Continuity - Comprehension Check

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Kurisu-kun Kurisu-kun's picture
Continuity - Comprehension Check

Hi, let me start by apologizing for my english (my mother language is french) and by saying hello as a new member of EP players community.

Like the title says, this post is less a question than a comprehension check.

It's about continuity, resleeving and backup.

When you resleeve, you can do it without the loss of your original neural influx (cf page 269 "Uploading-Resleeving Continuity".

Quote:

"At the same time, this data is slowly copied to the new sleeve as nanobots rewire the sleeve’s brain structure (a much
slower process). As the transfer occurs, the nanobots in the brain sever individual neural connections and re-route them to their duplicates in the virtual brain, and then eventually to the new brain. By the time the nanobots sever the last of the neural connections in the old brain, the ego is running completely on the virtual brain and the new sleeve’s brain. Once the resleeving is completed, the virtual brain is shut down."

Thus, you don't create a new instance of the ego, you simply move it from one host to another, the previous host is brain dead because the neural connections have been severed gradually and rerouted and the new host now contain the same instance of the ego.

As I see things, instance is a key word. Because, to be truly immortal, you need to have a way to keep the same given instance of an ego going on. If you start from a back-up, you start a new instance of an ego thus even if you have the same personnality and the same memories you are de facto another consciousness. If the original neural influx is lost, then the given instance of the ego disappears too, the given instance of the ego dies. This reasoning is the same with forks. An alpha fork is a perfect copy of you, as if you were resleeved from a back up. If you agree that an alpha fork is another consciousness, totally free of the original though having all it's memries and personality, then, you agree that being reinstanciated is not immortality of the original ego.

Then, if my reasoning is not right and even in the case of uploading-resleeving continuity there is no ongoing of the original ego neural influx, then, there is absolutely no immortality in the EP universe, simply a sacrifice of the original ego to make a copy of himself living in his place.

My reasoning encompass also an ego being cold stored. At the time of the loss of the neural influx, the consciousness dies, the same goes when people who are brain dead, they have lost they neural influx, the little spark of electricity that make consciousness exist.

My true question is this one: What do you think about this? Did somebody else had the same reasoning about this subject as me? Is my reasoning lacking of something?

Thank you for having read my post. (And sorry again for my english.)

Arenamontanus Arenamontanus's picture
Re: Continuity - Comprehension Check

It is all a matter of philosophy of identity. If you think continuity of consciousness or body identity is the real kind of identity, then it is hard to stay alive. If you have a pattern or functionalist view of identity (I am a particular program/data that can be instantiated in different ways) then there is no problem. There is likely no way to "solve" this philosophically. People will simply have different views.

But in EP the people who refused to upload and beam away from Earth ended up dead or worse, and the people who think they die if they are egocasted or copied from backup have very limited lives. Hence I would think a lot of people have simply forced themselves to accept pattern views of identity. They have not done this out of deep philosophical conviction, but simply because it works. A lot like many of our other assumptions about morality or reality.

Extropian

Decivre Decivre's picture
Re: Continuity - Comprehension Check

Arenamontanus wrote:
It is all a matter of philosophy of identity. If you think continuity of consciousness or body identity is the real kind of identity, then it is hard to stay alive. If you have a pattern or functionalist view of identity (I am a particular program/data that can be instantiated in different ways) then there is no problem. There is likely no way to "solve" this philosophically. People will simply have different views.

But in EP the people who refused to upload and beam away from Earth ended up dead or worse, and the people who think they die if they are egocasted or copied from backup have very limited lives. Hence I would think a lot of people have simply forced themselves to accept pattern views of identity. They have not done this out of deep philosophical conviction, but simply because it works. A lot like many of our other assumptions about morality or reality.

Exactly. Arguing concepts of identity is a lot like arguing concepts of the afterlife: everybody has a different opinion, and no living person knows the real answer.

Transhumans will one day be the Luddites of the posthuman age.

Help me get my gaming fix, if you want.

Kurisu-kun Kurisu-kun's picture
Re: Continuity - Comprehension Check

Thank you very much for your view on this.

Quote:
(...) If you think continuity of consciousness or body identity is the real kind of identity, then it is hard to stay alive.

