X-Message-Number: 15032
From: "Eunice Corbin" <>
Subject: Re: CryoNet #15018 - #15026
Date: Sun, 26 Nov 2000 18:25:09 -0800

In #15020, Robert Ettinger writes

>[That discrete sets need "run time"] accords with intuition, but
>q.m. [quantum mechanics] is not intuitive. I think most scientists
>believe that q.m. does indeed imply discrete states, discrete in 
>time as well as otherwise.  If they are right, it is hard to see
>why "run time" has any relevance. 

It's not entirely clear to me that QM implies discrete states;
e.g., the Schroedinger equation uses t as a continuous parameter.
But even if it did, the question (in effect) posed, namely,
"why should a set of states have to be causally connected---that
is, why is it necessary that a set of quantum states be linked
together in a conventional process in order to have desireable
properties?"   might be asked of anything, not just computer
simulations.  Why indeed should a collection of atoms that make
up Professor Ettinger be conscious when (presumably) a set of
states not embodied in an active process would not be alive?

It's a hard question anyway, but IMO not one that uploaders need
consider more than average philosophers must.  Practically, we
simply must acknowledge that only active processes can feel, think,
and have inner lives.  Last week Robert Ettinger also asked some
extremely fine questions concerning exactly what is a simulation,
and I hope to get to them soon; I don't know if anyone has really
convincing answers about that, but it will be fun to poke around.

Lee Corbin

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