On 03 Dec 2009, at 23:12, Brent Meeker wrote:
>>> Exactly.  It is the magical "I" that is swapped.
>> That "I" is magical. It is like swapping both the mind (or 1-I) and  
>> the body (or 3-I).
>> Eventually this is the reason why absolute sample of the observer  
>> moment does not work, and we need relative self self-sampling.  
>> Which neither with QM (without collapse) or just digital mechanism  
>> is obvious to derive.
>> The mind can swap its body for brain or another
> ??  You mean "or brain"?

Yes, I meant "a mind" (a first person, a soul; or the "(Bp & p) of  
some Lobian program") can swap its body or brain for another body or  
brain. Sorry.

>> , or survive through a digital back-up. Rigt?
>> This mean the notion of "I" still make sense.
> But it doesn't make sense to swap two minds and their bodies (i.e.  
> perspectives).  That's just interchanging positions and isn't  
> generally thought to affect who is who - although read Stanislau  
> Lem's "The Star Diaries".  And if you suppose the mind is embodied  
> in the brain or digital machine then swapping minds with Stathis  
> implies swapping the essential aspects of the brain or machine.

Yes. As usual with mechanism, you can identify, in a first  
approximation, the mind with the (running) software. It is the same  
with a computer. You can swap the physical hard disk, but if you want  
your "computer" to "keep its mind", you have to reinstall its  
software, and its initial configuration, with all the data.

>> Both the 1-I, and the 3-I makes sense, it is the link between them  
>> which is "magical", and made harder to figure out than people  
>> usually believe, like with the identity thesis, physical  
>> supervenience, etc.
>> Now, when you see that people have some difficulty to understand  
>> thought experience without amnesia, thought experience with amnesia  
>> are perhaps premature. I am not sure. It depends on your  
>> familiarity with such kind of thought.
> I'm not sure what "thought experience with amnesia" is, but taken  
> rigorously it sounds impossible.

I was alluding to some discussions we had when discussing the movie  
"the prestige", or when discussing the Saibal Mitra backtracking.
The question is this, and is addressed to the people who already  
accept an artificial brain in the usual conditions which are supposed  
to be perfect (right substitution level, competent doctor):  would you  
still say yes to the doctor if he tells you that, after the  
reconstitution of your brain, you will lose the memory of one day, or  
of one week, or one year, or of your entire life, etc.

By thought experience with amnesia, I meant a thought experience which  
involves a partial or a total amnesia. Not only this is possible, but  
this happens in "real life" rather often, for example in car  
accidents, or in war head injuries.  Some drug (for example salvia  
divinorum) can generate severe (but temporary) amnesia, and can help  
to make "real" some of those thought experiences.
Those thought experiences are not needed to understand that the  
physical reality and physical sensations emerge from numbers addition  
and multiplication, for example, but may be useful to tackle the  
identity problem "why I am I", "who am I really?", etc.  (cf  
soulcatcher☠ question)

In general I try to avoid them. When we discussed the prestige movie,  
we talk about this. I said, in a conversation with Quentin Anciaux,  
that IF you believe that you can survive with a "total amnesia", THEN  
you are expanding a lot the variety of the possible form of the  
computationalist immortality.

If you make the experience of remembering having been nothing less and  
nothing more than a universal (Löbian) machine, you can know (or  
imagine) that you are already immortal. You can live the experience of  
being the static consciousness, out of time and space, of the  
universal (digital) person, and intuit that time and space are a  
construction of your mind. Some "slow sleep" (non REM) dream state can  
lead to similar experiences, and I suspect that Plato, Plotinus, Kant  
and Descartes (and probably many others) lived things like that.

I thought it was impossible to live that and to be able to come back  
from such an experience, but it happens that with salvia divinorum,  
some subject can live the experience of quasi-total amnesia, where not  
only you forget which human you are, but you can forget what a human  
is, what time is, what space is, and yet, retrospectively, after  
coming back, you realize that despite having forgot everything, you  
were still conscious, and you were still considering you as a living  
entity of some sort. Some people are terrified by such experience,  
other enjoy it or find it interesting. It helps indeed to realize the  
contingent nature of particular memories and the "illusion" of  
identity. I don't recommend it, unless it is legal in your state and  
you are pretty curious on the functioning of the brain, and the nature  
of your identity. People who don't like metaphysical vertigo should be  
very cautious (always begin by the leaves, and then increment the  
concentration with extracts very slowly---do the contrary of what  
people shows on youtube!). Well, they should be very cautious with UDA  
too, I guess.




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