Re: [sl4] In praise of the sacrosante Original(TM)

From: Bryan Bishop (
Date: Tue Mar 03 2009 - 10:12:58 MST

On Tue, Mar 3, 2009 at 10:50 AM, John K Clark wrote:
> On Tue, 3 Mar 2009 "Stuart Armstrong" said:
>> if perfect copying or uploading was around, this is correct.
>> But until that happens, we must obsses about the original!
> So you obsess over perfection, fine, but do you obsess over The High
> Holy Original as He is now or after He has had a sip of coffee? Do you
> obsess about how The Holy One is now or how He was a tenth of a
> femtosecond ago, or how He will be a tenth of a femtosecond from now? If
> you won’t or can’t answer the above questions then at least answer this
> one: The original what?

Some people are naturally obsessive. What can we give them instead to
obsess over while various technologies are being built? Instead of
wrong things, instead of unconfirmed biases and weird folk tales?

> There can only be one answer, atoms. So you must also obsess about all
> those sacrosanct little atoms you pissed down the toilet over the years
> since you were born.

Well, not necessarily just the atoms, but also the state space, which
to some extent is unretrievable, i.e. see Boltzmann, thermodynamics
and so on.

>> we know the original is human/ourselves/a moral agent
> We know the same thing about the copy. As a matter of fact you are a
> copy, you’re not even “the” copy. I replaced you last night while you
> were sleeping; I knew you wouldn’t mind.

You knew I wouldn't what?

- Bryan
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