Re: [sl4] Uploading

From: Stuart Armstrong (
Date: Wed Dec 02 2009 - 12:47:31 MST

> As usual in these thought experiments you assume you are the original,
> but you must realize that both parties after the duplication would think
> they are the original and you would need EXTREMELY good evidence to
> convince one of them that they were wrong. And even then many just
> wouldn't believe it no matter what.

This assume perfect duplication, where both copy and original behave
in identical fashion. Agreed that in that situation, there's no way of
distinguishing them.

But we should still keep tabs on the original, in case there is an
unexpected divergence between the two (more than can be explained by
just different experiences, chaos and quantum fluctuations). If the
copy diverges from a simple continuation of the pre-copy life
experience, it means the copying procedure is flawed.

Just to pick on one small issue, I estimate there in no more than 1%
chance that quantum effects in the brain are fundamental to identity.
These quantum effects are impossible to duplicate. So if a seemingly
perfect copy's behaviour diverges too fast, I would say that I was
wrong, that these quantum effects were important after all, and that
the original is the true Stuart and the copy is a mutated Stuart. If
the mutated Stuart is still somewhat similar to me, he would agree
with that proposition.

In other words, the original does have a special status, until we
become certain that the copying procedure is near-perfect.

mutated Stuart

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