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Re: Identity (was Re: Digest Number 103)

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  • Dan Green
    Yikes! This is starting to sound like a JFK assassination theory, with bullet trajectories, time of death, and so on. (What if there was a hidden gunman?!) I
    Message 1 of 6 , Nov 30, 1999
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      Yikes! This is starting to sound like a JFK assassination theory, with
      bullet trajectories, time of death, and so on. (What if there was a hidden
      gunman?!) I think I'll stop pondering this for a while and get back to
      "normal" subjects like nanotube gas tanks.
      Dan G.


      > From: Eugene Leitl <eugene.leitl@...-muenchen.de>
      >
      > Dan Green writes:
      >
      >> There's a very strong emotional need for a feeling of direct continuity of
      >> self. The fact that duplicates would retain a feeling of continuity is not
      >> very satisfying to the one being duplicated. Suppose someone held a gun to
      >> your head and said, "Don't worry. As we speak, an exact duplicate of you is
      >> being made, and the duplicate will remember all your experiences right up
      >> until the time I pull the trigger." I would not feel relieved that my "self"
      >> was being preserved. The other self about to be born would seem like just
      >> that...an "other," while I faced doom.
      >
      > Hmm, interesting variant. Assuming that the death is semiinstanteous
      > (i.e. takes less than few 10 ms, a biological time quantum), there is
      > not enough time for the different persona to consciously diverge.
      >
      > The fork is still there, of course, but one branch of it gets
      > terminated well before the doomed clone can become aware of the
      > (people say rather unpleasant) process of being killed. (The cloned
      > process is stopped at the next subjective time tick after cloning
      > because pieces of disintegrating brain tissue flying across the room
      > can't think very well). Since their histories are essentially
      > identical -- of course real physical persons will start to diverge due
      > to their internal system noise even if physical input be indeed
      > identical -- hold it, we're talking about two persons now. That's the
      > fly in the ointment.
      >
      > It would make a slight difference if this was a simulation of two
      > persons, and the input was strictly identical, and the system noise
      > pseudorandom and not true random. Because the bifurcation wouldn't
      > have occured at the time of the cloning: both trajectories after the
      > cloning "fork" would overlap perfectly, i.e. they would be the same
      > person. It would be thus a pathological fork of zero amplitude, a
      > non-fork. The shit only would only hit the fan when the brain of one
      > of us is blown out of the cranium, but it would not be a subjective
      > fork, because me/him won't observe it.
      >
      > Even in the latter, ameliorated case I would strongly object against
      > such an experiment on ethical principles (especially, if the subject
      > of the experiment is me), because I consider terminating a potential
      > person, whether a newborn or an adult clone, highly objectionable,
      > especially in the context of a death threat to him (remember, there is
      > only one clone until the fork).
      >
      > So summa summarum you're imposing severe psychological stress on a
      > person, and prevent "birth" of a second person (extrapolate the likely
      > trajectories of terminated branch of the fork into the future), not
      > giving him opportunity to diverge.
      >
      > You go straight to jail, buster.
      >
      > > The Nanotechnology Industries mailing list.
      > "Nanotechnology: solutions for the future."
    • Eugene Leitl
      ... Nah, not bullets. Trajectories through persona state space, not real space. Standard scientific lingo, really. The only way how you can argue it
      Message 2 of 6 , Dec 1, 1999
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        Dan Green writes:
        > From: Dan Green <greenco@...>
        >
        > Yikes! This is starting to sound like a JFK assassination theory, with
        > bullet trajectories, time of death, and so on. (What if there was a hidden

        Nah, not bullets. Trajectories through persona state space, not real
        space. Standard scientific lingo, really. The only way how you can
        argue it stringently, without resorting to a lot of metaphysical arm
        waving.

        > gunman?!) I think I'll stop pondering this for a while and get back to
        > "normal" subjects like nanotube gas tanks.
        > Dan G.
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