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

Lee Corbin lcorbin at rawbw.com
Sun Apr 29 10:41:45 UTC 2007

Randall writes

>> So you just decree---as does Heartland---that if we revealed to
>> you that ever since you were age 6, a copy has been made of
>> you every night as you were fast asleep, and that the originals
>> were then killed, you would not be the same person from day
>> to day, and you dread tonight?  Right?  That you were lucky
>> to get just one day of life?
> Yup.

And so what if the process were happening 100 times per second?
That is, 

      microsecond 0-1               Randall is frozen
      microsecond 1-2               Randall is copied atom for atom into Randall 2
      microsecond 2-3               Randall 1 is vaporized
      microsecond 3-4               Randall 2 is moved to exactly the same place
                                                                       that Randall 1 was
      microseconds 4-10000     Randall2 thinks his Randall-squared type thoughts
                                                                      and experience his Randall^2 life
     microsecond 10000-10001  the process starts all over again with Randall N
                                                 being frozen for a microsecond, completing
                                                 a full 100 copy & replace operations per second.

So what would you make of your life?  How can you be sure that it's not really
happening?  In order to be consistent---which is okay---my guess is that "you"
would have to conclude that "your" consciousness was a delusion, and that
you might as well just kill yourself (modulo the effects on friends and relatives, 
etc.) because there was no "you" that had any duration and had no life to speak
of.  Am I correct?

(Note that this would merely be *awkward* for you to admit.  It's equally 
awkward for me when I voice a similar conclusion that I'm just a GLUT
(giant lookup table), and that I did not possess any real subjectivity. Of
course, I would never say that I did, because I would constantly announce
a feeling that I did not possess because I was in fact a zombie. Such are
the tight corners that our modern knowledge sometimes puts us in.)


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