Re: Functionalism and People as Programs

From: rmiller <>
Date: Sat, 04 Jun 2005 00:02:45 -0500

At 10:58 PM 6/3/2005, you wrote:
>R. Miller writes (quoting Lee Corbin):
>>>If someone can teleport me back and forth from work to home, I'll
>>>be happy to go along even if 1 atom in every thousand cells of mine
>>>doesn't get copied.
>>Exposure to a nuclear detonation at 4000 yds typically kills about 1 in a
>>million cells. When that happens, you die. I would suggest that is a
>>bad metaphor.
>Losing one atom in every thousand cells is not the same as losing the cell
>itself. Cells are a constant work in progress. Bits fall off,
>transcription errors occur in the process of making proteins, radiation or
>noxious chemicals damage subcellular components, and so on. The machinery
>of the cell is constantly at work repairing all this damage. It is like a
>building project where the builders only just manage to keep up with the
>wreckers. Eventually, errors accumulate or the blueprints are corrupted
>and the cell dies. Taking the organism as a whole, the effect of all this
>activity is like the ship of Theseus: over time, even though it looks like
>the same organism, almost all the matter in it has been replaced.
>That's correct, of course. I'm finishing up a book on nuclear fallout,
>and most of my selves were obviously immersed in radiation issues rather
>than simple mathematics. Sorry.

Received on Sat Jun 04 2005 - 01:04:24 PDT

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