Tue, 9 Sep 1997 14:08:26 -0400 (EDT)

JKC <johnkc@well.com> wrote:

> YakWaxx@aol.com On Sat, 6 Sep 1997 Wrote:
> >Let's say every time your mind changes, you've died,
> Then I've already died at least a thousand times today alone and it didn't

> bother me one bit. I expect I'll die a thousand times tomorrow too and see
> reason that should be any more unpleasant.

So death - the destruction of the physical type - is the not thing we're
trying to avoid.

> >So if your consciousness only exists as a memory, it's important
> >keep those memories consistent.
> I agree.

I would define death - the end of all existence type - as being a flaw in
those memories.. a lapse in logic.. the difference between you and me is our
memories. When my consciousness dies it's because there is nothing to
continue that thread.

> >Gradual uploading should do this. But trashing your brain and

> >rebuilding it to the highest level of detail my not be
> >and one little glitch in logic and you're gone.
> I grant you that there might be practical advantages in uploading slowly,
> at least at first until the bugs are worked out, but I maintain there is
> philosophical advantage.

I'm talking of a technical disadvantage.

> >if you rebuild your mind in exact detail, you've sort of missed
> >point, since it will be slower than its real world counterpart.
> Slower? The software is the same and the hardware is a billion times
> why would things be slower?

How many quanta do you need to simulate a quanta? If you have to simulate
down to the the same scale as the machine operates - quantum simulations on a
quantum computer - the 'original' will be faster, smaller and more efficient
than the simulation. I'm not saying we need that level of detail.. but I
can't say we won't.

> >The new "you" (the uploaded duplicate) will probably think the
> >but that doesn't change the fact that he/she/it is almost
> >a fake
> So just what is it that the "original" (whatever that means) has that the
> "fake" does not, a soul?

Did I say that, doesn't sound like me.. but while I'm here..

Rather than an original or fake, your 'software self' would just be another
instance of you. What makes these two instances different?

Let's say I decide to clone you and all your memories, I make a second
instance of John K. Clark. Do you share the same consciousness? I would
think not - it may look like John, it may sound like John, it may even indent
it's quotes like John - but it's not John. So what makes you different?
Well, at the exact moment you're cloned the two of you start recieving
different input. You can't occupy the same space, so you can't share the
same input, and if you did occupy the same space it would make this whole
exercise pointless. So if the input recieved has to be exactly the same, we
would have to simulate that input to introduce your consciousness to your new
software existence. If we don't the conscious thread is broken and you're
replaced by an imposter. So how detailed does that simulation need to be?

I would think it would have to be correct to the smallest known detail. It
could be that electrons orbit your atoms at a slightly different speed when
you stand three inches to the left, the reason for this could be the
orginisation of stars in the universe. So you've got to simulate the atoms,
the electrons, the gravitons, the stars atoms, etc. Computers can't operate
on a lower level than the smallest known detail, so the simulation would be
slower and less-efficient.

Having to simulate the universe on a quantum level just to keep your logic
consistent might be over the top. We have to work out how precise and
consistent our memories need to be to create a perticular consciousness (when
I say 'memories' I'm talking about *all* previous experiences, including
those aspects you can't percieve). Gradual uploading avoids these questions
- although the version of me with a billion IQ may be nothing like the
current version of me, the trasition between the two was consistent and
that's what makes it 'the original.'