On Sat, 2009-02-21 at 15:25 -0500, Stephen Paul King wrote:

> Does this allow us to recover our method X? No, because unless the
> copy is "identical", not just "approximate",  we can not conclude that
> any notion of continuance of consciousness might obtain. 

It is possible (I think likely) that there is a many-to-one relationship
between exact quantum states and one "conscious state", or observer
moment.  To put into Bruno's terminology, the your digital substitution
level would then be at a higher level than the exact quantum state.

If this is the case, then the method X of copying only needs to ensure
that the resultant quantum state stays within the common higher level
state to ensure continuity.

To use a thermodynamic analogy, which I find increasingly useful to
visualize these sorts of things, if the above many-to-one hypothesis
holds true, then multiple "microstates" map to a single "macrostate".
Continuity of personal identity would allow a change in microstates
(i.e., quantum states) during copying, as long as the resultant
microstate still belonged to the same macrostate (observer moment).  

Of course, what the defining function of membership of quantum states
within an observer moment that would preserve personal identity is
unknown.  Still, as long as there is a many-to-one relationship, then
the no-cloning theorem does not rule out transfer of identity through
your method X.

Johnathan Corgan



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