Tuesday, May 12, 2009

I reject many of her points while accepting the larger ones.

Some very good points here. I frequently argue against the use of teleportation for exactly the reason she lays out- I would be continuous to everyone but me (and this includes the clone of me). I do not, however, agree with her about other upgrades. We might as well say that then education destroys the self. How Tao. How silly. As long as we are choosing our upgrades we are guiding our own development and there's a continuity.

It's like the ship that sailed around the world losing bits of itself in every storm and squall it encountered and replacing them little by little. By the time it returned to its original port not a single plank or piece of rigging remained unchanged. Is it the same ship? Yes it is. Continuity isn't magical. When a plank is replaced that plank becomes the newest part of the original ship, not the first part of a new ship. As the rigging and planks get battered about and slowly replaced that first plank may become the oldest piece of the ship. To think otherwise would be to suggest that each plank becomes the first piece of a unique ship, that these unique ships inhabit the same space should be problematic to that view point.

Are there ways we could 'lose' our personhood? Yes there are. My gaining a spell checker in my mind or your ability to download the skills of a helicopter pilot are not chief among them. The divide is likely to be in the vicinity of when you can't be distinguished from anyone else who has upgraded to the same extent, or is that enough? Personally, I'm starting to think that it isn't.

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