The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Seen something interesting in the news or on the intertubes? Discuss it here.

Moderators: Zamfir, Hawknc, Moderators General, Prelates

Radical_Initiator
Just Cool Enough for School
Posts: 1374
Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2011 10:39 pm UTC

Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Radical_Initiator » Thu Apr 14, 2011 11:05 pm UTC

Dauric wrote:
sourmìlk wrote:
Box Boy wrote:
sourmìlk wrote:Except that you're recreated on the other end. There is no unique aspect to "you" that can't be recreated via physical means.
Incorrect, your personal perspective isn't able to be copied, only transferred or left where it is, and normal teleporters don't account for that. Being broken apart ends your perception of the world and kills you, so unless you can transfer your mind (assuming it can be separated from the original body) you'll die.


Define "personal perspective."


You step in to the teleporter and a copy is made, but the bit that's supposed to de-rez you fails and the original you is left on the source teleport. The consciousness-stream/ Personal perspective, your "I am Me", self awareness, your thought process are left on the source pad, while an identical copy of those processes is on the other side of the research campus you work at in the receiving lab. Which one of you goes home to fuck your wife and which one of you is the homeless shlub who needs a new Social Security number because he's a non-entity who's not supposed to exist?


http://www.smbc-comics.com/index.php?db ... 1879#comic
I looked out across the river today …

User avatar
Box Boy
WINNING
Posts: 1356
Joined: Thu Nov 20, 2008 9:33 pm UTC

Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Box Boy » Thu Apr 14, 2011 11:12 pm UTC

....I was just looking for that
Signatures are for chumps.

User avatar
TheAmazingRando
Posts: 2308
Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2008 9:58 am UTC
Location: San Diego, CA

Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby TheAmazingRando » Fri Apr 15, 2011 12:12 am UTC

You guys are making the assumption that there's some sort of continuous meta-consciousness that persists between individual states of consciousness. Why must this be the case? Discounting metaphysics, consciousness is a function of the conscious mind, and it terminates every time the mind goes unconscious. This is, like, axiomatically true. So, when you go unconscious, the thread of consciousness or whatever you want to call it that you had before is gone forever. It dies. When you wake up, you have a new thread of consciousness that's linked, via your body and your memories, to the old one.

This makes a lot more sense to me than positing some spooky continuous self that is, through unknown means, linked to the particular atoms in your body.

User avatar
Oregonaut
Posts: 6511
Joined: Wed Jun 02, 2010 9:58 pm UTC
Location: Oregon

Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Oregonaut » Fri Apr 15, 2011 12:19 am UTC

Can I live in the not too distant future where we've moved past this pointless argument?
- Ochigo the Earth-Stomper

The EGE wrote:
Mumpy wrote:And to this day, librarians revile Oregonaut as the Antichrist.

False! We sacrifice our card catalogues to him in the name of Job Security!

User avatar
Shivahn
Posts: 2200
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2009 6:17 am UTC

Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Shivahn » Fri Apr 15, 2011 12:28 am UTC

Oregonaut wrote:Can I live in the not too distant future where we've moved past this pointless argument?


Well, you could cryogenically freeze yourself until we're past it.

Of course by doing this you'd be breaking the chain of consciousness and ceasing to exist, so you should think about that first.

User avatar
Oregonaut
Posts: 6511
Joined: Wed Jun 02, 2010 9:58 pm UTC
Location: Oregon

Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Oregonaut » Fri Apr 15, 2011 12:28 am UTC

Shivahn, I'm going to spank you.
- Ochigo the Earth-Stomper

The EGE wrote:
Mumpy wrote:And to this day, librarians revile Oregonaut as the Antichrist.

False! We sacrifice our card catalogues to him in the name of Job Security!

User avatar
Shivahn
Posts: 2200
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2009 6:17 am UTC

Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Shivahn » Fri Apr 15, 2011 12:34 am UTC

I exist only to annoy.

I want to say something thought provoking, but would basically just be repeating everything TheAmazingRando said. Though I do think it's pretty weird to debate "No, your consciousness is transferred" and "No, you die and a new you is created" while having such different assumptions on both sides.

User avatar
sourmìlk
If I can't complain, can I at least express my fear?
Posts: 6393
Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2008 10:53 pm UTC
Location: permanently in the wrong
Contact:

Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby sourmìlk » Fri Apr 15, 2011 12:36 am UTC

Shivahn wrote:I exist only to annoy.


Then what the hell am I here for?
Terry Pratchett wrote:The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.

User avatar
Oregonaut
Posts: 6511
Joined: Wed Jun 02, 2010 9:58 pm UTC
Location: Oregon

Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Oregonaut » Fri Apr 15, 2011 12:37 am UTC

We've asked ourselves that many times.

>.>

<.<

It was there.
- Ochigo the Earth-Stomper

The EGE wrote:
Mumpy wrote:And to this day, librarians revile Oregonaut as the Antichrist.

False! We sacrifice our card catalogues to him in the name of Job Security!

User avatar
Iulus Cofield
WINNING
Posts: 2917
Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2010 9:31 am UTC

Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Iulus Cofield » Fri Apr 15, 2011 1:01 am UTC

Be nice, Oregonaut.

