Re: Uploading, info theory, and threads of consciousness

Peter C. McCluskey (
Sun, 3 Nov 1996 15:28:20 -0800 (Michael Lorrey) writes:
>For a bunch that wants to live forever, I see alot of acceptance for a
>process which MANDATES your death in order to reproduce immortal
>offspring. What a paradox!

I'm not a bunch that wants to live forever. I'm a mind that wants
its memories and behavior patterns to be followed by a series of mental
states for which:
- no mental state lacks any memories or behavior patterns that its
immediate predecessor had, unless the immediate predecessor mental
state wanted to get rid of those memories or behavior patters, and
- there are frequent improvements in the memories and behavior patterns
of the mental states.
Why should I care whether the means I use to accomplish these goals
fall within the definition of death?

I don't think I want to live forever, because that implies a stagnation
of identity that is inconsistent with my current value system. As long
as I am replacing my identity with improved versions of my current self,
I expect that the identity "Peter McCluskey as he exists in 1996" will
exist to gradually lesser extents in future years, and that even if the
fractions of my 1996 identity which exist in each succeeding year is an
infinite series, the sum of those fractions will probably be a finite
number. (Damien Broderick) writes:
>I still find this kind of retort utterly baffling, even though it's
>undeniable that one goes happily into sleep (or perhaps less happily into
>medical unconsciousness) expecting that the `reconstituted' self that later
>wakes is continuous with the present person. And of course the only reason
>for having one's head frozen at death is the conviction that a revived or
>uploaded brain will be just as much `me' as `I' am after a snooze. But
>destructive emulation--
>Why should I care about *his* `greater wealth'? *Their* `security'?

I can't explain why you "should" care about future beings that are
nearly identical to your current self. I am merely pointing out that
you haven't convinced me that you have a nonarbitrary reason for caring
more the being who awakes tomorrow in the Damien Broderick body than
you care about the uploaded being with memories and behavior patterns
indistinguishable from those of the Damien Broderick of today. (Crosby_M) writes:
>By the way, Extropy #17 hasn't made it to the East coast yet...

I haven't seen an Extropy #17 either.

Peter McCluskey |                        | Vote Libertarian! | | See |     | for more info.