[ExI] SPOILERS for The Prestige Re: Favorite ~H+ Movies

Randall Randall randall at randallsquared.com
Tue Jun 26 04:49:48 UTC 2007

On Jun 25, 2007, at 8:55 PM, Mike Dougherty wrote:

> On 6/25/07, Randall Randall <randall at randallsquared.com> wrote:
 > > > John Clark wrote:
>>> The recent movie "The Prestige" had some very strong Transhuman
>>> content besides being the best film of any sort made in the last
>>> few years.
>> If by "Transhuman content" you mean "anti-transhuman content",
>> of the "trying to better yourself will surely end in ruin"
>> variety.
> I think it's more the "killing an exact clone of yourself" - are you
> still you, or is your "you" somehow diminished per the identity
> thread(s)  Instead of a physical copy as in Tesla's machine, the clone
> were your software running on another substrate, would you believe you
> had the right to terminate the copy if it were unclear who is the
> 'original'

But then, all copies of him end up dead.

While I differ with Clark (and you, I assume) about
the identity of the copies, I think the point of the
film was hubris, in the original Greek sense.  The
fellow with Tesla's copier had this completely
wonderful, amazing device, and chose to use it merely
to humiliate his rival, thus showing the audience
what a bad person he is, which is why people seem to
mostly agree that he "got what was comin' to him" at
the end when he was shot.  That movie was a tragedy,
not uplifting in any sense, that I could see, and
with its sole redeeming feature a techno-gadget that
didn't really make up for the rest.

> There's probably some sap in there too for the twins loving the same
> woman and her not knowing (much like those who are currently 'in love'
> with an other via avatar without knowledge of the human details behind
> the persona)

The twins loved different women, which is why each
woman thought "he" was cheating.

Randall Randall <randall at randallsquared.com>
"If we have matter duplicators, will each of us be a sovereign
  and possess a hydrogen bomb?" -- Jerry Pournelle

More information about the extropy-chat mailing list