X-Message-Number: 3712
Date: Fri, 20 Jan 1995 19:49:24 -0800
From: John K Clark <>
Subject: SCI.CRYONICS Uploading


"Bruce Zimov" <> Wrote: 
	>The copy, however similar, is just a brother.
I think our key disagreement is that you think we are an object,
I think we are a process. I can make an exact copy of a poem,
millions of copies of the poem may exist in the world but, they
are all the same poem. A concrete block can't be copied exactly
so it doesn't have this property thus it makes sense to talk
about two different concrete blocks. The fundamental question
you have to ask yourself is; are we (our subjective existence)
more like bricks or symphonies?  
		>>An outside observer might be able to
		>>distinguish between the things having the experience but 
		>>that is of no importance,it's subjective  feelings
		>>were interested in and want to survive. 
	>I'm glad you've finally abandoned the Turing test.
I haven't. In my thought experiment I just postulated that the
two would have the same subjective experience, in the real world
the only way to know if that was really true is to observe
behavior. The Turing test is not needed for our own
consciousness, we can detect it by direct experience, we only
need it when dealing with others. I never claimed it was
perfect but I do claim it's the best we have and almost 
certainly good enough. It had better be because we'll never find
a better one. 
		>>If two subjective simultaneous experiences are identical
		>>and running in parallel then there is only one subjective       
	>They are not numerically identical, if they are in 2 different
	>places at the same time
I'm glad you've finally embraced the Turing Test. Subjective
experience can indeed be deduced from observable characteristics
but the similarity in physical structure to our own  is a MUCH
better test of consciousness than similarity of position ; and
similarity in behavior is a MUCH better test than similarity of
physical structure. Consider a man awake and a hour latter in a
deep sleep or in a coma. One brain is conscious one is not, the
behavior of the man is radically different in the two cases, it
could hardly be more so, but the difference in physical
structure of the brain is tiny and very hard to find. Even the
experts haven't worked out all the details yet but a child can
tell if a man is conscious or not.
I don't know what you mean by " numerically identical". If the
subjective experience is different then you have two, if they are
identical then you have one. The number of brains involved and
their exact position is as relevant as the number of knee caps
involved and their exact position. 
	>and if they are experiencing anything  they will be
	>perspectively different.
Your assuming the brain is in the same location the eyes are, no
reason to think this must always be true. Your senses could be
in Paris and your brain in New York or in a place unknown to you.
	>Two hydrogen atoms one at A and one a B at the same time where
	>A and B are sufficiently distant in terms of space and          
	>time to not be  affected by the Uncertainty Principle
That won't help, there always subject to Quantum Physics and the
Uncertainty Principle. The key element of Richard Feynman's
quantum electrodynamics is that electrons are interchangeable.
When an electron moves from point A to point B it can take a
infinite number of paths through space and time to get there,
including backwards in time. Feynman's genius was in finding a
practical way to calculate the behavior of the electron by
adding together all the possible paths. This wouldn't work if
electrons could be differentiated, indeed, according to Feynman
the reason all electrons have exactly the same charge and mass
is that there is only one electron in the universe, it just
looks like more because it keeps zigzagging in space and time.
Atoms have no individuality, If they can't even give themselves
this property I don't see how they can give it to us. Also You
haven't explained how we remain the same person ( do we?) if our
atoms change constantly.

Your interesting speculation about the "subjective circuit"
gives me the courage to engage in some speculation of my own,
though I don't claim to have proof for any of it, I'm not even
sure I agree with it.
An early version of Microsoft Flight Simulator had a bug , if
you flew upside down and pushed the stick forward you would fall
up. Did the laws of Physics really change? Yes and no, it
depends on what level your talking about. To the objects in the
simulated world the laws of physics did indeed change, you can
make them anything you want. To the objects in our own world
nothing changes. Perhaps consciousness is like this. At the
level of  quantum jumps or neuron firing my mind is not real but
to another conscious being it is real because were both on the
same level. Our entire universe could be a simulation, the
strangeness in Quantum Mechanics could be the result of flaws or
lack of resolution in some vast cellular automation that we only
notice if we look too closely.  
In a similar way we could say that nothing means anything
without an interpretation. imagine a parallel world in which the
people use the same English words we do but they mean different
things, sky means dog, beauty means potato etc. In one such
world this post would mean a vigorous defense of deathism, in
another it would mean hard core pornography and in another it
would mean the operating instructions for a new type of can
opener. The words and the shape of the letters are the same in
all cases but they really don't mean anything, its just a bunch
of squiggles, until you use an interpretation, in this case the
rules of language. Change the interpretation and the meaning
changes.  Hans Moravec calls these ideas "Universal Realization"
and is currently writing a book about it. His main points: 

1) Anything can simulate anything.
2) A simulated object is a real object in it's own world.
3) Nothing means anything without an interpretation.
4) A thing can have more than one interpretation.
5) A mind is the one thing that has it's own self consistent
interpretation inherent within it; in fact that is the
definition of a mind (although you would still need an
interpretation to make contact with it).
Concerning #5, to communicate with another person the
interpretation is straightforward, if the person smiles he is
happy, if they make sounds with their mouth we find meaning in
them from the rules of grammar, but Moravec goes as far as to
say that a interpretation must exist that can find a mind even
in a rock. The reason we can't detect them is that were too
stupid. The interpretation is so hideously complex that as a
practical matter their workings are indistinguishable from
random thermal vibrations.

Minds in rocks? Well... maybe. 
				John K Clark              

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