X-Message-Number: 27648
Date: Wed, 22 Feb 2006 14:29:33 -0500
From: Robin Helweg-Larsen <>
Subject: Identity
References: <>

From the point of view of a truly unchanging entity, humans might seem very 
bizarre: a baby is identifiably part of its mother (as opposed to part of a 
different mother), from the time the mother's ovaries began to form in the 
previous link in the generational chain, right through until the child is grown 
and the mother dies - as though the child is a snake that has just sloughed its 

With a long enough time perspective, all humans might appear to be a single 
entity, one that just keeps splintering into more and more pieces.  Indeed, all 
life might appear to be one entity, with the planet as a fruit holding 
uncountably many seeds which are all (from an unchanging entity's point of view)
identical (or some similar word) with their common origin.

But so what?  Everyone is just responsible for the bit they have memory and a 
sense of identity for.  Twins are not each other, clones are not each other, 
uploads and downloads and divisions and reproductions are not each other; each 
is whatever it controls from the inside.

Robin HL

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