Terrorism in the age of uploading [was RE: neo-luddites ...]

From: Robert J. Bradbury (bradbury@aeiveos.com)
Date: Thu Nov 29 2001 - 12:57:22 MST

On Thu, 29 Nov 2001, Dickey, Michael F wrote:

> "If everyone has a back-up then the "suicide" bomber would presumably not be
> guilty of murder, but only of property damage."
> Is it me or does this conversation seem to be skipping the important point
> that the backup is not me, but a copy of me.

Its *you* as of the time of the backup if the backup and restoration
methods are completely lossless. Any other perspective is to argue
"consciousness" has some basis in non-physical phenomena.

> And that if I die, even if a
> backup lives on, there is no continuity of conscioussness.

Your consciousness continues just like it would if you got bumped
on the head and "forgot" the last three days of your life. Only
if the backup is to any extent "invasive" (so you know when they
are occuring) and you don't "wakeup" at exactly the same place
(and time) where the backup occurred, would you probably suspect
you were a copy... [I'm doubtful you can "restart" at the same
time and place if this is really reality, but if its a simulation
then a lot of things that don't make sense will be feasible.]

If you had "real-time" backup capability (say via a very high
bandwidth radio connection [Kurzweil has argued this but I
doubt it is feasible...]), then you will notice a hallucinatory
type "break" in your consciousness. One minute you can hear
the WTC collapsing on top of you and you probably notice this
huge sensory overload and the next minute you find yourself
waking up in a hospital room (again -- probably suspecting you are
a copy). Of course if the technology is good enough you can
rollback to prior to the plane impacts and rewrite the script
from that point forward. You just don't have anyplace to go
to work the next day and you might have to give the eulogy
at your funeral. :-) That is assuming you have a spare
body around that you can be downloaded into -- otherwise
you will have to attend virtually until a clone can be grown.

> The 'Raelians' I believe get around this important concept by claiming
> the aliens have some advanced technology that can transfer 'concioussness'

Any *really* good technology would theoretically allow you to shift
you consciousness back and forth at will (from wetware to alternate
hardware). It may however be the case that that proves technically
too difficult and you only get to make backups when you plug yourself
into a "Matrix" type fiber bundle when you go to sleep each night.

> (they might have even worded it as a soul)
> in addition to the 'thoughts memories and experiences'

They are applying new terms to old "religious" beliefs. My only
problem with them is that they handwave when it comes to explaining
how its done and have to make up silly reasoning that only aliens
have the technology to do it. Perhaps the luddites get control
and we have to move to a space enclave to develop nano & AI
and by the time we come back to implement the 'Raelian" vision
we really are "aliens".

I suspect terrorism becomes a lot more difficult in the time of
uploading because once people become generally accepting of
uploading & downloading (think Star Trek transporter technology
here [you *do* realize the transporters *kill* you don't you?!?]) --
then terrorist acts have to be much more clever to kill you and
your secured backups. It becomes something like a flat tire --
you are annoyed when it happens but it doesn't ruin your whole life.


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