body which has experienced very specific events. Do you really believe that the 'mind' of someone who is blind is the same as the 'mind' someone who is not blind because 'mind' and 'body' are separate entities?

As for the 'we happen to inhabit' comment - oh well. To me, what makes us 'human' is our ability to experience the environment in similar, not necessarily identical, ways thanks to our genetic inheritance that limits our senses in very specific ways - Not a separate entity you seem to call 'mind'.
Blind man walking

Do you really believe that the 'mind' of someone who is blind is the same as the 'mind' someone who is not blind because 'mind' and 'body' are separate entities?

Hmm... I used 'mind' quite like a synonym to 'brain'. I suppose what you mean by the question is: do I believe (like you seem to?) that our 'internal world', or 'conscious experience', in the brain is defined by the senses (sight, hearing, smell, touch, taste and equilibrium) available to us, in which case a blind person's mind would work differently from the rest of us? Yes, I suppose that has to be true to quite an extent.

But I also think that the mind is very adaptable: there have been experiments where electrodes have been implanted into the brains of blind people, and connected to a visual feed. The subjects reported seeing 'forms', although at this time yet very crude. Now I don't remember if these subjects had been blind from birth or not. However, it would seem to me that with the human brain having evolved for vision, among other things, seeing and comprehending what you're seeing would not be impossible things to learn even for a person blind from birth. That is, if technology could provide him with a visual feed into the brain, rougly the equivalent of a 'normal' person's eyes.

As for the 'we happen to inhabit' comment - oh well. To me, what makes us 'human' is our ability to experience the environment in similar, not necessarily identical, ways thanks to our genetic inheritance that limits our senses in very specific ways - Not a separate entity you seem to call 'mind'.

Again, equate 'mind' with 'brain'. I hope you won't argue that sensory processing takes place somewhere else than in the brain?

I suppose just bad terminology on my part, let's clear it up :)

Again, equate 'mind' with 'brain'. I hope you won't argue that sensory processing takes place somewhere else than in the brain?

To be honest, I don't know. What I think is that most of the sensory processing does, but that there is a whole bunch of other 'sensing' that goes on in addition to what we refer to as the 'five senses' and that information is processed in the body after automated responses are set up in the various ganglia (nerve bundles) that respond once the pattern is 'learned' so the brain is free to address other matters.

The best analogy I can think of is learning to ride a bicycle. Initially the brain is very involved, to the point that you're barely aware of other things going on about you. But as the body 'learns', autonomous responses are established that process the information and allow the brain to focus on other inputs. For example: you wouldn't 'teach' someone to ride a bike where there was traffic - too much of their 'attention' is focused on controlling their body and thus the bike. Once the body has 'learned' to control the bike, then it is safe for them to go into traffic, when the brain is free to process other information.

Does that kind of give you an idea of the point I'm trying to make?

(Which is a long way from how I think the world might end)
Last edited:

Arto, Chagur,

If we adapt ourselves so we can survive in space will we still be human?

This depends on the extent of the changes. If we become significantly altered by cybernetic enhancements or become fully non-biological then no we could no longer be classed as human. Human beings belong to the class of animals known as primates, i.e. placental mammalians. Any significant changes (e.g. senses, reproduction methods, external form, lack of dependence on a gaseous atmosphere, lack of dependence on a specific gravity, or massive increases in intelligence) will move us beyond the definition of primate. We would need a new definition. Many who follow Transhumanism have suggested the term ‘Posthuman’.

But what makes us us?

The discussion on mind and brain does not reach the basics. We are our memories. Or in other words your identity is entirely encapsulated by your personal memories. If you suffer brain damage that results in total amnesia, then you will no longer exist. The resultant individual will effectively become a different person and would be forced to acquire new memories and re-identification.

The issue of learning to ride a bike is again a function of memory. It is difficult at the beginning because those neurons and synapses needed to hold the knowledge of bike riding do not exist. Once those connections have been formed then the experience becomes easier or may seem automatic, whereas in fact the effortlessness comes from simple recall of previously stored remembered knowledge.

So if you can make a copy of your memories and transplant them into say a large enough computer system that can emulate human brain processing then your identity and hence you will now be in the computer.

'Total Amnesia'


I am experiencing a conflict.

