Re: Can I kill a Copy? (long)

From: Eugene Leitl (
Date: Fri May 05 2000 - 18:57:53 MDT

Harvey Newstrom writes:
> Eugene, let me paraphrase your viewpoint into a different viewpoint. What
> you are saying sounds similar to the belief that the copy is an inactive
> backup. As long as it hasn't been activated or allowed to process a single
Not really, it is more like keeping mirrors of a server, to be able to
smoothly cross over in case the main one fails. Multiple redundancy is
an ancient tradition in mil/aerospace apps.

I'm sorry to resort to hackneyed stereotypes, but IT people are
familiar with computers, so it is probably a valid analogy. It is not
the real thing when discussion uploaded copies, but it does come
pretty close.

> thought on its own, it can be deleted. Since it has never run it's neural
> processor or processed a single thought, it is more like a standby computer
> with a backup disk that has not ever been turned on. Until we turn it on,
> it has never been alive.
It runs, but it doing exactly the same thing as the other copies. So
it doesn't do anything new.
> Is this consistent with your viewpoint? Stated in the above words, I must
> agree. An inert backup copy that has never become functional is just a
> backup copy and can be deleted. Its software program is not running, has
> never run, and cannot be terminated. At this point, you are merely
> destroying one of my backup copies, but not a running consciousness. Your
> analogy with abortion is very close here, with this copy ready to be born
> and become alive in an instant.
Notice that software does have state, and can bifurcate. Keeping a
mirror of a busy server can be a nontrivial thing, because current
systems are complex things with hidden state.

> I think I agree with both points of view, and we are getting caught up with
> semantics of "what is death" and the details of "why" the copy is not yet
> alive. I was so distracted by your argument that the copies must be
> identical, that it had not previously occurred to me that the copy had not
> yet been allowed to have independent thought on its own yet. To put my own
> semantic spin on things, you are interrupting the process of creating a copy
> and not finishing the final step of giving it consciousness. Until that
> final step, it is not yet alive. It is an inert clone of spare parts that
> has not been animated.

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Thu Jul 27 2000 - 14:10:33 MDT