Re: Mind Survival Strategies (was "Mind machines, a badly ..")

Hal Finney (
Mon, 9 Nov 1998 11:29:45 -0800

Robin Hanson, <>, writes, regarding review of mind changes by a previous version:
> My problem with this approach is that it seems to assume an unrealistic
> degree of individuality. You're going to have to wait more than a day to
> see if you do or don't like some new version of yourself. But if you wait
> a week or a month, then rejecting this new version becomes pretty expensive.
> This version has been interacting with the rest of the world, which is not
> going to be keen about backtracking all their interactions with you.

This is a good point for longer-term review. But there still would be value in the one-day lookover. I had the impression that this was to protect against cases where you adopt a new worldview overnight. This is not too common now but presumably could happen more easily given technologies to manipulate brain states directly.

Probably the closest examples we have today would be religious conversion or extremely powerful drug experiences. Although these may arguably be to the benefit of the person, in many cases the day-before version would prefer not to allow such a drastic change.

In effect this is a way of committing yourself to a policy of gradual change. Conceivably there would be other ways of doing so, via subtle modifications to the brain that would change how it worked, but this method is a conceptually simple way of accomplishing it.