The ethics of teleportation

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Gelsamel
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Postby Gelsamel » Mon May 07, 2007 12:33 pm UTC

Why does "consciousness" have to be stored in a Quantum Computer? Assuming I'm replicated EXACTLY how I am now then that copy would have the effect of "consciousness" just like myself.


Edit: By the way, my first post on this forum

http://forums.xkcd.com/viewtopic.php?p= ... ight=#4538
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Postby Messiah » Mon May 07, 2007 12:38 pm UTC

Gelsamel wrote:Why does "consciousness" have to be stored in a Quantum Computer? Assuming I'm replicated EXACTLY how I am now then that copy would have the effect of "consciousness" just like myself.


Edit: By the way, my first post on this forum

http://forums.xkcd.com/viewtopic.php?p= ... ight=#4538

Down to every single last particle, all in exactly the same way and interacting in the same way, then yes. That however is about as likely as us all teleporting to work in the future. Then again, a quantum supercomputer that can read and store our conscious thoughts and memories is too...
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Postby Owijad » Mon May 07, 2007 12:39 pm UTC

mister k wrote:Yeah, but if it's possible to make a perfect copy there pretty much are two yous... both of the yous will certainly think they are the original, and it will be impossible to distinguish between them, although they will certainly diverge. The point here is that you are creating new life and destroying other life- whether it is your or is fairly immaterial to my mind.


They wouldn't both think they're me if, just prior to the teleporation/duplication, I was thinking about how if I appear in the new location, I'm a clone.
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Postby Gelsamel » Mon May 07, 2007 1:05 pm UTC

Messiah wrote:Then again, a quantum supercomputer that can read and store our conscious thoughts and memories is too...


Especially if you're a physicalist.
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Postby Andrew » Mon May 07, 2007 1:22 pm UTC

Messiah wrote:
Andrew wrote:I don't think you could just "replace" bits of your brain with less aged bits and expect to be the same person afterwards.

As we said above, you would only be replacing what was, in effect, a biological machine. The conscious part of yourself would need to be stored in the quantum computer. None of which is probably possible, but in very vague theory, it works.

Can you separate "the concious part of you" from the material brain? If you can, then surely what you have there is a soul?

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Postby Messiah » Mon May 07, 2007 1:23 pm UTC

Andrew wrote:Can you separate "the concious part of you" from the material brain? If you can, then surely what you have there is a soul?

Call it whatever you will. A "soul" is nothing more than your consciousness, your ability to form thoughts beyond basic stimuli-response criteria.
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Postby Andrew » Mon May 07, 2007 1:57 pm UTC

Messiah wrote:
Andrew wrote:Can you separate "the concious part of you" from the material brain? If you can, then surely what you have there is a soul?

Call it whatever you will. A "soul" is nothing more than your consciousness, your ability to form thoughts beyond basic stimuli-response criteria.


But surely that's an emergent property of the material brain, rather than some extra thing that can be removed and stored elsewhere?

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Postby Messiah » Mon May 07, 2007 2:01 pm UTC

Andrew wrote:
Messiah wrote:
Andrew wrote:Can you separate "the concious part of you" from the material brain? If you can, then surely what you have there is a soul?

Call it whatever you will. A "soul" is nothing more than your consciousness, your ability to form thoughts beyond basic stimuli-response criteria.


But surely that's an emergent property of the material brain, rather than some extra thing that can be removed and stored elsewhere?

All that is required is to see what your current thoughts, memories etc are, record them, and then recreate them in the new location. Basically, putting everything back together the way it was.
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Postby Andrew » Mon May 07, 2007 2:10 pm UTC

Messiah wrote:
Andrew wrote:
Messiah wrote:
Andrew wrote:Can you separate "the concious part of you" from the material brain? If you can, then surely what you have there is a soul?

Call it whatever you will. A "soul" is nothing more than your consciousness, your ability to form thoughts beyond basic stimuli-response criteria.