Hum, not so hard in my opinion since we are doing it right now in our reality, aren't we?(I mean staying alive) (I was talking only about the consciousness part of your sentence.)

Quote:
(...) But in EP the people who refused to upload and beam away from Earth ended up dead or worse, and the people who think they die if they are egocasted or copied from backup have very limited lives. (...)

In my opinion, people from earth actually died, their personnalities and memories have been saved, but not them.

In Caprica, Zoe Greystone created an avatar of herself, with her memories and personnality then she died in the maglev train bombing, but the avatar knows that itself is not Zoe.

In Dollhouse, personnalities inprinted on the dolls are not the real person, here again simply personnality and memories.

But I see what your are meaning.

And i begin to grasp the real horror of the setting. Imagine you are copying yourself and the copy wants to erase you, kill you. In the EP universe this happens all the time as i understand the core book. You wouldn't let you alpha fork kill you right?

But again, i understand what your are trying to tell me. I think i'll make a faction who see things as i see them, a good way to make players think about this too. A faction who sees backing up not as immortality but as a way to ensure their legacies.

Thanks a lot again. ;-)

Decivre Decivre's picture
Re: Continuity - Comprehension Check

Kurisu-kun wrote:
Hum, not so hard in my opinion since we are doing it right now in our reality, aren't we?(I mean staying alive) (I was talking only about the consciousness part of your sentence.)

Your statement is only simple because you do not live in the context of a world where bodily transfer is a possibility. In a world where body transfer is common, and potentially expected of people, your opinion on what defines a person would render most people short-lived, as they would essentially die whenever they travel or get resleeved. We can make similar arguments in the context of the modern day: if cameras steal your soul whenever they take your picture, most people have been dead since they were children. May sound like a ludicrous statement to you, but yours would sound equally ludicrous in a world where resleeving is common, no?

Kurisu-kun wrote:
In my opinion, people from earth actually died, their personnalities and memories have been saved, but not them.

In Caprica, Zoe Greystone created an avatar of herself, with her memories and personnality then she died in the maglev train bombing, but the avatar knows that itself is not Zoe.

In Dollhouse, personnalities inprinted on the dolls are not the real person, here again simply personnality and memories.

But I see what your are meaning.

There is a difference. In the setting of Caprica, mind data is impossible to upload. Zoe instead found a way to use internet data to build a mind facsimile from the ground up. The opposite is true in Eclipse Phase... ego bridges actually upload your original, intact mind into digital form. It's not a facsimile, it's the real thing. Something similar (albeit not the same) is true in Dollhouse.

That said, I think it fair to note that you ignored another prime example from Caprica. Tamara Adama's digital form is under the impression that she is the original, and the revelation that she might not be has been quite jarring for her. Zoe's digital form had the luxury of meeting and co-habitating with the original, which is what fostered her understanding of the fact that she was not the original.

Kurisu-kun wrote:
And i begin to grasp the real horror of the setting. Imagine you are copying yourself and the copy wants to erase you, kill you. In the EP universe this happens all the time as i understand the core book. You wouldn't let you alpha fork kill you right?

But again, i understand what your are trying to tell me. I think i'll make a faction who see things as i see them, a good way to make players think about this too. A faction who sees backing up not as immortality but as a way to ensure their legacies.

Thanks a lot again. ;-)

That isn't a threat people fear at all. Alpha forks are essentially copies of you. They will only desire to erase and kill you if YOU desire to erase and kill yourself. They aren't evil, unless you are evil. They are literal copies of your mind, 1:1 in nature. Their thoughts are your own, and they will only begin to individualize from the point that they were created. Before that, all of their memories, experiences and feelings are exactly as yours.

As for the threat of being deleted, yes it is something that many people fear in Eclipse Phase. In that same vein, many people fear the idea of being alpha forked... they cannot quite grasp the concept of not being unique, or being simply a file of information that can be ran any number of times. It's why many of us believe in the "soul". But not everyone is going to be like this. Some will be completely comfortable with looking a fork in the eye and saying "you are me, and I am you... we are the same person". Neither person is necessarily right or wrong, and sense of self is key to the concepts of transhumanism.

