Author Topic: Let me............... Tel-e-port you!  (Read 40281 times)

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Offline Topgun

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Re: The Earth is uninhabitable
Think of it this way, between the the day you were born and the day you turned seven, pretty, much all your cells have changed. of course you are the same person, but your body is completely different. id imagine transferring your brain would work similarly.

  

Offline General Battuta

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Re: The Earth is uninhabitable
Right. People get hung up on the idea of there being more than one of you, though. (Nobody was worried about the Cylons in BSG dying and being replaced by cheap copies!)

Another useful thought experiment: Imagine that a tiny machine is placed in your brain that will gradually replace each one of your nerve cells with a little mechanical device that does exactly the same thing in every way. Eventually, your whole brain has become CyberBrain. It happens neuron by neuron over a period of years. You will never notice a thing.

Now, imagine that, instead of replacing the original neurons, it builds new mechanical ones just alongside them...completely identical, firing in synchrony. At the end of the process, you've got a second brain inside your brain, working exactly like the first one. Well, which brain are you? Where has the Magical Fluid of TrashManNess gone?

In the first one we all agreed it was still in Brain A. In the second I think people would still want to think it was in the original...but there's no difference between the first scenario and the second except the destruction of the original cells. You simply have to agree that Brain B is just as valid a home to the Magical Fluid.

 

Offline TrashMan

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Re: The Earth is uninhabitable
You simply have to agree that Brain B is just as valid a home to the Magical Fluid.

No, I don't haev to agree with anything.

You are simply, completely, utterly, totally 1 billion percent wrong....and apparently you don't read anything I post. You yell apples,  I say oranges.

The perfection or validity of the copies is irrelevant. The exprience and POV is relevant. Bob1, Bob2, Bob3, Bob4 all have different points of view and are all separate entities - they all feel for themselves, see for themselves, experience only themselves and have their own sense of self.
It doesn't really matter which Bob you are - if you die, you don't continue to live trough another Bob. Period.
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Offline Mongoose

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Re: The Earth is uninhabitable
Aaaaand TrashMan misses the point yet again.

Unless TrashMan believes in the Precious Fluid of Trashmanness - i.e. he believes that there is a soul separate from the purely physical body - then he simply has nothing to worry about. So long as the brain is replicated in perfect detail, it must, by necessity, be him.
So if we do believe in the existence of a soul, we can keep worrying? :p

 

Offline General Battuta

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Re: The Earth is uninhabitable
You simply have to agree that Brain B is just as valid a home to the Magical Fluid.

No, I don't haev to agree with anything.

You are simply, completely, utterly, totally 1 billion percent wrong....and apparently you don't read anything I post. You yell apples,  I say oranges.

The perfection or validity of the copies is irrelevant. The exprience and POV is relevant. Bob1, Bob2, Bob3, Bob4 all have different points of view and are all separate entities - they all feel for themselves, see for themselves, experience only themselves and have their own sense of self.
It doesn't really matter which Bob you are - if you die, you don't continue to live trough another Bob. Period.

No, look, I see where you're missing it. It is a very simple, very seductive, and very understandable error. I am reading and understanding everything you said, because really, this is the objection everybody has.

Everything you said there is correct. If you go and get your brain scanned, you will sit down, get scanned, walk out, and not feel any different. If you're hit by a car, you're dead. Gone. You're utterly correct about that. You will not somehow wake up as your copy.

But that's assuming you stuck with Original-You POV.

Because it's just as valid to say that you sit down in that chair, get scanned, and wake up in a new body with the tragic news that Original You is dead.

"Wait!" you're saying. "That's not me. It's just, like, my twin. I am dead."

And you're right. The you that walked out the door is dead. But the you that was you up until the moment of the scan is still alive, completely continuous, in a new body.

At the moment of the scan, you forked. And one You is still alive. You're toitally right, the other one is dead and gone forever. But it wasn't the repository of some Special You Fluid that is now lost.

The mistake you're making is always taking the pessimistic fork. To work yourself out of it, try to think about it this way:

You are a brain. You are put in the Claw Machine. It does something very simple. It picks you up and moves you a few meters to the left. You're still the same person, right? TrashBrain? Good good. All you've done is moved, after all.

Now, you are put in the Blink Machine. It does the same thing, but way more high-tech. It scans you, dematerializes you, moves you a few meters to the left, and reconstructs you. But you're still the same person, right? You felt a weird blink, and technically you were dead for a few seconds, but all you've done is moved. Same as the Claw Machine.

