[FoRK] Extreme Life Extension: Investing in Cryonics for the Long, Long Term

silky michaelslists at gmail.com
Mon Jun 21 20:34:13 PDT 2010

On Tue, Jun 22, 2010 at 1:27 PM, Jeff Bone <jbone at place.org> wrote:


>> I thought you were suggesting it's just not possible to transfer a
>> consciousness into a computer because there is identity is not what we
>> think it is, therefore we can't copy it. Let me know if I've assumed
>> too far.
> Yeah, no, got that exactly backwards vs what I meant:  there are only states.  The notion of continuity between them is (under this hypothesis) an
> illusion.  The notion of "identity" usually assumes or implies that there is some thing that is greater than some set of states, or at least that requires
> some specific sequence of states.  I don't buy it.  Copy at will.
>  My point, though, was that EVEN IF you require continuity in your definition of identity, there are possible upload paths that are not equivalent to
> copying.  Assume that your neurons can be replaced, one at a time, with artificial functional equivalents.  Without your noticing.  This process
> proceeds.  At which point during the process do "you" die and "your copy" takes over?
> (FYI, this is the Ship of Theseus argument I referred to as it applies to this topic.  Over the years, Theseus replaces each plank in his ship in
>  the course of repairs. At which point is it no longer the "same" ship?)

Yes, I like this. In my opinion it's always the same ship. I never
die, under that model. It's certainly a preferential approach to
changing to a machine. But of course, It's not practical. The most
practical way of changing is a direct copy, in which it's clear that
two seperate entities *do* exist.

> > I think it's just interesting to ask which is the "real" you? Are they
> > both the "real" you?
> I'm not sure the questions are about things that have any objectively meaningful interpretation.
> Not saying they don't, just saying I don't know the answers nor bother much with them anymore, though I once did.

Yes, I'm not suggesting a lot of time is spent on their practical
consideration, until the time comes that a direct copy is made and
removed. I.e. consider the Star Trek transporter. Why don't they keep
a copy of Jim on the ship each time he's teleported; because that way
you've got a backup, and it's almost certainly possible (unless their
teleportation stategy relies on the removal of the other, which is
strange but maybe plausible).

I agree though, it's an arguably useless consideration until the
technology exists.

> jb



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