On 4/2/2012 00:43, Russell Standish wrote:
On Sun, Apr 01, 2012 at 02:33:44PM +0100, David Nyman wrote:
Bruno, when you talk about the doctor offering one a replacement brain
you usually describe the substitute as digital, although I think you
have sometimes just said that it is artificial.  My recent remarks
about "game physics" got me thinking about this distinction, if indeed
there is one.


Since he certainly doesn't want to suffer such an indignity, should he
say no to the doctor?  The question that troubles Dick is whether,
assuming comp, he should accept a genuinely
behaviourally-indistinguishable body, irrespective of its brain being
organic or clockwork, as an equivalent "avatar" according to the rules
of the comp game-physics.  If so, Dick should have no reason not to
accept a behaviourally-indistinguishable, clockwork-equipped body as
enabling his continued manifestation relative to the familiar
environments to which he has become so emotionally attached.  Time is
short, and he must act.  What should he do?


Counter intuitively, he should say no to the doctor, regardless of
whether he believes in COMP or not-COMP. If COMP is true, COMP
immortality is true, and Dick will survive the cancer whether he gets
his brain replaced or not. If COMP is not true, then he is committing
I don't think it's that simple. COMP immortality would mean that he would survive, but the real question isn't if he will experience continuity to a state where he survives, but what is the probability that he well experience a future state where he doesn't become amnesiac or lose details he doesn't want to lose. A substitution at the right level (with the cancer removed) would let most of his continuations be those where he survives without amnesia. Him betting on COMP immortality (without doctor's help, only relying on "white rabbits") might work, but the measure of him surviving unchanged or in a manner that he would prefer might be smaller than that with a correct digital substitution. However, the practical question is indeed if the doctor got the details right. If the doctor got it very wrong, he should still expect to survive the "operation" in some really unusual way (with or without digital brain).


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