But surely that's an emergent property of the material brain, rather than some extra thing that can be removed and stored elsewhere?

All that is required is to see what your current thoughts, memories etc are, record them, and then recreate them in the new location. Basically, putting everything back together the way it was.


Oh, is that "all"? Well now you put it that way it sounds easy.

Or, impossible.

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Postby Messiah » Mon May 07, 2007 2:11 pm UTC

Andrew wrote:
Messiah wrote:
Andrew wrote:
Messiah wrote:
Andrew wrote:Can you separate "the concious part of you" from the material brain? If you can, then surely what you have there is a soul?

Call it whatever you will. A "soul" is nothing more than your consciousness, your ability to form thoughts beyond basic stimuli-response criteria.


But surely that's an emergent property of the material brain, rather than some extra thing that can be removed and stored elsewhere?

All that is required is to see what your current thoughts, memories etc are, record them, and then recreate them in the new location. Basically, putting everything back together the way it was.


Oh, is that "all"? Well now you put it that way it sounds easy.

Or, impossible.


If we can invent a quantum computer to do it, and teleportation to make it required, then yeah, it's easy.
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Postby tendays » Mon May 07, 2007 2:26 pm UTC

Gelsamel wrote:Why does "consciousness" have to be stored in a Quantum Computer? Assuming I'm replicated EXACTLY how I am now then that copy would have the effect of "consciousness" just like myself.


Yes. If you do an exact transfer of your body, no need to tansfer your consciousness separately, whatever that would mean.

I assume you can teleport people by transferring the quantum state of each particle composing them into quantum state of corresponding particles somewhere else (i.e. the state of one of your protons is transfered into the state of a proton somewhere else). That's simple regular teleportation. Your "consciousness" is transported without needing to do anything extra. What I suggest is something more complicated.

The thought experiment I proposed in my post above is the following:

1. Say that, instead of transferring your particle states into corresponding particles, you transfer all the information into the memory of a quantum computer. Let's say that the information each qubit of the computer is stored into an electron spin.
Then you also performed quantum teleportation in the sense that the information composing your body was destroyed, and simultaneously loaded into the computer.

2. Optional step. While your body is stored into the computer, let's imagine that the computer further simulates the dynamics of the real world. For instance it stores energy states, particle positions and all that into electron spins (I know next to nothing about quantum physics - I only learned quantum computing - so sorry if I say something silly), and then applies the laws of physics to simulate the behaviour of your body. But all in software. Note that as the information is quantum, this does not violate quantum physics postulates - the computer manipulates information that you can't observe.

3. The last ingredient of this thought experiment is the reverse of 1, i.e. perform a quantum teleportation from the computer's memory into the particle. It can be recorded into classical memory what each qubit was storing, so that what was originally the state of a proton, after being stored in electron spins, is now teleported back to (another) proton.

I never talked about putting the soul in a computer while keeping the body up or anything - it's your entire body that is put in the computer memory - your physical body is destroyed into a lump of coal or something, while the information composing it is safely stored in the computer, which allows turning another lump of coal back into you, using that information. When you are transferred out of the computer into a physical object, the data stored in the computer is lost.

Back to my original question about this thought experiment, I believe the continuity of consciousness would not be broken at any time during this process (assuming you manage to transfer the entire body in one step and not one part at a time - which might very well never become possible)

EDIT: for clarity

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Postby Pedanthood » Mon May 07, 2007 3:52 pm UTC

Probably most people here are already aware of this, but that has never stopped me before:
Just to clarify some things, you cannot make a perfect copy of any object as you can never know to infinite precision all of the aspects of the object.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No-cloning_theorem
From this, several methods of teleportation mentioned would not replicate you perfectly at the end, irregardless of how efficient they were. This may or may not bother you overly.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_teleportation_theorem

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Postby tendays » Mon May 07, 2007 4:00 pm UTC

You can't clone but you can teleport (in the sense moving a quantum state from a particle to another).
The "no-teleportation theorem" is maybe mis-named as it says that measuring a state to re-build it "manually" is impossible. Teleporting through entanglement, however, is possible (and I think has already been done for single particles).

