Re: The Most Basic Question (Life and Uploading)

Anders Sandberg (
Sun, 23 Mar 1997 21:11:13 +0100 (MET)

On Sun, 16 Mar 1997, Mike C. wrote:

> First I reply to:
> >On Fri, 14 Mar 1997, Joseph Strout:
> >>
> >> On what basis would your upload not be you?
> Control is a critical factor.
> If my brain controls my actions
> then a copy of my brain would control it's actions
> and would not be under my control.

I think you are missing the point here. The other brain would think it
was you and that you wasn't it since it didn't control your actions.
There would simply be two of you.

> They evolve in the environment from differing perspectives.
> I could predict it's actions quite well from empathy
> but to say that makes it me is difficult to believe.

So, who would it be? I think it is important to distinguish between
you as your current conscious thread and you as a person with certain
memories, personality and goals. The copies after forking would be
different threads of consciousness but would be the same person (we need
a better terminology here, I hope my sentence made sense).

> If destructive scanning techniques were used it may ruin my brain.
> My consciousness may consist of vaporized atoms.

Hardly likely. Consciousness seems to be very linked with the integrity
of the brain (or information processing system, for infomorphs)

> Maybe the brain is not as important as I thought.
> Could I still be me without a brain?
> Parden me while I get thrown for a loop.

Yes, this is an important question. I define myself to be what I do (I
see myself as a mapping A acting on the universe), so to me what kind of
brain I have doesn't matter.

> How far have I come when I do not willingly accept simple answers
> to the most basic question?

Very far.

Anders Sandberg Towards Ascension!
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y