« You Only Live Twice | Main | Hated Because It Might Work »

December 13, 2008


Your future is a head.

No body is required to live forever.

I'm just worried that the reanimated version of me will be a zombie version. That is, an empirically identical version of me without a continuance of my current conscience. Of course I don't have a fear of sleeping for that reason...but I'd probably do away with sleep if given the option...just to be safe.

This might just be me, but that image is a turnoff.

1. It looks very wet and slightly drooly; also, ew, lipstick getting on the popsicle.

2. Right after you post the article about cryonics-hostile wives, here is an image that implies "get frozen, there are hot women who will want you in the future!" (Which seems slightly more credible than beer ads that imply "hot women will want you if you drink this" but is still at the moment purely speculative.)

And I *am* a fan of cryonics.

Yeah, I'm with "just another chick" on this one, despite my advanced case of testosterone poisoning. If somebody doesn't think cryonics is creepy already, the frozen blow-job metaphor expressed in low-grade web graphic should do the trick.

I wouldn't mind scraping a bit of my DNA and sending it into space targeted at resource rich planets along with robotic replicators and human cloning equipment. Then, someday someone can stumble upon that planet and encounter an army of mutated me.

Or, maybe I'll 'just' cryogenically freeze myself.

Nazgulnarsil, you nailed it exactly and eloquently. If cryonics succeeds that will remain the largest threat to cryonicists: that people will focus all their attention on making as identical a reconstruction as they can and ignore the continuity issue. The only way I can think of guarding against this is to raise awareness of this problem early and often and hopefully it will sink in.

The only problem I'm having is constructing a non-axiomatic argument for why ripping me apart molecule by molecule in order to construct an identical copy of me (virtual or physical) amounts to killing me and creating a copy that *thinks* he's me. Have you had any luck with this? Or do you also believe this is an axiom, and if people don't get it, you can't get them to get it.

justanotherchick, William, count me in. This image is the opposite of "cool" for me, I could barely keep myself from saying "EWWW" out loud (for the record, I'm male and think cryonics is cool (pardon the pun)).

Dr. Commonsense,

has it occurred to you that the reason you haven't been able to construct such an argument is that there's a flaw in the beliefs you're trying to defend?

I totally used to "get" your point of view (and in a way I still do, as a memory) that continuity is an important part of what constitutes the self, but after fruitlessly looking for a good reasoning to support this for a while, I was forced to bite the bullet and become a patternist. It's certainly contrary to common sense, but common sense can often be misleading.

"Your boss probably hasn't signed up yet."
"Get the last laugh at your 200th High School reunion"
"Because you always were the coolest."

Heyyyy...I'm here all millenium folks!

Thank you for your answer Furcas. Just because you and I have been unable to prove that loss of continuity constitutes subjective death, does that make the assertion disproven?

What would it even take to prove or disprove this assertion? Can this assertion be one of those annoying Goedelian axioms that cannot be derived from simpler axioms?

It's not even clear whether it's patternism or continuationalism that falls afoul of Occam's razor: for patternists to be right, there would have to be some mechanism explaining why an exact duplicate of you coexisting with you is not you, but the simple fact of your destruction at the precise moment your duplicate comes online would somehow make it you.

I think the simpler explanation is that it's not you in either case.

Eliezer's arguments (no individual particles, consciousness should be detectable) are arguments for patternism.

I claim an exact duplicate of me is me - but we won't stay the same person for long, we'll diverge quickly. If you somehow keep us synchrone, they'll both be me.

Dr. Commonsense, the mistaken assumptions are that your identity is binary - either an entity "is" you, or it isn't - and that there can be at most only one "of you". An indistinguishable duplicate of you is you, and you still are you, as well. From there on your experiences diverge, and you both become less "of you" (compared to the snapshot at moment of copying).

There are already many of you in other Everett branches as well as in your past and future compared to the time you read this, so it is probably a good thing to come to terms with the non-binary, non-unitary nature of identity anyways. These entities range from close to 0 in "you-ness" (something very close to not behaving like you at all) up to essentially 1 (e.g. you from 1 second in the past).

Seems rather out-of-place for a blog called "Overcoming Bias".

First "em" week, now "cryonics" week? For budding rationalists a few of you folk do seem to believe in some funny stuff.

Is binary identity an assumption or an axiom? What if my *definition* of identity is the specific instantiation of my pattern that is directly connected to all previous such instantiations with no discontinuities?

Why would pursuing the preservation of my identity as per this definition be any less rational than you choosing to pursue the preservation of identity as per yours?

Henrik: You're assuming that i regard a snapshot in time of me to be "me", what if I am labeling as "me" the entire "snake"* that exists through space-time in this branch? I would regard a break in this snake as death. Does sleep constitute a break? I am increasingly of the opinion that sleep is not *un*consciousness, merely altered consciousness (lucid dreaming research). Therefore, we are conscious the entire time we are alive. but with cryonics, electrical activity in the brain ceases. this seems like a strong break to me.

*if you view all snapshots of your self at once it should form an undulating snake through space-time, beginning at birth and ending at death.


Would you count Star Trek-style teleportation as a strong break too? Was Chief O'Brien a mass murderer? (These questions aren't asked as conversation stoppers; I'm genuinely curious as to your answer.)

I prefer the original Beavis & Butthead.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Less Wrong (sister site)

May 2009

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
          1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30