Re: Memory Merging Possible For Close Duplicates

From: Stuart Armstrong (
Date: Wed Mar 12 2008 - 06:14:01 MDT

> Anyway, I claim it isn't even *imaginable* how two truly separate
> people (on the usual meaning of words), e.g. William Shakespeare
> and Albert Einstein, could be merged, without, as you say, creating
> "massive psychological problems", or a completely confused brand
> new person.

Oh! A challenge! :-)

Let's take a year, to do it properly. Start with Einstein, and try and
add Shakespeare (a retired Shakespear back at Stradford-upon-Avon).
Every night we have our little mind-manipulator-o-matic, and change a
little bit of Einstein's mind. To keep it simple, let's assume Al is
aware we are doing this, and doesn't object (so won't get panicked
when he starts remembering queen elizabeth in 1938).

First, we add the instinctive memories; we add the memories of Will's
plays to the background of Al's mind. There must be some point in Al's
life in which he was an actor (maybe for a School production?); we
amplify that memory, maybe multiply it a bit, until Al has the skills
needed to be an actor. Then we add more of Will's skill set to Al.
Maybe build a small model of a theatre and of a street in old London,
so he can practice his new skills. In each case, we do it my taking a
memory of Einstein's and modifying it (there aren't so many
architypes, so this should be possible). A few examples:

- Everyone has a memory of being unaffected by some foul odour while
others were affected. Expand on that, make it more a part of Al's
being, until he can walk around old London with unblocked nose.

- Everyone has an experience of swallowing their pride and defering to
authority. Similarly, everyone has some basic social skills, and knows
you should somethimes keep quiet what you wanted to say. Build on both
these memories, until Al can accomplish the double-speak and deference
to authority that is needed in Elizabethan england. Since these are
very much in conflict with Al's personality, transmute his natural
urges to independent thought into writting plays. Make him think of
this as his "act of resistance" and he will accept the other
restrictions more.

In such a way, we can give Al most of Will's skill set. Now we can
start actually adding memories. Dribble them in, bit my bit, leaving
them in the background; the idea is that just as some people say "ah
yes, when I was young in Italy..." and have a seperate memory zone for
this, Al can now say "ah yes, when I was Shakespear in Old London..."

We then cross reference these memories with concepts. For example, the
word "fashion" should link immediately back to the Will memories,
while "quantum physics" should link to Al's. Concepts like "how the
universe works" should link to both. This will also allow us to cross
link both sets of memories; so that the subject can say: "Saw
Roosevelt at the theatre two years back; the place was quite regal,
but my little Globe had more character. It's a shame Roosevelt and the
Queen never met; they'd have got on quite well. As long as she took a
bath first, that is..."
One possible hook to help link these memories: I had a role-playing
phase in my callow youth, and have some memories of what happened to
my character. I can perfecty link those memories with those that
really happened to me. If I did so, and used the word "I" when
refering to my character, I could come up with sentences like the one
just above. Reinforcing this tendancy shouldn't be too hard.

There will be contradictions here, but people can live with
contradictions; more importantly, they can resolve them. During this
period, we encourage Al-Will to not too much conceptual thinking.

Then finally, when we have implanted all of Will's memories, we put
our subject on mind numbing drugs for the rest of the year, and put
him though a routine, dull, and boring existence. This allows us to
avoid the pitfalls of "who was I yesterday" and such things; before we
"wake him up", we can then fit both Al's and Will's memories into the
category "recent but not immediate past".

Lastly, the most important part: we wake up Al-Will, and have him
resolve his own contradictions. Since he lives in the modern era, and
knows about planes across the Atlantic, he will probably keep most of
the science in his world view; but it will be heavily laced with an
artistic outlook, an urge to put it all into words, and a host of
superstitions. Some aspects of Al will fade away; so will some aspects
of Will. Others will complement and reinforce each other. His vision
of his place in the world will be a fascinating thing to watch... I
would also like to see his politics!

Does this sound imaginable?

And if it is doable in the above sense, it's certainly also doable at
high speed and with a subject who doesn't agree to the process.


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