Re: Uploading

Randall R Randall (
Fri, 28 Aug 1998 13:14:17 -0400

On Fri, 28 Aug 1998 12:09:32 -0400 "John Clark" <> writes:
>Hash: SHA1
>Randall R Randall Wrote:
>>>Thought experiment: I made a copy of you an hour ago, one I
>>>let go to live his normal life (it doesn't matter if it's the
>>>or the original), the other one I chain to a time bomb set to
>>>go off in one hour. BANG. Were you that poor fellow who
>>> just got blown up?
>>No, however...
>Ok, put yourself in the position of the man chained to the bomb.
>If you listen carefully you'll notice that over the ticking ofthe
>bomb you can hear distant music coming from a party the other
>Randall went to, he's having a wonderful time, you're having
>less fun chained to that damn bomb. You know that the other
>Randall is not you and you know you have exactly 38 minutes
>and 17 second to live. Do you see anyreason why you might
>be just a tad upset with the situation?

John, lemme correct a possible misunderstanding. *I* do not disagree that the two are different people. It did seem odd to me that *you* expressed the same view, however, since you have previously stated that you believe (correct me if I err) that two physical instances of exactly the same pattern of mind are really only one person. This seems to me to imply that one of the two physical copies we seem to see is merely illusion, but I gather that this doesn't follow, to you. I do not understand that, and perhaps this is partly to blame for my viewing your position as inconsistent where it concerns two copies separated by only trivial amounts of time.

>>To say that Randall-minus-an-hour's opinion is
>>better than mine, you must first *assume*
>>that we are not the same person.
>I'm much more interested in the Randall-plus-an-hour's
>opinion. If he thinks you survived, that is, if he can remember
>being you then you're OK but if not, like the poor man in my
>example, then when the bomb goes off he's dead.

Again with the amnesia argument: if you wake up and are told that it is 1999, and that you have been in a coma ever since that nearly-fatal accident last September, do you think that the person that existed in September *died*, if you cannot remember having been him?

>>This leads to the conclusion that when
>>people have amnesia, someone *died*.
>Yes, or at least someone mostly died, survival is a matter of

Hm. Okay.

>>Just to clear things up, let me rephrase what
>>you seem to be saying: Two perfectly identical (at the neural
>>level, anyway) people are not
>>two people, but one. However, if they diverge
>>as much as a normal person changes in one
>>hour, the loss of that hour constitutes death (e.g.
>>if you kill one).
>Unless I was in a deep sleep I'd say an hour would be more than
>enough time for both copies of me to want to survive

I'd say that less than a second is sufficient, but then, I also think that both copies are separate people.

>Joe Jenkins Wrote:

>>The point of view that matters here is not that of a Martians
>>but that of your ego. So obviously, from my egos point of
>>view, you are not an imperfect copy of me.
>Exactly, and from my present ego's point of view a copy made
>an hour ago is not me.

But *also, from my point of view, a perfectly identical copy is not me (since if you kill him, I go on living).


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