[extropy-chat] What should survive and why? (was Type vs. instance...)

Heartland velvethum at hotmail.com
Mon Apr 30 21:29:03 UTC 2007

> Well, not John Clark, IIRC, would go to the extreme that
> I, Robin Hanson, and many others would, namely, an
> instance of us would choose vaporization so that a recent
> duplicate frozen in the next room would get $10M, and
> we would be making that choice for *entirely* selfish
> reasons.

Frankly, that scares me, Lee. Please do not get offended by the analogy I'm about 
to make but I can't help but think that if we replace "$10M" with "opportunity to 
board alien spaceship hiding behind Hale-Bopp comet" the choice you would make, it 
seems to me, would be equally unwise as the choice made by 39 members of Heaven's 
Gate a decade ago.

> This is all philosophy. It's impractical.

It's all practical. Your decisions will be different depending on which philosophy 
you adopt.

> We should focus on what it
> is about us that we treasure.  None of us is really interested in how
> my bit string varies from moment to moment, or from year to year.
> We are interested in survival.

This *is* about survival. Why would I care at all about any of this if it wasn't 
about survival?

If you believe that preservation of memories = survival, and memories are nothing
but strings, why shouldn't you be interested in how a string varies from moment to
moment? How can you expect to know how to survive if you're not interested in 
necessary for survival? I don't get it, and I don't need to.

What I would like to learn from you, above all else, is why you think memories
should matter so much? There are so many other things you could be focused on
preserving into the future. Why memories, let alone your memories?


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