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Are "you" still "you" if you have replaced all your parts?


By tovarichpeter   Follow   Sat, 17 Nov 2012, 1:27am PST   436 views   7 comments
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http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/technology/2012/11/ray_kurzweil_are_you_still_you_if_your_brain_is_enhanced_with_neural_implants.html

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New Renter   Mon, 3 Dec 2012, 1:20am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 1

An ancient question indeed

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ship_of_Theseus

Dan8267   Mon, 3 Dec 2012, 2:51am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 2

Whether or not the copy is destructive is irrelevant. You are constantly being altered. Your mind is like a stream. It's a different thing every millisecond, but functionally equivalent.

The fact is, you at this instant (T = n) are not the same person you are at this instant (T > n). You are mostly the same, but not completely. Every time a neural connection is changed, you are a slightly different person. Such differences are significant over time.

Rationally, it makes sense to value a perfect copy of yourself as much as the original whether that copy is made destructively or non-destructively.

Ideally, I'd like to make a purely digital copy of myself and download it to a more reliable piece of hardware. Then that copy can spawn numerous other copies, which act independently for a day. At the end of the day, the copies synch up with each other.

So, let's say the number of copies N = 100. There would be a hundred of me occupying different hardware platforms. At the beginning of the day, each copy is identical. Each copy experiences its own day, perhaps doing totally different things (one vacations, one works on project X, one works on project Y, one studies, etc.).

At the end of the day, a network synch is done so that each copy incorporates all the experiences of the others and the copies all become identical again. Each real time day results in N days of life experience. Having multiple copies also ensures a high degree of immortality. If a copy is destroyed at any time in the day, at most one person-day of life is lost. The consciousness continues.

Now that is the kind of immortality I look forward to. Come to think of it, the Geth from the Mass Effect series is the closest thing to this idea. I always did like the Geth.

curious2   Mon, 3 Dec 2012, 6:04am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 3

Dan8267 says

Rationally, it makes sense to value a perfect copy of yourself as much as the original whether that copy is made destructively or non-destructively.

The net values differ. Twins are genetic copies, but neither wants to be killed.

Also, over time, we accumulate radioactive particles. Very long term survival might require some way to clean out those particles.

lostand confused   Mon, 3 Dec 2012, 6:39am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 4

Are those plastic dolls that pass for celebrities these days still them after all their plastic surgery??

errc   Mon, 3 Dec 2012, 7:06am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike     Comment 5

This is exactly why I stopped having hand sex while watching gay porn. I didn't want all that wanking to rub off on me

Dan8267   Mon, 3 Dec 2012, 8:44am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 6

curious2 says

The net values differ. Twins are genetic copies, but neither wants to be killed.

Big difference between something being your genetic copy and something being a copy of your neural network (brain). One is a person, the other is just a chemical code for building a body and body parts.

curious2   Mon, 3 Dec 2012, 8:55am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 7

Dan8267 says

a copy of your neural network (brain).

A copy of your neural network would necessarily include your survival instinct. In Darwinian life, self-awareness is merely a strategy to increase survival, with the human cortex being a thin veneer stuck literally on top of the much deeper survival instinct.

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