RE: life extension advocacy plans (fear of Tithonus) --> worryingaboutthe brain

From: Miriam English (
Date: Tue Jul 10 2001 - 00:17:08 MDT

At 12:22 PM 09/07/2001 -0700, Merriss wrote:

>Uh, pardon my ignorance, but if I made a backup copy
>of myself and I were still around, which one is me?
>Where would the unique me live? Would I have two
>vantage points at all times?

As far as I can see there is no absolute answer to this... (except to say
that there no longer is a unique you... there are now two of them).

Even undergoing the procedure will not tell you.

It is like asking if the person you meet and talk with in the street is
conscious or an automaton. There can be no really absolute answer, but you
can be practical and accept that they are conscious.

If I was backed-up and the backup activated, I would be perfectly happy
that there were two of me. Of course after the point of activation we would
begin diverging slightly in identity. For this reason continuity problems
are largely avoided by activating the backup after death of the biological one.

If my biologically-based mind was dying I would be relieved that the other
me would continue... even if the backup had been activated some time before
the biological death, but that is just my personal feeling.

It is largely subjective and to do with practicality.

For those who would argue that the backup was a totally separate identity,
I would suggest a little thought experiment: go back in time to yesterday
and try to convince the other you which one is the "real" one.

What? They are both the same you? Surely not. :-) Put yourself in the place
of the younger one with this other person trying to convince you that they
are really you. It doesn't feel quite right does it? The older one has
memories that you don't. You can be open to reason though and accept that
there is a connection. But if you can accept that, then I don't see the
problem in accepting that a backup is you also. Both examples are connected
by information. In one information is copied through time, and in the other
it is copied through space.


         - Miriam

Q. What is the similarity between an elephant and a grape?
A. They are both purple... except for the elephant.
Virtual Reality Association

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Fri Oct 12 2001 - 14:39:43 MDT