[ExI] Fwd: [tt] Identity thread again

Rafal Smigrodzki rafal.smigrodzki at gmail.com
Fri Apr 10 01:30:19 UTC 2015

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Rafal Smigrodzki <rafal.smigrodzki at gmail.com>
Date: Thu, Apr 9, 2015 at 9:29 PM
Subject: Re: [ExI] [tt] Identity thread again
To: John Clark <johnkclark at gmail.com>

On Wed, Apr 8, 2015 at 1:43 PM, John Clark <johnkclark at gmail.com> wrote:
> Maybe, but you know what, I really doubt it. People have been known to
> change their minds and for far less dramatic reasons than looking down into
> a molten sea of red hot lava. You really don't think you might have second
> thoughts about jumping in?

### No, if I know I am not going to die, since there are other selves
alive, and would not suffer (I am assuming a 300 ft plunge into molten
stone would make me insensate in a fraction of a second), I would jump. If
I know it must be done (for whatever abstruse reason this particular
thought experiment demands), it will be done.


> Not necessarily, not if the duplication were made in a symmetrical room,
> then one would remember that somebody that looked just like them suddenly
> appeared on their left, and the other would remember that somebody that
> looked just like them suddenly appeared on their right; and unless they had
> access to an objective video recording of the entire duplicating procedure
> which they're subjective memories could be compared with there would be no
> way for either of them to know which one was the original and which one was
> the copy. And given that they are identical there would be no reason to
> care. Would you then agree to flip a coin to decide which one jumps into
> the volcano and which one lives a long happy life?

### Obviously, yes.


> Suppose that  before the copy was made you knew that it was the original
> that would have to make the long climb up the mountain and jump into the
> volcano while the copy with a pretty girl at his side would watch your
> every step with binoculars, and then after you jumped in the copy would
> continues to live a long and happy life. Would that in anyway effect your
> decision to be duplicated?

### No. We already established that the death of one of myselves is
necessary, in this thought experiment, presumably to further some of my
aims, and indeed a long and happy life is one of them. So, knowing that my
fiery death allows the remaining selves to live long and happy life would
actually strengthen my resolve. Conversely, knowing that the remaining
selves would be miserable would make the undertaking doubtful.

> Under those circumstances I'd be willing to jump into the volcano too, but
> only if the backup was made so close to the time I hit the lava that I had
> no time to have a last thought. How long is that? A second or two. Having a
> last thought is the part of death that I personally don't like much, but
> there's no disputing matters of taste.

### Well, tastes differ. I would be perfectly OK with dying even if my copy
or copies carried only a small fraction of the data in my brain, as long as
they contained all the protected memories - a rather small collection of
defining moments and attitudes that I see as important for myself.


Rafal Smigrodzki, MD-PhD
Senior Scientist,
Gencia Corporation
706 B Forest St.

Charlottesville, VA 22903

tel: (434) 295-4800

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