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Dagon comments on Identity map - Less Wrong Discussion

7 Post author: turchin 15 August 2016 11:29AM

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Comment author: Dagon 16 August 2016 12:10:47AM 0 points [-]

I'd go further. Identity is not a technical term, though it's often used as if it were. Or maybe it's 20 technical terms, for different areas of inquiry, and context is needed to determine which.

The best mechanism is to taboo the word (along with "I" and "identical" and "my copy" and other things that imply the same fuzzy concept) and describe what you actually want to know.

You know that nothing will be quantum-identical, so that's a nonsense question. You can ask "to what degree will there be memory continuity between these two configurations", or "to what degree is a prediction of future pain applicable", or some other specific description of an experience or event.

Comment author: turchin 16 August 2016 08:14:42AM 2 points [-]

I saw people who attempted to do it in real life, and they speak like "my brain knows that he wants go home" instead of "I want to go home".

The problem is that even if we get rid of absolute Self and Identity we still have practical idea of me, which is built in our brain, thinking and language. And without it any planing is impossible. I can't go to the shop without expecting that I will get a dinner in one hour. But all problems with identity are also practical: should I agree to be uploaded etc.

There is also problem of oneness of subjective experience. That is there is clear difference between the situation there I will experience pain and other person's pain. While from EA point of view it is almost the same, it is only moral upgrade of this fact.

Comment author: Dagon 16 August 2016 03:50:57PM 1 point [-]

"my brain knows that he wants go home" instead of "I want to go home".

I'll admit to using that framing sometimes, but mostly for amusement. In fact, it doesn't solve the problem, as now you have to define continuity/similarity for "my brain" - why is it considered the same thing over subsequent seconds/days/configurations?

I didn't mean to say (and don't think) that we shouldn't continue to use the colloquial "me" in most of our conversations, when we don't really need a clear definition and aren't considering edge-cases or bizarre situations like awareness of other timelines. It's absolutely a convenient, if fuzzy and approximate, set of concepts.

I just meant that in the cases where we DO want to analyze boundaries and unusual situations, we should recognize the fuzziness and multiplicity of concepts embedded in the common usage, and separate them out before trying to use them.

Comment author: turchin 16 August 2016 04:11:03PM 0 points [-]

Agree