This is just a copy

John K Clark (
Sun, 12 Jul 1998 20:59:03 -0700 (PDT)


I have no idea what Randall R Randall really wrote, all I saw was a copy.


>I am trying to argue that there must be continuity of consciousness
>to be sure that the uploaded one is the actual original
>consciousness, instead of a consciousness that was just created,
>while destroying the first.

Perhaps true, perhaps not, it's irrelevant. Consciousness is obviously subjective so even if I stopped all your brain activity for a billion years and then restarted it there is no way you could tell internally, you could detect no gaps without observing the outside world, so your consciousness would be continuous.


>you might need to simulate the entire structure to get consciousness

Then simulate the mind, although "simulate" is not really the correct word when dealing with information, a calculator doesn't perform simulated arithmetic.

>I don't agree that the entire brain is required [to understand
>subjective experience]. Only specific memories are required, those
>of you thinking about being conscious.

Interesting theory, but as we're talking about consciousness not intelligence or behavior, how will you ever know if you're theory is correct?

>if I could experience a memory of yours, then *that* would
>be me experiencing being you, for the length of the memory, no?

Books, music or a painting, give me a different subjective experience than these exact same things give you (I think), sometimes very different (I think) so why would you expect my memories to effect you the same way they do me?

There is an even deeper problem, the only reason I think the 6 year old John Clark is not dead, at least not entirely dead, is that I remember being him, if technology advances to the point (and it will) where you can really remember being me then you are me, and Randall R Randall still has no idea what it's like to be John Clark.

>If someone with plastic surgery and a really good imitation of you
>came along and asked you politely to commit suicide, so he could
>step into your life, would you?

HELL NO, my momma didn't raise no dummies! The situation is not symmetrical because the two act differently, one asks the other to sacrifice himself but the other asks no such thing, so the two "copies" can not be anywhere close to being identical. Let me propose a thought experiment of my own.

An exact duplicate of the earth, and it's entire ecosystem, is created a billion light years away. The duplicate world would need some sort of feedback mechanism to keep the worlds in synchronization, non linear effects would amplify tiny variations, even quantum fluctuations, into big differences, but this is a thought experiment so who cares. In the first two cases below the results would vary according to personalities, remember there's a lot of illogic even in the best of us.

  1. I know all about the duplicate world and you put a 44 magnum to my head and tell me in ten seconds you will blow my brains out, am I concerned? You bet I am because I know that your double is holding an identical gun to the head of my double and making an identical threat.
  2. I find out that for the first time since the Big Bang the worlds will diverge, in 10 seconds you will put a bullet in my head but my double will be spared, am I concerned? Yes, and angry as well, in times of intense stress nobody is very logical. My double is no longer exact because I am going through a traumatic experience and my double is not. I'd be looking at that huge gun and wondering what it will be like when it goes off and if death will really be instantaneous. I'd be wondering if my philosophy was really as sound as I thought it was and I'd also be wondering why I get the bullet and not my double and cursing the unfairness of it all. My (semi) double would be thinking "it's a shame about that other fellow but I'm glad it's not me".
  3. I know nothing about the duplicate world, a gun is at both our heads and we both are convinced we're going to die. One gun goes off, making a hell of a mess, but the other gun, for inexplicable reasons misfires. In this case NOBODY died and except for undergoing a terrifying experience I am completely unharmed. The real beauty part is that I don't even have to clean up the mess.

The bottom line is we don't have thoughts and emotions, we are thoughts and emotions, and the idea that the particular hardware that is rendering them changes their meaning is as crazy as my computer making the meaning of your post different from what it was on yours.

                                             John K Clark

Version: 2.6.i

iQCzAgUBNalxPX03wfSpid95AQFkiQTvRXJIVtmsnZewIvMBWkyWKpXV71tVS+Qt bVPXT2jUsUIa3MdFPyr7tg5dGrd5krl/VIB6CyIV1CZ6qagXXhwegm4REOMv1yDQ +Z3OwMWZatGmSSYQ5GGfumsG8bfzzfovEZZhhi8ENelMbZUR8DSWdC3gknm4JKgm pFFgGl/VPCcE6wbWoTeNpJhxprNPPrvIjlLDRJzH7rvGsrh8cn8= =rw95