Having experienced interacting with an individual who had a total memory loss as a result of a motorcycle accident, the individual only had, as far as I could tell, a loss of 'remembered events and, as you indicated, had to build a 'new' personality based in part on new experieces and in part on 'old' experiences related to him. But, and this is what I find difficult to understand, most of his physical behavior (ex. the way he walked, his ability to play soft-ball or bowl, even the way he rode a motorcycle [yeah, he went back to two-wheeling]) was essentially the same as it was prior to the accident and his subsequent loss of memory.

Although I continued to interact with him for about three years after the accident, never, to the best of my knowledge, did he ever experience a return of memory regarding events prior to the accident. I guess it's for this reason that I really feel that there is a form of 'learning' that is not brain related.


I understand that short-term memory behaves quite differently to long-term memory. I remember a case study from many years ago where a musician (he composed organ music), had lost his short-term memory. He was still able to play the organ very well and from memory. He also remembered he had a wife but every time he saw her he would react as if he had not seen her for years and the greeting was very emotional each time, even though she had been with him only minutes before. He tried to keep a diary and when it was reviewed it was found that he had written down certain actions appended with the words ‘for the first time’. When reading through the diary it was clear that had done these certain actions for the first time many times.

The case of bike riding, playing a musical instrument, walking, swimming, all seem to be committed to long-term memory. But these memories are still retained in the brain but they appear to be dispersed among many areas. In this way it would be very difficult to lose long-term memory. Our discussion regarding total amnesia isn’t really total, but selective short/medium term. I suspect that to lose all memory would mean very significant and non-survivable brain damage.

But you propose an interesting thought, but where would these memories be held if they were not in the brain? And consider this, if you were to lose a leg, and an arm, etc etc, would the YOU that you know as YOU still be the same person? In terms of how you think and your memories I hope you would agree that you had not changed, ignoring for the moment the trauma experienced from losing many limbs. For example, I suspect that despite having no legs you would still recall how to walk. Or do you believe that that would not be the case?

Still 'you'

Have to agree, Cris.

I believe the 'phantom limb' phenomena is well documented and could well be an attempt by the brain to experience what is no more. Re. loosing a limb, again I have to agree. The 'memory' of how the limb was used is not lost as it would be if a portion of the memory were 'stored' in the limb itself. I guess the 'total memory loss' is what threw me.
hey all
i was under the impresion that some people forgot how to walk!
thus to walk with one leg is to lak in a different manner!
to be a person with 4 arms and 4 legs.....?
would you think differently?
could you cover distances with greater ease and speed than a bi pedal?
would not building a house be faster and thus less effort?

im not suggesting that a person that has lost a limb is less of a person but i would speculate that they would make considerations that would impact their enviroment that would create a reality that would be different!

! quick thought re phanton limb pain-maybe the spiritual self is yet to accept the loss and thus gives pain to re-establish a link?

just a ponderrince :D

groove on all :)
Conditioned reflexes

Chagur & Cris,

I believe Cris' description of long-term and short-term memory explains things to an extent, but there is an additional fact I'd like to point out.

It's not always necessary for a sensory impulse to reach the brain in order to trigger a motor response. Sensory fibers can link directly to a motor synapse in the spinal cord, forming a reflex function that performs automatically. As a result, tapping the kneecap causes the impulse to travel to the spinal cord, and a response from there directly back to the leg muscle, with the end result of making the leg jerk involuntarily. The brain only serves to inhibit a response now and then, such as a withdrawal reflex against the prick of a hypodermic needle.

In addition, voluntary actions initiated in the brain may become reflex actions through continued use: such responses are called conditioned reflexes, and habit formation and much of learning are dependent on them.

To illustrate: when learning to type, you coordinate sensory input from both eyes and muscles in order to direct your fingers to particular keys. However, after enough repetition, an alteration of impulse routes occurs that permits responses without mediation by higher nerve centers. That is, the fingers automatically find and strike the proper keys even with eyes closed: typing has become a conditioned reflex.

I've understood that lots of basic motor activity, including walking and presumably playing different sports, are conditioned reflexes. That would mean they aren't really 'stored' in the brain, but rather the spinal cord. (Although many people would argue the nerves in the spinal cord are a part of the the whole brain, so it will be dependent on that definition whether sensory processing takes place 'outside' the brain/mind or not.)

As a related tidbit, I've heard there have been people with such serious spinal injury that communications between the spinal cord and the brain has been cut off, but with the aid of some sort of spinal nerve 'stimulator', they've been able to walk anyway (using the reflex action), although how clumsily I can't say...