[extropy-chat] Personal Identity Bis

Heartland velvethum at hotmail.com
Thu Apr 12 20:34:39 UTC 2007

>> 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!

You don't have to know anything about history of something to realize you don't 
have it. As you point out, it's not important that there are two DVDs that are 
physically identical. The real problem here is NOT that it is hard or even 
impossible to tell these DVDs apart. Whether things are similar is irrelevant! The 
problem here is that you can't enjoy that DVD because you simply don't have it. A 
solution to this problem is not printing more copies of this DVD, but simply 
getting you at least one copy of it so you can watch it.


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