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

From: Heartland (
Date: Mon Mar 17 2008 - 09:41:40 MDT

>> [Lee wrote] hey, Slawek, how come you don't put attributions at the
>> appropriate places in your posts---at least lately?

Because I realized you don't do that. I was trying to make you more comfortable by
adopting your style of posting.

>>>> 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.

If you had said yes, I would have made this very point next.

> 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"?

So can you please explain what point you were making when you said people don't
want to be like rodents?

I suspect being like a rodent feels just fine to a rodent. What causes you to say
that you, human, don't want to be like a rodent? It's crucial that we identify what
it is, exactly, as it's the same thing that causes you to say, "I want to remain
Lee Corbin." If we rule out potential change in quality of life, then what is it?
In your answer, please don't rely on our shared humanity, like common aversion to
rodents. Explain this as if a rational alien that perhaps sees no big difference
between rodents and humans asked you.

>>>>>> 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

Let me stop you there. There have been NO others, just JKC.

> perhaps, is that
> under anaesthesia, perhaps you believe your "instance of mind
> process" is ended?

It's an objective fact. Even all cryonicists should have no problem acknowledging
this simple truth. An instance of any type of process ends when it stops. If you
catch a ball, its flight ends. What can be less confusing than that?

What you are really asking me is whether I think *this* life ends whenever mind
stops and the answer is yes. I did not adopt this view because I liked it. In fact,
I hate it. Believe me, I was forced, kicking and screaming, by logic to agree with
the conclusion. I will always try to find something that will hopefully invalidate
this view, but, so far, I've been unsuccessful in my search. What's worse is that,
the more I think about it, the final conclusion seems more obvious in

I would also like to make crystal clear that I don't care whether people go under
anesthesia or not because I don't really care if I'm interacting with a copy or an
original, as long as the copy is, and behaves, like the original. IOW, my quality
of experience is not affected regardless of whether I'm dealing with the original
or a copy.

>> 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 recap, you believe person survives only when there exists a copy of his memories
AND these memories get runtime (true?), whereas I believe only uninterrupted
runtime is required.

>> 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>

Well, I don't respect cryonics literature all that much. I think medical
establishment is essentially correct when it claims that people die "when the
electrical activity in their brain ceases [permanently]." ( ). My point continues to be that
"amnesia" is one thing, "death" is something else. I realize some cryonicists
insist on inserting a
"=" between these two different concepts but I think that would be incorrect.

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

You still haven't answered the main question (the one I keep asking at the
beginning of my posts). You can always ask anything you want but please know that
we won't go very far until you're able to answer the original question or realize
the answer doesn't exist.


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