[extropy-chat] How to be copied into the future?

Heartland velvethum at hotmail.com
Fri Apr 27 22:18:11 UTC 2007

> I hear this kind of argument all the time. What you're saying here does not
>> really
>> question the fact that flat EEG means death. You merely observe that you
>> find no
>> difference between an illusion of continuous life and a continuous life.
>> Why you
>> don't appreciate the difference? It's probably because you have been
>> conditioned
>> into assuming observer POV which effectively prevents you from seeing this
>> difference.

> Even if there were a difference, it doesn't matter.

Stathis, do you think it's possible that when you say "it doesn't matter" it might
be because you fail to see what this difference actually is?

I'm afraid the master and servant example is the best explanation I can offer right
now that was designed to illustrate the difference between survival defined in 
of "likeness" vs. survival defined in terms of "utility."

> I wonder what would happen if we'd anaesthesize Slawomir in his sleep,
> induced a heart arrest and waited a couple minutes after resuscitation.
> Or merely sedated both his hemispheres, making them transiently electrically
> silent (a much softer approach).
> Then, after several months and years we'd tell him. What would be
> his reaction?

Let me solve that mystery for you right now. The future instance of "my" type would
probably make another attempt at explaining to you why you murdered someone who
shared similar brain structure. :)

If you had a perfect twin right now, would it be OK if you killed him too? I
imagine you would still argue with the guards, while being dragged to your cell or
even a death chamber, that you should go free since the victim's death was not a
big deal because the type of your twin's brain structure still remains or because
flat EEGs are poor indicators of death so, according to your definition of death, 
you didn't kill

> Of course in the current debate between Slawomir (Heartland) and Stathis/Eugen
> (an ugly combination you don't want to mess with, take it from me) I naturally
> and wholeheartedly agree with Stathis & Eugen.  And I have been arguing this
> position since 1966, more than forty years now.  I may be a bit prejudiced  :-)
> But *one* of the causes that progress is seldom made is that inadequate care
> is taken in understanding other people's views. In this case, Stathis and Eugen
> riddle their sentences with assumptions that Slawomir cannot possible agree with,
> and so those sentences contribute nothing towards understanding, and in fact
> succeed only in further frustration.

Lee, thanks for noticing an impenetrable wall I bang my head into almost every time
I talk to "type" types. :) That wall is, of course, inability of the other side to
process/evaluate proposed conclusions using only those assumptions that led to
these conclusions (that is, my assumptions). The other side obviously uses its own
assumptions in this evaluation which always ends with a statement that the proposed 
conclusion makes no
sense. Conveying my conclusions reminds me of trying to communicate in English with
someone who knows only Japanese in a internet chat room in a world where
English-Japanese dictionaries and Japanese books about English grammar have been 
Obviously, the person who knows only Japanese interprets English sentences as
gibberish. But it gets worse. The person who knows only Japanese then usually
attempts to type in an explanation (in Japanese, of course) why these English
sentences are incorrect since they do not adhere to the rules of Japanese grammar. 

> Eugen makes *exactly* the same mistake:
> From: "Eugen Leitl" <eugen at leitl.org>
>> I wonder what would happen if we'd anaesthesize [a particular and special
>> individual who happens to have Slawomir's memories] in "his" sleep,
>> induced a heart arrest and waited a couple minutes after resuscitation.
>> Or merely sedated both his hemispheres, making them transiently electrically
>> silent (a much softer approach).
>> Then, after several months and years we'd tell "him"  (I.e. the last person in
>> sequence of people who is stuck with the Heartland memories and beliefs).
>> What would be [the reaction of this last instance be]?

> OF course, the reaction of the last instance---from Heartland's belief system
> ---would be that he is lucky to be alive and that all those previous unlucky
> individuals are totally dead and gone.

Wow, someone who doesn't agree with me actually understands my posts. :)

> P.S. I believe that Slawomir's concept of these different people---being as
> they are somehow independent in their constitutions from their memories---
> is identical to a calculus of souls.  Each time a flat EEG is reached, the old
> soul is discarded, and a new one instantiated.  After all, there is nothing
> *physically* (according to the last three hundred years of science) different
> about the resuscitated individual that is of any moment.

Obviously just because you found a copy of an English-Japanese dictionary and can
understand the sentences doesn't necessarily guarantee that you understand the
message that's being conveyed by these sentences. You know *what* my position is,
and I'm frankly impressed that you do, but I don't think you understand *why* I
hold this position.

Your analogy to souls is obviously wrong but instead of defending against it let me
throw it back to you hoping you'll experience the strawman for yourself and perhaps
resolve to not commit the same sin again.

>From my point of view, I could stick a "soul" label on a specific collection of
memories you hold so dear and ask you why this soul is so important to you and why
you want to preserve it. I could argue that there's nothing special about any
specific collection of memories and that there exists no rational justification for
your attachment to these memories. Finally, I could point out the fact that
memories are not reliable and are in constant flux which means your attachment to
memories is attachment to something that isn't stable (or is that acceptable?) and
whose existence is probably an illusion; a ghost; a soul.

John K Clark in 145th episode of "Zombie Strawman Returns!":
>> This is not science, this is religion and the word you are trying so
>> desperately to avoid is SOUL.

> He was being kind to you not to mention it.  It is,
> after all, your position that two instances of John
> Clark with completely different histories can somehow
> share identity, not his.  What else but a soul could
> explain this psychic linkage which makes them the
> same person, as you assert?

Thank you, Randall.

Incidentally, the Pope of Original Atom Cult has just called me. He wants to 
promote you to a bishop. :)

> Excuse me, but I recall that Heartland *specifically* said that it's not
> the atoms that are the problem; keep the same atoms or not, it does
> not matter to him.  What DOES matter is whether a process is
> suspended or not.  To Slawomir, any time you halt a process---either
> by freezing a human or by temporarily halting the execution of a
> computer program or by allowing a human EEG to flatline---you
> have allowed an instance to perish.  And according to him, that's
> the whole ball game.
> Slawomir, please comment on the degree to which I have captured
> your views;

You've captured them perfectly, at least here. Thanks for paying attention. :)

> Meanwhile, I am appalled at the way that you [John K Clark] and Stathis keep 
> trying
> to take down a straw man. There is plenty to attack in his properly
> stated beliefs :-)

Thanks again, Lee.


More information about the extropy-chat mailing list