X-Message-Number: 16084
Date: Fri, 20 Apr 2001 21:59:29 -0700 (PDT)
From: Scott Badger <>
Subject: The Identity Issue ... Again

Hi gang,

I enjoy it when I see TV shows deal with the identity
issue.  Tonight I watched "Farscape" on the Sci-Fi
channel. One of the main charaters (Chrighton) was
"twin-ed" or "doubled". And the two versions ran into
each other at the end of the show, neither knowing
which was the original and which was the copy. Each of
them desired to know, however. So the final scene
showed the two playing the old child's game of rock,
paper, & scissors. But neither could win or lose
because they kept making the exact same choices. Both
would choose paper, then both would choose rock, then
both would choose paper ... and fade to credits ...

I've resolved this issue to my satisfaction for the
most part. 

Let's say that 24 hours from now, there will be a .01%
difference between the information pattern of me now
and the information pattern of me then. OK?

Now let's compare that to a situation in which a copy
of me is created and in 24 hours is found to be .01%
different from the original.

Is there is substantive difference between the copy
changing .01% and the original changing .01%? 

Only in the sense that they may diverge from the
original in different directions.

It's just a matter of time and space, isn't it? As
time passes, my brain alters its structure ... So from
one moment to the next, I'm a new person by just a
hair. The reason this is a conundrum for so many
people is because we are thinking in 3 dimensions.  We
are confined by our 3 dimensional existence. Imagine
for the moment that you can see into the past and into
the future just as easily as you can see in the 3
dimensional world we're used to.

If we could see through time as well as we see through
space it would be clear whether a future entity was
contiguous to a previous entity or whether it was a
splintering-off of the original. There would be no
need to play rock, paper, and scissors if we could see
through time. 

I am no more concerned about being copied (twin-ed or
doubled) and losing the original in the process than I
am waking up tomorrow from a deep sleep.

As the politicians might say ... 

It's the information, stupid.

I should mention that George Smith's attempt (#16051)
to resolve the identity issue is still off the mark,
IMO. He appears to have suggested that since an
initial version of you and a later version of you both
wish to avoid death then there is no substantive
difference between the two versions of you. We all
avoid death. That doesn't make us all the same. A copy
of me is going to be just as avoidant of death as I am
and yet one is the original and one is the copy. The
survival instict is not a suitable criterion to
resolve the identity issue, IMO.

Of course I could be wrong ... It is rather late and
I'm tired.

Best regards, 

Scott Badger

"Vita Perpetuem"

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