Robert J. Bradbury
bradbury at aeiveos.com
Sat Feb 28 12:59:20 UTC 2004
Ok, lets start over. If I recall this thread started
with the concept of moving someone backward in time.
I shifted it to examine the question of whether or not
one could recreate a person (this gets into the whole
Tipler resurrection perspective which I really don't
want to get into).
Let us change the terminology so we say there is a "Robert-O"
(original) that is the real me. Let us say that in the future
a combination of genetic records, lifestyle records,
autobiographies, diaries, etc. allow the partial recreation
of Robert-O. Let is call this "Robert-R".
The basic point I was trying to get at was how much
information does one need such that "Robert-R" is
functionally equivalent to "Robert-O".
So for example, I have met Amara only once in my life.
On the other hand I have met Spike many times. So Spike-R
has to be a bit more accurate than Amara-R for me to
say "Ok, that effectively is Spike". Spike-R has to
have a strange sense of humor, has to like working on
and riding motorcycles and be a very clever engineer.
Amara-R has to enjoy discussions about aspects of astronomy
and get really annoyed when the rockets her instruments are
on don't function properly. (There are obviously more
aspects of both Amara and Spike I'm leaving out to be brief.)
Now where this gets sticky is whether the Spike-R or the
Amara-R life vectors would be quite similar to the Spike-O
and Amara-O life vectors. The reason that I throw genes
into the mix is that without them I don't think you can
get the ...-R's close enough to the ...-O's to keep the
vectors on similar paths for very long.
The question in my mind *is not* whether Harvey-O would be
convinced that Harvey-R is identical. It is whether or
not I reading the extropians list or encountering you
in person would be able to distinguish between the -O and
the -R. And somewhat more importantly -- if Harvey-O
suddenly vanished from the face of the Earth could
Harvey-R effectively replace him? One doesn't have to
have the entire experiential memory of the -O. I do
not spend my time telling all of the stories of my days
in junior high school -- I can't even remember most of
my days in junior high school. So the question evolves
into whether "If it looks like a duck, walks like a
duck and quacks like a duck -- is it indeed (effectively)
It is my opinion that there may be enough information
about Robert-O around that Robert-R might be able to
function as an equivalent. Obviously one gets down
to various degrees of knowledge one has about a person.
The knowledge framework about me with respect to people
I grew up with (brothers, school friends, etc.) tends
to be very out of date. So they would be unable to
distinguish Robert-R from Robert-O provided most of
the personality traits are reasonably accurate. Most
extropians who read the list would know much more about
my current perspective than they would (and of course
such information would be available when producing
Why is this an interesting topic to discuss? Because
it relates to the question of "How much of a person
is required to really have that person?" which in turn
relates to how much oneself can be recovered after one
has a stroke or goes through cryonic suspension
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