User avatar
Oregonaut
Posts: 6511
Joined: Wed Jun 02, 2010 9:58 pm UTC
Location: Oregon

Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Oregonaut » Fri Apr 15, 2011 1:05 am UTC

Ahm trayian! I saw the joke and jumped at it.

I'm weak.
- Ochigo the Earth-Stomper

The EGE wrote:
Mumpy wrote:And to this day, librarians revile Oregonaut as the Antichrist.

False! We sacrifice our card catalogues to him in the name of Job Security!

User avatar
sourmìlk
If I can't complain, can I at least express my fear?
Posts: 6393
Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2008 10:53 pm UTC
Location: permanently in the wrong
Contact:

Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby sourmìlk » Fri Apr 15, 2011 3:23 am UTC

Iulus Cofield wrote:Be nice, Oregonaut.

No, no, I set that up.
Terry Pratchett wrote:The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.

User avatar
TheChewanater
Posts: 1279
Joined: Sat Aug 08, 2009 5:24 am UTC
Location: lol why am I still wearing a Santa suit?

Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby TheChewanater » Fri Apr 15, 2011 3:50 am UTC

According to a Star Wars book that takes place 40 years after A New Hope, it takes Boba Fett a minute to transfer a file containing his genome onto a portable memory device. Let's say there are over 4 billion nucleotide pairs (a huge overestimation) and each byte represents four of them. That's about a gigabyte. Assuming Moore's law works in the Star Wars universe and can be applied accurately to data transfer rates, that means that 40 years earlier, their storage devices could write data at (230) / (220) = (210) = 1 Kb per minute.

My flash drive is faster than Luke Skywalker's. We are in the future.

Well, technically Star wars is "a long time ago". I also made a few assumptions about Moore's law that probably aren't true. Also, Moore's law says "inexpensively", but Boba Fett is loaded and can probably blow a few million credits on a pimped out flash drive.
ImageImage
http://internetometer.com/give/4279
No one can agree how to count how many types of people there are. You could ask two people and get 10 different answers.

User avatar
Diadem
Posts: 5654
Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2008 11:03 am UTC
Location: The Netherlands

Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Diadem » Fri Apr 15, 2011 4:04 am UTC

Ok back on topic.

First let's assume no supernatural effects. Because after all if you do the entire debate is meaningless. The essence of life is information. Your memories, emotions, feelings, the way your brain works, etc. All of this is encoded in some way in your brain chemistry. So if you make an exact copy of someone, all of this remains. The copy would have the exact same memories as the original, the exact same feelings, the exact same thought patterns, etc. If this isn't the case your copying mechanism is not good enough, and the debate also ends, because I think then we can all agree something was lost.

Most notably the clone would also remember being the original. There's a continuous thread of thoughts from original to clone, call this the soul if you want, but you copied it too, since you copied all information from the original. Does this mean the original no longer feels like the original. Of course not. They both feel like the original. They must, for they are the exact same. Only after the copying is complete do their experiences start to diverge. But before that they are the exact same person.

Of course you could tell which is the clone and which isn't, by looking at which side of the machine the person came out of. But to the clone, it's not relevant that he is a clone. He's exactly the same as he was before, all he experienced was stepping into the machine, and stepping out again on the other side. A teleporter is no different, except that you remove the original while building the clone. For your conscious that really does not matter.

Dauric wrote:If -I- were to travel by teleport would -I- perceive the travel, or would there be an exact duplicate of me in every respect on the destination end picking up where I left off, but -my- perception ends when the digitizing beam tears my body in to component pieces?

Both. If I copy you, you will both perceive being the original and being the copy. That's the entire point of copying. If I scan you, rebuild you in a different location, and then shoot you in the head, you will both experience being copied and then killed, and being transported star trek like. If however the transporter mechanism is smart and does the rebuilding and removing at the same time, and if the removal is sufficiently instantanious, you'll never experience death. You'll just experience being copied. Remember, the essence of life is information. If the information is preserved, you are not killed in any meaningful meaning of the word.

Imagine a sapient AI running on a computer. Every night I turn save the program and switch off the computer. Do I kill it? No, this is more akin to putting it to sleep. Deleting it would be equivalent to killing it. Now I build a second computer with the exact same hardware. Then one night I copy the program to the new computer, and destroy the original. Did I kill the AI? No of course not. Nothing meaningful changed for him. If he has external sensors he might experience himself being in another room, but that doesn't affect the essence of his being. Human life is no different though, our hardware is just more squishy, and the distinction between hard and software is a bit less clear.
It's one of those irregular verbs, isn't it? I have an independent mind, you are an eccentric, he is round the twist
- Bernard Woolley in Yes, Prime Minister

User avatar
sourmìlk
If I can't complain, can I at least express my fear?
Posts: 6393
Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2008 10:53 pm UTC
Location: permanently in the wrong
Contact:

Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby sourmìlk » Fri Apr 15, 2011 4:16 am UTC

Right. Basically, there is no aspect of a human that isn't able to be created physically.
Terry Pratchett wrote:The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.

User avatar
Garm
Posts: 2241
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2007 5:29 pm UTC
Location: Usually at work. Otherwise, Longmont, CO.

Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Garm » Fri Apr 15, 2011 4:51 am UTC

According to the Metaphysics of Star Trek, the transporter is an information transporter. It has two buffers, the material pattern buffer and the psychological profile buffer (soul or what have you). Since multiple episodes show that you can actually use matter other than the body to do things like recreate bits of the transportee, the more important buffer is the second one. There's on the go brain-taping, essentially.

What I wonder is what kind of transportation medium you're planning on using. It sure as hell can't be something like 2.4ghz. You beam someone from one place to another and they end up all scrambled because there was a leaky microwave nearby. Pretty much any sort of EM beam that we know of is going to be disruptable. It's not even a matter of Heisenberg at that point, just how well can we prevent interference. The closer you are to any sort of major source of interference (like something emitting high energy particles... say a star) the more likely the transport will have errors or packet loss. Oops, there goes the memory of your wedding, fucking neutrinos.
Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.
- JFK

User avatar
sourmìlk
If I can't complain, can I at least express my fear?
Posts: 6393
Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2008 10:53 pm UTC
Location: permanently in the wrong
Contact:

Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby sourmìlk » Fri Apr 15, 2011 4:53 am UTC

Garm wrote:According to the Metaphysics of Star Trek, the transporter is an information transporter. It has two buffers, the material pattern buffer and the psychological profile buffer (soul or what have you). Since multiple episodes show that you can actually use matter other than the body to do things like recreate bits of the transportee, the more important buffer is the second one. There's on the go brain-taping, essentially.


Well that's just silly.
Terry Pratchett wrote:The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.

Randomizer
Posts: 284
Joined: Fri Feb 25, 2011 8:23 am UTC
Location: My walls are full of hungry wolves.
Contact:

Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Randomizer » Fri Apr 15, 2011 4:55 am UTC

The fact that a mass of energy and matter is able to perceive itself and its surroundings doesn't make any sense anyway, let alone the fact that the universe exists in the first place. :p

If you guys want to take your chances on the teleporter pad, go ahead. Me? I'll just use the tech for when I need a perfect clone of myself and won't kill the original me.

I think things are more complicated than "same atoms in the same arrangement = same person" because I most certainly have a different set of molecules in a different arrangement than I did when I was a kid, yet as far as I can tell I'm the same person. Even if you go by it all being to do with the brain, well my brain is larger than it was then and yet I've certainly never felt like a cow or a head of lettuce or anything else I've ingested. Add that to the fact that siamese twins certainly think they're different people even though they share the same body, and well... like I said, if -you- want to take your chances on the teleporter, go ahead, it's not like -I- would be able to tell the difference. I can't even tell twins apart half the time.

But anyway, back to the future that we're currently living in! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dyMVZqJk8s4
If youve been waiting for that Minority Report-style interface to really come to fruition, you can finally exhale. One of the science advisors from the Steven Spielberg film has created a real-world implementation of the computer systems seen in the film.
This. Is. Awesome.

Edit to add: You know what we need to do? Make a movie set "in the future" that only uses tech that already exists today. Then when people leave the theater they can be like, "Oh shit. You mean we already have that?!" :D
Belial wrote:I'm all outraged out. Call me when the violent rebellion starts.

User avatar
Dauric
Posts: 3988
Joined: Wed Aug 05, 2009 6:58 pm UTC
Location: In midair, traversing laterally over a container of sharks. No water, just sharks, with lasers.

Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Dauric » Fri Apr 15, 2011 5:12 am UTC

Diadem wrote:Ok back on topic.



Actually this is increasingly off topic.

Dauric wrote:If -I- were to travel by teleport would -I- perceive the travel, or would there be an exact duplicate of me in every respect on the destination end picking up where I left off, but -my- perception ends when the digitizing beam tears my body in to component pieces?

Both. If I copy you, you will both perceive being the original and being the copy. That's the entire point of copying. If I scan you, rebuild you in a different location, and then shoot you in the head, you will both experience being copied and then killed, and being transported star trek like. If however the transporter mechanism is smart and does the rebuilding and removing at the same time, and if the removal is sufficiently instantanious, you'll never experience death. You'll just experience being copied. Remember, the essence of life is information.


Yeah, not unless the components you're using at the destination are quantum entangled with the component elements at the source to transmit the experience to the other copy. As soon as the copies are made their experiences diverge the one at the source experiences being shot in the head, the one at the destination does not (because if it was an exact copy that had also experienced being shot in the head it would come out of the transporter with a hole in it's head which defeats the entire exercise).

If the information is preserved, you are not killed in any meaningful meaning of the word.


To the clone or to an outside observer perhaps, but not to the poor sap that stepped in the teleporter copy-murder-machine, he's dead.


Another thought: You create a completely perfect copy of someone. Completely identical in every way. Is it morally justifiable to kill the first one because "Meh, we've got a spare right here." After all the information is preserved. Or rather because they're so identical do they have equal value as human beings? Or because they're identical do they have half the value of either human being?

Yet another thought: The copy-kill transporter is just shuffling data, so we save the data to a hard drive and pump out a few dozen of you. Can I murder you and eleven of your clones.. or hell murder all of your clones the information is preserved on hard drive. You're not killed in any meaningful way... I find this attitude disturbing.