Now, you are put in a faulty Blink Machine, Blink 2. It moves you via teleportation, just like the Blink Machine. But it leaves a copy of you back behind at the origin. "Whoa," you say, looking back with your brain eyes. "I've now got a twin. That's ****ing weird."

But you're still you, right? You've been moved. It's not your fault a copy got left behind at the origin.

That all makes sense, right? No problems there?

When I know you're with me I'll wrap it up.

As a metacommentary, I think part of the very reasonable trouble that TrashMan has with this is because people have this idea that there is a little them inside their brains which kind of sits back and watches. And if the brain was rebuilt as a perfect model right next to them, that couldn't be them, because the Little Man Inside My Head Who Is Me is still in their head, right? Not in this new model. But people need to remember that the Little Man is being transferred too.

It's really weird to think about. Clearly, if you get a copy made, and then you die in a fire, you're not waking up as the copy. You're just as dead as if you hadn't made the copy. But that's because you're past the fork. After you make that copy, you're on your own: you're a regular mortal. But all of you that was in existence up until the copy is going to be preserved and past on.

A HA PROFOUND MOMENT OF REALIZATION.

What TrashMan doesn't get, and what I think intrinsically terrifies all of us, is that we die every single moment of every single day. The person we were just a moment ago is irretrievably, intrinsically lost...unless, of course, he was backed up.

As soon as the scan finishes, as soon as you walk out of the room, you start dying again. And whatever comes back to life is going to be you from the moment of the scan. And that resurrected clone won't be you, you're sure, because you aren't just blinking at the moment the car hits and waking up in a new body, like the Cylons would.

We're not afraid of dying. We're afraid of discontinuity. And even though we die every moment of every die, we don't think we're dying, because we have continuity. That's why we're okay with having our brain pulled out and transferred into a new body. That's why we're okay with our brain being scanned and rematerialized in a new body, even though the original brain is being disintegrated.

And that's why we're not okay with our brain being scanned and remateralized in a new body if the original isn't destroyed. We believe there has to be one single cord of 'us' that flows continuously without branching...because if we believe that, then we don't have to face our continual, moment-to-moment extinction.

That's really rather profound. And beautiful. *sniff*

Of course, there's an easy way around this phobia, which I think most people (like Kosh) find totally acceptable. Even TrashMan probably wouldn't mind it. If you have awesome neural implants, and an awesome connection, just have yourself be scanned constantly. Maintain a real-time replica of your brain at an outboard location. If you die in your real body, you instantly 'snap over' to your backup, just as you were.

It preserves the illusion of continuity. It appeals to our own illusion that we haven't died a thousand times already.

To appeal to the nerd in you: we are fine with the Cylons dying and resurrecting in a new body. We believe it's the same person. But if that Cylon just downloaded without dying, and then there were two Caprica-Sixes, we would see them as two different people.

And yet the only difference between the two scenarios is that, in one, the original is destroyed.

Man, sometimes I ****ing impress myself.  :pimp:
« Last Edit: November 03, 2009, 01:22:21 pm by General Battuta »

 

Offline castor

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Re: The Earth is uninhabitable
While the view GB and The E are advocating is plausible in many ways, I feel I must still slightly side with TrashMan on this one :)

This analogy somewhat describes my problem:
Assume two CPUs, both running a process with the exact same code. If you stop one of the CPUs, the instance of the process there will die. While the other process still runs on the next CPU, its not the *same process*, it is another instance completely -- it has nothing to do with the other process that died, it just happens to be similar.

You may argue that if the processess are identical, it doesn't matter if one of them dies - it means nothing. Well maybe, but how does it apply to following?
In theory, there could already exist exact copies of us, in an almost identical parallel universe. Now assume we here get crushed by a meteor, and the folks in the other universe won't (the meteor missess slightly, the only difference between these two universes), would this make *us* any less dead?

 

Offline TrashMan

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Re: The Earth is uninhabitable
Aaaand...I simply don't agree.

Only one Point of view matters - the one of the Trasman (or Bob) trough whom eyes we're currently looking at.

