[extropy-chat] Personal Identity Bis

Randall Randall randall at randallsquared.com
Thu Apr 12 15:48:23 UTC 2007

On Apr 12, 2007, at 8:49 AM, Eugen Leitl wrote:
> On Wed, Apr 11, 2007 at 09:14:23PM -0700, Lee Corbin wrote:
>> thought that his claim was merely that when you bring someone back
>> from a flat EEG, or you teleport them, or you restore them from
>> back up, hardly being zombies they're merely *different* people
>> that those who died.
> How can you tell they're different? What's the measurement
> principle (not access to an external record) -- just the system
> itself? This implies that histories cling to physical systems,
> forever, amen, and can be queried.
> I would call this superstition. It's certainly not science.

It's true that being absolutely sure of an object's history
is impossible.  However, that just means that identity is
impossible to be completely sure about.  Like everything else,
when you get down to it.

But that's no surprise, because the question of "is this
the same as that" is, by its nature, a question about the
history of the object or process.  I don't care if this
DVD is exactly like mine -- I can see that it most likely
is.  What I care about is whether this is *my* DVD, and
that's a question only answerable by reference to the
history of the object in question!

Randall Randall <randall at randallsquared.com>
"This is a fascinating question, right up there with whether rocks
fall because of gravity or being dropped, and whether 3+5=5+3
because addition is commutative or because they both equal 8."
   - Scott Aaronson

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