See, I don't know about you guys but I have this "Will to Live" thing, I don't take kindly to being killed regardless of whether or not there's a copy of me elsewhere. I don't particularly care that the copy is so perfect that it thinks it's me, knows my SSN and my e-mail passwords, and is suffering from the same indigestion that I am. I don't care that nobody else can tell the difference, or that the clone can't tell that it's not me.

Even in the most perfect copy-kill transporter the cloned consciousness picks right up where the previous consciousness left off true, and certainly the clone is in every respect to the outside world, and even to itself the original person, but... is it the same consciousness as the original? In that perfect smart transporter the clone experiences being copied since it's experiencing both ends of the transporter through recorded and live experiences respectively, but the original experiences the first half of the process then stops experiencing anything since It doesn't exist any longer except as disassociated atoms.
We're in the traffic-chopper over the XKCD boards where there's been a thread-derailment. A Liquified Godwin spill has evacuated threads in a fourty-post radius of the accident, Lolcats and TVTropes have broken free of their containers. It is believed that the Point has perished.

User avatar
sourmìlk
If I can't complain, can I at least express my fear?
Posts: 6393
Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2008 10:53 pm UTC
Location: permanently in the wrong
Contact:

Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby sourmìlk » Fri Apr 15, 2011 5:16 am UTC

Randomizer wrote:The fact that a mass of energy and matter is able to perceive itself and its surroundings doesn't make any sense anyway, let alone the fact that the universe exists in the first place. :p

You've never worked with extremely low level computer hardware, have you? When you design complex circuits out of individual logic gates, you can see how simple parts make up something so complex that it's hard to consider it of a natural source. It may seem baffling that these tiny little switches can make up something as complex and reactive as a computer, but you look into it and suddenly you grok it. It's all about complexity: eventually the behavior of the system becomes so much more advanced than the behavior of it's individual components that it begins to be difficult to see a connection.

I think things are more complicated than "same atoms in the same arrangement = same person" because I most certainly have a different set of molecules in a different arrangement than I did when I was a kid, yet as far as I can tell I'm the same person. Even if you go by it all being to do with the brain, well my brain is larger than it was then and yet I've certainly never felt like a cow or a head of lettuce or anything else I've ingested. Add that to the fact that siamese twins certainly think they're different people even though they share the same body, and well... like I said, if -you- want to take your chances on the teleporter, go ahead, it's not like -I- would be able to tell the difference. I can't even tell twins apart half the time.

It's your brain structure. And the structure of your brain has been progressing, so in that sense you're not the same person you were. Basically: the physical layout of your brain is affected by your past experiences. This is what makes you, the layout of your neurons.

But anyway, back to the future that we're currently living in! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dyMVZqJk8s4
If youve been waiting for that Minority Report-style interface to really come to fruition, you can finally exhale. One of the science advisors from the Steven Spielberg film has created a real-world implementation of the computer systems seen in the film.
This. Is. Awesome.


That minority report interface is miserable. The gestures are unintuitive, and a good interface should minimize effort and motion, not maximize it.

Dauric wrote:
Yet another thought: The copy-kill transporter is just shuffling data, so we save the data to a hard drive and pump out a few dozen of you. Can I murder you and eleven of your clones.. or hell murder all of your clones the information is preserved on hard drive. You're not killed in any meaningful way... I find this attitude disturbing.



The moment the clones gain consciousness and develop their own experiences, they are separate people and murder becomes murder.

To the clone or to an outside observer perhaps, but not to the poor sap that stepped in the teleporter copy-murder-machine, he's dead.


No, the perspective of the poor sap that stepped into the transporter has disappeared and been recreated on the other side. Perspective is a physical aspect of somebody, just like everything else. we can't assume something metaphysical exists, as I explained before.
Terry Pratchett wrote:The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.

User avatar
Dauric
Posts: 3988
Joined: Wed Aug 05, 2009 6:58 pm UTC
Location: In midair, traversing laterally over a container of sharks. No water, just sharks, with lasers.

Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Dauric » Fri Apr 15, 2011 5:22 am UTC

sourmìlk wrote:
Dauric wrote:
Yet another thought: The copy-kill transporter is just shuffling data, so we save the data to a hard drive and pump out a few dozen of you. Can I murder you and eleven of your clones.. or hell murder all of your clones the information is preserved on hard drive. You're not killed in any meaningful way... I find this attitude disturbing.



The moment the clones gain consciousness and develop their own experiences, they are separate people and murder becomes murder.

To the clone or to an outside observer perhaps, but not to the poor sap that stepped in the teleporter copy-murder-machine, he's dead.


No, the perspective of the poor sap that stepped into the transporter has disappeared and been recreated on the other side. Perspective is a physical aspect of somebody, just like everything else. we can't assume something metaphysical exists, as I explained before.


I'm not assuming the metaphysical. You're removing one consciousness to replace it with an identical one. That original person has a consciousness which means destroying that consciousness is murder regardless of the existence of other copies by your own argument that as soon as any consciousness develops its own experiences it's a person. By definition the original has been developing it's own experiences long before the clones come along.
We're in the traffic-chopper over the XKCD boards where there's been a thread-derailment. A Liquified Godwin spill has evacuated threads in a fourty-post radius of the accident, Lolcats and TVTropes have broken free of their containers. It is believed that the Point has perished.