See that link at the bottom of the no-teleportation theorem page you gave:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_teleportation

edit:spelling
Last edited by tendays on Mon May 07, 2007 5:06 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Pedanthood » Mon May 07, 2007 4:03 pm UTC

tendays wrote:You can't clone but you can teleport (in the sense moving a quantum state from a particle to another).
The "no-teleportation theorem" is maybe mis-named as it says that measuring a state to re-build it "manually" is impossible. Teleporting through entanglement, however, is possible (and I think as already been done for single particles).

See that link at the bottom of the no-teleportation theorem page you gave:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_teleportation


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Postby Woxor » Mon May 07, 2007 11:44 pm UTC

The physical problems seem to be pretty interesting, but I don't know enough to comment meaningfully on them. However, I wonder about the logical problems inherent to the idea of a continuous consciousness.

If each particle in my body were instantaneously replaced with a "different" one of the same type (e.g., each carbon atom in my body replaced with a carbon atom from Pluto), then I think most people would agree that I would still be "me," that I wouldn't notice any change, and that there would essentially be nothing interesting going on. My consciousness wouldn't stop.

If you don't agree to that, however, it is an interesting problem to consider how much of my body needs to be replaced in order for me to "change." If one particle is replaced, I'm certainly still myself. If two are replaced, I'm still myself. What about 1% of me? 10%? Does it matter which parts of my brain are replaced?

Now take it one step further. If each one of my particles is shifted in one (uniform) direction by 10^{-A(g_64,g_64)} meters, I'm certainly not going to change, even if the particles somehow wink instantaneously out of existence (say, for 10^{-A(g_64,g_64)} seconds) before reappearing in their new spots. Now increase the distance a little bit, say to 1 meter. Do I lose my stream of consciousness? Do I die?

Intuitively, I'd say no. But what if I pretend that I'm ALSO replacing my particles with particles from Pluto at the same time, as before? How is this really different from assembling a copy of myself elsewhere and killing myself here? How can we combine two processes (particle replacement and particle movement) -- that, intuitively, to me, would not "kill" the original or disrupt my consciousness -- into one process (assembly and subsequent destruction of the original) that would clearly result in one stream of consciousness dying?

I don't have an answer, because I am genuinely confused by the idea. Sorry for the dense, rambling post; this is a very interesting topic, one of the few philosophical ones that I feel baffled by.

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Postby HenryS » Tue May 08, 2007 12:37 am UTC

Woxor wrote:... that would clearly result in one stream of consciousness dying?
The easy way out of this is to lose this "continuous stream of consciousness" thing. It only feels like that because you have memory.

I think there's something to be gleaned from the cases of amnesiacs who have no short term memory. Who write in a diary, hundreds of times over, words to the effect of "Am awake for the first time in years", and have no recollection of them writing the previous lines. He is certainly conscious (right?), but has no continuous stream of consciousness. He feels as though he has been unconscious for years, and has just woken up. His stream of consciousness dies every 5 minutes. Yours only seems like it doesn't because you remember what happened before.

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Postby Felgraf » Tue May 08, 2007 1:01 am UTC

All this "Scan you, transport your matter" is silly and energy wasteful. Far easier to scan you completely, send the data, remake "you" on the other side, and then, once we're sure the teleported invidivual was correctly created, vaporize you.

What's different from this than "storying your brainwaves in a quantum computer"? The only thing that changes is when you got vaporized .

There's a Freefall comic that addresses this, I think (Though it's more about robots with 'backups', and not about teleportation).

*You* would, most likely, be dead. There would be an exact replica of you that thought it was you, and was indistinguishable from you to onlookers. To the universe at large, nothing would remain unchanged, but *you* probably would have stopped.

Or maybe not. Conciousness is a funny thing, isn't it?

