[rescue] consciousness immortality [was: Sun Sparcstation 20 hard disks]

Sandwich Maker adh at an.bradford.ma.us
Fri Aug 26 14:05:00 CDT 2011

[redirecting to geeks]

" From: Mouse <mouse at Rodents-Montreal.ORG>
" >> Though seriously, I consider it within the bounds of possibility
" >> that, assuming we do not suffer a civilization crash, by the time my
" >> physical body's ability to sustain me is exhausted, we will have the
" >> capability to opt for upload into zettabyte space.
" > what bothers me about that is, it's like email - only a -copy- of the
" > -original-, which still dies.
" In a sense.  But in some sense, we're all dying all the time.

we're also all regenerating all the time - that's what stem cells are

btw, the number of times a stem cell can divide varies across species,
but there seems to be an upper bound that none surpass.  it's called
the hayflick limit, after the dr. who discovered it.  for humans, it
would represent an age of about 2 centuries.  and no, that doesn't
mean living with a slowed-down metabolism like a turtle.

" It's continuity of sense-of-self, which mostly means continuity of
" memory, that I care about.  If my mind can be moved to a silicon
" substrate, I wouldn't care about the meat substrate I left behind any
" more than I care about the way my current body's cells keep dying all
" the time now.

well, any number of copies would have the same sense-of-self as you the
original do, if they're faithful, accurate, and complete.  they still
wouldn't be -you- the original, just clones.

" > the fate of me - the original - isn't changed just b/c the -copy-
" > lives forever.
" But what is "me"?  We don't yet know what "me" will be when - if - that
" sort of thing becomes possible.

anything which is conscious and self-aware can call itself 'me'.  but
the best -copy- is no more than a -clone- of -me-.

" > nor does it matter if 3rd parties can't tell the difference between
" > us - i can.
" Can you?  Maybe you won't be able to.

i'll have the advantage of viewpoint.  i may not be able to prove i'm
either the original or a copy, but in that situation i'd be pretty
sure there were 2 of us, not 1.

" We don't yet know.  For all we
" know, it may turn out that during the time that both the CHON you and
" the silicon you exist, they will share a single mind.

unity is a promising concept, but -- here's a nightmare for ya:

suppose that, after years of happy fusion, one day the organic part
of you dies -- and the silicon part of you discovers that there was
something you were able to do before which you now can't, and you
can't even remember exactly what it was...
Andrew Hay                                  the genius nature
internet rambler                            is to see what all have seen
adh at an.bradford.ma.us                       and think what none thought

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