User avatar
sourmìlk
If I can't complain, can I at least express my fear?
Posts: 6393
Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2008 10:53 pm UTC
Location: permanently in the wrong
Contact:

Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby sourmìlk » Fri Apr 15, 2011 5:24 am UTC

Dauric wrote:I'm not assuming the metaphysical. You're removing one consciousness to replace it with an identical one. That original person has a consciousness which means destroying that consciousness is murder regardless of the existence of other copies by your own argument that as soon as any consciousness develops its own experiences it's a person. By definition the original has been developing it's own experiences long before the clones come along.


Yes, except the original has been immediately replicated, unlike the clones. How exactly do you define "perspective"?
Terry Pratchett wrote:The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.

User avatar
Iulus Cofield
WINNING
Posts: 2917
Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2010 9:31 am UTC

Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Iulus Cofield » Fri Apr 15, 2011 5:38 am UTC

Are you familiar with Phenomenology? Relativity kind of relies on it. The individual observer is the only relevant observer to an experience. So while you can create perfect copies with a teleporter and even have all observers of the copy, including the copy themself, perceive the copy to be in fact identical in every way, the observer who stepped onto the teleport pad has a different viewpoint, that their molecules were torn apart and everything went black.

User avatar
sourmìlk
If I can't complain, can I at least express my fear?
Posts: 6393
Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2008 10:53 pm UTC
Location: permanently in the wrong
Contact:

Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby sourmìlk » Fri Apr 15, 2011 5:43 am UTC

Iulus Cofield wrote:Are you familiar with Phenomenology? Relativity kind of relies on it. The individual observer is the only relevant observer to an experience. So while you can create perfect copies with a teleporter and even have all observers of the copy, including the copy themself, perceive the copy to be in fact identical in every way, the observer who stepped onto the teleport pad has a different viewpoint, that their molecules were torn apart and everything went black.


And then their viewpoint was immediately recreated at a different location. Phenomenology is a philosophy, not a science. Relativity relies on reference frames, not abstract notions of what constitutes perspective.
Terry Pratchett wrote:The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.

User avatar
Dauric
Posts: 3988
Joined: Wed Aug 05, 2009 6:58 pm UTC
Location: In midair, traversing laterally over a container of sharks. No water, just sharks, with lasers.

Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Dauric » Fri Apr 15, 2011 5:50 am UTC

sourmìlk wrote:
Dauric wrote:I'm not assuming the metaphysical. You're removing one consciousness to replace it with an identical one. That original person has a consciousness which means destroying that consciousness is murder regardless of the existence of other copies by your own argument that as soon as any consciousness develops its own experiences it's a person. By definition the original has been developing it's own experiences long before the clones come along.


Yes, except the original has been immediately replicated, unlike the clones. How exactly do you define "perspective"?


Define "Immediately replicated". Does that mean that transmitting data over light-seconds would be unethical since it's not immediate?

I don't define "perspective" as we're discussing because we don't have a thorough understanding of what the "Self" is in a scientifically definable framework. Sure we understand how neurons work ,and how different parts of the brain are active in certain ways, but if personality, experiences, perspective, consciousness were understood as well as you seem to be implying there would be a lot better mental health-care, after all it would just be a matter of debugging the "software" of the neural pathways.

We don't have the level of understanding of the way the brain works that would be necessary to definitively say one way or another that a person copy-deleted is actually transported or two different entities simultaneously are destroyed and created, much less a firm grasp of the actual physics involved in teleportation which would interact in some way with how the brain functions to create "Self" or "Perspective".

In light of that lack of understanding I think an attitude of "it's no big deal, you're just dead for a few nanoseconds" is, at best, questionable.
We're in the traffic-chopper over the XKCD boards where there's been a thread-derailment. A Liquified Godwin spill has evacuated threads in a fourty-post radius of the accident, Lolcats and TVTropes have broken free of their containers. It is believed that the Point has perished.

User avatar
sourmìlk
If I can't complain, can I at least express my fear?
Posts: 6393
Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2008 10:53 pm UTC
Location: permanently in the wrong
Contact:

Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby sourmìlk » Fri Apr 15, 2011 6:13 am UTC

Dauric wrote:
sourmìlk wrote:
Dauric wrote:I'm not assuming the metaphysical. You're removing one consciousness to replace it with an identical one. That original person has a consciousness which means destroying that consciousness is murder regardless of the existence of other copies by your own argument that as soon as any consciousness develops its own experiences it's a person. By definition the original has been developing it's own experiences long before the clones come along.


Yes, except the original has been immediately replicated, unlike the clones. How exactly do you define "perspective"?


Define "Immediately replicated". Does that mean that transmitting data over light-seconds would be unethical since it's not immediate?

I don't define "perspective" as we're discussing because we don't have a thorough understanding of what the "Self" is in a scientifically definable framework. Sure we understand how neurons work ,and how different parts of the brain are active in certain ways, but if personality, experiences, perspective, consciousness were understood as well as you seem to be implying there would be a lot better mental health-care, after all it would just be a matter of debugging the "software" of the neural pathways.

We don't need to understand how the software is coded, just where it is.

