Here is my complete post: i somehow managed to cut myself off:
failures art wrote:
"Residual self image" is a phrase I heard a long time ago and as I understand it, it is the collection of ideas associated with yourself. This includes not only physical trait such as how you memorize your own appearance (height,facial image, sound of your own voice), but also the collection of traits you associate with yourself (kindness, humor, level of intelligence).
i love that Fuller "knot" metaphor, although i think i came across it in Hugh Kenner's writings first. i, personally, tend to agree with both Buckminster and Hugh in their use of the metaphor. If you are ever looking for fresh uses of the same you might look to Kenner's the Pound Era
, or even Douglas Hofstadter's I am a Strange Loop
. Perhaps you are already familiar with both.
failures art wrote:
3) I'm asking about the experience of seeing yourself in the mirror. How would our emotions change if that image was dramatically altered? Small changes in appearance (like haircuts) invoke emotions, and larger changes (like dramatic weight loss) perhaps to a larger extent. I think that the alteration of genetic features would have a large effect or in the case of being in a virtual space like a server (assuming a possible different degree of accessibility to normal means of perception like sight or hearing) would be perhaps the most dramatic.
i have to admit that i am having a bit of difficulty grasping the meaning of the alterations you are describing. When i was quite a bit younger, i took advantage of gazing at my own image in a mirror while on hallucinogenics. At the time, i perceived my facial features as "swimming" around on my "face". But my sense of "self" was left largely unaltered since i had a distinct memory of having eaten mushroom caps.
Years later, long after giving up ingesting psychotropic substances, i was involved in an accident and managed to break my cheek bone in several places that one should not normally damage such a thing. The repair to my face lead to some long-term nerve damage. A portion of my face no longer felt familiar nor responded to "normal" promptings. I have almost no memory of the physical event that lead to my breakage or reconstruction. Nonetheless, my sense of self goes on uninterrupted.
failures art wrote:
4a) From your answer, can I correctly state that you believe that you would believe yourself superior to the copy? You mention it from your perspective, but could you imagine it from the other vantage point?
4b) Isn't turning something off a disconnecting something from it's environment? Isn't cellular degeneration the driver of the permanence of death not the definition of it? We have lots of people walking the earth who have been clinically dead before. In their case, they have been revived within a time frame in which no (or minimal) brain damage was caused by the loss of oxygen. If the brain's operation was not dependent on oxygen, and could be cycled on and off, couldn't death be a state that is experienced and reversed? Or do you believe that such a milestone in technology would drive a new view on death and possibly new language to describe the state of being off but not dead?
4a) My knowledge of AI is extremely limited, and my familiarity with the industry is probably roughly 10 years old. So when i consider the topic of artificial intelligence, i am likely to be wrong. That being said, when i think of myself vs. an electronic duplicate, i tend to think of myself as superior. Most AI models with which i am familiar, tend to operate on a symbolic level. That is, they respond to symbolic commands that are fed into its database, and a response is formulated according to distinct algorithms. The interaction between the system and its environment is limited by the environment, and not otherwise. The meaning of the terms fed to it are subject to a filter, but the input is specific.
On the other hand, while the responses available to me may be limited, they are entirely self-regulated. The filter to outside influences is not a structure imposed from without, but a filter, a set of blinders perhaps, imposed by my own regulation.
4b.) I'm speaking from an extremely naive state. I have never undergone medical death. But when a server is unplugged, it "experiences" no memory degradation. When it is "replugged" it may register lost time, but it functions much the same as when it was briefly disconnected. If, as i hold, the biological individual "thinks" with their whole body, the same cannot be said for them when they experience a disconnect from their internal
power source. A computer interacts with its environment much the same as it has always done, although errors may crops up as a consequence of its downtime, because it's interaction is solely symbolic. But a person interacts with its environment in radically different ways depending on its physical state., because it's interaction is the basis for its individuality. I have a feeling that i am expressing myself poorly here, but hopefully some of my intent is coming through. Perhaps I can better express what i am trying to say by saying that a server's environment is contingent to its function, while a biological entity's function is a vital part of its environment.
Does that make any sense at all?