Re: IDENTITY- What it means to be 'me' (was Re: neo-luddites are "US Taliban")

From: Damien Broderick (
Date: Fri Nov 30 2001 - 01:57:08 MST

At 06:08 PM 11/29/01 -0800, Hal wrote:

>Would agents evolve to act as if their "successors" (after a backup and
>restore cycle) were as important to them as future selves which had not
>gone through such a change?

Of *course*, since their own experience would feel as if it apodictically
substantiated this viewpoint--they would recall the scan, then waking up
and learning of the regrettable loss of an earlier chrysalis. So, noting
that this felt just fine, they'd be more inclined to project an attitude of
hope toward the next iteration, and so on, ever more strongly.

This *doesn't* mean their fallible sense of conviction is *valid*, any more
than a surviving soldier's faith in God supports the existence of this
imaginary contrivance--although in both cases, I'm sure the experience
would `confirm' the prejudice. As usual, we need a possible disconfirmatory
instance: the canonical one seems to be the survival of the original after
activation of the copy, and the copy's utter sense of conviction that he or
she *is* the original and retains full property rights etc in the
original's goods, position in society, etc.

But this topic really does get old so fast, and without any resolution,
maybe we shouldn't go there again.

Damien Broderick

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