[extropy-chat] Probability of identity

Heartland velvethum at hotmail.com
Wed Oct 11 00:51:58 UTC 2006

> Well Swalomir,

It's Slawomir, Jef. :)

> I'm hesitant to embark on a discussion that may need more
> time than I have available for it, but I'll tell you what:  If you will
> paraphrase what you think I was trying to say about the crucial element
> of agency, then I'll work through it with you.  If you recall, several
> months ago you agreed that I accurately represented your assertion about
> the importance of continuously threaded identity, and I think doing this
> is important in order to avoid talking past each other.

Yes, I remember. You accurately characterized my position, yet didn't agree with it 
for some reason. I'm not sure what was the source of disagreement. Correct me if 
I'm wrong but, based on what you've written in this thread, it seems like your 
definition of survival deals more with goal fulfillment through your future copies 
(in the same sense an artist hopes to influence the world through his/her work long 
after his/her material death) rather than preservation of physical processes that 
implement the first "you". But that's just an educated guess.

>>> [Supporting examples:  (1) If an exact duplicate and I were in an
>>> enclosure and only one could exit, it would make no difference (to
>>> anyone) which instance emerged.

>> If "anyone" includes an instance of you that stays behind,
>> then it makes a big difference to that instance from its POV.

> Of course you're right about that, and I knew I didn't close that
> loophole for the (intended) sake of brevity and because it seemed
> obvious that something with no output has no effect.  The way that
> particular thought experiment usually goes is that only one person ever
> comes out because the other instantiation is instantly disintegrated or
> some such.

Obviously, at t3, dead mind remains dead regardless of whether the death occurred 
at t1 or t2.


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