Transhumans will one day be the Luddites of the posthuman age.

Help me get my gaming fix, if you want.

Kurisu-kun Kurisu-kun's picture
Re: Continuity - Comprehension Check

I see better and better what you're saying. I guess you're right by saying it's like debat over afterlife. Not being in the mind of the writers we can't have a true universal answer to that question.

But one of my question remains, does the real time resleeving use backup or is it really rerouting and redirecting neural impulse from a body to another?

And thus i have a sub-question: I read somewhere in the book a mention about rejuvenating treatments. Does these treatments can maintain a morph indefinitely or for a very long time, maybe several nowadays lifespan? Do morphs other than flats are aging and dying of old age eventually?

You could say "It's your game, do as you see fit." but i would like to have opinion of others and maybe know what was truly intended.

As for not mentioning Tamara, i guess it did not cross my mind. Tamara is the perfect example why such a system is horric by itself, from an external point of view at least. The copy thinks she is the original so if the original don't exist anymore there is no one to say "Hey wait a minute, i am here but she is there too and we are now different people because we had different experiences while we were apart." The people live happily with their view of identity in the EP universe but personnaly it frightens me a lot more that guessing about afterlife because, in my point of view concerning backup, people in this world are happily committing suicide and encouraging it.

And again, thank you for this discussion, it helps me to better understand some points of view about the concept of the game.

Arenamontanus Arenamontanus's picture
Re: Continuity - Comprehension Check

Decivre wrote:

Exactly. Arguing concepts of identity is a lot like arguing concepts of the afterlife: everybody has a different opinion, and no living person knows the real answer.

It might be worse, actually: it could be that there is no truth to the matter. Your belief about the afterlife could be true or false, but if personal identity is just a linguistic construction beliefs about it is merely a matter of taste. Then again, some philosophers (of course) think there is a truth to the matter. So we not only do not know the real answer, we don't even know if there is an answer.

Personally I'm a pretty hardcore functionalist who thinks I am the equivalence class of all Arenamontanus-like information processing processes. Which means that I would be (in theory) fine with egocasting, forking, merging and even killing/suiciding copies as long as there were some other copies around (or in the future) ensuring my continued existence. Defining how far a fork would need to diverge before it became somebody else is a tricky question that I do not yet know the answer to.

In EP part of the horror is that a lot of people have been *forced* to do radical changes to their identity they did not desire or quite accept. Imagine having to switch gender (or species) because there were no other available morphs. Or exist in several places at once despite one's strong view that "me" cannot be multiple. Or awaken from a saved cortical stack with the memories of being killed, loaded into a synthmorph - and yet hold a "this body is me" position. It is a good thing there are so good drugs and psychosurgeons around, because otherwise half of transhumanity would have a nervous breakdown. Philosophers of identity probably make lots of rep by running discussion groups where people come to terms with their post-Fall lives.

Extropian

Decivre Decivre's picture
Re: Continuity - Comprehension Check

Kurisu-kun wrote:
I see better and better what you're saying. I guess you're right by saying it's like debat over afterlife. Not being in the mind of the writers we can't have a true universal answer to that question.

But one of my question remains, does the real time resleeving use backup or is it really rerouting and redirecting neural impulse from a body to another?

It does both. It takes the data from your mind in real time and transmits it to both another body and a backup. You never actually go unconscious in the process. You actually feel as if you are in two locations at once, and have no pause in continuity. That's why people play games or watch something to pass the time in VR... it's very unsettling to feel like you are in two places at once.

Kurisu-kun wrote:
And thus i have a sub-question: I read somewhere in the book a mention about rejuvenating treatments. Does these treatments can maintain a morph indefinitely or for a very long time, maybe several nowadays lifespan? Do morphs other than flats are aging and dying of old age eventually?

You could say "It's your game, do as you see fit." but i would like to have opinion of others and maybe know what was truly intended.

No. Basic bio-mods render a biomorph completely immune to senescence. You will not grow old, your organs will not fail, and you will not get cancer without an external cause doing so (like the Exsurgent virus, or getting your organs blown up). If you get basic bio-mods installed in a flat, it too will become immortal. Now note that immortality does not mean "never die". Starvation, dehydration, and any other standard cause of death will still do you in.

