[extropy-chat] Personal Identity Bis

Eugen Leitl eugen at leitl.org
Fri Apr 13 07:14:29 UTC 2007

On Thu, Apr 12, 2007 at 04:56:39PM -0400, Randall Randall wrote:

> Precisely.  The only difference is the history, but I'm
> sure everyone would agree there is a distinct DVD I own

I guess I'm not everyone. If two DVDs fell down and rolled
into a corner, without me looking, I couldn't tell the
difference. So couldn't anybody, but an omniscient
observer. I'm an atheist, so this means nobody can tell
in principle.

Again, the DVD has no label, you carry the label by
observing the system trajectory.

> (in this situation), and the fact that we can't tell
> which it is is a problem with our knowledge, not the fact
> of the matter.

Since knowledge is encoded in the matter, and certainly not
in the DVD (since it doesn't care) knowledge is precisely
a fact of the matter. There are no seraphim, gently flapping
their wings while carrying bits in tiny little buckets.
> Similarly, it might well be impossible to tell from
> existing information which of two Randalls is the original
> (if either), but that doesn't mean that it is the case
> that they're all equally the original -- it just means
> we don't know.

Knowledge is information, and information is very important
in this unverse, from QM (two systems in the same quantum
state are not distinguishable in principle) to singularities. 

Eugen* Leitl <a href="http://leitl.org">leitl</a> http://leitl.org
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