Re: Can I kill the original?"

From: john grigg (
Date: Mon May 08 2000 - 13:41:10 MDT

I originally posted this on the Extropian list. Since on Cryonet the
subject of uploading is discussed on occasion, I decided to repost it here.
I hope to get some good feedback.

thank you,


Harvey Newstrom wrote:
I don't want some Harvey Newstromish person to exist in the future. I want
*this* current Harvey Newstrom to continue to exist and evolve into the

I share that sentiment!

you continue:
My goal is for my consciousness to continue to grow so that the future
consciousness is more advanced than the past one. Killing it certainly won't
achieve that growth.

That is also my goal. But keep in mind what people say about a person/mind
changing to the point over the years that the person you were in a prior
stage/age is in many ways "dead." And that is with a uninterrupted
continuation of consciousness!

I would certainly not want to upload (except in the most dire of
circumstances) if it resulted in the death of my original organic brain.
Perhaps we have all seen _Lawnmower Man_ too many times! lol

you continue:
If my one consciousness grows from then to now, there is no doubt that this
is an advanced version of me. If the previous consciousness is destroyed and
a later advanced consciousness appears, what is the connection between them?

If it were an upload that captured 100% of your memories, personality and
intellect, then the connection between the original and the copy would be
100%. Of course, the new environments and experiences that your copy would
encounter could create divergence from the original. But you could
practically say the same for yourself now as compared to the "you" of ten or
twenty years ago. You might disagree with this, but many people would look
back on their lives and agree.

you continue:
If all my thoughts are copied, does that make the new being "me"? What about
90% of my thoughts. What about creating a super-advanced being and just
assuming that I would have evolved into it? What if the new being is just
another person on this list who memorized my posts and starts acting so much
like me that nobody knows I'm gone? Where do we draw the line?

If the uploading is not 100%, then the copy would obviously be less then
perfect. Using an uploaded copy as a foundation for a super-advanced being
would be an interesting experiment, but again that is getting away from the
original. And I would worry that something could go horribly wrong. I
would want a full understanding of the uploaded person's psyche before going
ahead and using them as a template for a power. A turing machine programmed
to sound like you, is obviously not you.

Where do we draw the line? I suppose at a copy that is anything less then
100%, if that is ever technically possible.

you continue:
I don't want to be out of the show. All of life is a stage, and I'm one of
the actors. I don't want to be thrown off the set only to have another actor
take my role. I want to keep my role.-

The question is, will science one day be so advanced that they can upload my
"full essence" into a machine or a new organic brain? We don't want copies,
we want ourselves. And we don't want to chance getting a copy(while we are
dead) that actually thinks it's us! I envision some sort of super-advanced
_Star Trek_ style "transporter beam" that transfers me into the new form,
and can even return me to my old one, and without any loss of information,
energy or matter. Will that ever be possible?

Harvey, I completely understand where you are coming from. I view a copy as
a COPY, and even if ABSOLUTELY like me, it is not "ME." It is instead a
totally identical twin. This is for me so simple to understand. It will
start off totally like me, but in time diverge and develop it's own
identity, to at least an extent.

And any perfect(or simply self-aware) copy (flesh or virtual) of me deserves
the full legal rights that I myself have. And does not deserve to be a
plaything to be tortured or manipulated. Again, this is so simple to

Zero wrote:
If your recollected experiences can be separated (or copied) from the
patterns in your brain, and the patterns in your brain can be separated (or
copied) from the brain itself, which (if any) of these three things would
you consider to be "you"? I believe that your answer to this question will
tell you what it is about you that you most want to preserve.

If a 100% accurate upload can be achieved, then it would prove that copies
could be made that are as much "me" as I am. But still, they are a separate
individual(non-lethal uploading here) and not the original. They are as I
said before, an identical twin in ALL respects.

I think we need to look upon our uploads(copies) as being somewhat similar
to having children(starting out as adults, usually at least). In a sense
this is the "perfect child" for the person who wants their descendant to be
just like them! lol An uploaded copy or organic clone(with downloaded
memories) could truly be called a "mind child." And even this "child" would
in time probably change from the original and go it's own way.

Just a present-day studies with twins are so fascinating, I see the future
studies of originals and copies as being an enthralling subject matter.
Whether the original is dead and there is only one copy that tries to take
their place, or where the original is alive and has multiple copies.

best wishes for all the mind children of tomorrow, John Grigg
    electronic membership, Extropy Institute
   electronic membership, Foresight Institute
   (when he gets his act together, Alcor member)

Get Your Private, Free E-mail from MSN Hotmail at

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Thu Jul 27 2000 - 14:10:51 MDT