Kurisu-kun wrote:
As for not mentioning Tamara, i guess it did not cross my mind. Tamara is the perfect example why such a system is horric by itself, from an external point of view at least. The copy thinks she is the original so if the original don't exist anymore there is no one to say "Hey wait a minute, i am here but she is there too and we are now different people because we had different experiences while we were apart." The people live happily with their view of identity in the EP universe but personnaly it frightens me a lot more that guessing about afterlife because, in my point of view concerning backup, people in this world are happily committing suicide and encouraging it.

And again, thank you for this discussion, it helps me to better understand some points of view about the concept of the game.

But then it gets to a sense of existence. If she believes for all intents and purposes that she is the real one, and telling her otherwise will harm her, is there any real need to do so? Is anything gained from her suffering?

To put it in context, think about this: what if someone one day walked up to you and told you that you weren't the original you. Then someone else walked in who looked just like you, and said you were a copy of him. All of your memories tell you that you are the original, yet they have proof that you aren't. Was it a good thing to know? Do you feel better with this knowledge? Would you have been better off not knowing?

Seriously, ponder that.

Arenamontanus wrote:
It might be worse, actually: it could be that there is no truth to the matter. Your belief about the afterlife could be true or false, but if personal identity is just a linguistic construction beliefs about it is merely a matter of taste. Then again, some philosophers (of course) think there is a truth to the matter. So we not only do not know the real answer, we don't even know if there is an answer.

Personally I'm a pretty hardcore functionalist who thinks I am the equivalence class of all Arenamontanus-like information processing processes. Which means that I would be (in theory) fine with egocasting, forking, merging and even killing/suiciding copies as long as there were some other copies around (or in the future) ensuring my continued existence. Defining how far a fork would need to diverge before it became somebody else is a tricky question that I do not yet know the answer to.

In EP part of the horror is that a lot of people have been *forced* to do radical changes to their identity they did not desire or quite accept. Imagine having to switch gender (or species) because there were no other available morphs. Or exist in several places at once despite one's strong view that "me" cannot be multiple. Or awaken from a saved cortical stack with the memories of being killed, loaded into a synthmorph - and yet hold a "this body is me" position. It is a good thing there are so good drugs and psychosurgeons around, because otherwise half of transhumanity would have a nervous breakdown. Philosophers of identity probably make lots of rep by running discussion groups where people come to terms with their post-Fall lives.

I have no doubt that the study of philosophy is both alive and potentially larger than ever in a world like Eclipse Phase. Ironically, I find that Eclipse Phase the game has awakened the philosophical side in a number of my players. Half the fun is challenging your concepts of reality with concepts that may very well exist in the future, and seeing how it fits in your view of the world. It really makes me wish they'd open a philosophy section in this forum.

In fact, I think I'm going to request that, so we can have much more complex conversations on these sorts of topics.

Transhumans will one day be the Luddites of the posthuman age.

Help me get my gaming fix, if you want.

Kurisu-kun Kurisu-kun's picture
Re: Continuity - Comprehension Check

Thank you very much to all of you for your points of view and clarifications.

To better illustrate what i am saying in the opening post, I just tought about an other example:

Let's say your are in a room A and you ego cast into a room B. Egocasting is not the same thing as realtime resleeving as I understand it so you are sending a backup of your ego to be resleeved in the body waiting in the room B. When the process is completed you still are in the room A and you can't whatsoever influence or control in any way possible the copy of your ego in the room B. For me that clearly demonstrates that the person in the room B is an other entity although with the same thinking patterns and memories of the person in the room A. You, as you are in room A, you will never see or feel whatever is in room B. So if you delete yoursekf in the room A, that is same as slitting your throat in our timedate, ego in the room B or not.

On the contrary, if you were able to influence, control or feel with the two bodies at the same time, in that case you would be the same entity actually controlling, residing in two bodies at the same time so erasing one of them wouldn't kill you.

Decivre Decivre's picture
Re: Continuity - Comprehension Check

Kurisu-kun wrote:
Thank you very much to all of you for your points of view and clarifications.

