Re: Upload thought experiment

Michael Lorrey (
Tue, 05 Nov 1996 21:36:47 -0500

OOOH, good questions:

James Rogers wrote:
> Here is a quick little thought experiment for everyone on this
> uploading/consciousness thread:
> Assume uploading actually moved your currently operating stream of
> consciousness to a computer.
> Suppose the upload apparatus was connected to a multiplexing device so that
> the upload data could be sent on two separate channels at the same time.
> Now suppose you have two different computers connected up to the two
> different channels. Both computers reconstruct your stream of consciousness
> as though each was the only computer connected to the upload apparatus.
> If the apparatus is actually uploading *your* stream of consciousness, is it
> possible for it to exist in two places at the same time?

I would assume that during the upload process, to keep the stream of
conciousness "connected" the mind would have to be cognizant, and would
sense, in the case of one computer and one human, a sense of being in
two places at once, and in the case of two computers being uploaded,
three places. THe tough thing is running one mind off of multiple copies
of the same file. I would expect some call conflicts to crop up. Once
the upload is complete, the bio hardware would be basically blank, or
remain connected to one of the new minds. Being connected to both I
would expect to create a multiple personality type conflict. Perhaps the
two new minds would have joint custody of the human interface tool?

Mike v 2.0.A: "I get the old Mike on Mon, Wed, and Fri, while you get
him for Tues, Wed, and Sat, and we'll trade off on Sundays"

Mike v 2.0.B: " No fair you'll have him for both Monday Night Football
and the X-Files...."

Mike A: "OK I'll take Thursday and you can have Friday."

Mike B: "But that means you'll get our night with Betty, and she's not
doubled yet...."

Mike A: "Ok we trade off Thursday instead of Sunday, but I get the weeks
we stay over at her house..."

> Isn't having a single stream of consciousness and having two simultaneous
> instances of a single stream mutually exclusive?

Once the upload is finished, the two minds would be separate people.

> Which instance is really *your* stream of consciousness?

Both. This is budding, and we are each the same Mike as before, but not
the same as each other, as we each start having different experiences,
that make us different people.
> -James Rogers

Mike Lorrey