Re: There's more to me than memories...

From: Lee Corbin (
Date: Sun Mar 16 2008 - 22:21:04 MDT

Heartland writes

> [Lee wrote] hey, Slawek, how come you don't put attributions at the
> appropriate places in your posts---at least lately?
>>> Let's focus on this because this is where you are assuming what
>>> I'm asking you to explain. Why is it important to be *like*
>>> something? As before, concept of "survival" cannot be used
>>> in the explanation.
>> I haven't answered your last question. I sort of have to throw up
>> my hands. I cannot explain why you don't want to be like certain
>> deformed people who have two heads, and I can't explain why
>> you don't want to be "like" a rodent. We have to start somewhere,
>> Slawek.
> Are you saying that preserving "likeness" is important because creatures that are
> not like you experience lower quality of life?

Certainly not. I know people who experience much higher quality
of life than I do. I'm surprised you'd make that particular guess.
Can't you imagine how inane or dumb it would sound if I were
to say "Yes. Yes, people and other things who are not me
experience lower qualities of life than I do"?

But---sorry---as I said before, we do have to make sure that
there is not something really basic we're miscommunicating about.
So---I'm not really offended or annoyed at the question, <sigh>.

>>>>> There *are* other things I can be attached to, you know.
>>>> Like what?
> *This* instance of mind process responsible for perception and
> making sense of the world around me.

Thanks. Okay, now I remember that from our discussions a year
or two back. What riles up JC and some others, perhaps, is that
under anaesthesia, perhaps you believe your "instance of mind
process" is ended?

Or is that another canard? :-)

>>> Yeah, so what does that tell you about importance of runtime vs. memories? You
>>> could have had all your memories intact forever and yet you didn't choose this
>>> option. Interesting.
>> As heaven is my witness, I have never in the last 40 years dismissed
>> what today I call runtime or processing! As you say, the memories
>> without any possibility whatsoever in all the future history of the universe
>> getting runtime are totally worthless to me. I have said that again and
>> again, I'm pretty sure.
> Good, so can I infer from this that having runtime is also at least as important to
> you as maintaining the same memories?

They're not directly comparable. It would be like asking someone about
their favorite Elvis Presley album---oops, showing my age---CD. The
question "which is more important, that that CD actually exists or that
you get to listen to it now and then?" is kind of equivalent, to me.

To me, the memories can be retained "off-line" just as Elvis's voice
can be (e.g. on a CD). Human memories---all of us uploaders think
---in some form or another can be preserved WITHOUT necessarily
getting much, if any, runtime. The analogy: You can keep that CD
around indefinitely, but never play it.

>> Oh, you are referring to Reagan's amnesia. People close to him said
>> that he had died bit by bit in the preceding months or years. Which
>> makes perfect sense, given what we know. What was being celebrated
>> was his whole life and his whole record, as you know. His deanimation was
>> just a convenient and very traditional point at which to "celebrate" his passing.
> If on June 4th 2004 you asked anyone in the world whether Reagan was still alive,
> almost everyone would reply "yes." I'm not trying to argue that your definition of
> death is wrong because of this. I'm only trying to point out that your definition
> of death (where death=amnesia) is quite exotic to most people. I doubt Reagan's
> friends and family thought he was actually dead on June 4th 2004. I bet they
> thought he was very sick, and couldn't remember much, but not dead.

Yes. The friends and family used society's and language's conventions
in this regard, no matter what they privately thought. Language is for
communication, after all. If questioned closely, many would concede
that he'd died slowly bit by bit, and was almost dead already. <Insert
mini-lecture on the way that "alive/dead" dicotomy doesn't capture
what is the real continuum very well, and that the cryonics literature,
for one place, goes into great detail about all this by very thorough,
intelligent, and sensible people>

Have I answered all your questions yet? Please reply, because I have
some of my own.


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