Upload Rehearsal

John K Clark (johnkc@well.com)
Thu, 31 Oct 1996 20:49:36 -0800 (PST)


On Wed, 30 Oct Chris Hind <chind@juno.com> Wrote:

>what if there are two copies of 'me'? Which one is
>actually 'me'.

They would both be absolutely convinced that they were you because they would
feel that they were you, and they would both be absolutely correct.

>I do not care about the 'me' other people see, I only care
>about the 'me' I am currently experiencing.

I would certainly agree with that, I would even say that subjective
experience is the only thing in life that is important, unfortunately the
only subjective experience we will ever be able to detect directly is our
own. Nobody can really believe that they are the only conscious being in the
universe, so we must assume that when something acts intelligently it is
conscious. A corollary of that is that when something acts like me it is me.

>perhaps uploading to silicon isn't possibly

The only way that could be true is if the essential thing that makes me be me
can not be duplicated by any technology or even detected by the Scientific
method, in other words if the religious people are right and I have a soul.
Personally I would rate the chances that I have a soul as religions define it
at about the same as the probability that I am the only conscious being in
the universe.

>Emulations are not as good as the real thing you know because
>they're fakes.

No. A Simulation may or may not be as good as the original because it uses
simplifications and approximations. A Emulation doesn't use such shortcuts and
is identical to the "original", in fact it is no longer meaningful to talk
about originals and copies, both are original. My Emulation of Windows 95
running on my computer is just as good as Windows 95 running on your computer,
better if I have more powerful hardware.

Knowing your opinion on this subject, I hate to tell you this but, well, ....
the good news is that there is nothing fake about you, the bad news is that
you are a copy. You see, I have developed a pulse gamma ray laser that can
make a hologram of the human brain, it does have the minor side effect of
vaporizing the brain in question, but that is of little importance because
before that happens, due to the very short duration of the pulse, it obtains
information on the position and velocity of every molecule in the brain.
I used my machine on you last week, I then used Nanotechnology (I developed
that in my spare time you see) to reconstruct you. I made you with different
atoms, but that is not important, science can find no difference between one
hydrogen atom and another, and even in the normal course of events all the
atoms in your body are different from the ones you had a year ago. I finished
the reconstruction of you less than 5 minutes ago and sat you down in front
of your computer reading the Extropian list. Very soon your friends will start
asking you why they haven't seen you for the last week, just tell them you
went fishing or something.

John K Clark johnkc@well.com

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