Bob2 might be the same as Bob1, but if Bob1 is dead then Bob1 wouldn't give a f*** about that fact.
You can only be one person at a time.
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Offline The E

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Re: The Earth is uninhabitable
And then we come to one of the awesomer points. What if someone would develop a technique to merge an arbitrary number of uploads of the same person back into one? So that you would effectively exist as a swarm of you for a given time?
Let there be light
Let there be moon
Let there be stars and let there be you
Let there be monsters and let there be pain
Let us begin to feel again
--Devin Townsend, Genesis

 

Offline Turambar

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Re: The Earth is uninhabitable
And then we come to one of the awesomer points. What if someone would develop a technique to merge an arbitrary number of uploads of the same person back into one? So that you would effectively exist as a swarm of you for a given time?

That's how it works in Naruto
10:55:48   TurambarBlade: i've been selecting my generals based on how much i like their hats
10:55:55   HerraTohtori: me too!
10:56:01   HerraTohtori: :D

 

Offline General Battuta

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Re: The Earth is uninhabitable
Aaaand...I simply don't agree.

Only one Point of view matters - the one of the Trasman (or Bob) trough whom eyes we're currently looking at.

Bob2 might be the same as Bob1, but if Bob1 is dead then Bob1 wouldn't give a f*** about that fact.
You can only be one person at a time.

Ah, but you do agree. You're right that you can only be one person at a time, but that in no way disagrees with what I'm saying.

You agree that you're still the same person after being operated on by the Claw Machine.

You agree that you're still the same person after being operated on by the Blink Machine.

You agree that you're still the same person after being operated on by the broken Blink Machine.

Right?

(Basically, you just want a strategy whereby no version of you ever has to die, even though in fact versions of you die every second. What uploading offers is a strategy where at least one of you will live...which, ironically, is the same strategy we embrace every day, at least until we die. You would, ironically, prefer a copying process that destroyed the original to a copying process that left the original!)

While the view GB and The E are advocating is plausible in many ways, I feel I must still slightly side with TrashMan on this one :)

This analogy somewhat describes my problem:
Assume two CPUs, both running a process with the exact same code. If you stop one of the CPUs, the instance of the process there will die. While the other process still runs on the next CPU, its not the *same process*, it is another instance completely -- it has nothing to do with the other process that died, it just happens to be similar.

You may argue that if the processess are identical, it doesn't matter if one of them dies - it means nothing. Well maybe, but how does it apply to following?
In theory, there could already exist exact copies of us, in an almost identical parallel universe. Now assume we here get crushed by a meteor, and the folks in the other universe won't (the meteor missess slightly, the only difference between these two universes), would this make *us* any less dead?

And yet we do not object to transferring our process from one CPU to another, and we consider it the same process. That's all the copying process is. It's just for some reason people freak out when it leaves a duplicate behind (as here), but don't care if it destroys the original (a la teleportation.)

You're right, though; as I said in my last post, once you pass the moment of backup, you're two independent forks, and if one dies, the other one can't do anything for you. Go back to my last post for a deeper exploration of this.

Here's a good example for those of you who are still hung up (TrashMan, Castor, maybe Kosh.)

Which of these two narratives is what really happens from your point of view?

Quote
I walk in to the office. I sit down in the chair. They put the helmet on my head. The scan is over in the time it takes me to blink. I get up and walk outside. A car screeches down the pavement and hits me. I fade away into nothingness.

Quote
I walk in to the office. I sit down in the chair. They put the helmet on my head. I blink. When I wake up, I am in a different room. "What happened?" I ask. "Did it work?" They tell me that it worked flawlessly, but that my other fork was killed shortly after the scan. I shrug. Like a good TrashMan, I can only be one person at a time, so I don't care what happened to the copy.

There's the error TrashMan's almost managed to correct. You can see it in his last objection:

Only one Point of view matters - the one of the Trasman (or Bob) trough whom eyes we're currently looking at.

Bob2 might be the same as Bob1, but if Bob1 is dead then Bob1 wouldn't give a f*** about that fact.
You can only be one person at a time.

Exactly. And because in the fork you become Bob1 and Bob2, just as every minute of the day you transform from TrashManLastSecond to TrashManThisSecond, you, the 'copy', don't care what happens to the original!

All reference frames are equally valid. Like you said, we only care about the whose eyes we're currently looking through - so why should we privilege the viewpoint of those who die? Or of the copy who remains in the original chassis?

