X-Message-Number: 25325
From: "marta sandberg" <>
Subject: The Importance of Being Continuous
Date: Wed, 15 Dec 2004 11:24:31 +0800

I have been  off  Cryonet for a few years (in fact, I decided to log off the 
Internet all together as it took up too much of my time), and it is 
interesting that almost the same argument on uploading and copying the 
brain/mind is still going on as when I last logged in.

If I remember correctly, the consensus then seemed to be that it probably 
was a personal matter if you thought you could survive uploading/re-booting 
but most people found continuity to be the single most important criteria.

This is tempered by the fact that we have developed a curious resistance 
towards temporary breaks in consciousness.  I m not only talking only about 
losing consciousness when you are hit on the head or during an operation 
when you are under anaesthesia, but also the daily switch-off when you go to 

One of the most telling story was a little mind game.  Imagine you are 
trapped in an alien spaceship.  In one corner is a sleeping beast that VERY 
SOON will wake up and devour you.  In the other corner is a 
duplication/teleportation machine.  When you step into this machine it will 
destroy the original and create two copies of you   one will safely be 
deposited back on Earth and the other will be dumped back on the spaceship 
(awaiting digestion by the space monster).  The question was:  If you 
stepped into the duplicator, would you feel YOU had survived  cause one of 
your copied selves was alive on Earth?

Lots of people had different answers, but the best solution (ie. the 
solution most people seemed to unite behind), was   I would try the machine, 
and then I d try it again and again and again . .  

The philosophy behind that answer is quite interesting (as well as showing a 
great deal of ingenuity and stubbornness).


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