RE: IDENTITY- What it means to be 'me'

From: Louis Newstrom (
Date: Fri Nov 30 2001 - 20:00:33 MST

> From:
> []On Behalf Of Wei Dai
> On Fri, Nov 30, 2001 at 11:41:43AM -0800, wrote:
> If we look at software copies then we'll
> probably find that most of them think identity is preserved by uploading
> and copying.

I am a software engineer and I would have to disagree. You are saving the
"value" but not the identity.

Say I have to variables, A and B. How can I tell if they are the "same
identity" or not? Set A = 1. Set B = 2. If A is still 1 then it is a
different variable than B. If A changed to 2 because I set B to 2, then A
and B are the same variable.

The identity of two variables is if they CAN be different, not if they ARE
different. I can set A and B to the same value. That only makes them look
the same to me. But they aren't the same, and therefore, in the future
might contain different variable again.

To mimic this in the real world, imaging two kittens that look exactly
alike. If they can move and walk independently, then they are two kittens.
If they walk alike, talk alike, both get cleaner when you bathe one, etc.,
then you have a bizarre situation where you are seeing two copies of the
same kitten. (Maybe you had WAY too much to drink the night before.)

In our "copy" paradox, I think that the fact that you CAN kill just one copy
proves that they are not the same identity.

Louis Newstrom

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