Either way, the only teleporation I'd ever use is one that bends space-time to make the distance between points nonexistant. I'd rather not be disintegrated.
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Postby Woxor » Tue May 08, 2007 5:10 am UTC

HenryS wrote:The easy way out of this is to lose this "continuous stream of consciousness" thing. It only feels like that because you have memory.

I suppose that's true, but for the moment I can't escape the belief that, in some sense, my consciousness is "real." In other words, I think that my current perspective, whatever on Earth that may be, would cease to be if my brain were destroyed, but somehow I don't think it would if my particles were merely replaced or translated.

I mean, I'm simply asserting things here without justification, but it just seems so intuitive and inherent to the notion of consciousness in general that you have to accept, however provisionally, that you are somehow the same person you were a moment ago. Perhaps not; maybe I'm stumbling into an area where a Zen-like interpretation of consciousness is not only enlightening, but necessary! I agree with you that rejecting the notion of continuous consciousness solves the problems I posed, and philosophically I have no logical problem with that, but from an empiricist standpoint, I can't reject consciousness.

As a mathematician at heart, I hate to invoke empiricism, and I hate the epistemological arbitrariness of "I think, therefore I am." But are the problems I posed above really a "proof" that continuous consciousness is an inconsistent concept? And does that in turn imply that I wouldn't "die" in one scenario but would in another? I can't help but say "no," but I'm still not satisfied with the situation.

HenryS wrote:I think there's something to be gleaned from the cases of amnesiacs who have no short term memory. Who write in a diary, hundreds of times over, words to the effect of "Am awake for the first time in years", and have no recollection of them writing the previous lines. He is certainly conscious (right?), but has no continuous stream of consciousness. He feels as though he has been unconscious for years, and has just woken up. His stream of consciousness dies every 5 minutes. Yours only seems like it doesn't because you remember what happened before.

Maybe a bit of a tangent, but would those people really be conscious in the same way as you and me? That seems to me like it would be a rare example of someone who was self-aware, but not truly conscious (in some sufficiently strong sense). How to define that sense of consciousness, though, I don't know. Maybe it's just a gradient; the longer your immediate memory is, the more "conscious" you are.

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Postby tendays » Tue May 08, 2007 12:48 pm UTC

Woxor wrote:If each particle in my body were instantaneously replaced with a "different" one of the same type (e.g., each carbon atom in my body replaced with a carbon atom from Pluto), then I think most people would agree that I would still be "me," that I wouldn't notice any change, and that there would essentially be nothing interesting going on. My consciousness wouldn't stop.


I think most physicists believe that particles have no identity (see my post above, where I compare particles with pixels on a screen). So, swapping two atoms has effectively no consequences. It doesn't even have a meaning. Same for your other thought experiments - I see no reason your consciousness should be affected.

Felgraf: What do you mean by "storying your brainwaves in a quantum computer"? What is a brainwave? How do you encode it into a finite number of qubits?
Also, I think no one mentionned transporting matter anywhere - the point of teleportation is precisely to transmit information instead of matter...

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Postby Woxor » Tue May 08, 2007 2:53 pm UTC

tendays wrote:I think most physicists believe that particles have no identity (see my post above, where I compare particles with pixels on a screen). So, swapping two atoms has effectively no consequences. It doesn't even have a meaning. Same for your other thought experiments - I see no reason your consciousness should be affected.

Well right, the "swapping" doesn't change anything, and the physical translation doesn't change anything, but consider this rephrasing of my problem: if you swap and translate my particles at the same time, it's essentially as if I disappeared, and another copy of me appeared elsewhere. Now simply assume that I didn't disappear until later. Clearly the original copy of me won't continue to look and feel through the new copy's body; the two copies would diverge. But in the first thought experiments (swapping or shifting alone) I didn't lose consciousness, but if I died after replicating myself, I think I would clearly lose one stream of consciousness (even if there were now another nearly-identical one in existence). What confuses me is that the latter thought experiment seems to be a rather smooth transition from the first two, yet I feel that a qualitative jump has been made at some (inscrutable) point.

