Re: Uploading: Voluntary Amnesia

Joe Jenkins (
Mon, 24 Aug 1998 09:14:20 -0700 (PDT)

---Randall R Randall <> wrote:
> --
> On Fri, 21 Aug 1998 10:41:02 -0400 "John Clark"
> writes:
> >Randall R Randall <> August 21, 1998
> >
> >>It does seem odd that he'd [John] suddenly reverse his position
> >>with so little warning, doesn't it? ;-)
> >
> >Reversed my position? When? Where? I always said that death means
> a
> >last thought, and provided you have up to date backup, you can't
have a
> last
> >thought. In the thought experiment proposed for Mr. 87 and the 99
> >copies the last 10 hours of their life was heading for a dead end
and a
> >last thought, this was not true for Mr. Original, hence the
> Depends on your assumptions, no? If you assume that all
> the copies are the same person, then they aren't having a
> *last* thought, but only a few that are unrelated to the next,
> exactly as a person with amnesia might. If you begin by
> assuming that they are *not* the same person, then all of
> the copies have a last thought. This seems to me to be a
> pretty clear reversal, since you have previously argued that
> the copies in a situation like this are all manifestations of one

One of the fundamental premises of uploading is accepting the idea that your identity is preserved if an emulation of all relevant physical processes of your mind is preserved. If you accept this definition of identity you must also accept all of the counter intuitive implications that come with it. Judging from the responses on this thread, I believe the majority of extropians/transhumanists either accept this definition of identity while denying the logical conclusions of it, or reject it outright. It worries me that John Clark, someone well known for his extraordinary ability to tackle counter intuitive issues, is unwilling to follow his own definition of identity to its logical conclusions. To me, these issues are so fundamental to what I thought was extropianism/transhumanism, I now wonder if there should be another ism that includes this definition of identity and its logical conclusions in its principles/statement of purpose. Although, I would much prefer these two ism, who both tout uploading, to stand up, pronounce, and explain some of its counter intuitive conclusions. Otherwise, converts will be left on their own capacity to grapple with these issues, usually with very confusing and inconsistent results. This can be disorienting to say the least. So many otherwise rational people become an emotional wreck when dealing with these issues. Witness the following: wrote:

> This is not a copy we're talking about, this is you. Sure, the you
is a
> copy of some other you, but this isn't the original wondering
whether a
> copy of himself will kill itself, but another you having to kill
> after a few hours.
> To clarify that statement: there is a very, very big difference
> sitting there happily in the duplication machine having decided that
> copy will kill itself and knowing that you're safe, and being the copy
> and deciding to kill yourself. Unless you're already borderline
> I can't see you doing it. Most people talk a lot bigger than they act,
> and the instant the copy realises he's the one slated to die in a few
> hours he's almost certainly going to have a change of heart.
> person, rather than people in their own right.

Mark, I appreciate and empathize with your comments. However, in so far as the safety and reliability of the technology is trusted "[having] a change of heart" is totally irrational. I will continue to post messages that accentuate the counter intuitive results from following the definition of identity implied in uploading to its logical conclusions. Max, what about those principles?

Joe Jenkins

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