From: fudley (email@example.com)
Date: Mon Oct 31 2005 - 08:09:03 MST
Phillip Huggan" firstname.lastname@example.org Wrote:
> Surely it can be appreciated that two atoms
> of hydrogen are not identical, even if they
> appear that way and even if our measuring
> tools cannot tell them apart.
Well, I would have thought that was a pretty damn good definition of
identical, but never mind. If the copy and the original are “different”
in the way you describe then there is absolutely no way of my knowing
which one I am, and thus absolutely no reason to care.
And by the way, don’t call me Shirley.
> Each atom maps a separate path in space-time.
You have no way of knowing even in principle if that is true or not. For
all you know the two atoms could be instantaneously and constantly
changing positions and there would be absolutely no change in you or me
or any conservable measuring instrument or anything else in the known
Or perhaps the two atoms (or trillions of atoms) have been cooled to a
millionth of a degree above Absolute Zero and formed a Bose-Einstein
condensate, a single particle with a single quantum wave function. Then
warm the condensate up again and two particles pop out, but it is
meaningless to talk about which is which.
> An upload diverges from the original as soon as
> it is created, even if we assume a perfect level
> of copying resolution.
That of course is quite true, but the phenomenon is not unique to
uploads. If I shoot a spit ball at you then you will be different a year
from now than if I had not, and probably much sooner than that.
If you told me you were going to make an exact copy of me and then
immediately destroy the original I wouldn’t be concerned, but if you
said there would be a delay of a second or two between the two events,
time enough to have a conscious thought, then I’d start to get worried
because death is having a last thought.
John K Clark
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