The Nightstar Zoo

Nightstar IRC Network - irc.nightstar.net
It is currently Fri Sep 22, 2017 12:07 pm

All times are UTC - 6 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 17 posts ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2017 4:51 pm 
Offline
Entertainment
Entertainment

Joined: Sun Nov 02, 2014 10:01 pm
Posts: 733
OK, I've read some of the arguments in the other thread, and I feel I have to completely reject the Continuity Problem in its entirety.

Continuity is not an issue. It never has been.

The entire continuity problem is based in a dualistic conception of the mind as separate from the brain, as described by Descartes, among others. (As a review, Descartes--a devoutly religious philosopher--considered the brain to be the immaterial spirit, a separate entity from the body.) In this dualist view, if the body is destroyed, even if it re-created immediately, the question is where does that immaterial spirit go?

Science, however, is tending towards an emergent view of the mind-body problem--from the evidence available to us, the brain is not a separate entity from the mind. Instead, the mind is what the brain "does." The mind is an emergent property of the brain's activity. and if the body is destroyed and immediately (and accurately) recreated, then the mind simply starts as the emergent property of the newly re-created brain. This "newly created" teleportee is the same person--they have the same memories, and most importantly the mental activity. They are therefore the same person.

It's easy to extend this to a delayed re-creation, as in Kaff Tagon's case. Kaff's backup took place forty minutes before his death. His re-creation took a few weeks (not counting the time Karl spent considering options and building shrines). Again, with the exception of that forty minutes, Kaff is the same person as he was upon the backup completion. He is not some "new person," he is not a "replacement." He is Kaff Tagon.

I realize that those who hold to a dualist view will still reject this--I'm OK with that, and I'm not trying to explode people's metaphysical or religious beliefs. That's just where I stand on the issue.

_________________
I used to be Junius Gallio, until I messed up retyping my password in the Great Password Reset. Nice to be back.

" I gotta stop doing mathematics while sober."


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2017 7:18 pm 
Offline
Entertainment
Entertainment

Joined: Tue Jun 12, 2012 10:54 am
Posts: 672
I'm afraid you are almost completely incorrect. This isn't a problem based on dualist beliefs, though anybody who believes in a nonmaterial mind will of course have a problem with it. The continuity problem doesn't depend in any way on magic though. The continuity problem is based on the idea that we require an uninterrupted stream of consciousness in order to be the same person, and there's a certain logic to that. A new Tagon could have been made from his backup at any time, and the 'old' Tagon would never be privy to that new Tagon's internal life. Thus, they must be separate entities. That the new Tagon appeared after the old one ended is immaterial.

I would agree with you that the new Tagon is absolutely Tagon. He is the person who experienced life up to that point, and should be treated as such. But that doesn't mean he's the same person who died carrying the Idiot Ball, and it doesn't mean the continuity problem doesn't factor in. The Tagon who died will never experience the things new Tagon will. He ended, period.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2017 8:13 pm 
Offline
Safari Exhibit
Safari Exhibit

Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2016 8:00 pm
Posts: 144
Part of the disconnect here is that people get their brains blown apart and don't get the "you're a different person" treatment even though there clearly isn't a continuous consciousness. Maybe it can make some sense if there's reintegration of what was left of the brain, but sometimes even that isn't the case. Nobody treated Ebbirnoth that way when his braincase was scoured, at least on panel.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2017 9:59 pm 
Offline
Janitor
Janitor
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jun 22, 2012 5:44 pm
Posts: 2237
Why are people trying to use logic to argue about an emotional response?


Also, I keep asking and no one replies: Who besides Tailor has outright said "You're not the same Tagon"? Keep in mind: Karl is going through therapy to deal with his emotional response.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2017 8:20 pm 
Offline
Entertainment
Entertainment

Joined: Sun Nov 02, 2014 10:01 pm
Posts: 733
JohnSmith wrote:
The continuity problem is based on the idea that we require an uninterrupted stream of consciousness in order to be the same person, and there's a certain logic to that.

Not to my view. Heck, if that were true, you really would feel like a whole new person upon waking up!

_________________
I used to be Junius Gallio, until I messed up retyping my password in the Great Password Reset. Nice to be back.

" I gotta stop doing mathematics while sober."


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2017 8:46 pm 
Offline
Reptile House Exhibit
Reptile House Exhibit

Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2013 9:55 pm
Posts: 317
Black Sheep wrote:
JohnSmith wrote:
The continuity problem is based on the idea that we require an uninterrupted stream of consciousness in order to be the same person, and there's a certain logic to that.

Not to my view. Heck, if that were true, you really would feel like a whole new person upon waking up!


Maybe you are and you just don't know it. Really for all you really know all of your memories of existing before this very moment could have been artificially put there as you were literally born yesterday.

In this case though it's quite clear. What if the old Tagon hadn't died? What if, at the very last second before the bomb went off, Petey actually did teraport him out, but hasn't told anybody about it? In that case than clearly this current Tagon is an entirely new individual, in spite of sharing all the same memories up until the backup. Even if the backup were "current" and the clone were made instantaneously, resulting in two Tagons sharing exactly the same memories for the briefest of instants, even in that instant there would still be two Tagons, not one Tagon in two places.

