Re: Me, Myself, and I (was: Rationalizing Suffering)

From: Mark Waser (
Date: Thu Apr 03 2003 - 07:05:02 MST

I wrote:
> Suppose that for the ultimate in realism and to truly "live the game",
I've decided to accept the temporary blockage of all outside-game knowledge.
Until I "die" inside the game, I won't remember/know about anything outside
the game but once I "die", I will go on living my normal life outside the
game. Is this morally wrong (Assume that we're advanced enough that there
is no way in which in-game events can harm, much less traumatize, my
outside-game self)?

Eliezer replied:
> Yes, because "you" and "you with your memories elided" are *two different
people* - your future self is a different person, for purposes of volition,
than your past self. The past you that decided to have its memories elided
is not the you who suffers and says "Let me out!"

AHA! That's a pretty important distinction. I'm going to chew on that for
a while.

> But wouldn't you have decided to play Darwin or Gandhi rather than Mark

No, not really. I've had a good life, I've learned a lot, and who knows,
maybe something famous is coming up in my future. Would you have decided to
play Darwin or Gandhi instead of Eliezer (or do you expect to be famous for
your herioc efforts to bring on the singularity . . . . :-)? Besides,
maybe I have already played Darwin and Gandhi and many others and gotten
tired of the fame thing.

> If I could know this was a sim via a method of knowledge that definitely
discriminated between simulated Eliezers and planetary-evolved Eliezers, I
would behave very differently; I would start looking for a girlfriend, for

I'd strongly recommend that you start looking anyways. Being focused and
single-minded is not always the best way to solve a problem. Sometimes it
takes walking away and letting your subconscious chew on it for a while for
most effective action. You need to keep living life and staying in touch
with what you want to evolve. Tunnel vision is bad. Burnout is very, very

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