From: Lee Corbin (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Tue Mar 18 2008 - 01:45:10 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.
Yes I do. At the top of every post I say who said something. Later
on, when I think it's "obvious" I drop it. But mistakes can be made :-)
See how it says "Heartland writes" up there? I don't think that you'll
even find one post I wrote on this list where I don't do that---even
if I do issue a preamble of sorts first.
A convention that I and many use is this: if there are an even number
of ">" symbols (and 0 is an even number) then it is either the author of
the present post, or someone else that is two levels back. In the latter
case, that writer usually should be identified. But sometimes it truly
is irrelevant, and there really is no need to.
Now on one other list I could mention :-) sometimes, but very very
rarely, I'll get into the spirit of the thing if people are just posting
>>> 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.
Okay. Then the above can be snipped next time. I should snip it this
time, but honestly I'm not so sure that you do your share of snipping.
(That might be totally unfair; I could be confusing you with someone
else.) Anyway, surely *this* paragraph itself can be snipped, thanks.
>> 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'll have to dig back through my posts. But let me start this way:
People don't want to be as small as rodents, or have as short a lifespan, or
have as little intelligence, or be so ugly (in human bias). There are also
surely many other features of rodents in general that people in general
do not want.
In general, people don't want to be drastically different than they already
are. Not only do they not want to be elephants and amoeba, they don't
want to be other people. If asked, "Do you wish that you were Vladimir
Putin?", they'll generally say no, but if you ask them if they'd like to be
like <insert famous and greatly admired Hollywood actor or actress>,
then they may say yes." What they *mean* by that, however, is not
that suddenly there are two Brad Pitts or whatever, but that they had
the money, or the fame, or the skill, or the good looks of Brad Pitt.
> 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?
Dealt with above. I also expanded the answer to include other animals,
and even other people.
> 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 like Lee Corbin."
We are not yet sure that it is the *same* thing. I may have other
reasons for wanting to remain Lee Corbin besides acquiring the
characteristics of rodents.
> 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.
Rational alien? Any alien that can not appreciate the difference between
humans, rodents, elephants, amoeba, and dogs would be stupid enough
in his misunderstanding of how evolution works that it would not have
been smart enough to get here. Those differences are *objectively* real.
>> ...is [it] 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?
Just checking. Just confirming that you believe that what you value
really would be lost if you take anaesthesia. Right? I mean, you
would refuse general anaesthesia if you went to a hospital and
the doctors were going to perform an exceedingly, exceedingly
> 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.
Hey, we're in the same boat (but using different paddles)!
I was forced kicking and screaming many years ago to conclude
that technically, very technically, functionalism is false (given
certain very unrealistic possibilities involving computronium
and GLUTs). But Like you, I felt I had no choice. But of course
this digression should be snipped. I just said as an aside :-)
> 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 retrospect.
Well, that can happen even if one is dead wrong.
> 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.
Would you like for someone you love to go under anesthesia?
>>> 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 think that's correct. Of course, a running instance in my view need have
no separate copy of his memories except the one he's running with at the
moment. But you probably meant that.
>>> 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]." (
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death#Definition ).
Actually, we cryonicists agree with that in the sense that if
we *knew* for absolute certain that a frozen person would
never be revived, we would consider that indeed he had died.
I only refer to the large body of cryonics literature to show
that I'm hardly alone in my beliefs, nor did I originate the
one's we're discussing.
> 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.
Sorry---what question is that? Can you repeat it, please? I will
try again to answer it.
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