X-Message-Number: 13697
Date: Wed, 10 May 2000 07:52:27 -0600
From: Fred Chamberlain <>
Subject: Can I kill the original? (Response)

>From: "Fred Chamberlain" <>
>References: <>
>Subject: Re: Can I kill the original?

Answering Scott Badger's comment on John Grigg's (below):

>>John Grigg wrote:
>>The question is, will science one day be so advanced that they can upload my
>>we want ourselves.  And we don't want to chance getting a copy(while we are
>>dead) that actually thinks it's us!  I envision some sort of super-advanced
>>_Star Trek_ style "transporter beam" that transfers me into the new form,
>>and can even return me to my old one, and without any loss of information,
>>energy or matter.  Will that ever be possible?

>The transporter doesn't solve the problem.  The way I view it, every time
>someone transports, they are killed at the point that they are disassembled.
>An exact copy is apparently created somewhere else.  Since it behaves
>exactly like the original, no one else is alarmed and since the original is
>dead, there's no one to complain.  Kirk died a thousand deaths.
>But if we stay in our original form to avoid the copy dilemma, how long
>could we survive with our organic brains? How far could we really evolve? As
>has been mentioned by Fred C., we'd soon fall far behind those who do
>upload. I don't know the solution.  Wish I did though.
>Scott Badger


With the passage of every moment, astronomical numbers of synaptic states are
modified, by natural processes obeying the laws of causality.  We experience
this as consciousness, but in effect we are a dynamic process, which is only
arrested if we are obliterated or if these processes are brought to a pause by
solid state hypothermia (Alcor's original name was the "Alcor Society for
State Hypothermia", when it was incorporated in 1972.)

If a copy of one of us were made and then placed in "run" five minutes from
now, that copy would be more the "who we were" at the moment of copy, than the
modified version.  Which is "you"?

We take death badly because it amounts to a cessation of "who we are" on an
absolute basis, barring some mechanism of identity survival which has not yet
been agreed to exist by the world of science.  In our struggle to circumvent
death, we become very different people than we were when we first entertained
the notion that such circumventing might be possible.  We accept a future in
which we may change so much that we may relate to who we are now no more than
we now relate to the shred of tissue from which we sprang, a few days after
conception.  Yet, that shred of tissue could have become an identical twin
whom we might feel more commonality than any other blood relative we have,
given the time to get to know that person and share experiences with him or

Identity will take on new dimensions as we virtually evolve ourselves in a
multitude of directions.  Transhumanism will not merely be a coordinated
upgrading of all of us in a uniform manner.  It will be an explosion of
variation which will dwarf the scope of biological evolution, both in
and in rapidity of development.  This is going to be "speciation" on a cosmic

Kevin Brown, many years ago, wrote a thing about computer symbiotes which
stirred the imaginations of some, and the fears of others.  It is probably
for it to be republished, although Kevin says it still remains as one of
CryoNet's earliest archives.  All I recall at this moment was one response
which said, "Stay away from me with your scalpels and soldering irons; I'll
fight to the death!"  And as Scott Badger points out, death may be the
alternative, or a state of existence of such a low level by comparison that
those who evolve will appear to have become "advanced aliens".

As an afterthought, if you're not already planning to be at the Alcor
Conference this June, you might consider it.  A lot of talk about these things
will probably take place (see http://www.alcor.org/conf.htm).  Even more of
this kind of thinking may emerge at the upcoming Foresight Institute Senior
Associates meeting.  For more details on that, go to:

Spring Foresight/IMM Senior Associate Gathering 
May 19 evening - May 21, 2000 
Palo Alto, California 

Whatever you do, keep on walking and breathing.  Thinking's not a bad idea,

Boundless Life,

Fred Chamberlain, President/CEO ()
Alcor Life Extension Foundation
Non-profit cryonic suspension services since 1972.
7895 E. Acoma Dr., Suite 110, Scottsdale AZ 85260-6916
Phone (602) 922-9013  (800) 367-2228   FAX (602) 922-9027
 for general requests

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