[ExI] Midazolam, Memory Erasure, and Identity

Lee Corbin lcorbin at rawbw.com
Sun Jul 15 04:37:28 UTC 2007

Stathis writes (but others please see important P.S. at bottom)

> On 25/06/07, Lee Corbin wrote:
>> [Stathis wrote]
>> > If I can overcome my fear of anticipating no successor experiences
>> > then I should (logically, I would argue) overcome my fear of death.
>> So just how upset, under midazolam, would you be?  Alas,
>> it's not something that one would get "used to"!   For the
>> very interesting reason that one would not recall the previous
>> instances of so being under the influence.
> I think you would get used to it, because you would remember agreeing
> to have the dose and then finding yourself somewhere else a while
> later (usually waking up, at the doses that cause complete amnesia)
> with no recollection of the intervening period. You could go through
> this many times, and in fact some patients do, and stop worrying about
> it. This means that you can arrive at a state of mind whereby you can
> accept that you-thinking-this can anticipate no future experiences.

That's very interesting:  so patients *are* able to adjust to this.
But please note that this is a mild form of the real problem.
What if every time they were completely and totally under
the influence of midazolam, they learned a particularly horrifying
fact, such as that they had just a few months to live. They could
*not* get used to see.  (This may seem irrelevant right now, but
see below.)

> Now, given that you have arrived at such a position, why is it more
> "logical" to procede to the conclusion that this is OK as long as some
> near-copy (which you-thinking-this will never directly know) has
> future experiences, rather than the conclusion that death does not
> matter at all, or doesn't matter as long as someone else will be
> around to complete your projects?

I never said that "death doesn't matter".  You've been reading posts
from the non-believers!  :-)    Just a terminological quibble: we of the
true faith do not regard destruction of an instance to be anything like
*death*.  In the information/patternist view (see Mike Perry's book
Forever for All for the most complete description embraced by
many cryonicists (I say this for whoever else may be reading this
thread))  *death* occurs only upon irretrievable information loss.

What I meant to say (and was a bit clumsy about it) is that you
*never* get used to being an instance that is about to be disintegrated
(a point you probably already acknowledge, but this is what I meant

For example, suppose that teleportation became the norm, only
it was "teleportation with delay".  That is, the original lived on for
another sixty seconds while it was confirmed that his remote 
duplicate had been successfully incarnated.   He would see his
newly created duplicate over closed circuit TV alive and well
at the remote destination, and his remote duplicate would see

Now over time, the commuter who employed this teleportation
with delay would become completely accustomed to it working
just fine.  Each time he used it, he would appear at the destination
and see his original on the TV screen and wave.  But after a few
months of this, he would note the increasing astonishment apparent
on the original's face.  Why?  Because the original would have
remembered being on the *receiving* end numerous times, having
never experienced being on the to-be-disintegrated end. 

Even I would be astonished, I couldn't help it.  But *I* would not
be alarmed, just rather amused.  Because I have internalized that
tomorrow I will still wake up in the same bed, no matter what
trifling incidents happen to me today.   In fact, I would realize
that *I* was really there at the remote destination!  It would
simply be that the instance *here* was not collecting memories
of what was happening to me *there*.  Perfectly natural, given
the circumstances.


P.S. For the nth #!%!@$! time, if you despise the very
existence of threads that don't interest you, simply
*ignore* those discussions! Please don't issue fruitless
and petty complaints about the fact that some people
enjoy talking about things that you do not enjoy talking

If you do *not* have the self-discipline to refrain from
reading threads that disinterest you, then for God's
sake focus on the following: the very existence of
a variety of discussions encourages the perception that
the list is alive and well, and unconsciously persuades
people that numerous folks are attending to what they
have to say. So, from your point of view, boring threads
are not an unmitigated evil.

So PLEASE desist from nasty remarks and innuendos about
identity threads. If they're not relevant to uploading and 
transhumanism, then I don't know what is.

More information about the extropy-chat mailing list