If you stop thinking of consciousness as a "thing" that goes here or 
there or is duplicated or destroyed and just regard it as a process, 
these conundrums disappear.


Jason Resch wrote:
> I've thought of an interesting modification to the original UDA 
> argument which would suggest that one's consciousness is at both 
> locations simultaneously.
> Since the UDA accepts digital mechanism as its first premise, then it 
> is possible to instantiate a consciousness within a computer. 
>  Therefore instead of a physical teleportation from Brussels to 
> Washington and Moscow instead we will have a digital transfer.  This 
> will allow the experimenter to have complete control over the input 
> each mind receives and guarantee identical content of experience.
> A volunteer in Brussels has her brain frozen and scanned at the 
> necessary substitution level and the results are loaded into a 
> computer with the appropriate simulation software that can accurately 
> model her brain's functions, therefore from her perspective, her 
> consciousness continues onward from the time her brain was frozen.
> To implement the teleportation, the simulation in the computer in 
> Brussels is paused, and a snapshot of the current state is sent over 
> the Internet to two computers, one in Washington and the other in 
> Moscow, each of these computers has the same simulation software and 
> upon receipt, resume the simulation of the brain where it left off in 
> Brussels.
> The question is: if the sensory input is pre-fabricated and identical 
> in both computers, are there two minds, or simply two implementations 
> of the same mind?  If you believe there are two minds, consider the 
> following additional steps.
> Since it was established that the experimenter can "teleport" minds by 
> pausing a simulation, sending their content over the network, and 
> resuming it elsewhere, then what happens if the experimenter wants to 
> teleport the Washington mind to Moscow, and the Moscow mind to 
> Washington?  Assume that both computers were preset to run the 
> simulation for X number of CPU instructions before pausing the 
> simulation and transferring the state, such that the states are 
> exactly the same when each is sent.  Further assume that the harddrive 
> space on the computers is limited, so as they receive the brain state, 
> they overwrite their original save.
> During this procedure, the computers in Washington and Moscow each 
> receive the other's brain state, however, it is exactly the same as 
> the one they already had.  Therefore the overwriting is a no-op. 
>  After the transfer is complete, each computer resumes the simulation. 
>  Now is Moscow's mind on the Washington computer?  If so how did a 
> no-op (overwriting the file with the same bits) accomplish the 
> teleportation, if not, what makes the teleportation fail?
> What happens in the case where the Washington and Moscow computer 
> shutdown for some period of time (5 minutes for example) and then ONLY 
> the Moscow computer is turned back on.  Did a "virtual" teleportation 
> occur between Washington and Moscow to allow the consciousness that 
> was in Washington to continue?  If not, then would a physical transfer 
> of the data from Washington to Moscow have saved its consciousness, 
> and if so, what happened to the Moscow consciousness?
> The above thought experiments led me to conclude that both computers 
> implement the same mind and are the same mind, despite 
>  having different explanations.  Turning off one of the computers in 
> either Washington or Moscow, therefore, does not end the 
> consciousness.  Per the conclusions put forth in the UDA, the 
> volunteer in Brussels would say she has a 1/2 chance of ending up in 
> the Washington computer and 1/2 chance of ending up in the Moscow 
> computer.  Therefore, if you told her "15 minutes after the 
> teleportation the computer in Washington will be shut off forever" she 
> should expect a 1/2 chance of dying.  This seems to be a 
> contradiction, as there is a "virtual" teleportation from Washington 
> to Moscow which saves the consciousness in Washington from oblivion. 
>  So her chances of death are 0, not 1/2, which is only explainable if 
> we assume that her mind is subjectively in both places after the first 
> teleport from Brussels, and so long as a simulation of her mind exists 
> somewhere she will never die.
> Jason 
> On Fri, Oct 31, 2008 at 12:36 PM, Bruno Marchal <[EMAIL PROTECTED] 
> <mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]>> wrote:
>     On 30 Oct 2008, at 23:58, Brent Meeker wrote:
>     >
>     > Kory Heath wrote:
>     >>
>     >> On Oct 30, 2008, at 10:06 AM, Bruno Marchal wrote:
>     >>> But ok, perhaps I have make some progress lately, and I will
>     answer
>     >>> that the probability remains invariant for that too. The
>     probability
>     >>> remains equal to 1/2 in the imperfect duplication (assuming 1/2 is
>     >>> the perfect one).
>     >>> But of course you have to accept that if a simple teleportation is
>     >>> done imperfectly (without duplication), but without killing
>     you, the
>     >>> probability of surviving is one (despite you get blind, deaf,
>     >>> amnesic and paralytic, for example).
>     >>
>     >> This is the position I was arguing against in my earlier post.
>     Let's
>     >> stick with simple teleportation, without duplication. If the
>     data is
>     >> scrambled so much that the thing that ends up on the other side is
>     >> just a puddle of goo, then my probability of surviving the
>     >> teleportation is 0%. It's functionally equivalent to just
>     killing me
>     >> at the first teleporter and not sending any data over. (Do you
>     >> agree?)
>     >> If the probability of me surviving when an imperfect copy is
>     made is
>     >> still 100%, then there's some point of "imperfection" at which my
>     >> chances of surviving suddenly shift from 100% to 0%. This
>     change will
>     >> be marked by (say) the difference of a single molecule (or bit of
>     >> data, or whatever). I don't see how that can be correct.
>     >>
>     >> -- Kory
>     >
>     > But there are many ways for what comes out of the teleporter to
>     > *not* be you.
>     > Most of them are "puddles of goo", but some of them are copies of
>     > Bruno or
>     > imperfect copies of me or people who never existed before.
>     >
>     > Suppose it's a copy of you as you were last year - is it 100% you.
>     > It's not
>     > 100% the you that went into the machine - but if you're the same
>     > person you were
>     > last year it's 100% you.  Of course the point is that you're not the
>     > same "you"
>     > from moment to moment in the sense of strict identity of information
>     > down to the
>     > molecular level, or even the neuron level.
>     Yes. And if a teleporter transforms me into a copy of me as I was last
>     year, I will say that although I have 100% survive, I suffer from an
>     amnesia bearing on one year of experience, and indeed I will have to
>     relearn what "I" have done and update myself accordingly.
>     I can complain about the doctor or about the teleportation company of
>     course, like someone who did survive a train accident, with injuries,
>     perhaps amnesia, can complain about the railroad society (if he
>     remembers the name).
>     --Bruno Marchal
>     http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/
>     <http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/%7Emarchal/>
> >

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