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

Lee Corbin lcorbin at rawbw.com
Mon Apr 30 05:08:20 UTC 2007

John Clark had earlier written attacking the High Priest of Atoms in 
words like these:

> According to him the whole ball game is something that is
> impossible to detect subjectively but nevertheless (for reasons
> never explained) I should be very concerned about it,
> subjectively. To say this is silly is a vast understatement.

And I thought that he also threw around the word "you"
carelessly, and so in effect simply was not correctly aiming
at Heartland's true beliefs.  So I said:

>> Can't you see that you keep begging the question?

And John said

> No I can't see that, I can't see that at all.

Well, okay, since I can't find exactly what set me off, I withdraw
that particular charge. (But see my last paragraph rchere.) Having
missed John's *online* comment I wrote back to him as follows:

>> What if you are killed tonight by some gangsters, and replaced by an actor
>> they've paid to imitate John K. Clark.
> But I am also an actor, playing the part of John K Clark of yesterday, and I
> am such a good actor I think I'm him. I am not in distress, I feel fine, so
> I see no reason to be unhappy if the same thing happens to me again
> tomorrow.

I would say that we could familiarize someone with all that is known about
Napoleon (which is far, far short of what the actual historical Napoleon 
knew about himself), then hypnotize this actor to believe that he is the
real Napoleon.  But then we would *not* have resurrected the real McCoy.

> And another thing, you lambasted me for saying the High Priest thought atoms
> were sacred, but in your above quotation you throw around the word
> "replaced" as if the meaning were obvious; but what is actually being
> "replaced"?

I meant it in the same way that reader's of a detective SF novel would take it:
You are replaced (even by your exact duplicate) if your historical collection
of atoms are physically seized and terminated, and replaced by something
or some one.  E.g., you might be replaced by a dog.  Where you and I agree
(and peculiarly, so many people do not due, I think to certain things they
learned before age 1 that they have not been able to overcome), that if you
(your present collection of atoms) are replaced in the sense that I just said
by an exact duplicate, then it does not matter.  I go further than you;  I
claim that if your present instance (i.e. collection of atoms) is replaced
by the John K. Clark of yesterday, and $10M is now in JC's bank account,
that this has been very good for JC, and for every near copy of JC (such
as the collection of atoms now reading this).

In order to define "replace" in the sense that everyone uses, I have had to
resort to language that including talk of atoms.  I hope that you read the
preceding paragraph carefully  enough to see that I am in *no* way
whatsoever attached to my atoms.  It is just to explain what "replaced"
means, as you requested.

Okay, now that you asked what I meant by "replaced", you offer your
own definition:

> What it means is that you got a bunch of atoms to interact in the same way
> as an original group of atoms,

same atoms

> and then you changed the organization of the
> original group of atoms (for example blowing up the original man with a
> stick of dynamite). You claim there has been a HUGE subjective difference
> (even though the person in question can detect no subjective difference!),
> but what has actually changed? We now use different atoms, that's it, atoms
> the Scientific method can find no difference in.

Of course, atoms are not the issue.  If Heartland thought they were, I would
not have lambasted you.  But I think that what you are saying here I addressed
with my Napoleon story above.  Or am I missing your point here?  To be
clear, again, not only do I not care if you replace me (I defined "replace" 
above) with other atoms having the same LeeCorbin pattern, I don't even
care much if you replace me with a frozen copy (of course made out of
different atoms) that you made yesterday, (for some reasonable monetary
reward, say, like a few extra days vacation or something).
> So don't tell me I'm being unfair to call it the sacred atoms theory.

I don't get it, John.  That guy has said over and over that the atoms are
not the problem, and I believe that because from your point of view and
mine his problems are much deeper and much worse.  *Even* if  the 
same atoms are kept, any cessation of process is equal to death to him.
The atoms thing seems to me to be a red-herring.  Suppose that we
(you, Stathis, Eugen, etc.) prevail by some miracle, and he starts to see
that live/dead is not quite black and white, and so he allows an itty bitty
amount of freezing or halting of his instance.  That is, he concedes that he
can be interrupted and then resume living.  If we ever get him to *that*
point, then we can discuss swapping in new atoms on him and see how
it grabs him.


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