X-Message-Number: 25320
Date: Tue, 14 Dec 2004 09:34:03 EST
Subject: coadjunate minds

Scott Badger added more discussion of split brains and possible  
implications. This is just a part of the general problem of coadjunate  minds.
When RBR talks about one mind or one QE per brain, perhaps he means  this as 
an approximation or simplification, or possibly he just hasn't thought  much 

about other possibilities. There are indeed other possibilities, although  they
do not necessarily invalidate RBR's main views.
Brains are very complicated, one of the complications being that, as pretty  
clearly established, one brain can contain more than one persona or  

personality;  also, elements within a persona can be at variance or even  
Lorenz spoke of the contentious "parliament of instincts"  governing our 
actions and perhaps also our feelings. 
We don't yet know the anatomy/physiology of the self circuit or of qualia,  
or of their distribution in the landscape of the brain, or their hardiness or  
frailty, durability or transience. There is nothing in principle preventing a  
single skull from containing more than one "person," but we are probably  
justified in ascribing, as default, one (primary) person per skull.
It's tricky, because a "person" viewed from the outside might be a label  

given just to a bundle of habits or responses, whereas the bundle of responses
does not define you. It is even possible that, given blockages in the nervous  
system, your subjective life might have little to do with your external  
responses, conveying a very false impression to the laboratory observer.
Further, there are suggestions in current theory, or current speculation,  
that there could be physical links between widely separated systems. Current  
theory also suggests that counterfactuals--things that don't or didn't  

happen--can have physical effects on things that do or will happen. All this  
suggests a possible vague validity to the old Oriental notion of  "sharing" 
selves among different people, that you live in me and I live in you.  Someone 
else's subjective state could conceivably have a physical connection to  

yours. But of course any conclusions at all here would be grotesquely  
The main thrust of recent postings has been survival criteria, and I  don't 
think anyone suggests that it would make sense to place your main bet on  
duplication or uploading.
Robert Ettinger 

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