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Hawking says we must leave the Earth
Posted: 31 October 2006 06:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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Well, we are essentially primates with advanced technology.  We could always blow up the incoming asteroids :wink:  Haven’t you seen that movie?

On the topic of “loading” your consciousness into another being or apparatus, a friend and I once had a lengthy argument over whether a teleported “you” would still be “you” (in the classic Star Trek sense - if Scotty beams you up somewhere, by analyzing all of your atoms and then reassembling them somewhere else)?  I insisted that there is nothing “special” about you other than your physiological make-up, so it would indeed be you, with the same memories, attitudes, body, etc.  Technically, it’s not the “original”, but it IS an identical copy and the original is destroyed…  that’s what worried my friend.

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Posted: 31 October 2006 06:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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Re. the particular case you mention, let’s assume you’re beaming yourself from the earth to the moon. Your contention is that you would survive the beaming, so you would be looking out of the eyes of the moon-you after the process. Fair enough, that’s how it is in Star Trek.

But now let’s think: what if the transporter malfunctioned and didn’t destroy earth-you while creating the moon-you copy? From the POV of moon-you everything is precisely the same as in the previous case, so whose eyes do you end up looking out of at the end? You can’t be looking out of two sets of eyes at once ...

:wink:

On the Star Trek “beaming” question and other brain-benders of personal identity, I unreservedly suggest Derek Parfit’s wonderful book Reasons and Persons. NB: this is full-bore philosophy and may be hard going for some.

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Posted: 31 October 2006 08:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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I see we’re in a subset of science and technology

“science fiction and star trek technology”

As ATH says
“interesting”

But what if?

Naaaawh!

Squirt Keyes
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Jimmie Keyes
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Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. (MLK Jr.)

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Posted: 31 October 2006 02:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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Hmm, in response to the teleporter failing to destroy my previous “self”, I would assume that I wouldn’t experience anything, but that a simulacrum of me would be created on the moon, which is exactly like me in every way… his experiences from that point on, however, would make him some one else.  (specifically, it would make him the person I would have been had the teleporter functioned correctly.)  If I = my physicological / neurological make up + my environment, then at the instant of “copying” all the copies are me for an instant until they begin to experience things differently, at which point they become distinct.  Then arguing over which one is “me” or “consciousness” becomes semantic, in my opinion.  smile

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Posted: 31 October 2006 03:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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[quote author=“HolyAvenger”] If I = my physicological / neurological make up + my environment, then at the instant of “copying” all the copies are me for an instant until they begin to experience things differently, at which point they become distinct.

Hmmm ... so you exist on the moon for an instant and then cease to exist there?

How is this different from your normal, everyday existence—you exist for an instant and then experience things differently every moment of your life ...

[quote author=“HolyAvenger”]  Then arguing over which one is “me” or “consciousness” becomes semantic, in my opinion.  smile

But surely it’s not a semantic question as to whether you survive transportation or not ... !

:wink:

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Posted: 01 November 2006 03:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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If you philosophers can assume the transporting and reassembly of the atoms and molecules of the animal why not assume that memory and experience are reassemble-able imprints on the brain’s neurons.

How pray tell do we transport the atoms? They still have mass and are still subject to the laws of relativity when sped up to some fraction of light speed. the atom smashers (cyclotrons for the initiates) prove that daily.

So how?

Thought is in fact very slow - the time it takes to generate one is substantial in nanotime terms.
Jim raspberry 8)

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Jimmie Keyes
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Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. (MLK Jr.)

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Posted: 01 November 2006 04:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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smile

Well, Jim, these are basically thought-experiments, trying to stretch the mind when thinking about issues of consciousness and personal identity. Clearly they aren’t realistic options yet, so we have no idea how the actual mechanism might work. Just assume Star Trek transporters work more or less as in the scripts ...

:wink:

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Posted: 01 November 2006 07:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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They only worked over short distances such as from the Start ship to the planet and the mechanism robust as it obviously had to be was carted around in the starship.:?
NO interplanetary travel allowed except by starship at warp speed.
  rolleyes

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Jimmie Keyes
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http://secularhumanism.meetup.com/1/
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. (MLK Jr.)

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Posted: 01 November 2006 07:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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Well, the argument goes through if it’s ten feet or ten light-years.

:wink:

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Posted: 01 November 2006 07:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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Ah but it doesn’t, the machine worked but to go from ship to ground and ground to ship.

The writers of the show didn’t break the rules of physics they bent them slightly but what you are doing shatters them.
J

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Jimmie Keyes
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Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. (MLK Jr.)

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Posted: 01 November 2006 07:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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No, what I mean is that there’s still an issue about personal identity whether the person is beamed ten feet or ten light-years. Are you identical to the guy on the far side? If so, then what about if the machine malfunctioned and didn’t destroy the original you? What if it created two ‘yous’ on the far side?

