X-Message-Number: 3728
Date: Sun, 22 Jan 1995 21:28:29 -0800
From: John K Clark <>
Subject: SCI.CRYONICS Uploading


"Bruce Zimov" <>  Wrote :
		>Most of your points about interpretation are pretty old.
Yes, most good philosophy is.
		>the Quantum effects are not going to bail you out of the
		>logical problem  of identity. 
I don't think quantum effects have anything to do with identity
and I am sure they can't give individuality to atoms. The first
philosopher to examine the principle of "The Identity Of
Indiscernibles" was Leibniz 300 years ago. He said that if there
is no way to find a difference between two things then they are
identical and switching the position of the objects does not
change the physical state of the system. Until the 20th century
this idea had no observable consequences because nobody could
find two things exactly alike. Things changed dramatically when
it was discovered that  atoms have no scratches on them to tell
them apart. The foundation of modern physics is the idea of
Exchange Forces ,a direct consequence of The Identity Of
Indiscernibles. It has been confirmed experimentally many times
in many different ways, for instance, it correctly predicts that
all particles will fall into two categories. The wave shape of
two identical particles with integer spin ( like the photon)
will be an even  function , if the spin is non integer ( like
the electron) it will be an odd wave function. 

If you insist on giving individuality to quantum particles that have 
no internal structure you'd have to throw out most of the work done in
physics in the last 70 years, both theoretical and experimental. 
Trying to develop a theory of consciousness based on position is
a bad idea, so bad it's not even wrong. Where does consciousness
exist? Where does "red" exist or "fast" or the number "12"?
These questions have no answer because they make no sense.
		 >if we are only information then an external interpreter is
		 >required  to "read" the processes.
Not if Moravec is correct but I'm far from certain he is. I
always thought of the physical brain or it's logical equivalent
as the interpreter, still, it's an intriguing idea and I look
forward to reading his new book.
		>As for the Turing test, EEG tests can be more indicative of
		>conscious brain activity than behavior
I'm glad I'm living in this day and age, just 40 years ago,
before the invention of the EEG I would have no way of knowing
if my fellow man was conscious or not. They may have written,
acted and talked intelligently or even brilliantly but that's of
trivial importance telling me nothing of their internal
experience. Today I know other people are conscious, because
today I can look at squiggles on a graph. I think the best way
for us to understand each others philosophic ideas is to
exchange EEG's , that will work much better than language or
some  other behavior.
	       >I also think that EEG traces should be run on brains in
	       >cryonic suspension 
Why? We know what the result would be, a flat line. I hope your
not suggesting that a brain cooled to liquid nitrogen
temperatures is still conscious because that's loony.

I haven't read Parfit and if your quote is a good example  of
his writing I don't intent to start, but maybe he was just
having a bad day. This entire debate  is whether the subjective
experience (not my body or brain) of my Replica is "numerically"
Identical to my own or not. Parfit takes it as a given that
they are not and then  pretends he proved it. All he talks about
are objects, subjective  experience is not an objet thus I am
not an object. I don't care a hoot  in hell about objects.

- From Parfit  REASON AND PERSONS p.201:  

		>I and my Replica are qualitatively identical, or exactly
		>alike. But, we may not be numerically identical, or one 
		>and the same person.
Oh I see, we are  "identical"  and " exactly alike" but not the "same". 
	       >Similarly, two white billiard balls are not
	       >numerically but may be  qualitatively identical. 
If I give you one and it's impossible to tell even in theory
which is which then it's silly to worry that you might have
gotten the wrong one. 
	      >If I paint one of these balls red, it will not now be 
	      >qualitatively identical to itself yesterday.  But the red ball
	      >that I see now and the white ball that I painted red
	      >are numerically identical. They are one and the same ball.
And if every atom that was in the ball yesterday was replaced by
new ones,  as happens constantly  in our bodies, would it still
be the same ball ?
	     >We merely mean that this person's character has
	     >changed. This numerically identical person is now qualitatively
MERELY!!! The person's character is the only thing that's 
important. By "person" I mean subjective experience, Parfit
means a few hundred pounds of protoplasm. This quote convinces
me that his "numerical" identity  idea is a dead end and not a
useful concept.
			      John K Clark               

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