You're now multiple people. You're just hung up on the idea that only one of them can possess the Magical Fluid of Selfness.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2009, 03:49:39 pm by General Battuta »

 

Offline General Battuta

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Re: The Earth is uninhabitable
So, to sum up again, cause I know Trashman probably will skim all of that:

It's completely correct that Bob A and Bob B are now independent copies post-fork, and if one dies, the other can't do anything about it.

What's the problem with that? It doesn't change the fact that forking (or live-updating your backup, a la Cylon resurrection) allows immortality for you, the you you are right now, and not some weird copy of you.

 

Offline Ghostavo

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Re: The Earth is uninhabitable
I think the problem is that you use the word you in a completely different way that TrashMan (and I must add, myself) uses the word you.

Following a class-object interpretation, the copy is just that, a copy. A new object that has every attribute you have at that time. But you (TrashMan's use), your instance, is no more less prone to death than before. When you die, what will remain will be another instance of the class that is you (GB's use).

So while you may identify yourself as a class, some of us like to identify ourselves as an object, an instance. And seeing ourselves as an instance, to slowly replace ourselves makes much more sense, as it's this instance that is being transformed, attribute by attribute.
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Offline General Battuta

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Re: The Earth is uninhabitable
Nope, you're still missing it. You will remain the instance. No class business required.

Would you be cool with Cylon resurrection (you die, the snapshot of your last brainstate is transmitted to a new body, you wake up)? Is that still the same instance to you?

Go back and read the example about the Claw Machine and the Blink Machine. Should help get you going in the right direction. (This is some deeply counterintuitive stuff, so it takes a lot of thought.)

The direction I was going to take that was: if you're okay with the Claw Machine, you must be okay with the Blink Machine, since there's no physical difference. And if you're okay with the Blink Machine, you must be okay with the broken Blink Machine, since all it does is leave a copy behind; no functionality was removed as compared to the regular Blink Machine.

But we can arbitrarily label the original 'the copy'...or label the new one 'the copy'...and that makes you think, right?

Any copying system is also a teleport. We just assume the teleport's going to destroy the original. Yet for some reason we're cool with teleporting, but not with copying.

And that's because we're actually deeply afraid that there's some Vital Soul Essence that will only end up in one body.

But let's stick to an incremental approach here. Is everyone cool with Cylon resurrection, bearing in mind that we do the same thing all the time, only muuuuuuuuuuuch slower (the template is transmitted and rebuilt piece by piece instead of all at once)?
« Last Edit: November 03, 2009, 04:08:55 pm by General Battuta »

 

Offline Ghostavo

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Re: The Earth is uninhabitable
I'm not really sure what the Cylon resurrection entails, I've never seen much of BSG beyond season 1 I think.


Anyway, the original instance will not suddenly leap into the created instance's consciousness upon death. The minute the copy is created, the original and the copy slowly start to become different, in the same way twins become. Both have the original background the same, but the experience one has slowly makes them different.

If one instance dies, that instance dies. It doesn't become the other which seems is what you are inferring (whether you mean it or not, is another story). You view yourself as the collection of instances. We view ourselves as one of those instances.

Quote
Any copying system is also a teleport. We just assume the teleport's going to destroy the original. Yet for some reason we're cool with teleporting, but not with copying.

Not really, if our instance is being destroyed, we are not cool with teleport.


Quote
And that's because we're actually deeply afraid that there's some Vital Soul Essence that will only end up in one body.

It's not that we are afraid that there's some soul jar that can't be shared or whatever nonsense. The copying itself is not what we dislike. It's the idea we are being granted immortality through copying that we do not agree with, which comes from how we view ourselves.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2009, 04:15:20 pm by Ghostavo »
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Offline General Battuta

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Re: The Earth is uninhabitable
Anyway, the original instance will not suddenly leap into the created instance's consciousness upon death. The minute the copy is created, the original and the copy slowly start to become different, in the same way twins become. Both have the original background the same, but the experience one has slowly makes them different.


Please read the thread. I've explicitly dismantled this more than once now.

Here's a decent and fairly recent start.

In terms of the instance argument (which is a good one!), you're assuming that the guy who gets up and walks out of the lab is the Original Instance that you're so gosh-darned concerned for. But you have no reason to assume that. Why should he be treated as the original, instead of as the copy?

All the forks are going to believe they're the Original Instance. And all are equally and totally correct.