As it happens, there are in fact two Tagons currently. One of them was reduced to component atoms, but he still "exists". He still has experiences, even if his brain no longer functions to record them (or indeed, even resembles a brain). The fact that that existence is separate from the existence of the current Tagon is what makes them different people, in the exact same way that all the Gavs are different people.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2017 9:18 pm 
Offline
Entertainment
Entertainment

Joined: Sun Nov 02, 2014 10:01 pm
Posts: 733
sotanaht wrote:
Black Sheep wrote:
JohnSmith wrote:
The continuity problem is based on the idea that we require an uninterrupted stream of consciousness in order to be the same person, and there's a certain logic to that.

Not to my view. Heck, if that were true, you really would feel like a whole new person upon waking up!


Maybe you are and you just don't know it.


The way I handle that is the same way I handle the "What if we live in the Matrix/brain in a jar scenario?" Any illusion that is pervasive, consistent, and persistent enough to appear seamless--especially if there is no way I can break the illusion--might as well not be an illusion. Even if it's not actually real, I can treat it as real. Except if we do live in the Matrix, I'm still waiting for my cool black leather duster.

Quote:
What if the old Tagon hadn't died?


We already have a situation like that with Kevyn and his time-clone, with the Gavs, and with the Gateclones. The major difference there is the clones (the ones we know about) chose to start separate lives. time!Kevyn resigned from the Toughs and is now doing private research and enjoying the fruit of his stock purchases and sports book. The other Kevyn is still with the Toughs.

Quote:
As it happens, there are in fact two Tagons currently.


Functionally ... no, I don't buy that. Kaff's original body is dead: that body no longer has "experiences." The component atoms are not Kaff--they are the remains of that instance.

The "current" Kaff, however, is the same person who died. It goes back to the "illusion" I mentioned earlier--he has the exact same memories, and nobody can tell the difference, including him. If it is an illusion, it is an utterly impenetrable illusion. Kaff actually has it somewhat easier than Kevyn or the Gavs. He doesn't have to worry about the duplication effect, or the fact that there are multiple people running around with the same memories.

Now, Karl is (understandably) still sorting out the emotions that were involved with Kaff's "death"--but that's an entirely separate situation.

_________________
I used to be Junius Gallio, until I messed up retyping my password in the Great Password Reset. Nice to be back.

" I gotta stop doing mathematics while sober."


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2017 3:29 am 
Offline
Monkey House Exhibit
Monkey House Exhibit

Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2012 5:29 am
Posts: 516
On rereading the comic, I was actually wondering why neither Ebby nor Murtaugh got a funeral. If you believe restoring from backup is death and cloning, they both died entirely, and had their clones made out of their own bodies.

If your brain has been destroyed, either your backup is part of you and thus you're not dead, or you are dead and any copy made isn't you any more. It doesn't matter if you're backed up to skin or offsite, you're bigger than your own brain.

Of course, if someone else uses your backup to make a clone of you, unless that clone is ALSO feeding memories back into your backup, then it's NOT part of you. (side note; attempting this would probably be madness inducing without a good set of memory editing tools)


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2017 11:26 am 
Offline
Reptile House Exhibit
Reptile House Exhibit

Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2013 9:55 pm
Posts: 317
If the skin is being used as a real-time redundant extension of the brain rather than a "backup" then that might not be the case. It essentially allows them to remain continuous in the same way they would be if they had only regrown a part of the brain rather than the whole thing.

This is more commonly addressed in the form of the cybernetic brain question. How does one transfer their consciousness into a computer, rather than simply copy it into one? The theoretical answer is to attach the computer to the brain in the form of a cybernetic "third half" that functions with the meat-brain. Eventually the cybernetic brain can be considered a part of the whole and the redundant meat-brain can be removed, perhaps piece by piece, without effectively removing the entire brain.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2017 2:30 pm 
Offline
Reptile House Exhibit
Reptile House Exhibit

Joined: Sat May 14, 2011 10:10 pm
Posts: 344
Go back to illusions for a bit.
Ignoring the metaphysics, which I, for one, believe, and at least some of the toughs must, as they keep a Chaplain on staff.

Kaff was taken off the stage. For a period of time, which ended up being four months, Kaff wasn't alive. Kaff was dead.
Ebby and Murtaugh may have been, no, WERE brain dead, but there was an Ebby and a Murtaugh right there in that medical bed. They were getting better.
From an outsiders perspective, Kaff died, as the placeholder that was identified as Kaff was gone, and nothing took its place for months.
From an outsiders perspective, Ebby and Murtaugh "survived", because their consciousness was reloaded into the placeholder that was identified with Ebby or Murtaugh. Even while they were brain dead, visitors could see "Ebby", or "Murtaugh", and know they were getting Ebby or Murtaugh back, just like before.

