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
> 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.
> 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
> >>> that the probability remains invariant for that too. The
> >>> 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.
> >> 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
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