RE: Many Pasts? Not according to QM...

From: Hal Finney <>
Date: Thu, 9 Jun 2005 15:26:17 -0700 (PDT)

Brent Meeker wrote (accidentally offlist):
> >From: "Hal Finney" []
> >Copying is such a bonus that it swamps consideration of quality of life.
> >In a world where people have adapted to copying, they would work as
> >hard to make a copy as they would in our world to avoid dying (each one
> >changes measure by plus or minus 100%).
> I don't think so. If you (and your copies) 90yrs old and infirm, would you
> want to make another copy? Consider the alternative of making a clone of
> yourself. A clone would be young and have a full life ahead. So beyond some
> age you would probably prefer a clone to a copy. Then you can relate this to
> having children, since having a child is, biologically speaking, have half a
> clone. Do people work hard to have as many children as possible? No. The
> biological drive is to have sex - not children.

That makes sense, but it is consistent with what I wrote. I said that
a person would work as hard to make a copy as to avoid dying. You are
right that a 90 year old sick person might not care so much about having
a copy compared to other alternatives. But by the same token, he would
not care so much about dying either.

> One might suppose that a genetic disposition to have clones might spread and
> become dominant thru differential reproduction. And maybe it would in modern
> industrial society. But we know it didn't in the development of life on Earth.
> Sexual reproduction had the advantage.

I think if you look at percentage of Earth biomass you will find
that the majority is in simple, single-cell organisms which largely
reproduce asexually. In a way, large multi-cellular animals like us
represent an exotic and not very successful offshoot from the larger
portion of Earth biology. So perhaps sex is overrated in terms of its
reproductive advantages.

Hal Finney
Received on Thu Jun 09 2005 - 19:17:34 PDT

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