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

John K Clark jonkc at att.net
Mon Apr 30 16:15:22 UTC 2007

"Lee Corbin" <lcorbin at rawbw.com>

> 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.

A good thought experiment should only investigate one thing at a time or
things become too muddy to be useful. Up to now we have investigated a
perfect copy, or at least as perfect as Mr. Hinesburg allows. But now you
start talking about a crappy copy, a very crappy copy indeed. There are lots
of days the original Napoleon remembers being him that the crappy Napoleon
does not, in fact nearly all the days the original Napoleon remembers the
crappy copy does not. I don't recall if I specifically said that the copying
process must be done with some skill before I was comfortable with
it, but it was certainly implied; and although I agree that survival is not
an all or nothing matter this copy is so bad the survival value must be very
very very close to zero.

>>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 unlikely to be enlightened on the nature of identity by reading
detective novels.

> 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.

Read the above again, it says you are replaced if you are replaced. While I
certainly agree that is true I don't find it terribly useful.

> 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.

Huh? Then what are we arguing about?

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

"Replaced" means exchanging something with something different, exchanging
something with an exact copy means absolutely positively NOTHING has
happened. This is not empty rhetoric, it is the key idea behind "exchange
forces", one of the foundations of modern Physics.  For more Google
"Identity Of Indiscernibles" or "Leibniz".

> In order to define "replace" in the sense that everyone uses, I have had
> to resort to language that including talk of atoms.

In the macroscopic world we live in that has not yet developed
Nanotechnology we can afford to be fuzzy and cavalier in talking about
"replaced" because up to now nobody has seen 2 macroscopic objects that were
identical, but in the world of atoms you need to be much more careful
because atoms do not have scratches on them to tell one from the other.

> I don't get it, John.  That guy has said over and over that the atoms are
> not the problem

True, Heartland has said over and over that atoms are not the problem, and
he has said over and over that atoms are the problem. Then he took a
different tack and said the problem is discontinuity in the thought process;
but only objective discontinuity is important, the fact that it would be
imposable to subjectively detect this objective discontinuity is irrelevant
to subjectivity. Let me repeat that, according to Heartland subjective
experience is unimportant to subjectivity! And that my friend does not make
one tiny particle of sense.

> any cessation of process is equal to death to him.

And so going to the dentist is a death sentence to him.

> I can't find exactly what set me off

You said it on 4-28. Apparently what set you off was when I said:

" According to him the whole ball game is something that is imposable 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

  John K Clark

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