Re: Copying nonsense (was Re: [sl4] Uploading (was : goals of AI))

From: Stathis Papaioannou (
Date: Sun Dec 06 2009 - 17:42:29 MST

2009/12/7 John K Clark <>:
>> Even if some subjective experiences are highly similar to, and causally
>> computed from, other subjective experiences, they are not connected.
> So even if there is a connection (computation) between two things they
> are not connected. Huh?

They may be connected due to their subjective content, but not due to
the causal link. If two experiences S1 and S2 are generated by the one
computation but share no content (because the program deletes data
from the memory of the subject and inserts unrelated data in its
place) then there is no subjective connection between them. On the
other hand, if the two experiences are generated by unrelated
computations but just happen to share content, so that S2 remembers
being S1, then they are subjectively connected.

Essentially it is difficulty with this idea that leads people to
reject uploading, teleportation etc. They figure that only if the
thinking happens in the same head can you continue to be the same
person. But in fact the only reason to keep things in the same head is
that this is normally the only way to ensure that subjective
experiences keep happening, one after the other, with the right sort
of content. If this could be done in some other way then you would be
just as happy being you, remembering your past and looking forward to
more experiences in the future. It could be the case right now that
every second you experience is being computed on a different machine,
perhaps even causally disconnected machines. You would have no way of
knowing, and no reason to worry provided that future experiences keep

Stathis Papaioannou

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