[extropy-chat] Probability of identity

Jef Allbright jef at jefallbright.net
Wed Oct 11 17:16:04 UTC 2006

Mike Dougherty made some interesting observations:

	Has anyone considered the computational value of 999 copies of
your current level of intellect and problem solving potential?  
	I don't know what the break-even point is on the value of
existentially "free" threads compared to hell-constrained threads, but
it seems obvious that the Satanic motivation for this thought puzzle
would violate any promise to clone only a minimal number of copies where
this ratio would be in your favor.  So I will assume that 999 extra
copies is sufficiently many extra threads of subjective Hell to outweigh
the value of your meager singular 'free' experience.  

Okay... then who is this person, necessarily outside the system, who is
able to access and evaluate the value of these 999 + 1 subjective
experiences?  It doesn't matter whether you have duplicates throughout
the earth or throughout the multiverse, decision-making implies agency,
and agency implies a single point of view. 
	Would this puzzle be any different if the 999 "others" were not
clones of yourself?  

Good question.  Might help clarify the point I've been trying to make
that similarity does not imply shared agency.
	Is there a parallel here to the idea of licensing your pattern?
If the evolved-over-(your-life)-time configuration of your brain is a
pattern which determines your approach to problem-solving, then allowing
a second party to possess a copy of that pattern gives them the ability
to use it for their own purpose.  Imagine everything you are capable of,
including the things which you are morally opposed to doing despite
having the capability.  This Satan character is employing those copies
to do exactly those jobs.  (Assume Satan grew tired of you postmodernist
literature essays)  If the RIAA can protect the pattern of bits that
make up a CD, surely we must be allowed to protect the pattern of our
own neural algorithms.  This puts a new spin on the term "Intellectual

Interesting idea, and the precedent is that we do license our problem
solving capabilities when we act as paid consultants.  A difficulty with
licensing ones pattern with the same negligible cost as with duplicating
software might be that one should be entitled to sell only the novel
parts, not the parts acquired directly from other sources such as other
consultants, schooling, books, movies, conversations with friends, the
overall environment...oops, never mind.  It appears that such growth
opportunities must be evaluated within a more encompassing context than
our current system of trade.

- Jef

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.extropy.org/pipermail/extropy-chat/attachments/20061011/0df85aa2/attachment.html>

More information about the extropy-chat mailing list