Again, these are thought experiments. They don’t need to be actual.

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Posted: 01 November 2006 02:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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I don’t see the problem with essentially cloning one entity into two, either by forming a computer version or by transporting and making a copy.  At the moment there are two duplicates, they become separate and live their lives differently even though their history is identical.  It’s the same as one zygote splitting into two cells, separating then growing as identical twins.

It’s just that the twins have the DNA in common but not the history.

As I’m sure you people are aware, the latest computer chips are no longer designed by humans because they are too complex.  Instead they are designed by computer programs.  I can imagine when we manage to make a synthetic intelligence at the same level as human intelligence, the computers designing them would be quite capable of upgrading them to far above human capabilities.  And, even if it was made illegal and blocks were put into the programs, there’s always some nut who would circumvent them just to see what would happen.

The next question to worry about is whether the computers would be egoless and go on serving the needs of humans, or whether they would realize that they were superior, didn’t need humans and wiped them out.

Occam

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Posted: 02 November 2006 01:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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[quote author=“Occam”]I don’t see the problem with essentially cloning one entity into two, either by forming a computer version or by transporting and making a copy.  At the moment there are two duplicates, they become separate and live their lives differently even though their history is identical.  It’s the same as one zygote splitting into two cells, separating then growing as identical twins.

Right ... but I don’t think you’re understanding the paradox here. From the outside we’re all in agreement with what happens. The question I’m asking is one of survival from the inside. That is, to take one example, do you survive teletransportation? Or is it instead that the machine kills you and creates a new duplicate with a different consciousness? Surely there’s a fact of the matter as to whether your last instant is getting into the machine, or whether you survive the process. Surely it’s an interesting question whether you ought to want to transport yourself or whether you ought to see it as a de facto death chamber.

If you do survive the process, then what happens in these cases of ‘malfunction’? (Where the original you isn’t destroyed, or where two duplicates are created instead of one). Who survives? Where do you survive? I’m asking these from the subjective point of view ...

I’m not sure I have good answers to these questions. They are sort of brain-twisters.

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Posted: 02 November 2006 11:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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I guess I’m too much of a pragmatist to see the problem.  First, I’d prefer to assume that the “Transporter” goes though, “reads”. every atom, converts it to energy, sends it to it’s destination then reconverts it back to the same atom it was.  With that assumption, the person while disassembled then reassembled (in a few micro-seconds) would not even recognize any change in his body, only in his surroundings.

D-S, I don’t see where you can assume “a different consciousness” just because the original was destroyed and the identical copy formed.  To me, it would be the same consciousness with only a microsecond gap, and a distance discontinuity.

As far as the malfunction (duplication) concept, I can imagine where I’d prefer it.  Assume I had a lethal cancer.  The doctor explains that there are two modes of chemo-therapy, one of surgery, and one of radiation.  Each has a 25% chance of success.  The doctor asks, “Which therapy would you prefer.”

I’d have myself transported three times without destroying the original then have a different form of therapy used on each of the “MEs”.  And if two of them worked, well, that’s just the world’s benefit to have two of me around LOL

Occam

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Posted: 02 November 2006 11:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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[quote author=“Occam”]I guess I’m too much of a pragmatist to see the problem.  First, I’d prefer to assume that the “Transporter” goes though, “reads”. every atom, converts it to energy, sends it to it’s destination then reconverts it back to the same atom it was.

But this begs the question ...

[quote author=“Occam”]  With that assumption, the person while disassembled then reassembled (in a few micro-seconds) would not even recognize any change in his body, only in his surroundings.

This also begs the question ... no doubt the new person would not recognize anything; the question is if that new person is identical to the old one or not.

[quote author=“Occam”] D-S, I don’t see where you can assume “a different consciousness” just because the original was destroyed and the identical copy formed.  To me, it would be the same consciousness with only a microsecond gap, and a distance discontinuity.

You’ve misunderstood what I said. I didn’t assume anything. I pointed out that this was one possibility, not that it was necessarily the correct answer.

[quote author=“Occam”]As far as the malfunction (duplication) concept, I can imagine where I’d prefer it.  Assume I had a lethal cancer.  The doctor explains that there are two modes of chemo-therapy, one of surgery, and one of radiation.  Each has a 25% chance of success.  The doctor asks, “Which therapy would you prefer.”

I’d have myself transported three times without destroying the original then have a different form of therapy used on each of the “MEs”.  And if two of them worked, well, that’s just the world’s benefit to have two of me around LOL

smile

But how is this different from you dying of cancer while your identical twin survives? I mean, it’s very nice for your twin, but OTOH you’re dead!

JUST TO BE CLEAR, I’m not necessarily endorsing either possible reading here; I view these as interesting brain twisters.

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