[ExI] Let's play What If.

Alan Grimes agrimes at speakeasy.net
Tue Oct 26 14:07:48 UTC 2010

>> Lets say you went in for a non-destructive
>> uploading. Lets say that, to
>> your great surprise, you woke up in both situations
>> simultaneously. While retaining your original consciousness, you
>> also, at the same time,
>> and in the same way, experienced everything your
>> upload did (and vice
>> versa).

>> What say you to that?

> I'd say it's a very revealing question.  It might be
> worth pondering what this "you" that you are referring
> to, actually is.  The question implies that there is
> an immaterial being that is somehow connected to a
> brain, without there being any actual connection.


It merely implies that brains are capable of experiencing things,
something which cannot be denied.

> This dualistic view makes no sense to me. 

I'm a militant monist!
How dare you accuse me of dualistic thinking.
I'm less of a dualist than you are.

You believe in a new kind of dualism called pattern-brain duality. Part
of this post was engineered (at 2 AM no less) as a heat-seaking, high
velocity sniper round aimed precisely at the soft stinking core of mind

> In your scenario, it seems likely that two people, both you,
> would wake up in their respective situations and start
> to diverge.  At no point would there be any more
> communication between them than there is between any
> other two people, and certainly no shared consciousness.

Oh, but there must be! Uploading would be entirely without utilitarian
benefit without such a link! =P

Either the link exists or uploading is useless.

By arguing against the existence of the link, you are arguing against
uploading itself!

> The central point is this:
> There is no 'you', except for what your brain does.  

Correct, my brain.

> If you don't accept this, you are a dualist, and
> uploading is irrelevant to you.


I am so monistic that I have extreme doubts that your/my mind can be
separated from the brain no matter what you do because it's the
self-same thing. I might be forced to carry my brain around in a pitri
dish for the rest of eternity like Brain Guy on MST3k, but I'd be
willing to do so if it should prove necessary. =\

> If you do accept it, it logically follows that if you
> reproduce what your brain does exactly, there will be
> another, separate and complete 'you'.

Yes, separate.

> I know that the concept of 'two separate people, both
> you' is difficult for many people to grasp (probably
> due to lingering tendencies to think dualistically),
> but until it is grasped, there's no real point in
> discussing uploading. All that will happen is you'll
> get into an argument that can't be resolved.

Demonstrably. =\

So lets argue about who's the stinking soft-headed, mystical-thinking,
fact-ignoring, limp-wristed, lotus-eating dualist because he sure as
hell ain't me!

> I'm tempted to recommend that such people write out "I
> am what my brain does" 1000 times, in the hope that
> enlightenment will strike, but to be honest, I doubt
> it would work.

You forgot the second half of that:

"But what someone else's brain does is someone else".

Powers are not rights.

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