[ExI] The Upload Game

ben benboc at lineone.net
Sun Apr 27 20:33:12 UTC 2008

Michael Miller wrote:

 > What criteria would be necessary to make uploading
 >  a "proven technology"? What experiments would have
 >  to be conducted in order to sufficiently convince you...

I don't know the answer to that.
I'm not entirely happy with Lee's answer, as it just demonstrates that 
the person or system has my memories.
Whether that means that they are an instance of 'me' or not, i don't 
know either.

 > What I mean is, while I can look at two books which are
 > identical and say "yes, they are the same thing" and this is
 > acceptable, I cannot point to something outside of my own
 > skin and say "that is myself"

So we have a situation where you would claim that a CD containing a 
digitised copy of 'The Tempest' and a silk scroll with a chinese 
translation written on it in ink were both 'the same thing'.

I'm not disagreeing, but i think perhaps we need different terminology. 
In ordinary language, it's obvious that these two are not the 'same 
thing'. We are just talking about the information content, but that's 
not clear from the phrase.

Lee said we need to be careful of saying that something happens in 'an 
instant', and i agree. What i meant was a perceptual instant, defined 
not by any particular interval of time, but by a perception. As soon as 
the two copies experience different things, they become different. (Of 
course, only by that much).

I said:
 > If the upload process had been destructive, then
 > > there would continue to be only one person.
 > > There can be no such thing as 'delayed destructive
 > > uploading'. Either the person is transferred from
 > > one substrate to another, or there is a
 > > copy made, and now there are two. The instant
 > > that their experiences differ, you have two distinct
 > > people,

Lee replied:
 > Not so. Everything about them is COMPLETELY
 > IDENTICAL.  From the point of view of physics,
 > just how can you say that there are now *two*
 > people?  As soon as a copy of a book is made,
 > are there now two books?  In the *important*
 > sense, there is just one book (the information is
 > what is important, not the substrate!).

Everything about them is completely identical for a tiny period of time, 
until their experiences differ. If an identical copy of a book is made, 
and then someone crosses a few words out and replaces them with new 
words in one copy, they are no longer identical. Now there ARE two 
books. My contention is that this would take such a short period of time 
after the copying process that it's impractical to talk about pointing 
guns at people etc. The only satisfactory 'one of you dies' scenario 
would be where the killing happened so quickly after the copying that 
the victim would have no chance to be aware of anything. Thus it would 
be equivalent to destructive uploading.

ben zaiboc

More information about the extropy-chat mailing list