(I'm not trying to provoke an endless tit-for-tat by replying to every post, but I find this subject becomes clearer or more interesting (read: less clear) with each new consideration.)

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Postby Jakell » Wed May 09, 2007 4:31 am UTC

I would wonder if what/who we are depends on the quantum state of things in our head... what if it's as simple as having all the right chemicals in place, an shocking things into action? making sure the electrons have the right spin, and that the nucleus is in the correct quantum state might not be necessary for teleportation, so uncertainty might not matter as much as we think...
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Postby 4=5 » Wed May 09, 2007 6:28 am UTC

Jakell wrote:I would wonder if what/who we are depends on the quantum state of things in our head... what if it's as simple as having all the right chemicals in place, an shocking things into action? making sure the electrons have the right spin, and that the nucleus is in the correct quantum state might not be necessary for teleportation, so uncertainty might not matter as much as we think...
but the patterns of eltrical impluses in your brain is one of the things that defines you, not just the structure, just the chemicals wouldn't cut it

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Postby 4=5 » Wed May 09, 2007 6:33 am UTC

tendays wrote:
Woxor wrote:If each particle in my body were instantaneously replaced with a "different" one of the same type (e.g., each carbon atom in my body replaced with a carbon atom from Pluto), then I think most people would agree that I would still be "me," that I wouldn't notice any change, and that there would essentially be nothing interesting going on. My consciousness wouldn't stop.


I think most physicists believe that particles have no identity (see my post above, where I compare particles with pixels on a screen). So, swapping two atoms has effectively no consequences. It doesn't even have a meaning. Same for your other thought experiments - I see no reason your consciousness should be affected.

Felgraf: What do you mean by "storying your brainwaves in a quantum computer"? What is a brainwave? How do you encode it into a finite number of qubits?
Also, I think no one mentionned transporting matter anywhere - the point of teleportation is precisely to transmit information instead of matter...
your consciousness would stop while you were in the computer, you would just be able to rember perfectily everything that happend if it hadn't

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Postby Gelsamel » Wed May 09, 2007 9:50 am UTC

This is getting into super pseudo-science-speculation area.
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Postby Belial » Wed May 09, 2007 1:30 pm UTC

but the patterns of eltrical impluses in your brain is one of the things that defines you, not just the structure, just the chemicals wouldn't cut it


You...may need to read up on how neurons work. Suffice to say, there is no continuous current in your brain. Current goes from one end of one neuron to the other end, and at either end the signal is translated into an outpouring of neurotransmitter chemicals that trigger the next neuron to fire. So, the chemicals are pretty relevant, and "patterns of electrical impulse" pretty much not.

What *does* matter is preserving the triggering threshholds and input weights of all the various dendrites. And other stuff we don't even understand yet about brains.
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Postby Andrew » Wed May 09, 2007 2:24 pm UTC

We do understand physics pretty well, though. We don't need to be able to read to photocopy a page. If we can simulate the brain, we can simulate the mind. (Unless there's a soul, which there isn't.)

Although simulating it as a neural net (or whatever we'd need to do it right) would be much more efficient, but I wouldn't like to bet on it being an accurate simulation. Biological entities that complex probably are best left that complex.

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Re: The ethics of teleportation

Postby mister k » Wed May 09, 2007 6:14 pm UTC

Quoting myself....

mister k wrote:Let's suppose, for a minute, that teleportation, despite being deeply implausible, is a possibility. Whether along wires or in the form of em radiation, it transmits you instantly (or possibly at the speed of light. Fastest we can get anyhow) to a different point in space. Ignoring the multitude of physical problems created by this situation, more importantly... is it ethical?


Uh... isn't the current discussion rather more suited for the science forum?

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Postby Chrono285 » Thu May 24, 2007 1:08 pm UTC

This question is actually millenia old. It's basically the Ship of Theseus situation.
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Postby SecondTalon » Thu May 24, 2007 2:11 pm UTC

I don't know the exact rate, but I do know that human cells die and are replaced by new cells.