So, rereading that last post (I edited an explanation in at the end), are you cool with resurrecting Cylon-style (even knowing that agreeing will of course be a part of my devious plan to blow your mind)?
« Last Edit: November 03, 2009, 04:15:44 pm by General Battuta »

 

Offline Ghostavo

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Re: The Earth is uninhabitable
So let's replace copying with cloning, does that fit into your concept? After all, it IS you in a way.

Also, how many amoebas are there alive in your opinion?
« Last Edit: November 03, 2009, 04:24:42 pm by Ghostavo »
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Offline Mongoose

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Re: The Earth is uninhabitable
Battuta, the one real problem I have with the way you're phrasing the whole scenario is when you compare making a wholesale copy to the "dying" (as you put it) that occurs every day as our bodies replace little chunks of their constituent matter.  I think the latter far more closely resembles the classical paradox of the repaired boat (which may have a more formal title, but I don't know it).  In that tale, a sailor owns a wooden boat for many years and keeps it in tip-top shape, replacing every broken or damaged plank with fresh timber as soon as it's needed.  Over the course of time, there comes a day when the sailor has replaced every single last original piece of wood that the ship started with.  The question then becomes...is his boat really the same boat as the original?  Some would argue that it isn't, because it doesn't comprise any of the original physical material, but I'd be more inclined to say that it is, because of the continuity of form and usage throughout its lifetime.  In the same way, while our bodies may replace individual cells as they die, their consistent overall structure and purpose remains unchanged.  For that reason, I feel like it's rather a stretch to compare that process to something that would essentially involve constructing a new body completely from scratch at once.

Also, to throw a bit more of a monkey wrench into the proceedings, note that most of the neurons in the adult human brain do not ordinarily divide after maturity, so the idea of "replacement" isn't quite so strong in the critical area that we're all talking about.

(Note that I do completely understand your take on the copy idea as a whole; this is just a response to one small bit of phraseology.)

 

Offline General Battuta

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Re: The Earth is uninhabitable
It's called the Ship of Theseus.

Rian was challenging me on that too. "How is an instantaneous reconstruction the same as a gradual progressive reconstruction?"

Well, are you cool with a nanoswarm in your brain gradually replacing each neuron with an exactly functionally identical machine that'll last forever? This process will take ten years.

I imagine you are.

Now, how about ten minutes?

Ten seconds?

Instantaneously?

I imagine you can't find a timespan at which it would become problematic to you.

Now, imagine that the nanoswarm builds each neuron alongside the old ones, and that you then have a second identical brain.

Have you not just built Theseus' Second Ship? And is it not in every way identical to the first? If you were content to use it as a replacement, how is it any different from your own brain?
So let's replace copying with cloning, does that fit into your concept? After all, it IS you in a way.

Also, how many amoebas are there alive in your opinion?

Cloning is not at all similar, nor is the reproduction of amoebas. That's the coarse transmission of the biological specifications of the organism - like handing off the blueprints.

A true 'copy' would be a full-body snapshot of everything at once, including your brain state. Ironically, this snapshot is exactly what's passed on from moment to moment in your current self, even as individual atoms enter and leave.

That's why I say we die every moment. Your snapshot from five minutes back is as irretrievably lost to you as your other copy after a fork.

Really, the only difference between your day-to-day existence and the instantaneous construction of a copy, as in the teleport, is a spatial discontinuity. Yet I cannot imagine you feel that if you were suddenly moved ten feet to the left by an act of god, you would be a new person, and the old you would be dead.

Should I explain that last paragraph further?

(We're setting aside engineering difficulties here, mind.)
« Last Edit: November 03, 2009, 04:31:33 pm by General Battuta »

 

Offline General Battuta

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Re: The Earth is uninhabitable
Oh, also - posting this as separate in case you're drafting a post - I just want to ask.

Your reasoning seems to be 'we're not cool with the teleport if it destroys the instance'. Well, my whole point was that the teleport doesn't destroy the instance. It does nothing that doesn't happen to you all the time; it just happens a lot faster.

 

Offline Mongoose

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Re: The Earth is uninhabitable
Well, are you cool with a nanoswarm in your brain gradually replacing each neuron with an exactly functionally identical machine that'll last forever? This process will take ten years.

I imagine you are.
To be brutally honest, not really.  I have enough days where I feel like even the relatively limited number of years I've spent on this planet have given me all of the irritation I can bear, so spending an eternity dealing with its daily stupidities sounds like my idea of a living hell.  I suppose that sort of breaks down this whole concept as far as I'm individually concerned. :p