X-Message-Number: 32874
Date: Sun, 26 Sep 2010 15:34:32 -0700
From: Edgar Swank - President <>
Subject: Uploading

I'm glad a discussion of uploading has started here.

Arcturus and David Pizer discuss the copy/original conundrum.

I think the problem is that our concept of self, "you" (actually "Me") 
is not sufficient to deal with the duplicate problem, which has not yet 
occurred in our millions of years of evolutionary experience. Actually 
both copies have an equally valid claim to be You, but neither actually 
is, since the two (or more) copies start to diverge immediately. The 
Star Trek transporter was designed to destroy the original as soon as 
the copy was reconstituted. On the few episodes where it didn't, there 
were a lot of problems. Duplicates may not be a problem if they are kept 
widely separated; like on different planets. Otherwise there will be 
problems, like who owns the originals bank account?

Faced with the situation of volunteering to be shot, unconcerned because 
the duplicate is supposed to be really me, I would object. But I might 
be willing to go into a "death chamber" with my duplicate, where by a 
random selection one of us is destroyed painlessly. A more troubling 
scenario is where I would authorize the creation of some number of 
duplicates, and sell them into slavery. From my point of view, I get a 
lot of cash for nothing. But the duplicates will not be happy at all. 
They might try to escape and seek revenge.

Arcturus also wants to be reconstituted in a body of some kind and 
compares living inside a computer to locked-in syndrome. But living in a 
sufficiently rich virtual reality would not be like that at all. One 
could have any kind of virtual body one wanted, including any super 
powers one might imagine. I don't see any problem moving from the 
virtual reality to an advanced android or cyborg body. But I expect most 
people would choose the virtual reality, at least most of the time. 
Maybe there might be a requirement to spend some minimum time in the 
real world earning money to pay for upkeep on the computer hardware for 
the virtual reality. But one could still earn a living in the virtual 
reality, if it had a communication link to the outside, by doing various 
kinds of consulting, writing stories, etc.

Edgar W. Swank   <>
President - American Cryonics Society

Rate This Message: http://www.cryonet.org/cgi-bin/rate.cgi?msg=32874