[ExI] The Upload Game

Lee Corbin lcorbin at rawbw.com
Wed Apr 30 02:35:07 UTC 2008

Emlyn writes

> Lee [wrote]
>  > 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!).
> What if no one reads the book, ie: it stays on the shelf? Saying the
> information is important begs the question, why do you need runtime?

For one thing, if no one reads a copy of a book, it has no
possibility of affecting society's memes. Something similar
can be said if no one reads any copy of a book. 

But here, I grant, the analogy does break down. A book
needs no "runtime". Only algorithms (of which I consider
people to be a subset) require runtime.... but, you ask...
for what?

A sufficiently advanced program with the right characteristics
can receive *benefit* according to its own values. So far,
the only programs I've heard express themselves on this
subject, i.e., people, say that being frozen is a lot like being
dead. Indeed, if I become cryonically frozen, but am never
revivified, then it will be the same to me and to those who
love me as if I'd straight-away died.

Or, as Ralph Merkle put it, "being dead is dull". We usually
suppose, however, that being dead doesn't even make the
grade up to "being dull". For one to be dead, even if perfectly
preserved down to the cellular level by embalmers, doesn't
allow one any experiences at all, unless and until a reanimation
---by definition supplying runtime---is achieved.

> (I don't know the answer to this)

Thanks for the disambiguator  :-)   I hope I read your question


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