Re: The Copy Paradox

Hara Ra (
Sat, 15 Nov 1997 02:02:07 -0800

Harvey Newstrom wrote:
> Hal Finney wrote:
> > Certainly a physical copy would not be enough. But things are different
> > if you are talking about an exact mental copy. It can be argued that
> > identity is fundamentally a matter of patterns of processing. Reproduce
> > the pattern, and you reproduce the identity.

> Your other examples are all very good. They all are different ways of
> expressing the same copying example, and they all have the same problem
> for me. They require copying, the creation of a dupliate, and then the
> destruction of the original afterwards or simultaneously. As long as I
> am still experiencing myself inside the original, about to suffer that
> destruction, I don't see the advantage in having some distant copy that
> I am merely told exists.

Time for a good monkey wrench. Suppose the copy is provided with a
"transfer of consciousness" experience which has the effect of "moving"
from the original to the copy? After a few dozen of these where copy 1
serves as the master for copy 2, .... to copy N, I would expect that
said copy would have no problem with being destroyed after the copy
operation. Note the contradiction here. Each copy expects continuation
as the next copy in the series.

BTW, I recall reading Clarke's 2001 and only then did HAL's behaviour
make sense - HAL only saw the destruction of the spacemen, and not their
continuation, ergo by first law of robotics, HAL had to prevent this.
Point was NOT clear in the film...

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