We don't have the level of understanding of the way the brain works that would be necessary to definitively say one way or another that a person copy-deleted is actually transported or two different entities simultaneously are destroyed and created, much less a firm grasp of the actual physics involved in teleportation which would interact in some way with how the brain functions to create "Self" or "Perspective".

Yes, we do. We know that our mental state is stored in the physical layout of our neurons. By copying the neurons we copy ourselves. Like I said, we can't presume some supernatural, nonphysical thing when talking about this.
Terry Pratchett wrote:The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.

User avatar
Diadem
Posts: 5654
Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2008 11:03 am UTC
Location: The Netherlands

Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Diadem » Fri Apr 15, 2011 7:33 am UTC

I really do not understand why this is so hard to grog for most people. I highly suspect it is because deep down most people cling to metaphysical ideas about human beings, perhaps without realizing it themselves.

Life is information. Information can be copied. The copied information is the same as the original in every meaningful meaning of the word 'the same'. If I copy a file on my harddrive the physical electrons which make up the file may be different, but it's still the same file. The physical difference is not meaningful, because information is not physical, it's information. It's stored physically, yes, but information itself is not a physical thing.

Noone has responded to my AI example. So I'll ask again. If I have a sapient AI, and I copy them to another computer and then destroy the original computer, have I murdered the AI? I don't think anyone would say that. Even if I let the AI gather dust on a dvd for a few weeks before rebooting them I haven't murdered them. You could claim I've grossly violated their rights as a sapient being by doing that (depending on what I had promised them I'd do), but murder it is not. And noone would build elaborate philosophical constructs to explain that really the original AI is gone now, it's consciousness lost, and the copy running on the new computer is just a clone that isn't the real thing. Nor does it matter if I do this while the PC is switched off or on, or even with the AI running in the background but getting 0 clockcycles so that it's essentionally paused.

But humans are exactly the same. We're biological, and rather more complex than a computer, and our information is stored much more chaotically, but we're still essentionally just information. So we can be copied. Of course another difference is that humans can't be paused. But if you're transporter is fast enough that is not a problem. If the process of "copying + deletion of original" takes just a microsecond then in the first case scenario you've destroyed a microsecond worth of experiences. I can totally live with that. Transmitting the data and reassembling you might take longer, but that doesn't matter, that just means I temporarily did not exist physically. You could in theory upload me to a harddrive and keep my lying around of a year before reassemling me. It still wouldn't affect who I am (I would of course be highly upset if something like that happened to me, because I'd miss out on all those experiences I could have had in that year. But that's another matter entirely. It's not murder).

Dauric wrote:Another thought: You create a completely perfect copy of someone. Completely identical in every way. Is it morally justifiable to kill the first one because "Meh, we've got a spare right here."

Well it would be a rather egregrious violation of personal autonomy if done without permission of the person, but yeah it's not murder. Of course you'd have to do this within microseconds of creating the copy, or find a way to freeze them in time somehow, or otherwise their experiences will have diverged so much that they are no longer the same.

After all the information is preserved. Or rather because they're so identical do they have equal value as human beings? Or because they're identical do they have half the value of either human being?

You're looking at this wrong. They are one human being. Not two. It doesn't matter how many copies there are, it's still only one human being. They will have the value of one human being.

Yet another thought: The copy-kill transporter is just shuffling data, so we save the data to a hard drive and pump out a few dozen of you. Can I murder you and eleven of your clones.. or hell murder all of your clones the information is preserved on hard drive. You're not killed in any meaningful way... I find this attitude disturbing.

Like above, it's a rather egregrious violation of personal autonomy, but murder it is not.

Even in the most perfect copy-kill transporter the cloned consciousness picks right up where the previous consciousness left off true, and certainly the clone is in every respect to the outside world, and even to itself the original person, but... is it the same consciousness as the original?

Yes. Yes it is. Unless you postulate that a person has metaphysical properties such as a 'soul'. Then of course all bets are off.
It's one of those irregular verbs, isn't it? I have an independent mind, you are an eccentric, he is round the twist
- Bernard Woolley in Yes, Prime Minister

User avatar
Link
Posts: 1399
Joined: Sat Mar 07, 2009 11:33 am UTC
Location: ᘝᓄᘈᖉᐣ
Contact:

Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Link » Fri Apr 15, 2011 7:37 am UTC

Bloody hell, people, the only even remotely useful thing we can say about the "self" and how it works is that we don't bloody know. Anything else is wild speculation at best and not even wrong at worst. And more importantly, it's completely irrelevant to this thread.

TheChewanater wrote:According to a Star Wars book that takes place 40 years after A New Hope, it takes Boba Fett a minute to transfer a file containing his genome onto a portable memory device. Let's say there are over 4 billion nucleotide pairs (a huge overestimation) and each byte represents four of them. That's about a gigabyte. Assuming Moore's law works in the Star Wars universe and can be applied accurately to data transfer rates, that means that 40 years earlier, their storage devices could write data at (230) / (220) = (210) = 1 Kb per minute.

My flash drive is faster than Luke Skywalker's. We are in the future.

Well, technically Star wars is "a long time ago". I also made a few assumptions about Moore's law that probably aren't true. Also, Moore's law says "inexpensively", but Boba Fett is loaded and can probably blow a few million credits on a pimped out flash drive.

