Re: Can I kill the original?

From: Ken Clements (
Date: Sun May 07 2000 - 23:52:19 MDT

Harvey Newstrom wrote:

> Maybe I'm just being selfish, but I can't experience the life of that other
> consciousness stream. If I live, we will diverge. If I die, I still won't
> live that other life. I don't want that other consciousness stream to take
> over. I prefer to find a way for this consciousness stream to continue.

Harvey, perhaps you could explain to me what this "consciousness stream" is. I
get the impression from your comments that this is what you would upload if you
could upload. But what is it made of? Is it just bits? If it is just bits
that specify a computational process, does it matter if it gets run on some
processor, or just contemplated by a simulation that ponders what would have
happened if it were to be run? And at what clock speed? Would you still be you
if you only get a few cycles each thousand years? (Could happen if you have to
time share with a few trillion other bifurcating "streams.")

Meanwhile, back at the Harvey that exists in wet ware, what good does it do you
to write this thing? I understand the life insurance aspects if you drop dead,
someone to dispose of your property and look after your family sort of like you
would have done (unless uploaded Harvey decides that being able to surf the web
24-7 without need for food or sleep is too engrossing to worry about less
interesting stuff like exHarvey's physical family), but what does it do for you,
you're dead?

At this point I expect you will want to trot out the old "I don't know what it
is, but if I gradually replace one neuron at a time, I will get there"
argument. Yes, you will get somewhere, but until something is known about what
this process does in real life, who can say who will be we.


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