To better illustrate what i am saying in the opening post, I just tought about an other example:

Let's say your are in a room A and you ego cast into a room B. Egocasting is not the same thing as realtime resleeving as I understand it so you are sending a backup of your ego to be resleeved in the body waiting in the room B. When the process is completed you still are in the room A and you can't whatsoever influence or control in any way possible the copy of your ego in the room B. For me that clearly demonstrates that the person in the room B is an other entity although with the same thinking patterns and memories of the person in the room A. You, as you are in room A, you will never see or feel whatever is in room B. So if you delete yoursekf in the room A, that is same as slitting your throat in our timedate, ego in the room B or not.

On the contrary, if you were able to influence, control or feel with the two bodies at the same time, in that case you would be the same entity actually controlling, residing in two bodies at the same time so erasing one of them wouldn't kill you.

Egocasting can occur in real time. Essentially, your mental data is transmitted and immediately ran inside a brain emulator. You never actually feel any loss of continuity due to this process of transmitting and immediately running the data. Especially with bandwidth amounts in the world of Eclipse Phase, and the invention of light-speed data transmission, egocasting can literally take moments, and you could feel as if you're alive and there the whole time. Generally if you are in a biomorph, the process takes longer as you are transplanted from your physical organic brain to a digital emulation (takes about 15 minutes to a half-hour). All in all, it's usually a one-hour process during which you feel no actual loss of self or presence. You feel like you were awake the whole time (even though the data in transmission technically isn't), and do in fact feel like you are in two locations at once during transmission. This is why ego bridge egocasting is so popular over the alternatives (destructive brain uploading and backup transfer, both of which have no continuity).

If you need an explanation as to why continuity is maintained, think about it this way. Transferring your mind from one body to another is essentially transmitting your mental data over a wire to another body. Now if you make that device wireless yet keep the bodies at the same distance, the function is essentially the same, but the media has changed. That does not mean the transmission differs in any significant way. Now increase the range by any amount, and the function still hasn't changed... the medium is just longer (on a similar note, using an ego bridge that has a wire that transmits you a mile away to a different body would work the same as using an ego bridge with a one-inch wire, just over a longer distance). Hence, egocasting allows for continuity at least as well as using an ego bridge for a body next to you... it's just a much longer ego bridge. However, the sensation of being two places at once can be jarring. Most people use VR games and such to pass the time, so they don't feel that weird bring transmitted no matter the distance (in VR, you don't feel like anything weird is happening at all; you'll go into simulspace, play some racquetball with your muse, then be informed when the egocast is complete only to wake up 3 AU away at a different habitat).

Transhumans will one day be the Luddites of the posthuman age.

Help me get my gaming fix, if you want.

Kurisu-kun Kurisu-kun's picture
Re: Continuity - Comprehension Check

I see. I tought I read in the book that conscious transfer is not possible over 10 000 kilometers so I tought that over this distance only backup could be send.

But does conscious egocasting leave a blank slate at the starting point or does the original ego is dissociated from the one at the destination at some point?

Decivre Decivre's picture
Re: Continuity - Comprehension Check

Kurisu-kun wrote:
I see. I tought I read in the book that conscious transfer is not possible over 10 000 kilometers so I tought that over this distance only backup could be send.

But does conscious egocasting leave a blank slate at the starting point or does the original ego is dissociated from the one at the destination at some point?

The ego bridge consists of four major components: source morph, destination morph, source digital brainstate, destination digital brainstate. As you are being prepared for transfer, your ego is being uploaded from the source morph to a digital brainstate, so that your mind can be converted to digital data for transfer. As it is being uploaded, the nanites doing the data scanning are also deleting the organic data from the morph's brain, essentially returning it to a blank state. This is all seamless, and you don't feel a thing or change in the process. Next, the brain state is transmitted elsewhere, and is loaded up at the destination as another brain state identical and synched up to the first... you never feel this transmission, nor do you even feel a slight pause. The first brainstate is shut off after synchronization is perfect. Afterwards, nanites begin the process of uploading the mind from the second digital brainstate into the destination body. When both are identical in every way (not just an alpha fork, literally one mind in two places), the digital brainstate is shut off and the transfer is complete.

