Prev: Dimension Next: Re: Universal Constants (this is getting a bit long and going a bit off topic...)

Re: [OFFICIAL] Some FT background stuff (guidelines for writers)

From: Alexander Williams <thantos@d...>
Date: Fri, 13 Feb 1998 08:20:40 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: [OFFICIAL] Some FT background stuff (guidelines for writers)

On Fri, 13 Feb 1998 wrote:

> You can't 'encode a human as data'. Not now, not ever. There is a
> fundamental difference between data, i.e a string of symbols, and a
> sentient mind. Even if you could in some way encode the physical
> transmit it and then reconstruct it at the other end, you'd be
entering very
> dodgy philosophical ground if you said that it was still a person at
the other
> end.

Its the same dodgy philosophical ground that I tread daily suggesting
the people I see after a good sleep are the same personalities as the
I met the day before.  In a very real sense, one is simply /not/ the
person moment to moment as they were previously.  There really /is/ no
essential difference between matter/energy and information/data; if
were, it would be very difficult for Information Theory majors to finish
their thesis ...

> Besides, presumably the encoding process doesn't actually destroy the
> being coded, so what happens to the guy still at this end? Do you kill
him or
> can you have multiple copies of the same person running around the
> Hmmm. a little too paradoxical for me.

The encoding process would pretty clearly have to be destructive, after
all how do you find out the rate of spin on the highest molecule on your
liver without getting to it?  Of course, Hisenburg put the kibosh on
idea of 'encoding' long ago.  One can simply never know enough about
linked things as an electron's speed vs its direction to be useful.

Assuming, however, through the magic of sorcery, that it was possible to
create an encoded blueprint of a human, there is /nothing/ intrinsicly
paradoxical about having another copy running around somewhere.  Unless
you consider Xeroxes and fax machines to be paradox-generators, since
do the same thing, ie. reproduce a carrier of information/document
sufficently well that the information it contains can be transported
seperate from the original source/document.

[  Alexander Williams {}  ]
[ Alexandrvs Vrai,  Prefect 8,000,000th Experimental Strike Legion ]
[	     BELLATORES INQVIETI --- Restless Warriors		   ]
"Here at Ortillery Command we have at our disposal hundred megawatt
    laser beams, mach 20 titanium rods and guided thermonuclear
 bombs. Some people say we think that we're God. We're not God. We
   just borrowed his 'SMITE' button for our fire control system."

Prev: Dimension Next: Re: Universal Constants (this is getting a bit long and going a bit off topic...)