[extropy-chat] Identity and becoming a Great Old One

Russell Wallace russell.wallace at gmail.com
Thu Jan 26 19:14:26 UTC 2006

On 1/26/06, Jef Allbright <jef at jefallbright.net> wrote:
> While I subscribe to the pattern view of personal identity, I also
> recognize that the pattern is ever-changing and that the closer one looks,
> the more one finds that there is no discrete or continuous self to be
> preserved.  As we live, grow, and develop, we update and edit an ongoing
> narrative describing the Self to which we feel so attached.  This narrative
> is replete with gaps, errors, inaccuracies and fabrications, but to the
> subjective Self it is complete and true and the only point of view
> available.
> In my thinking on this and related topics, I have come to see to that to
> be consistent, all that  really matters to the Self at any given instant is
> that its current values are projected into the future.

Fair enough, so that's a (rather nicely described) counterexample to my
theory, a philosophy that subscribes to the pattern view yet does not regard
even a very large total change as suicide.

Hmm, and I'm inclined to agree with your last paragraph; how do I reconcile
that with my view that becoming a Great Old One would eliminate the self? (I
don't hold personal survival as the highest value, but I still place
significant value on it.)

I'm not sure of the answer to that; perhaps I'm skeptical about the
possibility of preserving my current values over a path involving very large
total change. Perhaps if and when it's shown to be possible, I may change my

- Russell
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