[extropy-chat] Evidence for the self surviving brain disassembly?

Brett Paatsch bpaatsch at bigpond.net.au
Thu Apr 1 05:06:21 UTC 2004

On Tuesday, March 30, 2004 6:42 Eugen Leitl wrote:

On Tue, Mar 30, 2004 at 04:06:51PM +1000, Brett Paatsch wrote:

> [Eugene]
> > I don't understand where "mere copy" comes from.

> I don't regard eqivalence and identity as the same thing in this case.

>  Identity is a lot stronger than equivalence. Two similiar but different
> systems might be equivalent, ....

As I said. I don't regard eqivalence and identity as the same thing in
this case.

> ..two system in the same quantum state are identical.
>  I.e. there is measurement possible allowing them to distinguish
> them. This isn't an opinion, this is a well-known physical fact.

Do you mean "two system[S]  in the same quantum state are identical" ?

I could be ignorant of a lot about quantum physics.

> Others that have a limited view of me based on their perceptions
> (which I see as their limits not mine) might conceivably be able to
> think they can replace me (or any other to them) with a copy.

> Gedanken experiments which use a full quantum state respresentation
> encode the system exhaustively.

I don't know about that. (Not strong on quantum physics). I am
downright suspicious of the word encode though. I suspect its a sort
of programmers-paradigm concept that's running out of bounds.

I am also suspicious of 'thought experiments' generalised as actual

> Similarly, my understanding of who Eugene is, is based on my
> disconnected relationship with Eugene. To me, you, Eugene
> are an other not a self.


> Someone might be able to masquerade as you to me. They
> would have a lot more trouble masqueradeing as you to you
> or as me to me.

I'm not sure the term "masquerading" is appropriate for system
introspection. Introspection does not allow comparisons, either than
comparing trajectories of independant runs.

I'm not wedded to "masquerading". I didn't mean to imply I
was doing "system introspection" I am not even sure what you
mean by that. I think the only things that can do introspection
are people.

> I don't know if they would quite as much trouble masquerading
> as you to you as they would me to me.
> >  "Can't tell from the original" is good enough for external observers.
> Yes. Even very poor substitutes can fool some external observers.

Notice that this is sufficient as far as your friends and relatives are

Yes. I agree.

> >  "Can't tell myself" + "can't tell from the original, external
> > + "can't tell from deep level rich operational fingerprint" should be
> >  good enough for anybody.
> As a somebody I am not convinced.

Two system in the same quantum state are identical (nondistinguishable).
Once again: this is not a manner of conjecture, or an opinion. It's a well
know physical fact.

Ok. Its outside what I know to be true so far so I don't accept it as
a fact. That does not mean it is not. It just means I don't know.

> > That info is encoded in the physical system.
> I'm not sure encoded is the right word.


That was a shorthand of saying that flat EEG lacunes do not destroy identiy
(I've met a few people who disputed this, but it is a sufficiently unusual
point of view), and that the transiently dormant physical system contains
sufficient information to resume the spatiotemporal activity pattern we call
a specific person -- once again, this is an empiric fact, and no conjecture.

"Sufficiently unusual" for what?

> > Isomorphic substitution results in the same system, given
> > pattern identity.
> I am not sold on "pattern identity".

Fortunately for us, the laws of physics do believe in pattern identity.

That is not an article of faith that I subscribe too. I don't think
the laws of physics believe anything.

> > Pattern identity follows from measurable observations
> > (quantum identity).
> I don't follow.

There's an outline of a proof in the Appendix of Tipler's "Physics of
Immortality". If you agree with that, your only loophole is that no two
nontrivial systems can be made to exist in the same state.

Ah Tipler. A name that does not inspire confidence for me.

I certainly do think that no two nontrivial systems can be made
to exist in the same physical space when "systems" are bunches
of neurons.

Maybe I'm wrong but that's what I think based on what I know

> I again point towards the fact that the noise floor for information
> processing through biological tissues is huge in comparison. The attractor
> extremely robust to bounce back after giant-amplitude events, considering
> scale.

> I won't say more than this, because the list seems to be deja vuing all
> the place (see the nanotechnology debate, which is a very dead horse
indeed). No
> need to ressurrect another zombie, aka the identity definition.

I didn't follow that. Perhaps because I am ignorant of something you are
not and/or you are carrying forward short-hand thinking from earlier to
in your post.

Yes this list hits the same topics over and over a few times. That's because
the topics are still important and they are not scoured to the same depth
everytime someone new takes an interest in them.

When someone who has taken an interest does again it could be that
they want to push deeper than before.


Eugen* Leitl <a href="http://leitl.org">leitl</a>
ICBM: 48.07078, 11.61144            http://www.leitl.org
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http://moleculardevices.org         http://nanomachines.net

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