[ExI] [tt] Identity thread again

Anders Sandberg anders at aleph.se
Thu Apr 9 19:32:21 UTC 2015

John Clark <johnkclark at gmail.com> , 9/4/2015 6:18 PM:

On Wed, Apr 8, 2015  William Flynn Wallace <foozler83 at gmail.com> wrote:

> Is there now or will there ever be a perfect hard drive/storage device?  No.  Then, no perfect copy.  

If perfection is required then "you" become a completely different person every time "you" drink a cup of coffee and the entire idea of personal identity, as well as personal pronouns like "you", become meaningless. 

Bateson said "Information is the difference that makes the difference". A lot of questions about whether two things are the same can only be answered by looking at what makes a difference. 

Also, thanks to Shannon's work on coding theory, we know that information can be transmitted down noisy channels in ways that result in it having arbitrarily low probability of being distorted. We do not need perfect hard drives to make storage that doesn't lose a single bit over the history of the universe. RAID for the win. 

Anders Sandberg, Future of Humanity Institute Philosophy Faculty of Oxford University
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