Think of it as akin to teleportation, but only for the mind. Everything is seamless and you'll never notice any problems with continuity. But you are right that such a transfer can only occur over a maximum distance of 10,000 km. I did not notice that little tidbit before, so my apologies. Still, the distance limitation is quite vast still, and should be long enough to travel between neighboring habitats (although I suppose not through the entire system). Also, note that you can theoretically code the nanites to not delete your mind during the transfer, essentially resulting in two you's. The real philosophical question is which one is the original... did you copy your mind from one to the other, or did you transfer to another body and leave a copy behind?

Transhumans will one day be the Luddites of the posthuman age.

Help me get my gaming fix, if you want.

Kurisu-kun Kurisu-kun's picture
Re: Continuity - Comprehension Check

Ahh. No easy solutions in this game. ;-) Maybe that's a part of it's appeal.

King Shere King Shere's picture
Re: Continuity - Comprehension Check

Decivre wrote:
The real philosophical question is which one is the original... did you copy your mind from one to the other, or did you transfer to another body and leave a copy behind?

I would answer with a third possibility: Both minds were the original. During the transfer the original mind was doubled in size, the two resulting minds where that doubled mind & was separated becoming half of it.

Quote:
Half the doubled size please :)

I'm thinking that the continuity check crisis could be philosophically similar to a patient receiving Corpus callosotomy (surgically separate the two hemispheres of the brain)

Except the result isn't a obnoxious half-brained alien hand, when the two former originals are at odds. (alien hand syndrome).



"To find fault is easy; to do better may be difficult."
Plutarch

Arenamontanus Arenamontanus's picture
Re: Continuity - Comprehension Check

If you want to get a real headache, read the thought experiment in Nick Bostrom's Quantity of experience: brain-duplication and degrees of consciousness (pdf):

Quote:
If a brain is duplicated so that there are two brains in identical states, are
there then two numerically distinct phenomenal experiences or only one? There are
two, I argue, and given computationalism, this has implications for what it is to
implement a computation. I then consider what happens when a computation is
implemented in a system that either uses unreliable components or possesses varying
degrees of parallelism. I show that in some of these cases there can be, in a deep and
intriguing sense, a fractional (non-integer) number of qualitatively identical phenomenal
experiences.

This is why I tend to keep away from philosophy of mind :-)

Extropian

Decivre Decivre's picture
Re: Continuity - Comprehension Check

King Shere wrote:
I would answer with a third possibility: Both minds were the original. During the transfer the original mind was doubled in size, the two resulting minds where that doubled mind & was separated becoming half of it.

I would agree with that sentiment, but it generally isn't something that can be accepted by people who believe in the concept of the soul... which is why I offered a two-answer quandry.

Transhumans will one day be the Luddites of the posthuman age.

Help me get my gaming fix, if you want.

Kurisu-kun Kurisu-kun's picture
Re: Continuity - Comprehension Check

Hum, I would like to add, that nowhere in my questions I spoke about the soul. ;-)
To me, the existence of the soul or not is irrelevant with the issues I brought up. ;-)

Decivre Decivre's picture
Re: Continuity - Comprehension Check

Kurisu-kun wrote:
Hum, I would like to add, that nowhere in my questions I spoke about the soul. ;-)
To me, the existence of the soul or not is irrelevant with the issues I brought up. ;-)

I know, but I think any intellectual discussion about identity has to take into account the prevailing thoughts of our time. Perhaps in a few generations, the concept of the soul will be outdated and our society will actually be ready to maturely tackle issues of self and conscience in a world where bodies are interchangeable and minds are transferrable data. Until then, however....

Transhumans will one day be the Luddites of the posthuman age.

Help me get my gaming fix, if you want.

King Shere King Shere's picture
Re: Continuity - Comprehension Check

In many religions the "spiritual/mythical" soul doesn't remember past experiences, similar to formating the "original". Making them likely irrelevant & faulty in a continuity check.

The soul was a passenger abandoning the ship & forgot about it.

I believe that there exists a continues mind. I would describe that (energy/ data/synapse-discharges) as a soul also. This Soul can thus be fundamentally different compared to a religions soul.

I'm the captain remaining, I can hope I get another ship, but chances are I'm trapped with the sinking ship.

