Re: personal identity

Harvey Newstrom (
Fri, 09 Jan 1998 10:55:35 -0500

Wei Dai wrote:
> On Thu, Jan 08, 1998 at 09:32:08AM -0500, Harvey Newstrom wrote:
> > Worse still, what if all your identity data were printed out in a book?
> > Would a paperback be "you"?
> I would say yes. If you answer differently, try this question instead: is
> a cryogenically frozen head of yours you? What if the only way to revive
> it is to completely take it apart molecule by molecule and put it back
> together again? I see no essential difference between this situation and
> the book.

I would say no, the book is not me. It may be a blueprint or set of
instructions for rebuilding me. If someone follows the instructions in
the book and somehow brings me back, then I would be back as me. But I
don't think the information about me or about rebuilding me equals me.

I am signed up at Alcor for suspension. I would feel cheated if instead
of freezing my body they published a book entitled "All About Harvey

Harvey Newstrom  <>