Harvey Newstrom vs. United Utilitarians PPL

Joe Jenkins (joe_jenkins@yahoo.com)
Wed, 15 Jul 1998 13:06:14 -0700 (PDT)

Harvey Newstrom vs. United Utilitarians PPL

Joe Jenkins: Bills, Bills, Bills, why else would the System Administrator of my Universe Simulation Provider be sending me email?

Sys Admin: Greetings valued customer. I am happy to offer you an opportunity for a 20% discount on our regular rates for one year realtime/1000 years subjective. This is due to the pending frivolous lawsuit Harvey Newstrom vs United Utilitarians PPL. Our original contract that allows us to discontinue dual redundancy after no recorded errors for 1 year realtime is being called into question by said litigation. We are temporarily required to halt all such discontinuance's pending the outcome. We have found a loophole that works around this problem. To receive the discount you have the following 2 options:
1. Switch from your current United Utilitarians PPL to Consolodated Egoist PPL.
2. Participate in a realtime dialog with me for what has been estimated to be 10 minutes realtime. 15 days of subjective time will credited to your account. For legal and technical reasons, no multiplexing is allowed. Your process will be slowed to realtime for 10 minutes. The outcome of our dialog will determine if you are eligible for the discount. So far, all participants have succeeded in receiving the discount. Warning, if you are a paranoid Schitzo like Harvey Newstrom, don't bother.

Joe Jenkins: WOW 20% off for 1000 years, I could party like its 2999. If I remember right, Consumer Reporter Daniel Fabulich's estimates on the projected long term cost of switching to Consolidated Egoist PPL from United Utilitarians PPL was a lot more than my savings would be - so forget that option. I guess I'll have to arrange for a 15-day vacation.

Sys Admin: Welcome to realtime Mr. Jenkins. As a 1000x upload I realize this 10 minutes realtime comes at a great expense to you so I'll get right to the point. After over a year of runtime, our diagnostics show that your dual redundant strings have not even produced a single bit error. Our original contract that allows us to discontinue/terminate the redundancy after satisfying this requirement has been rejected by our insurance company pending the outcome of Harvey Newstrom vs United Utilitarians PPL. Although, in your original contract you stipulated avoiding upload copy divergence at all cost, we would require your redundant string to diverge for 5 minutes to allow separate dialogs from your two strings. We presume that the rational choice of one of your strings would be to voluntarily terminate. That way we would put to rest our insurance companies concern of a possible wrongful death case as in the current litigation. Do you have any questions at this time?

Joe Jenkins: Why cant I just give you permission to terminate one of my dual redundant strings.

Sys Admin: You've already done that in your contract. Reiterating that will not satisfy the insurance company.

Joe Jenkins: This is preposterous. My dual redundant string has the same sensor/effector data on both sides of the string. Everything I see, hear, or feel is identical on both sides. Even the pseudo-random generators are running in sync and producing the same results. Everything I experience and do are identical on both strings. They are only both there in case of an error. You said yourself the two strings have not disagreed on a single bit for my entire runtime. I really don't like the idea of allowing a divergence.

Of course, there was that hang-gliding accident before my upload. Luckily, that was after we had the technology for non-destructive full brain scan for backup purposes. But it had been a full month since my last backup. 24 hours after my accident I found myself as an upload. The procedure was fully funded by my life insurance company. That was great because I had wanted to upload for months but couldn't afford it. On the downside, a full month of my life before the accident was completely lost. Well at least my memory of it, the rest of the world seemed to still be firmly attached to that month. I met a couple of people who claimed to be good friends of mine, but I never even remembered meeting them. One of them turned out to be a scam artist who I really had never met. He read about my accident in the news and decided to try to profit from it. After filling me in on our friendship, he hit me up for a $500 loan. Since then I've learned to trust but verify claims about this one month period in my life. I received a few sympathy cards from friends and family about the loss I had experienced. This was a little bit overkill from my perspective though. I felt alive and well minus a few inconveniences about the lost month.

Now your saying that I should let two copies of myself diverge by letting them be executed on a different processor with different sensor/effector data. That will result in Joe Jenkins String 1 and Joe Jenkins String 2 sitting across the room from each other. After a couple of minutes of divergence, you'll ask Joe Jenkins String 2 to voluntarily terminate execution. This sounds acceptable to me. Let's start the procedure.

Sys Admin: Okay, I'll be halting your process long enough to load each redundant string to its own processor. Do I have your permission for an estimated 5 ms realtime stasis.

Joe Jenkins: No poblemo.

Sys Admin: Welcome Joe Jenkins String 1 and Joe Jenkins String 2. You are now running separately. Joe Jenkins String 2, you have been provided with a red button on the arm of your chair. Lifting the spring loaded bumper shield and pressing this button will permanently terminate your process and erase all of your data. For legal reasons, you must press this button yourself with no help from Joe Jenkins String 1 or me. You may proceed.

Joe Jenkins String 2: In order to verify the proper functioning of string 1, I would like to have a private conversation with him. I appreciate Mr. Sys Admin leaving the room so that string 1 could enumerate a few passwords and answer a few questions only he would know.

Joe Jenkins String 1: Well number 2 since your are nearly identical to me, I think I know what you are going to say, but I can only imagine what its like to be in your situation. Now that your sensor/effector data is different from mine, I bet that effected the seeds of your pseudo-random number generators enough that they are giving different results. So I'm sure you'll give me some surprises here and there.

Joe Jenkins String 2: Hello number 1, let me tell you how it feels from my perspective - They made a backup of me 5 minutes ago and now they would like to terminate my execution and reinstate the backup. Well this is almost exactly the same as the hang-gliding accident. The only difference is that the backup is being run right now instead of being in stasis and instead of losing 1 month, I'll be losing less than five minutes. Losing the one month wasn't all that bad but I would certainly never do it voluntarily - maybe for a price. Now I'm faced with the fact that there will be two divergent processes of me if I refuse to push the button. This is a high price to pay. Where as, If I do push the button I loose 5 minutes of nothing special but I gain my 20% discount. That settles it. Asta la Vista baby.

Joe Jenkins

Get your free @yahoo.com address at http://mail.yahoo.com