[extropy-chat] Let's try this again.

John K Clark jonkc at att.net
Tue May 9 05:21:47 UTC 2006

"Heartland" <velvet977 at hotmail.com> Wrote:

> it appears that this *topic* or problem is thousands years old. However,
> the *solution* is just few years old and some *conclusions* based on that
> solution are months or weeks old.

Never let it be said that Mr. Heartland does not have a sense of humor.

> Which points in the argument are illogical and why? Which are not
> connected to reality? Show, don't tell.

Just yesterday at his request I posted eleven very specific points in his
theory that were illogical or not connected to reality. And he did respond
to my objections, his responded with ten words, that's less than one
word per point, all he said was "Some of it is correct, most of it is not".

Apparently Mr. Heartland's long term memory is not very good for he seems to
have forgotten all about it, for his benefit I repeat them now. I'm hoping
he writes a response immediately after reading them before he forgets again,
perhaps then he can break the one word per point response barrier.

1) Mr. Heartland says having someone tomorrow who remembers being you today
is not sufficient to conclude you have survived into tomorrow, he says more
is required but he never explains what or why. This leads to rather odd
conclusions, like anesthesia is equivalent to death and like you may have
died yesterday and not even know it. Mr. Hartland thinks your subjectivity
is an "illusion" created by a copy of you, Mr. Hartland says he hates this
and thinks it is a great tragedy, but even if true he never explains why
this is supposed to be upsetting.

2) Mr. Heartland says atoms are what makes us unique, but he ignores the
fact that our atoms get recycled every few weeks.

3) Mr. Heartland says atoms are what makes us unique,  but science can find
no difference between one atom and another. Mr. Heartland points out, quite
correctly, that subjectivity and consciousness are what we should be
concerned about, but then he says particular atoms are what makes our
consciousness unique. It's true that the scientific method can not
investigate consciousness directly so nobody will ever be able to prove the
idea is wrong, nobody will ever prove that there isn't a difference between
atoms that the scientific method can't detect, but theologians since the
middle ages have been making the exact same argument about the existence of
the human soul. It seems a little too pat that the only difference between
atoms is something the scientific method can not see but nevertheless is of
profound astronomical importance, it's just like saying atoms have souls.

4) Mr. Heartland says the history (or if you want to sound scientific brainy
and cool "the space time trajectory") of atoms are what makes atoms unique;
but many atoms have no history and even for those that do it is not
permanent, the entire record of an atom's past exploits can be erased from
the universe and it's not difficult to do. This is not theory, this has been
proven in the lab and any theory that just ignores that fact can not be
called scientific.

5) Mr. Heartland insists his theory is consistent and logically rigorous but
he is unwilling or unable to answer the simplest questions about it, like is
A the original or B. Instead Mr. Heartland thinks informing us that A=A and
B=B is sufficient.

6) Several times Mr. Heartland informed us that location is vital in
determining which mind is which, but he never explained why because mind by
itself can never determine it's location. Also Mr. Heartland never explains
the position relative to what as we've known for over a century that
absolute position is meaningless.

7) Mr. Heartland, wrote "This "self" concept is too overrated in a sense
that it has no influence over whether my subjective experience exists or
not" and then he wrote "My copy" is not me". This would seem to belie Mr.
Heartland's claim of rigorous logical consistency.

8) Mr. Heartland wrote "Mind is not a brain" and he was absolutely correct
about that, but then he said mind "is definitely more like a brick, a 4-D
object". This would seem to belie Mr. Heartland's claim of rigorous logical

9) As noted above Mr. Heartland thinks mind is a "4-D mind object", but he
is unable on unwilling to give the  4-D coordinates of  the vital things the
constitute mind, like fun or red or fast or logic or love or fear
or the number eleven or my memory of yesterday.

10) Mr. Heartland wrote "creation of two identical brains, like writing
identical number types "1" twice, would produce two separate instances of
the same brain type" but if so he never explained why two calculators the
add 2 +2 would not produce answers that were profoundly different; and if
they are profoundly different he never explained how it is possible to do

11) Mr. Heartland insists that if two CD's are synchronized and playing the
same symphony then two symphonies are playing, but a CD is just a number
thus there are always profound differences even between the same number, and
9 is not equal to 9. If true Mr. Heartland is unable to explain how it is
nevertheless possible to do science.

Finally I believe another reason many find it difficult to take Mr.
Heartland seriously is his treatment of criticism, whenever somebody point
out a flaw in his ideas he either ignores it, pleads persecution, or makes
assurances without giving one bit of evidence. For example, the existence of
Bose Einstein Condensations, the fact that Mr. Heartland's trajectories
through space time are temporary things that are easy to erase would seem to
blow a very large hole in his theory, but Mr. Heartland says it does not, in
fact he says his theory "has nothing to do with Bose Einstein
Condensations". Mr. Heartland does not explain how he reached this
astonishing conclusion, we must just take it on faith.

   John K Clark

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