Re: [sl4] Uploads coming first would be good, right?

From: Charles Hixson (
Date: Wed Feb 04 2009 - 14:41:59 MST

OK. Let me try again in different words.
"Me" is those things I can exert control over. When I drive, the car is
a part of me. This is (more or less) confirmed by brain scans. When a
chimpanzee uses a tool, it sees that tool as a part of itself. In this
sense, my near future is also a part of me. I can control what's going
to happen (to some reasonable extent).

Mine is those things I claim the right to exert control over (to some
extent). (My wife would certainly question my right to exert very much
control. So would my dog, though to a lesser extent.)

Who I am is not an all-or-nothing kind of relation. My hand remains my
hand, even if I loose it in an accident. If I'm lucky and quick it can
be reattached.

Therefore, position the "transporter" as described, I (present) would
decline to use it because I don't want to be tortured to death. And, as
described, the I before transmission would, indeed, be tortured to
death, even though an I would survive that did not experience that. At
the time after the "transport" has occurred, the two entities have
become separate. They no longer experience each other as
indistinguishable. However, before the transport they were
indistinguishable, due to identity.

In the brain scans of animals (and to a much lesser extent of people)
tests show that during the use of a tool, the tool is considered a part
of the body. When you feel with a stick, you are feeling with the
stick, not with your fingers. Because that's how the brain records it.
At that point the stick is indistinguishable from you. When you drop
it, you also drop the connection. Then it is seen as separate.

There's nothing mysterious about it, though I may have explained things
poorly. It's a function of how and what the brain (i.e., the mind
operating within the brain) records the stimuli.

Vladimir Nesov wrote:
> On Wed, Feb 4, 2009 at 3:44 AM, Andrew Hay <> wrote:
>> "all sufficiently indistinguishable versions of myself are me" seems to be a
>> rather strong statement without the required strong evidence/reasoning
>> backing it up.
>> Not that I'm helping, because I don't know the answer. Perhaps it is a fault
>> at 'indistinguishable'? in any case, I can't be safe to assume that unless
>> we have a good understanding of what the meaning behind "me" is.
> Concepts are definitions, following regularities in the world, and
> humans assign (context-sensitive) instrumental utility to the concepts
> according to role of those regularities in overall structure of the
> world, from the contexts in which the concepts apply. When we are
> talking about "me", there is instrumental utility attached, and this
> instrumental utility won't translate well to different regularities,
> or to different contexts in which this regularity is placed. I say
> "instrumental" in the sense of being a component in representation of
> the utility over whole timelines, even though things marked
> instrumental this way may be seen as terminal values.
> One of the core properties of the concept "me" is that it's singular
> (at any time). When the concept changes to accommodate the possibility
> of multiple people, so should its instrumental utility. It doesn't
> follow that when there are multiple identical people, each of them is
> as valuable from your or anyone's perspective as the single original.
> Maybe so, maybe not, but no easy answer. We don't need the
> understanding of "me", "me" doesn't apply. We need the understanding
> of values, as applied to the discussed context.

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