Ideal solution is of course to transfer the continues "soul" without killing it. That said I'm pragmatic, I consider a copy a form of offspring and thus almost as good; as a continued existence. Prompting me to commit suicide, if the situation calls for it. Not that I consider myself suicidal.

Topic of the soul was in another thread.
http://www.eclipsephase.com/invasion-humans



"To find fault is easy; to do better may be difficult."
Plutarch

Kurisu-kun Kurisu-kun's picture
Re: Continuity - Comprehension Check

Ahh, I am itching right now to go on talking about differences between memories (who are only data) and consciousness (who is, in my opinion, something more, very difficult to apprehend (as we don't understand it in our time) but absolutely not related to the soul). But I should not. ;-)

King Shere King Shere's picture
Re: Continuity - Comprehension Check

To tell the truth, I managed to miss the existence of conscious ego casting in EP, this "new" informative will give my EP universe a slightly lighter tone & make it a less deadly one. I have enjoyed this thread & its ideas.



"To find fault is easy; to do better may be difficult."
Plutarch

Kurisu-kun Kurisu-kun's picture
Re: Continuity - Comprehension Check

I see your point about offspring, King Shere. It is like the Phoenix, who immolates himself to be reborn from his ashes. ;-) The old Phoenix gives birth to the next generation by sacrificing himself.

Decivre Decivre's picture
Re: Continuity - Comprehension Check

Kurisu-kun wrote:
Ahh, I am itching right now to go on talking about differences between memories (who are only data) and consciousness (who is, in my opinion, something more, very difficult to apprehend (as we don't understand it in our time) but absolutely not related to the soul). But I should not. ;-)

Consciousness has become something more and more difficult to quantify. Over time, we have found out that the things that we once thought separated man from beast really don't separate us as much as we once believed. Long ago we thought we were the only animals that dreamed, but now we know that isn't true. We once believed that we were the only ones who could feel emotions, or love... but again we have proven this belief wrong. We've even broken the old idea that we were the only animals capable of abstract thought.

Here's some food for thought though: what if we found out that there wasn't anything special about consciousness? What if we found out that what made us thinking beings really was just a collection of organic chemical processes occurring in that soft mass in your skull? What if we found out that all we were could be summed up and perfectly repeated using very advanced computers? Would that make your life any less special? Do you really need the idea that you are some magical secret form of energy to get through the day? Does something need to be magical to have any worth?

My favorite pastime is video games. I enjoy the escapism that one can achieve when you become the hero in an epic story, and can interact with a fictional world. It's also why I love tabletop RPGs. It never bothered me when I found out that my favorite NES game was just a collection of 0s and 1s on a read-only memory chip that was sending instructions to a mindless machine that outputted data on my television set. It never bothered me when I found out that my favorite game was structured in a way that the whole game world and its entire outcome was designed by some Japanese guys working on computers long before I ever got a chance to play it. It never bothered me when I realized that my favorite book was just an organized mass of letters collected into linguistic sets called "words", which are then arranged into proper English syntax and printed on sheets of paper. These things don't bother me.

So really ask yourself... why should it bother you if there wasn't anything special about our minds? If we did find out that our minds were nothing more than chemical processes, it doesn't mean that our lives aren't special in themselves. The whole universe is an amazing thing, and it doesn't require magic to achieve that.

Transhumans will one day be the Luddites of the posthuman age.

Help me get my gaming fix, if you want.

King Shere King Shere's picture
Re: Continuity - Comprehension Check

I never though people was in any way special, despite me still considering them both unique & common. When more people than me gets the same notion & are trying to get to the same destination. The resulting traffic jams & waiting line sometimes bother me ;)

Some people are bothered when someone else has usurped "their" video game character. That doesn't mean they consider them-selfs a magical energy or that the video game character was in any way special, To them the experience of playing the video game character was special & the though of not playing it again sparks a sense of loss.

Others have had nightmares of the video game characters unfinished quests & the countless of worlds thus risking destruction. I Imagine some of those people writing in their will, urging their relatives to continue playing the addictive video game & the characters (that now lost its original "owner").

One example that comes to mind is the living relatives that continue the "face book" of their dear & departed dead relative.



