From: Jacques Mallah <>
Date: Thu, 30 Aug 2001 14:41:55 -0400

>From: "Saibal Mitra" <>
>You wrote earlier that consciousness can't be transferred to a copy. But
>consciousness isn't transferred, the copies had the same consciousness
>already because they were identical.

    No, they weren't _identical_. They were different people, who happened
to have the same type of experiences and the same brain design.

>I would say: I exist because somewhere I am computed. You appear to say
>that (forgive me if I am wrong) I must identify myself with one
>computation. Even an identical computation performed somewhere else will
>have a different identity.

    Ok, although I would say to be more precise that you should identify
yourself with an implementation of a computation. A computation must be
performed (implemented) for it to give rise to consciousness.
    At this point I would like to reiterate something I have stated in the
past. We all agree, I think, that not all computations have the same
measure associated with them. But what you don't seem to realize is the
implication of that fact: the mere existance of the abstract computation is
not what is associated with measure of consciousness, so the number of
implementations must be what determines the measure.
    That's why "leaping" is a necessary part of the Fallacious Immortality
Nonsense (FIN). The mind must be associated with an implementation, and if
it termintates that measure then is said to (in effect) leap to the
remaining implementations. (Although, as I have also said, in that case the
remaining implemementations would really be of a different computation.)
    This also means that knowing the current situation would not be enough,
for one who believes the FIN, to in principle determine the measure
distribution either at that time or any time in the future. In other words,
the FIN requires mind-like hidden variables.

>the brain is constantly changing due to various processes. The typical
>timescales of these processes is about a millisecond.


>FIN thus predicts that I shouldn't find myself alive after a few

    I'm guessing here that you misunderstood what I meant by "FIN". By FIN
I mean that belief which some have called "QTI".
    So I guess you are attacking my position, but I don't see on what
grounds. Suppose that your current implementation is indeed localized in
time, and that at other moments you are considered to be a different person.
  (It's really just a matter a definition, especially if input is allowed.)
    So what? All that means is that the old "you" sees only that moment.
Now there is a new "you" seeing this moment. So if you want to just define
yourself to be a one-moment guy, then indeed you are no longer with the
living. By the same token, the would be a new guy in your body and
(hypothetically, not that you would) he'd be the one typing nonsense like
"I'm still here".

                         - - - - - - -
               Jacques Mallah (
         Physicist / Many Worlder / Devil's Advocate
"I know what no one else knows" - 'Runaway Train', Soul Asylum
         My URL:

Get your FREE download of MSN Explorer at
Received on Thu Aug 30 2001 - 11:43:17 PDT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Feb 16 2018 - 13:20:07 PST