Uploading: Voluntary Amnesia

Joe Jenkins (joe_jenkins@yahoo.com)
Thu, 20 Aug 1998 09:41:42 -0700 (PDT)

---John Clark <jonkc@worldnet.att.net> allegedly wrote:
> >Before the spawning process begins arbitrary memory allocations are
> >designated copies 1 through 100 and original. So at the very instant
> >of spawning they differ only in name and memory allocation.
> OK, so "The Original" is just a name, of no greater significance than
> any other name, #87 for example.

Its a name that determines your assignment and weather or not you have been slated for voluntary short term memory suicide in 10 hours. So its a little more than just a name.

> >All copies and originals know their memory allocations and remember
> >the naming convention agreed upon before the spawning process. It
> >would be perfectly rational to look at your name tag and commit
> >voluntary suicide at the end of the 10 hours.
> I still don't understand, why should I look at my name tag, other than
> pure curiosity what useful information would I gain by doing so ?

You are the one that designed the temporary spawning process. Why would you ignore your own intentions. Of course you would look at the name tag, this is part of the plan. This is how you know what work you've been assigned and if your slated for voluntary short term memory suicide in 10 hours.

> It wouldn't matter if my tag said "The Original" or "#87",
> I'd still rather have the other fellow blow his brains out not me.

With the exception of 10 hours divergence, the other fellow is you. So, if the divergence is negligible (debated below) for all intents and purposes the other fellow IS you. There is no conflict of interest given that the divergence is negligible. If you have a strong desire not to have multiple copies diverge (debated below), then all 1001 instances of you have that same strong desire. As long as that desire is stronger than the desire to not suffer 10 hours amnesia, none of the copies will deviate from the plan. None of the copies will die because death does not equal 10 hours of amnesia.

> >10 hours subjective time for a non-augmented formerly biological
> >upload doing nothing but mundane work is not at much risk of creating
> >a conflict of interest.
> I think 10 hours would be more than enough for 2 copies to diverge
> enough that both would want to survive.

That is a judgment call. But let me provide you with a thought experiment that gives a rational way to evaluate it:

You've just completed 10 hours of mundane work at the office today in your normal biological state. You then documented your work more thoroughly than ever before. A doctor shows up and completely convinces you beyond any shadow of a doubt that he has invented a flash light type device that can induce a perfect 10 hour amnesia with no side effects whatsoever. You are 100% convinced this is safe and effective. He offers you $10,000 to let him use the device on you.

> Are you telling me that if you looked
> down
> right now and saw "#87" on your name tag you'd cheerfully put a gun
> to your head? If so I wouldn't go so far as to call your decision
> irrational, life is not more rational than death, it's just that death
> is not
> my cup of tea. To each their own.

You've just told me that 10 hour amnesia equals death. Does 1=1,000,000? Would I look at my name tag and commit suicide - Absolutely not! Would I look at my name tag and commit 10 hour amnesia - Yes, in a clock cycle. This of course presumes that I have a stronger desire not to diverge multiple copies than I do to not commit 10 hour amnesia.

I'm not trying to argue that I'll never desire to have multiple copies diverge. I've recently posted space travel examples were I would prefer multiple copies. But I can think of a lot more examples of why I would not want multiple copies to diverge. For example:

Each copy would have equal right to my wealth. So my entire worth would have to be divided by 1001 in this example.

Each copy would show up at my families house on Xmas and Thanksgiving.

Each copy would join the Extropian and Transhuman list and post and average of two or three messages per day that virtually said the same thing especially at first. Thats 3003 messages a day.

Each copy would want two hours of sex from my wife every day, and we don't give up easy ;)

Each copy would claim to be employed by my employer. About 990 of them would probably be fired.

Each copy would claim ownership of my house.

Each copy would claim friendship with my friends.

I could literally go on for thousands of examples. The chaos that would ensue from diverging 1001 copies would be my worst disaster ever. Each of the 1000 copies slated to terminate would also understand this and they would value avoiding this much more than the value of avoiding 10 hours of amnesia.

P.S. Has anyone on this list verified the signature on the message where John Clark changed his public key? After more than three years of reading his post with mostly just minor disagreements, all of a sudden, one week after changing his public key this major disagreement about the fundamentals of identity pops up. Even if it verifies correctly, I would still suspect the possibility that he sold his reputation by means of selling his private key. I for one will be keeping a close eye for other discontinuities. Reputation selling is a limited market if this is any indication.

Joe Jenkins

Get your free @yahoo.com address at http://mail.yahoo.com