Re: Memory Merging Possible For Close Duplicates

From: Lee Corbin (
Date: Wed Mar 12 2008 - 16:49:58 MDT

Stuart writes

>> Anyway, I claim it isn't even *imaginable* how two truly separate
>> people (on the usual meaning of words), e.g. William Shakespeare
>> and Albert Einstein, could be merged, without, as you say, creating
>> "massive psychological problems", or a completely confused brand
>> new person.
> Oh! A challenge! :-)
> Let's take a year, to do it properly. Start with Einstein, and try and
> add Shakespeare (a retired Shakespear back at Stradford-upon-Avon).
> Every night we have our little mind-manipulator-o-matic, and change a
> little bit of Einstein's mind. To keep it simple, let's assume Al is
> aware we are doing this...

Very good. With enormous effort, just of the kind you are outlining
(thanks), perhaps it could be managed.

> ...
> There will be contradictions here, but people can live with
> contradictions; more importantly, they can resolve them. During this
> period, we encourage Al-Will to not [do] too much conceptual thinking.

Yes, with the slow approach you're taking, I can imagine that---
even if it took years---there would finally emerge someone who
remembered being Einstein and who remembered being The Bard.

> Then finally, when we have implanted all of Will's memories, we put
> our subject on mind numbing drugs for the rest of the year..., and put
> him though a routine, dull, and boring existence. This allows us to
> avoid the pitfalls of "who was I yesterday" and such things; before we
> "wake him up", we can then fit both Al's and Will's memories into the
> category "recent but not immediate past".

Yeah, I had to do a trick in my own scenario to avoid the subject
suddenly thinking: "Wait! Did I go to that movie or did I go to
that bookstore?", where neither seems plausible since it would
not include any trace of memory of the other.

> Lastly, the most important part: we wake up Al-Will, and have him
> resolve his own contradictions.

A very, very long process, IMO, during which he very likely becomes
someone who is neither of those men.

> Some aspects of Al will fade away; so will some aspects of Will.
> Others will complement and reinforce each other. His vision
> of his place in the world will be a fascinating thing to watch... I
> would also like to see his politics!
> Does this sound imaginable?

Yes it does, thanks.

> And if it is doable in the above sense, it's certainly also doable at
> high speed and with a subject who doesn't agree to the process.

So the Merge Machine would "resolve his own contractions" as
you wrote above, for him? That borders on being non-computable,
as is, e.g., what the state of chaotic system will be in the far future.
The only way to find out is to let the system run. So am I to infer
that you would just speed up several years of brain development
in Al-Will's skull? Okay. But it may be non-computable to
try to take short cuts.

The point being that merging two separate incidents or separate
days for close duplicates is child's play compared to that! You
go to Florence for a vacation, we duplicate you and your hotel
room, and in each case la policia burst into your hotel room
and take you in for interrogation. But in one case, they're very
nice and wear blue uniforms, and in the other they're very mean
and wear black. Later, after the merge, you'd be confused, but
you'd have to guess that either you'd suffered a little amnesia
or your imagination had played tricks. But you are still absolutely
the same person, even though you had a very weird day or two
in Italy.


This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Wed Jul 17 2013 - 04:01:02 MDT