"To find fault is easy; to do better may be difficult."
Plutarch

Decivre Decivre's picture
Re: Continuity - Comprehension Check

King Shere wrote:
I never though people was in any way special, despite me still considering them both unique & common. When more people than me gets the same notion & are trying to get to the same destination. The resulting traffic jams & waiting line sometimes bother me ;)

Some people are bothered when someone else has usurped "their" video game character. That doesn't mean they consider them-selfs a magical energy or that the video game character was in any way special, To them the experience of playing the video game character was special & the though of not playing it again sparks a sense of loss.

Others have had nightmares of the video game characters unfinished quests & the countless of worlds thus risking destruction. I Imagine some of those people writing in their will, urging their relatives to continue playing the addictive video game & the characters (that now lost its original "owner").

One example that comes to mind is the living relatives that continue the "face book" of their dear & departed dead relative.

That is my whole point. Nothing needs to be magical to be special. I absolutely enjoy my life, despite personally believing that my mind is just a complex series of chemical reactions encased in the soft tissue between my ears. I do not feel less special despite believing that these chemical reactions can be observed, emulated, and my mind can be potentially copied, rendering me non-unique. I don't feel that my life is worthless believing that there is no heaven or hell to reward or punish me for my deeds when I die. I'm okay with the idea that I have no soul, or that the soul never existed to begin with.

That said, I understand why some people might. That's fine and good, but I've always wondered what was really so scary about a truly "mundane" universe.

Transhumans will one day be the Luddites of the posthuman age.

Help me get my gaming fix, if you want.

King Shere King Shere's picture
Re: Continuity - Comprehension Check

Decivre wrote:
I'm okay with the idea that I have no soul, or that the soul never existed to begin with.

Thats fine & good, But I myself is less ok with such a notion. "Cogito Ergo Sum". Even if the magical/ religious/mumbojumbo soul doesn't exist, a non-magical "soul" should exist. But it may be more correct to use "consciousness" as the label for my non-magical "soul".

Kurisu-kun wrote:
I see your point about offspring, King Shere. It is like the Phoenix, who immolates himself to be reborn from his ashes. ;-) The old Phoenix gives birth to the next generation by sacrificing himself.

Well yes, Instead the rebirth seeking old phoenix burnt to a crisp & died at childbirth. The next generation did however successfully replace its dead parent. No rebirth achieved, but the result was almost as good . Making the fiery sacrifice worthwhile.



"To find fault is easy; to do better may be difficult."
Plutarch

Decivre Decivre's picture
Re: Continuity - Comprehension Check

King Shere wrote:
Thats fine & good, But I myself is less ok with such a notion. "Cogito Ergo Sum". Even if the magical/ religious/mumbojumbo soul doesn't exist, a non-magical "soul" should exist. But it may be more correct to use "consciousness" as the label for my non-magical "soul".

Except the concept of consciousness is completely different from the concept of the soul. It'd be like saying "I don't mind it if magical 'dragons' don't exist, as long as non-magical ones called 'trucks' exist." There is a dramatic difference between free will, higher thought, and the concept of spiritual immortality. In basic context, most birds and mammals are "conscious" entities capable of degrees of thought, and many of them are capable of higher thought processes which place them close to where we are as a species. The primary factor separating us from them is linguistics, and that barrier is even tenuous (we have taught primates how to be fluent in sign language).

Transhumans will one day be the Luddites of the posthuman age.

Help me get my gaming fix, if you want.

King Shere King Shere's picture
Re: Continuity - Comprehension Check

Quote:
It'd be like saying "I don't mind it if magical 'dragons' don't exist, as long as non-magical ones called 'trucks' exist."

I think its more like "I dont mind that magical ´dragons´ dont exist, as long as the non-magical ones does. (and instead meaning a confusingly similar lizard)"

A medieval scholar finding a dinosaur (more realistic: dinosaurs fossilized skeleton) would say its a dragon. Museums often call dinosaurs - dragons.

Despite dramatic differences, the fictional dragon and a large dinosaur also share confusing similarities. To me the fictional soul have confusing similarities with the consciousness.



"To find fault is easy; to do better may be difficult."
Plutarch