Re: "SIMULATIONS: A Singularitarian Primer"

From: Gordon Worley (
Date: Sun Oct 07 2001 - 10:55:19 MDT

At 3:25 PM -0600 10/6/01, Mitch Howe wrote:
>Harking back to earlier discussions regarding the security of civilization
>in a simulation, another interesting line of thought concerns the idea of
>"backups" - identical copies of a citizen's mind, presumably for the
>purpose of redundancy in case of disaster. The logical counterpoint to this
>concept is that a duplicate of a mind would, unless exposed to the exact
>same environment, diverge from its original in memory and function. The
>backup would thus not be a backup at all, but a new and unique sentient. Of
>course, when discussing simulations it may be possible to exactly replicate
>the original's environment for the sake of the backup, but many would argue
>that these minds would still be different people that could not be ethically
>interchanged. This problem has very deep philosophical roots and may never
>be resolved even if the nature of consciousness is fully understood.

Maybe I'm missing something, but a backup, to me, is like freezing
the state of a mind at a certain point in time. Should the original
later die, the backup is started up at just as the original mind
existed at that pervious point in time. Thus, if I backup my mind at
t=5 and later die at t=7, I will have lost whatever happened during
the passing of those two time units, but will restart my mind as it
was at t=5 when I die at t=7. I like to think of it (further diving
into Unix Reality) as minds are in CVS and the latest version is
checked out into Sysop Space and being run. This allows a number of
nice things. For example, a mind could start a branch and if the
experiment that started that branch fails, revert to a previous mind
state (this allows a mind to try out what it's like to be evil and
then revert back later). Also, in the event that the checked out
version gets killed before being committed, the last version is just
checked out automatically and started up. Hmm, this sounds like the
start of another paper...

BTW, is there anywhere Online this paper is posted up besides the
archives of SL4. I'd like to be able to link whatever your latest
version is from the To Do List under a list of completed items (this
way we can see where we've been and how much as been accomplished
thus far).

Gordon Worley                     `When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty            said, `it means just what I choose                it to mean--neither more nor less.'
PGP:  0xBBD3B003                                  --Lewis Carroll

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