Actually, 1GB per minute is comparable to modern-day high-end USB flash drives. Even if you assume Boba Fett has a much, much more complex genome than your average present-day human (let's say around 150 billion base pairs - comparable to the largest known vertebrate and plant genomes on Earth, and equivalent to 37.5 GB of uncompressed data), it's possibly around three times faster than a modern-day SSD. Modern-day RAM is a lot faster, and can be used for data storage as long as it is kept powered (which, considering that light sabres et al don't need a huge external power supply, is a trivial feat in the Star Wars universe).

User avatar
Goldstein
Posts: 985
Joined: Wed Nov 05, 2008 9:38 pm UTC
Location: Newcastle, UK

Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Goldstein » Fri Apr 15, 2011 8:05 am UTC

This sort of discussion in The Thread To Remind Him We're Living In The Future makes baby Felstaff cry.
Chuff wrote:I write most of my letters from the bottom

User avatar
sourmìlk
If I can't complain, can I at least express my fear?
Posts: 6393
Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2008 10:53 pm UTC
Location: permanently in the wrong
Contact:

Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby sourmìlk » Fri Apr 15, 2011 8:27 am UTC

Wait a minute...

Wasn't Boba Fett eaten by the Sarlaac? How can he be alive 40 years after A New Hope?
Terry Pratchett wrote:The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.

User avatar
grythyttan
Posts: 466
Joined: Sat Aug 25, 2007 1:46 pm UTC
Location: Hncwhxagykozzqlif azefkbtvw. Kjkd sb, ypwyw eg tdpm.
Contact:

Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby grythyttan » Fri Apr 15, 2011 9:12 am UTC

An off-topic spoiler for anyone who wants to continue the discussion on the ethical/philosophical ramifications of teleportation:
Spoiler:
FUCK YOU! AND STOP ACTING LIKE SUCH A STUCK UP DELIBERATELY THICK CONDESCENDING TWAT! (yes I'm talking to you, don't think I'm talking to anyone other than you.

Here's a consolation comic:
Spoiler:
Image


Now for the actual thread: You know that scene in Wanted, where they shoot eachothers bullets out of the air? Yeah we can do that now. With tanks.

Also: piggyback heart transplant. We've had that for some years now. basically instead of transplanting a heart you add a second one that beats in tandem with the original, weakened heart.

And one final: Nike has apparently patented the self lacing shoe. And there are still 4 years to go until back to the future future!
Joy of Cooking was far less of an achievement than Thyme Cube discovery, for I have Cubed the Spice, with 4 simultaneous flavor types in 1 plant of Earth.
Spoiler:
Image

User avatar
Zamfir
I built a novelty castle, the irony was lost on some.
Posts: 7588
Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2008 2:43 pm UTC
Location: Nederland

Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Zamfir » Fri Apr 15, 2011 9:29 am UTC

Diadem wrote:Well it would be a rather egregrious violation of personal autonomy if done without permission of the person, but yeah it's not murder. Of course you'd have to do this within microseconds of creating the copy, or find a way to freeze them in time somehow, or otherwise their experiences will have diverged so much that they are no longer the same.

Yeah, though I guess the people in such world will have a very different view on such ethical categories. With murder-as-we-know-it not necessarily as one of the worse violations possible. After all, a world of perfect copies is presumably also a world of perfect backups. If being murdered forces 'you' to go back to a week-old backup, a court could well decide that that is mostly lazy backupping on your side, and just a mild misdemeanour on the killer's side.

User avatar
bentheimmigrant
Dotcor Good Poster
Posts: 1366
Joined: Fri Apr 25, 2008 9:01 pm UTC
Location: UK

Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby bentheimmigrant » Fri Apr 15, 2011 9:34 am UTC

Seriously guys... This is a thread about how we're living in the future. Stop ruining it.
"Comment is free, but facts are sacred" - C.P. Scott

User avatar
bigglesworth
I feel like Biggles should have a title
Posts: 7461
Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2007 9:29 pm UTC
Location: Airstrip One

Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby bigglesworth » Fri Apr 15, 2011 10:04 am UTC

Link wrote:Actually, 1GB per minute is comparable to modern-day high-end USB flash drives. Even if you assume Boba Fett has a much, much more complex genome than your average present-day human (let's say around 150 billion base pairs - comparable to the largest known vertebrate and plant genomes on Earth, and equivalent to 37.5 GB of uncompressed data), it's possibly around three times faster than a modern-day SSD. Modern-day RAM is a lot faster, and can be used for data storage as long as it is kept powered (which, considering that light sabres et al don't need a huge external power supply, is a trivial feat in the Star Wars universe).
Well, there's more information in a genome than the bases themselves. There could be a wealth of metagenomic information available to the scientists of Kamino. However, given your over-estimation, that might have already been taken into account.
Generation Y. I don't remember the First Gulf War, but do remember floppy disks.

zmatt
Posts: 554
Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2011 3:48 pm UTC

Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby zmatt » Fri Apr 15, 2011 12:25 pm UTC

Chen wrote:We're already assuming a transporter that can avoid uncertainty and other quantum effects, I fail to see why it can't also get around transporting one's consciousness or soul.


