At 11:23 PM 6/18/2005, George Levy wrote:
my thought question for the day: is the method of copying important?
Example #1: we start with a single marble, A. Then, we
magically create a copy, marble B--perfectly like marble B in every way.
. .that is, the atoms are configured similarly, the interaction
environment is the same--and they are indistinguishable from one another.
Example #2: we start with a single marble A. Then, instead of
magically creating a copy, we search the universe, Tegmarkian-style, and
locate a second marble, B that is perfectly equivalent to our original
I distinguish between two kinds of copying: physical copying and
Psychological indeterminacy support COMP and the associated experiments
between Brussels, Washington and Moscow and is not restricted by the
Quantum Non-Cloning Theorem. Psychological indeterminacy also raises the
question of how different should I be until I become someone else. How
big am "I"?
While my copy thought problem of mine was a lame attempt to drag Bohm into
the picture (hidden variables revealed as specific histories) , George
raises an interesting point re psychological copying. The behavioral
construct obviously changes with time, yet has a relatively static
core--that is, we tend to return to old habits and ways of doing
things. Given the dynamic nature of the system itself, based as it is upon
electrons traveling through neurons and across synapses--changing through
time, why should patterns persist at all? In other words, why shouldn't
we be reconstituted as someone completely different on a minute-by-minute
basis? What is the basis for the set of recurrent patterns that seem to
define the behavioral "set" over great periods of time? Obviously some of
it is defined by the way the circuitry is hard-wired, but even so, some
areas are occasionally "diked off" (to use a coding phrase) for years at a
time---only to recur later.
Approaching it from a slightly different angle, some pretty clever
experiments have shown that our behavior system is modular, or as Robert
Ornstein (Roots of Consciousness) suggested, we're composed of
sub-personalities that "wheel" around to the foreground as conditions
permit. It's why we can listen to a radio *and* think about a film we saw
a few weeks ago *as* we drive through heavy traffic on the way to
work. Hilgard suggested that the sub-personalities are corralled by the
"hidden observer" which takes on the "executive function" of deciding who
takes over and when---based, again, on conditions. My question has always
been--how much does the hidden observer actually "know" about the
environment(s) prior to making the decisions?
Additionally, I would imagine Stathis has quite a bit to say about this,
and of course, I'd appreciate his comments as well.