[ExI] Cryonics for uploaders discussion: Video

John Clark johnkclark at gmail.com
Tue Apr 10 16:29:41 UTC 2018

On Tue, Apr 10, 2018 at 9:16 AM, Re Rose <rocket at earthlight.com> wrote:

*> We all do seem to agree. If a perfect copy is made, the copy is a
> conscious mind and it IS the SAME mind.*

That's because mind is not a physical thing, mind is what a physical thing

> *> Continuity needs to be defined. *

Why not use the same sort of definition of continuity that mathematicians
use to define the continuity of a line? Consciousness is continuous if for
any conscious event and for every conscious interval greater than zero
there is another conscious event less than that interval away.

> *> I don't believe sleeping causes a discontinuity.*

Neither do I.

> * > I do believe reanimating a copy of the mind in another agent is a
> discontinuity. *

I’m not sure what you mean by "agent” but whatever it is if it is doing the
same thing that my brain is doing then we are of the same mind.

> *> I also believe reanimating the copy in the same body (for example,
> after a traumatic brain injury or other cause of significant neural
> information loss or derangement, with preservation of the underlying
> physical connectome or some significant portion of it) is an open question,
> my belief is that is a continuous experience, and the reanimation is the
> same individual. *

So you'd rather be reanimated in the same body even if it was a damaged
body and much of the information that was in your brain was missing than be
reanimated in a different body in perfect shape with all your memories
intact. Why? Do you believe the atoms in your body somehow have your name
scratched on them? I don’t because atoms constantly cycle in and out of our
bodies throughout life and because science can’t find any difference
between one carbon atom and another (if of course they are of the same

> *> what if we made 5 copies, or 8321 copies? Are they all you? *

If tomorrow 8321 copies of John Clark are made then tomorrow there will be
8321 copies of John Clark tomorrow. The answer to the other question
depends on the meaning of the personal pronoun “you”. In a world of Drexler
style Nanotechnology and people duplicating machines who exactly is this
mysterious Mr. You? If “you" means being exactly precisely identical
tomorrow as at this instant then none of the 8321 are Mr. You, but that
illustrates nothing. Forget people duplicators, people are always changing,
the “you” of yesterday is similar to but not identical to the “you” of
today, and yet if 8321 copies of me has been made then Mr. You has survived
for another day.

> *> I suggest we need new language to keep up with this new
> technology. Robin Hanson started this ball rolling with his "ems”. *

Yes, Robin was kind enough to mention me in the acknowledgements for the
book. I disagreed with Robin about one thing, if a em was created to
perform at particular task after that task was completed I don’t think the
em would cheerfully kill itself so the mighty “ORIGINAL" could benefit from
the fruits of its labor. I can’t figure out what’s so original about the
original, if you proved to me that I was a em and the original John Clark
now wanted me dead I wouldn’t kill myself, we may have been identical at
one time but we’ve diverged since then and I have hopes and ideas of my own
and if John Clark doesn’t like the fact that I didn’t kill myself John
Clark can lump it.

> * > I am saying they are free conscious agents that are NOT YOU. *

Capital letters will not make that personal pronoun unique in a world that
contains “you” duplicating machines.

> *> Even if they think they are, that's their error *

Your error is in thinking individuality can be defined by looking toward
the future but that is like pushing on a string, individuality is defined
by looking into the past. I remember that yesterday I and only I did this
and that, and the day before that I and only I did other things, but what
I’ll do tomorrow I don’t know, I might do nothing I might be dead. If I am
copied today tomorrow all 8321 John Clarks will say to themselves “I
remember that in the third grade I and only I did this and that” and all
8321 will be absolutely correct, that is indeed what they remember.

> *> because we don't have a concept yet for being a copy. *

I don’t see why we need such a concept.

> *> The are independent agents with your connectome, which will immediately
> diverge from your actual connectome *

Yes exactly, and that is why we don’t need "a concept for being a copy”. A
copy of me has just as much a right to call himself John Clark as I do.

> *> The essential concept I am trying to get across is that a copy of you,
> in another agent of any kind, will not be you. You will still be dead.*

Maybe John Clark died yesterday and today John Clark just thinks he’s still
alive, if true that would be wonderful news because it would mean death was
no big deal, in fact the word would be pretty much meaningless. But
unfortunately I don’t think that’s correct. I think death means having a
last thought, so if I think I’m dead I’m not dead because I’m still
thinking. Stanley Kubrick said The Shining was the most optimistic movie he
ever made because it was the only one that suggested death was not oblivion.

>  *> If the point of the copying process is so that your YOU has extended
> life, I think we should pay attention to this. *

And the best way to do that, in fact the only way to do that is by
preserving the information in the brain, the atoms themselves are
unimportant because atoms are generic.

> *> Remember, a copy will honestly believe its you - and everyone else who
> knows you, even your mother, will believe its you. *

And that my friend is good enough for me!!

> *> the only agent who will know for sure its not the original you is YOU. *

Where can I find this Mr. You, do you have his Email address I’d like to
drop him a line.

> *> I want to come back, me myself. A copy is a nice legacy, but I won't be
> in it.*

How could you tell if you were the copy or not? If I gave you proof that
you were a copy would there be a reason to be upset? I can’t think of one.

>  *> It will be some other Regina, and she will be very glad someone has
> developed the technology, but she and I will be different people. If we
> met, we would have different lives after the copy point. *

Yes, but both will always remember being the same person before the copy
point. And there is nothing unique about the copy point, even in everyday
life without people duplicating machines there are environmental factors
(some random some not) at every instant of our lives that push us around
and could lead us to entirely different fates.

> *> Please note I do not believe in all of Susan Greenfield's theories, but
> I do believe in neural hub assembly, which has been shown by others besides
> Greenfield both experimentally, and in theoretical calculations of spiking
> neural assemblies and other dynamic neural models. In any case, it was just
> meant as an example of levels of consciousness being linked to underlying
> physical neural phenomena.*

I don’t see how that is relevant. A neural assembly is a physical object
and so is a computer, if the atoms in them are organized correctly what
both those physical systems will be doing will be the same, both will be
doing mind.

 John K Clark
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