From: Lee Corbin (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Wed Mar 12 2008 - 09:01:17 MDT
>>> Why do you believe preservation of memories is important in the first place?
>> I meant, important for survival. If you irretrievably lose your memories, I say,
>> then you're dead. The cryonicists who obsess over all this strongly agree.
> I know, but they can never explain why...There has to be a reason why they
> think memories are important to survival. What is it?
>> So if survival is important to you, and you wonder about memory, then please
>> see my reply to Stuart at Tuesday, March 11, 2008 7:48 AM in this thread.
All right. So you, like most of us, are concerned that Slawek live through
the rest of today, and---God willing---through the rest of the year and so on?
Sorry, but I have to make sure, because your views are at quite a variance
with almost everyone else's on these lists, as you know, with great potential
> I couldn't find the answer in your reply. There was only one reply, right?
Oops, sorry Slawek. It depended partly on a previous email.
But never mind. Here goes.
If you and I exchange any given body part (except the brain)
then it's still clear afterwards who you are and who I am. But
suppose that somehow we could exchange cognitive ability,
exchange temperament, and exchange the instinctive
compassion we have for others. What then?
Well, I might find myself suddenly able to think more clearly,
and perhaps find myself emotionally on a much more even
keel a lot of the time, and maybe having intense empathy
and compassion for innocents I see wronged in movies or
in real life.
So what is it that has kept me "me"? I say it's memories.
For, if we suddenly exchanged *memories*, then you would
very suddenly find yourself in a townhouse in Santa Clara
California, needing always two or three pairs of glasses,
having little depth perception because of a weak left eye,
maybe being a lot taller or shorter, or heavier or leaner.
With just the memories exchanged, you might suddenly find
also that you could visualize more easily than before, but that
logic seemed harder, or other things to that effect.
You would *not* say to yourself, "Oh, I guess I'm not Slawek
anymore. I must be someone else." No. You would say
"WHAT THE HELL HAS HAPPENED TO ME? What
just *happened*?? AND WHAT AM I, SLAWEK, doing
here? and why is everything blurry when I look across the
room? Whose body is this? It's not *mine*!"
I think that it's a *fact* that you would speak and think just like
that. You would then, surely, be forced to admit that you went
with your memories when they were transferred to California.
Continuing: Next we swap your memories with some poor
device, like an ant, that can't work with them or do them
justice. Or we move your memories onto a blank DVD
and move the empty contents of the blank DVD into Slawek's
body. Then I claim you are dead, and won't be revived until
the swap is reversed, if that's still possible (probably not in
the case of the ant).
So, you see, you really are your memories, and if they're lost
then so are you.
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