For a new thought experiment. Let's assume that morphing is fully possible and practical, but cloning is not. Let's also allow for brain copying and backup.
Say, for instance, that Murtaugh, feeling guilty that her side project cost Kaff his life, due to unanticipated, (by her), backstabbing disease, volunteered to be rewritten as Kaff.
So, four months after Kaff dies, Murtaugh is morphed to look like Kaff and has her, now his, brain rewritten to the thought patterns and memories of Kaff.
At no point does biological functions end.
When do you hold Murtaugh's funeral? The day she is reformatted into Kaff?
I don't have an answer to this. I suspect perception would be different for different people at different times. Possibly in a very short window of time, as people started to treat new-Kaff as Kaff, while mourning the loss of Murtaugh, then swinging to thinking of this as Murtaugh-Kaff, and only mourning that Murtaugh isn't the same person any longer and also mourning the loss of Kaff.

For another twist, let's say that Kaff decides to visit Haven Hive, but the trip proves too expensive. At the same time, Shep wants to hang out with the toughs. So, now in a double morph and restore, Kaff takes over Shep's body, and Shep takes over Kaff's.
I have my suspicions.
For starters, without the morph, there'd be a large number of people who wouldn't be able to see Kaff in Shep's body, and see Kaff, not Shep. Likewise, lots of people would continue to treat Shep as Kaff, while he was wearing Kaff's body.
When they swapped back, Schlock would make a comment about that being weird.

IF they also swapped looks, so Shep's mind, AND Shep's appearance were copied over Kaff's, and vice versa, things get muddier.
For the most part, I think people would treat them as they appeared to be, but be more comfortable when they swapped back, confident that the experiences they shared with not-Shep, or not-Kaff, were now legitimized by real-Shep, or real-Kaff, remembering the same events.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2017 7:48 pm 
Offline
Entertainment
Entertainment

Joined: Tue Jun 12, 2012 10:54 am
Posts: 672
Hey Sean, ever played Eclipse Phase? Your description of cheap trips is the basis of Sol's personal transport economy!


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2017 5:59 am 
Offline
Monkey House Exhibit
Monkey House Exhibit

Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2012 5:29 am
Posts: 516
For an in universe example, when did JSC's Mathilde die? Better yet, when did the Gavs of Gavcorp die? When they got their brains overwritten forcibly into Kowaski murderclones? When they voluntarily walked through a body-and-mind altering machine? Or when they got pulped by Osiri?


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2017 10:10 am 
Offline
Safari Exhibit
Safari Exhibit

Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2016 8:00 pm
Posts: 144
Reaver225 wrote:
when did the Gavs of Gavcorp die?

In every case I can remember, those Gavs died quickly and completely from massive head trauma. The one that was left started getting her brain rewritten, but it didn't get too far.

To answer your question, however, I'm sure there's some point during a rewrite when the sense of self flips over. Hard to say when exactly that would be though, without extensive and highly unethical in universe experiments.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2017 7:22 pm 
Offline
Monkey House Exhibit
Monkey House Exhibit

Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2012 5:29 am
Posts: 516
Most of them didn't get pithed. A lot, like mallcop body guy, had yellow stuff start running out of their ears and then going full kowalskimurder.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2017 12:21 am 
Offline
Reptile House Exhibit
Reptile House Exhibit

Joined: Sat May 14, 2011 10:10 pm
Posts: 344
JohnSmith wrote:
Hey Sean, ever played Eclipse Phase? Your description of cheap trips is the basis of Sol's personal transport economy!



No. Never. I have heard the name somewhere before, but don't know that I ever even heard a description of it.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2017 3:16 pm 
Offline
Safari Exhibit
Safari Exhibit

Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2016 8:00 pm
Posts: 144
Reaver225 wrote:
Most of them didn't get pithed. A lot, like mallcop body guy, had yellow stuff start running out of their ears and then going full kowalskimurder.

I'll admit I forgot that bit, but I don't see how that isn't massive head trauma. Does it not count if you bypass the crunchy shell?


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2017 4:22 pm 
Offline
Entertainment
Entertainment

Joined: Tue Jun 12, 2012 10:54 am
Posts: 672
Sean wrote:
JohnSmith wrote:
Hey Sean, ever played Eclipse Phase? Your description of cheap trips is the basis of Sol's personal transport economy!



No. Never. I have heard the name somewhere before, but don't know that I ever even heard a description of it.

Probably from me, at that. I do love that game.

Schlock Mercenary has taken a pretty sharp left turn into the Eclipse Phase setting of late.
Earth is mostly destroyed by insane, god-like AIs. Pretty much everybody who survived getting off earth did so via 'egocasting,' which is literally doing a brain scan and sending the information. At the destination a body has that information written into the brain and hey presto, there you are. Or 'a' you, anyway. If you're on a business trip you just rent a body from the body bank. Everybody is immortal, nobody is over two hundred years old, and at the edges of society are people who keep tinkering with their brains and bodies to the point of becoming something other than human. The god-AIs are missing, nobody knows where they went or why they stopped half way through the purge of humanity or if they'll be back to finish up.

The answer to the continuity problem seems to be twofold: "I like living" and "Did it once, it wasn't so bad."


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 17 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 6 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group