Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
> Brent Meeker writes:
>  > > > I think Bruno already remarked that it may well be more probable 
> that
>  > > a continuation of your consciousness arises in some other branch of 
> the
>  > > multiverse "by chance", rather than as a state of "your" erstwhile 
> body.
>  > > This would seem particularly more probable as your consciousness
>  > > simplifies due to deterioration of your brain - how hard can it be to
>  > > find a continuation of a near coma. Perhaps this continuation is the
>  > > consciousness of a fish - and it's the Hindus rather than the 
> Bhuddists
>  > > who are right.
>  > >
>  > > Then we come up against the question of what we can expect to 
> experience
>  > > in the case of duplication with partial memory loss. For example, 
> if you
>  > > are duplicated 101 times such that one copy has 100% of your memories
>  > > while the other 100 copies each have 1% of your memories, does this 
> mean
>  > > that you have an even chance of ending up as either the 100% or the 1%
>  > > version of yourself? We need not invoke duplication experiments or the
>  > > MWI to ask this question either. Suppose there are a billion people in
>  > > the world each with 1/billion of my memories: does this mean I will 
> find
>  > > myself becoming one of these people either now or after I have died?
>  >
>  > As I understand it, Bruno's theory is that you are all the 
> "consistent continuations" of your consciousness. I'm not exactly sure 
> what constitutes a consistent continuation, but it must be something 
> other than just sharing memories. At any given time my consciousness is 
> accessing only a tiny fraction of my memories. Further I'm continually 
> forming and forgetting short-term memories as well as forgetting some 
> long-term memories.
>  >
>  > Basing identity on memory seems inconsistent with supposing that 
> identity is some property of consciousness alone. A digital computation 
> doesn't depend on memory/data that isn't accessed.
> Identity from moment to moment is not just memory, it is the entire 
> content of conscious experience, perhaps accessing at any one time only 
> a small portion of memory. It may be just a sense that I am the same 
> person continuing the same thought as I was a moment ago, or even less 
> than this when I am waking up from sleep, for example. At such 
> sufficiently vague moments, my consciousness may even be 
> indistinguishable with that of many other people in the world, such that 
> if I ceased to exist momentarily I would still experience continuity of 
> consciousness as if nothing had happened, piggy-backing on someone 
> else's thoughts: all equivalent observer moments are internally 
> indistinguishable, by definition. However, such a thing could only 
> happen momentarily, because very quickly I might reflect on my 
> situation, and it is here that having a store of memories, motivations, 
> personality style etc. instantly accessible (even if not continuously 
> accessed) makes me, me.

Yes I understand that you would eventually, say when waking from anesthesia, 
have some memories unique to Stathis Papaioannou.  But in the meantime I think 
you are still you - and not all those other people who shared those vague 
thoughts in the recovery room.  And it can't be because your memories are 
"instantly accessible"; that's a mere potentiality not a state.  If we start to 
reify potentialities in a multi-verse where we already have a white rabbit 
problem, we'll really be in trouble.

Brent Meeker

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