Re: Controlling AI (was: Thinking about the future...)

Max More (
Tue, 27 Aug 1996 23:51:50 -0700 (MST)

At 01:07 PM 8/27/96 -0700, Sean Hastings wrote:
>Max More wrote:
>>I am not my memes. I have ideas, as well as memories, dispositions, values,
>>and so on, but it's *me* -- the active, choosing being that I want to
>>survive and flourish, not primarily some ideas that I have.
>You're not a closet dualist are you Max? I don't see how you can be
>having read your Ph.D. philosophy dissertation on personal identity.
>If not, then what is this *me* but a self referential memetic label
>to a selected set of information on both the genetic and memetic levels?

I'm not a dualist, either inside the closet or out. However, there are one
or two people I currently feel like challenging to a duel, so you might say
I'm a duelist!

My point was that each one of my ideas, values, and pieces of knowledge
might continue on in many other people, but that would not mean that *I*
would survive. I'm more than just the simple collection of bits of
knowledge, or even knowledge + values + ideas. I'm an active, living person
who contains all those pieces (plus dispositions, memories, abilities, and
so on) interrelated in particular ways, in an integrated whole. If you
separate those parts of me, and scatter them around a thousand people who
then combine those parts in ways different from the way they were linked in
my brain, then I have not survived.

For me to survive, enough of the elements that make up my personality need
to continue together, not just in isolated bits absorbed by entirely
different individuals. (I say *enough* since I hold a notion of personal
identity as a fuzzy thing, it's not binary, all or none.)

Max More, Ph.D.
President Extropy Institute (ExI)
Editor Extropy