X-Message-Number: 23868
Date: Mon, 12 Apr 2004 01:24:25 -0700
From: Mike Perry <>
Subject: Re: Pizer's UAS

These comments on David Pizer's posting #23851 will have to be brief 
because of time pressure (it's getting late!).

>1.  You can make something from nothing.

I think you meant to say, "You can't make something from nothing."

I have no quarrel with the basic contention that *something* must have 
always existed--at least it seems so (although it invokes a concept of 
time, and we can ask if "time" is even meaningful in the largest possible 
context, but I'll skip over that for now). I also agree we should be signed 
up for cryonic preservation and should work diligently in other ways toward 
immortalization, eventually perhaps including trying to alter the cosmos 
itself--no quarrel there.

I do take issue, however, with the idea that one is a "unique awareness 
center" and that personal experience data should be treated as incidental, 
rather like the books one might have in one's library. Based on this, one 
should have chosen the psychologists in my thought experiment the other 
day. "You" would survive, as long as only gradual changes were made over a 
period of time, no matter what the resulting being was like or thought 
he/she/it was, supposing, I suppose, that a few properties held such as 
basic intelligence and awareness. A being that retained your original 
memories, dispositions, etc. but was created suddenly from scratch, could 
never be "you" in the same sense, again according to this view. It isn't my 
view. The multiverse idea, which I take seriously, strongly hints that any 
"awareness center" is far from unique anyway. What you are is, I think, 
something that requires at least one awareness center somewhere for 
expression of consciousness. Yet it is also something that transcends any 
specific construct such as an awareness center. I have compared this notion 
of "person" with the idea of thinking of a book as a body of information 
rather than a specific copy of the book, and it is not a perfect analogy 
but does have some relevance. I think some object because a "body of 
information" is a static thing only and they think I am trying to argue 
that a person similarly is basically "static"--no, not at all. More another 

Best wishes and transcendently long life to all,
Mike Perry

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