John K Clark (johnkc@well.com)
Tue, 9 Sep 1997 22:57:49 -0700 (PDT)


YakWaxx@aol.com On Tue, 9 Sep 1997 Wrote:

>How many quanta do you need to simulate a quanta?

One. It's a tangential thought but is anyone else irritated by the phrase
"a quantum jump" when it's supposed to mean a huge change, actually it's the
smallest possible change, anything smaller is no change at all.

>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

I can say it, we won't need that level of detail or anything close to it.
If tiny changes, even as tiny as a quantum jump, would turn me into a
completely new person then I die and a different person is created every time
I drink a cup of coffee, that changes me a hell of a lot more than quantum

>Rather than an original or fake, your 'software self' would just be
>another instance of you.


>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,

Only the position of your senses is important the position of your brain is
irrelevant, unless it's so far away you get a bad time lag due to the speed
of light. No reason 2 brains couldn't receive exactly the same input, just
put a split on the line.

>we would have to simulate that input to introduce your consciousness
>to your new software existence.

You could but you wouldn't have to, you could get input from meatspace just
as you do now, and incidentally you and I already have a software existence,
but we need new hardware.

>If we don't the conscious thread is broken and you're replaced by an

In these thought experiments people always look at it from the point of view
of the "original", change gears and think about the "impostor" . Suppose I
came to you and proved to you that Mr. YakWaxx died last week, I used my
Nano Robots to take him apart atom by atom before he knew what hit him, they
carefully recorded the position of every atom, then just 5 minutes ago my
robots used this information to make a "copy" from different atoms that were
handy. Do you think Yakwaxx is really dead, is there any reason to grieve
for him? What has been lost? Morally do you think you have any claim to
Yakwaxx's money and possessions? Would you feel you were suffering unjustly
if all your friends and family started to ignore you because you were a
"stranger"? Is there any logical reason you should be more unhappy now than
one minute before I told you?

One last question, is there any way you can know that my little story is not

John K Clark johnkc@well.com

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