There is a big problem here, reincarnation and samsara may or may not be mythology, but the reality is so strange, perhaps the "sitter horizon" or destiny matrix of the universe that dates back to the past with our telescopes, is the Causing me to have the life I have in this universe? My life is an orchestrated simulation? Did the universe know that it would come to exist as a human?

I have a cat, and I wonder why a cat was born, why am I not a cat? If my cat resurrected in the future and I do too, my cat will not experience human life, his conscience will always be that of a cat, my cat will not experience things that human beings experience, as a higher intellect, do not know whether to think about the possibility of technological resurrection or the fatal samsara cycles of rebirth of beings.

I need to know what they think of reincarnation in other living beings vs. technological resurrection, here comes the hard problem of consciousness, and if consciousness is eternal?

Expand full comment

My intuition is that both copies are me (to be more precise: both copies are in the same relationship with me as normal future self with current self and both copies have me as their past self). I agree that they will be separate entities that don't share consciousness.

However, I don't see any reason to think that one of them is more me than the other. Why do you think this should be the case and how would you decide which one is the "original"?

Expand full comment

Both copies are equally real. If you’re a simulation and someone made a physical copy of you five minutes ago, then that physical copy is plainly not you. You are one copy.

This is different from the question of whether, if someone is about to make a physical copy of you, you will end up being the physical copy or the simulated copy. I think whether you end up being the physical copy or the simulated copy is indeterminate.

I think copying events are cases of fission. After fission, there are two people, both of whom are equally real. One of the resulting people is the original, but it is indeterminate which one.

Expand full comment

Somebody had to be first! In any case, being wrong about important questions is better than being right about banal ones. Here's to mistakes along the right path.

Expand full comment

I don't entirely disagree on "your mind isn't simply a set of algorithms running on some random hardware," but so what? If so, we'll just need to copy those non-algorithms to some non-random hardware. Probably more difficult than current conceptions of uploading, but the universe is young.

Expand full comment

David, you are the first to compare me to Jordan Peterson!As I say somewhere in the book, I guess the ideas that I sketch are very wrong in their detail, but perhaps wrong in interesting ways, and hopefully more right in spirit.

Expand full comment

Re "Prisco claims to care so much about promoting future resurrection that to encourage it he’s willing to promote wishful thinking on future distant gods. But the obvious way to promote future resurrection is to encourage people to get cryonics..."

Robin, my mom is dead. So is my dad. So is my doggy Sacha. So are many people I loved. None has been frozen. My wife doesn't want to be frozen. Coming back to life without them would be worthless to me. I am a big fan of cryonics, but cryonics doesn't have much to do with what I am trying to say.

Expand full comment

I quite agree with you. Here I will share an academic work Saving Humanity on humans’ survival and development written by the anthropologist Hu Jiaqi. Details can be seen in the following report. https://www.1170kfaq.com/st...

Expand full comment

> Will I end up as the virtual copy or the physical copy?

What if we say that both copies are me? Intuitively it does seem like the simulated copy is not me but just a simulation, but imagine we are now living in a simulation and I'm copied to the outside, to the real reality. Do your intuitions about which one is the real me change?

Expand full comment

> But I think that you're missing or sidestepping the key point: Your copies won't be "you."

From my perspective an exact copy of me is me given that the original is gone. I don't see any way I or anyone else could tell the difference. I have no sentimental attachment to these particular atoms: give me the same arrangement of atoms + 20 years of life and we have a deal, so yes, I would step into the copy machine (of course I'd need to be very confident that it works as advertised).

Your definition of "me" as "these exact atoms" is not wrong, but I think it's more productive to consider exact or almost exact copies, simulations, etc. of me as pretty much also me. This does create a problem that there might be more than one "me" at some point, but I agree with Xerographica that this this is a good problem to have.

Expand full comment

If you can make people artificially instead of going through ordinary pregnancy and childhood, there will be strong population growth pressing against limited resources. This is true even if total resources are abundant. Any marginal resource that could keep a resurrected ancestor alive could instead keep any other entity alive, including direct copies of entities existing at the time. With strong population growth against limited resources, competition for resources will be high, which requires additional resources being spent on resource conflicts. In such a world, the opportunity cost from creating ancestor-approximations is much higher than it would be in ours. Although if the world is much bigger in total resources, maybe someone somewhere will carve out a niche. Still, the ability to read brain-states out of the past has a low Bayesian probability, while the re-creation of approximative copies has low attractiveness for people who don't care about such approximations much. In either case, I don't feel much personal hope or terror from these scenarios. Then again, I don't need wishful thinking to alleviate my fear of death, since I consider nonexistence neutral rather than bad, and life has too much of a mix of bad and good elements to place high positive value on it. An Epicurean view of death seems perfectly acceptable here. So, Do Not Resuscitate.

Expand full comment

I don’t think the question is “are copies me?” but rather “does copying split me?”

Suppose there is a copy of me running on a computer. Since I am not running on a computer, I am not that copy. Surely there is a way I can use the English language to pick out which copy of me I am!

Suppose I am about to be copied onto a computer. Will I end up as the virtual copy or the physical copy? If copying splits me, there is no good answer to that question. If copying doesn’t split me, the answer is the physical copy.

Expand full comment

If I was dying then of course I'd go into the copy machine.

You say it wouldn't really be a resurrection... but I still don't know what you're talking about.

Maybe right now it's technically possible to clone somebody... or it will be possible. But this just makes a copy of a person's DNA... not their mind. If your copy machine copied my mind... then of course it would be a resurrection. YOU wouldn't be able to tell the difference. For all you know after my last reply I did step into your copy machine and you are now corresponding with my copy.

My mind is what matters. My preferences matter. My valuations matter. My missions and goals matter. As long as these things stay the same, then it would be a resurrection. *I* would continue with *my* work.

Expand full comment

You must have missed the part where the copy machine destroys the original. See what I wrote above, in my last post to Vasily. Would you step into the machine if you knew that it would destroy the body you currently possess?

That aside, I'll make it simple for you:- If you're merely being cloned or copied, it's not really resurrection. It's not an afterlife. There's little solace to be had in it. This makes it a poor foundation for a religion, because the competition offers much better incentives.

- As far as anybody can tell, you are your hardware, and there's no way to disentangle your consciousness from your brain. Anything that destroys your brain, such as death, is permanent and irrevocable. This physicalist position seems trivially obvious to me. ...All the more reason for cryonics. Software entities are another thing entirely, but for us biological creatures, the only hope for revival is in cryonics.

Expand full comment

My copy will not "merge" with me? Why would I want him to? He will have a separate and distinct consciousness? So what?

Of course I'd step into the copy machine. Who wouldn't want to have a copy of themselves? Maybe somebody who thinks it's a good idea to have all their eggs in one basket.

My copy will naturally want to help me facilitate economic enlightenment. We'd read different econ articles, books... watch different econ videos.... and participate in different econ discussions. Each day our different information and circumstances would make our minds more different... and more valuable to each other. But our minds changing is no different than my mind being marginally altered by my decision to reply to you.

Expand full comment

Where do you think your consciousness resides, if not in your brain?

Assume the Machine God simulates you or copies you today, while you are still alive. Somebody who has your exact same preferences will then come into existence, but that person will not be you -- he will not merge with you, he will possess a separate and distinct consciousness, etc.

So, yeah... somebody who has your same preferences, but is not you. More along the lines of a hyperidentical twin.

Would you step into the copy machine?

Expand full comment