X-Message-Number: 14213
Date: Sun, 30 Jul 2000 15:43:24 -0500
From: david pizer <>
Subject: Pizer's Continuer replies to Perry's Memories

Pizer's continuer replies to Perry's memories :=) 

Or, A person is a Unique-Self-Aware-Continuing-Process, or USACP, or

>From: Mike Perry <>


>Suppose Dave, over a considerable period of time, and very gradually, with
>no sudden, mental jumps, you are changed into an exact replica of Greta
>Garbo at some specific point in her life.

This is impossible to do, to create an "exact" replica of someone else.
Greta Garbo lived in different time and space than I do.  

And it is also impossible for one Garbo continuer to be an "exact" replica
since the original Garbo had (was) the one and only

If you put someone else's memories into a different (second person), you
may have a replica but not an "exact" replica in the sense that the two are
the same one person.  It is impossible for two different continuers to be
the same exact person, because each one feels the memories (being similar
memories doesn't really matter) in two different places in space - in two
different brains.  

The best you can do is have two different continuers with the same memories
in each one.  It makes more sense to consider two people with the same
memories as just that - two different people each feeling similar memories,
than to think they are both the same person.

> She believes she is Greta Garbo,
>and that she has suddenly been transported somehow to the future, alive and
>well if a bit surprised, and she certainly never heard of this Pizer guy. Is
>this Dave Pizer?

The question is worded hard for me to understand so I will answer it in
this more comfortable way:  If the unique-self-aware-continuing-process
that is Pizer-Brain someday holds memories of being Greta Garbo, then in
that instance Pizer is still Pizer while thinking he is Garbo.

If anyone's memories show up in someone else's
unique-self-aware-continuing-process the continuer (USACP), and not the
other person's memories, is the self because it is the continuer that feels
the self-awareness and memories that is what a person is - not the memories
themself.  Memories alone can be non-living stuff just like the words on
this page are not me even though I can feel them as I write them. It is my
"feeling" the words and memories (and self awareness) that makes me me. In
other words, it does not matter what memories I am feeling, it is the
process of feeling them that makes me me.

 And even though the words on this page may survive me, unless my USACP
survives, I am doomed.

Memories that are NOT being felt in a self-aware way are NOT alive and NOT
a person.  A book of memories in NOT a person even if the book was complete
in holding every memory a person ever had. 

Even though the memories are secondary to the continuer's unique self
awareness, they may play some additional part in selfhood.  That question
is still up for grabs.

Then Mike said:

>Well, you are not self-aware while frozen solid.

There really is only one state a person can be in, but for explanation I
give 3 states a person can be thought of being in: alive, suspension, and
dead.  If you are frozen (and it works), you were in suspension.  

Actually one can argue that a person can only be in two states (alive or
suspension), because if someone is dead, then they don't exist.  Someone
that doesn't exist is not someone.

Suspension (if it had the possibility of working while you were in it) is a
form of being alive, so one can now argue that there is only one state a
person can be in = some form of alive.  Let's use the term "alive" for what
you and I are now, and "suspension alive" for frozen people (assuming that
cryonics is going to work and they got frozen in such a manner that they
can and will be reanimated someday). 

> Now, what if in the future
>you extracted all the memories, records, etc. pertaining to someone who died
>and was not frozen, but for which a DNA sample was obtainable. From the DNA
>you make a physical replica, and from the surviving information you
>reconstruct an approximaton of their personality, and write it into the
>newly-cloned brain. They wake up. They look and talk very much like they
>did. They certainly know their name, their former native language, basic
>facts about their friends and family, etc. They recognize faces of people
>they knew who are still around. Nobody would say that they have been
>perfectly restored, some shifting around must have occurred. But it will
>occur with someone with a severe head injury who eventually recovers speech
>and functioning. Are we to say that the reprogrammed clone "in no way
>(zero)" is a survival of the original person, while the head-injured person
>has survived, at least to some extent?

Yes.  I mean yes the reprogrammed clone in no way is a survival of the
original person.
Instead it is just what you said it was a reprogrammed clone - another
person, a different person with similar memories to another person.  Or, if
the original person were also alive along with a clone that contained their
memories, you would have two (different) persons with similar memroies.  

Think of them as: Two different unique-self-aware-continuing-processes,
each feeling and processing similar memories in each of their separate minds.

>What if I replace that with identical atoms. Is it still "you"?

No.  Not if you have interrupted the continous process. And each continuer
cannot contain the same atoms in the same space at the same time.



unique = only one can be in a certain space at any one time.

self-aware = feels self awareness and feels information through the senses.
 It "feels," and it can talk to itself and carry on (and is aware of) a
conversation with itself and/or with others.

continouing process = This process of feeling self awareness, and feeling
information through the senses is uninterrupted (freezing it and
reanimating the original continuer is not interruption - taking it all
apart all at once is).  You can't dissamble the atoms of it all at once and
construct a new one and say that the original has continued.

The type of continuing I am talking about is where something is 100%.  In
an instant a tiny change is made (a small amount of atoms exchanged) and at
the end of that instant the process is still 99.999999999999999999999999%
the same.  So we can say that the change was so slight that the orignal
unique, self-aware, continuing process is for all intent still 100% the
same, hence the same person survives the tiny change.  

In other words, the continuing process can make tiny incremental changes to
itself of the smallest amounts, say like exchanging a relatively small
amount of atoms from time to time while remaining the same continuer
through eternity (if we can make ourselves immortal).

Dave Pizer


Live long and prosper - Spock 

Live forever and succeed - Pizer

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