RE: Sincere Questions on Identity

From: Harvey Newstrom (
Date: Sun Dec 16 2001 - 01:26:02 MST

John Clark wrote,
>Remember this is a symmetrical room so"Here" and "there" are meaningless
> sounds in this example because the optic nerves in both bodies is
>feeding the exact same signal into the two brains. There is double the
> normal amount of protoplasm but there is only one conscious being.

If you allowed them to use a GPS, they could easily determine their
positions. If you allowed them nametags, they could easily see who was who.
If you stopped feeding them optic signals from the other, they would see
reality instead of VR. If you let the scanning machine look different from
the assembly machine, they could tell which machine they just exited. If
you allowed them to be conscious during the copy, one would remember being
scanned whole while the other would remember being assembled.

Just because you hide all the evidence, prevent them from measuring
themselves, block their memories of what really happened, and feed them
false sensory input so they can't perceive reality, does not mean that there
are not discernable differences between the two. The fact that you have to
go to so much trouble to keep them from distinguishing themselves as two
separate individuals seems to indicate that this would be their natural

Harvey Newstrom, CISSP <>
Principal Security Consultant, Newstaff Inc. <>
Board of Directors, Extropy Institute <>
Cofounder, Pro-Act <>

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