No we aren't, I solved the uncertainty part by breaking you down at the molecular level and not the atomic level. Molecules are not subject to uncertainty. And I am in the camp that consciousness is merely the result of our advanced brain dealing with the inputs from the world around us. it develops over the period of our childhood into something that can perceive the world and then into our adulthood into something that can reason within the world that it perceives. If you think of the brain as a complex biocomputer (which it is) then the consciousness is nothing more then the operating system. I would argue that instinct and the id, things we seem to be born with would act as the firmware or BIOS to continue the analogy.
clockworkmonk wrote:Except for Warren G. Harding. Fuck that guy.

User avatar
Box Boy
WINNING
Posts: 1356
Joined: Thu Nov 20, 2008 9:33 pm UTC

Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Box Boy » Fri Apr 15, 2011 12:31 pm UTC

Well, yeah, I don't think consciousness is anything specially detached to the body or that it's spiritual - but I DO think that being broken down to the molecular level and having those molecules made into an exact replica kills 'you' and creates a new being, albeit an identical one.
EDIT: Also, can we drop this argument and move it over to either SB/Sci-fi science or general? It's clogging up the thread.
Signatures are for chumps.

Radical_Initiator
Just Cool Enough for School
Posts: 1374
Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2011 10:39 pm UTC

Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Radical_Initiator » Fri Apr 15, 2011 5:58 pm UTC

zmatt wrote:Molecules are not subject to uncertainty.


They're not?
I looked out across the river today …

User avatar
Diadem
Posts: 5654
Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2008 11:03 am UTC
Location: The Netherlands

Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Diadem » Fri Apr 15, 2011 6:35 pm UTC

Could a mod perhaps split this rather interesting discussion that has developped here to SB? Because it is offtopic, but too interesting to just drop.

Box Boy wrote:Well, yeah, I don't think consciousness is anything specially detached to the body or that it's spiritual - but I DO think that being broken down to the molecular level and having those molecules made into an exact replica kills 'you' and creates a new being, albeit an identical one.

This is simply inconsistent though. If consciousness if part of the body, it is part of a perfect copy. So it doesn't kill you. Anyway you keep repeating the same thing, but you ignore all the arguments raised against your position. Please reply to my previous post about AIs and information.

Zamfir wrote:
Diadem wrote:Well it would be a rather egregrious violation of personal autonomy if done without permission of the person, but yeah it's not murder. Of course you'd have to do this within microseconds of creating the copy, or find a way to freeze them in time somehow, or otherwise their experiences will have diverged so much that they are no longer the same.

Yeah, though I guess the people in such world will have a very different view on such ethical categories. With murder-as-we-know-it not necessarily as one of the worse violations possible. After all, a world of perfect copies is presumably also a world of perfect backups. If being murdered forces 'you' to go back to a week-old backup, a court could well decide that that is mostly lazy backupping on your side, and just a mild misdemeanour on the killer's side.

Well it certainly won't be a mild misdemeanour. At the very least you violate someone's bodily autonomy, and force him to be in a place he doesn't want to be (the backup centre) and do things he doesn't want to do. So it would always be at least as bad a crime as kidnapping. But you always caused a week's worth of memory loss, which in such a society will most likely be considered a very serious crime. But I agree, in such a society the concept of murder would probably disappear. Well, if everybody was rich enough to afford regular backups.

Could make for an interesting sci-fi novel. Unfortunately that has already been done.
It's one of those irregular verbs, isn't it? I have an independent mind, you are an eccentric, he is round the twist
- Bernard Woolley in Yes, Prime Minister

User avatar
Crius
Posts: 392
Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2009 7:27 pm UTC

Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Crius » Fri Apr 15, 2011 7:57 pm UTC

All I know is that if a teleporter would be functionally the same if the source were just shot in the head and the body dumped, that is a teleporter I don't want to go through.

User avatar
Box Boy
WINNING
Posts: 1356
Joined: Thu Nov 20, 2008 9:33 pm UTC

Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Box Boy » Fri Apr 15, 2011 8:23 pm UTC

Diadem wrote:
Box Boy wrote:Well, yeah, I don't think consciousness is anything specially detached to the body or that it's spiritual - but I DO think that being broken down to the molecular level and having those molecules made into an exact replica kills 'you' and creates a new being, albeit an identical one.
This is simply inconsistent though. If consciousness if part of the body, it is part of a perfect copy. So it doesn't kill you. Anyway you keep repeating the same thing, but you ignore all the arguments raised against your position. Please reply to my previous post about AIs and information.

Not much TO say besides that a regular teleporter seems like it would kill the original, along with being restored from a backup of your mind, and I can't see a way around this from anything anyones posted unless you use a transporter (which by it's nature transfers your mind rather than creates a copy).
It's part of your body, not your clones, and therefore when you're teleporter you die because a new body is made from your atoms, rather than your one being moved across. Your life ends, your clone's begins, cut and paste, etc.

I mean, post why you think that's wrong now and I'll reply, but so far everything we've said can't really be proved wrong since we're disagreeing on the most fundamental part of this (whether your conscious perception of the world ends upon teleportation), and it's equal parts belief and science.

(Also I'm rather tired and my thoughts are starting to get jumbled up and together)
Signatures are for chumps.


Return to “News & Articles”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Majestic-12 [Bot] and 21 guests