As I said, I don't know the exact rate, and it's probably different for the various parts throughout the body, but let's assume for the moment that the longest lasting cells stick around for 10 years. So, you get your cells measured at age 20. At age 30, the last of your Year 20 cells die. You either are or are not the same person.

Same thing with teleportation that involves the destruction of the original body. My way just took 10 years. Biological Ship of Theseus, basically.

Also, I didn't know that had a name. Now I do. Thanks, Chrono285.
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Postby Woxor » Thu May 24, 2007 2:45 pm UTC

Chrono285 wrote:This question is actually millenia old. It's basically the Ship of Theseus situation.

Yeah, I couldn't remember the name, but that's exactly what I was going for in my post. But I consider the fact that a human is still the same human after "particle replacement" to be somewhat uncontested (so far), since it's really the pattern of particles that most people would consider makes us "us." The combination of particle replacement with particle shifting is what has me flummoxed.

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Postby SecondTalon » Thu May 24, 2007 2:48 pm UTC

But how does Every particle all at once differ from Over the course of time?
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Postby Woxor » Thu May 24, 2007 6:24 pm UTC

SecondTalon wrote:But how does Every particle all at once differ from Over the course of time?

It doesn't really, I don't think, as far as changing the human being comprising the particles. It just seems to have some sort of mysterious change when you simultaneously change where the particles are reassembled.

If you rebuild a boat the exact same way somewhere else, it's not the same boat, because the original boat could continue existing. That doesn't change based on whether or not you destroy the original. But if you rebuild it in the exact same location (e.g., by swapping out all the parts), then it more or less is the same boat. But if you rebuild it one inch away, then surely that won't change its identity. But what about a foot, a mile? Our notions of what constitutes the boat break down. Similarly, our notions of who we are break down when we think about teleportation.

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Postby HenryS » Thu May 24, 2007 6:55 pm UTC

The ship of Theseus is just us getting confused by trying to apply labels to collections of atoms and wondering what happens when those atoms move around. The universe doesn't care at all about our labels, not about ships and not about us.

Continuity of identity is an illusion that we readily fall into because it is evolutionarily useful for us to treat people and things as having it, but there's no reason to expect it to work when you move away from "middle world" (Dawkins' term) situations (that were the evolutionary pressures on our ancestors) and start talking about teleporting.

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Postby fatduck » Thu May 24, 2007 7:35 pm UTC

demon wrote:How about going one step further - if indeed there is no such thing as a continuity of consciousness, then wouldn't what you feel as your self-consciousness be merely an illusion of itself? My friend at one point brought up the idea of quantum time, or so he called it - what I mean is time that has a finite grain, so to speak, that is - isn't truly continuous. Then, since consciousness would be constrained by the grain of time itself, what you would perceive as a continuity would be not more continuous then a movie - you'd feel an illusion of a stream of consciousness when in fact it would just be a set of frames, each one separate from the previous and the next with no provable link between them. Then there would really be no such thing as "You", although nobody would notice. I know it's nothing new, really, and that not only cannot this be proven, but it also has absolutely no impact on our lives. But it's just so much fun to discuss these both irrelevant and fundamental issues that I kind of can't stop:D


Is this really that ridiculous? It seems pretty obvious to me that unique identity is an illusion, even without postulating something wild like quantized time.

And I'm definitely not the first one to suggest this:

"Formerly, that is, people believed in "the soul," as they believed in grammar and the grammatical subject. One said "I" is the condition, "think" is the predicate and conditioned—thinking is an activity for which a subject must be thought of as cause.

Now, people tried, with an admirable tenacity and trickery, to see whether they could get out of this net, whether perhaps the opposite might not be true: "think" as the condition, "I" the conditioned—thus "I" is only a synthesis which is itself created by thinking."

- Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil

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Postby Woxor » Thu May 24, 2007 7:47 pm UTC

HenryS wrote:The ship of Theseus is just us getting confused by trying to apply labels to collections of atoms and wondering what happens when those atoms move around. The universe doesn't care at all about our labels, not about ships and not about us.

Continuity of identity is an illusion that we readily fall into because it is evolutionarily useful for us to treat people and things as having it, but there's no reason to expect it to work when you move away from "middle world" (Dawkins' term) situations (that were the evolutionary pressures on our ancestors) and start talking about teleporting.

That's all well and good when you're talking about boats, because we don't really care whether the boat is the same one or not. What I do care about is whether I (whatever I am) would continue to exist after teleporting. If my perception of reality ends, I don't want to do it. All the other copies of Woxor in the world wouldn't matter to me if I died.

It's fine to say the idea of consciousness is just a mental construct we've created to describe something, but that doesn't change the fact that there are some things that end it and some things that don't, and that I don't want it to end.

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Postby fatduck » Thu May 24, 2007 7:57 pm UTC

Woxor wrote:
HenryS wrote:The ship of Theseus is just us getting confused by trying to apply labels to collections of atoms and wondering what happens when those atoms move around. The universe doesn't care at all about our labels, not about ships and not about us.

Continuity of identity is an illusion that we readily fall into because it is evolutionarily useful for us to treat people and things as having it, but there's no reason to expect it to work when you move away from "middle world" (Dawkins' term) situations (that were the evolutionary pressures on our ancestors) and start talking about teleporting.

That's all well and good when you're talking about boats, because we don't really care whether the boat is the same one or not. What I do care about is whether I (whatever I am) would continue to exist after teleporting. If my perception of reality ends, I don't want to do it. All the other copies of Woxor in the world wouldn't matter to me if I died.

It's fine to say the idea of consciousness is just a mental construct we've created to describe something, but that doesn't change the fact that there are some things that end it and some things that don't, and that I don't want it to end.


I guess what you're really asking is whether your memory is volatile or non-volatile. And I don't think anyone knows. So you'll just have to take a chance I suppose.

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Postby Woxor » Thu May 24, 2007 8:10 pm UTC

fatduck wrote:I guess what you're really asking is whether your memory is volatile or non-volatile.

I'm not sure what that means.

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Postby HenryS » Fri May 25, 2007 12:13 am UTC

Woxor wrote:That's all well and good when you're talking about boats, because we don't really care whether the boat is the same one or not. What I do care about is whether I (whatever I am) would continue to exist after teleporting. If my perception of reality ends, I don't want to do it.
Forget about teleporting, does the you that posted the post I'm quoting (on Thu May 24, 2007 at 11:47 am) still exist? Sure you have a memory of what it was like for some Woxor to experience that, of course you do. But it's only a memory, it isn't the you right now. We will never see that Woxor again (barring crazy sci fi scenarios).

Your perception of reality ends at least once a day when you go to sleep. Why are you so scared of it?

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Postby fatduck » Fri May 25, 2007 12:22 am UTC

HenryS wrote:Your perception of reality ends at least once a day when you go to sleep. Why are you so scared of it?


You've written this a few times and it's just wrong. Your brain doesn't shut off when you go to sleep, and if you've ever had lucid dreams you don't even necessarily lose consciousness.

Woxor wrote:I'm not sure what that means.


A bit simplified (please, hold the pedantry), but:

Volatile memory (i.e. most RAM) loses its data when it loses power/shuts off.

Non-volatile memory (i.e. hard disk) doesn't.

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Postby Narsil » Fri May 25, 2007 12:24 am UTC

Well, it would just be another form of transportation. About as ethical as a bike.

More to the point, why are we arguing technology that we will in all likelihood never see in our lives?
Spoiler:
EsotericWombat wrote:MORE JUNK THAN YOUR BODY HAS ROOM FOR

Mother Superior wrote:What's he got that I dont?
*sees Narsil's sig*
Oh... that.


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