Continuity in Uploading
I don’t acknowledge an upload as “me” in any meaningful sense of the term; if I copied my brain to a computer and then my body was destroyed, I still think of that as death and would try to avoid it.
A thought struck me a few minutes ago that seems like it might get around that, though. Suppose that rather than copying my brain, I adjoined it to some external computer in a kind of reverse-Ebborian act; electrically connecting my synapses to a big block of computrons that I can consciously perform I/O to. Over the course of life and improved tech, that block expands until, as a percentage, most of my thought processes are going on in the machine-part of me. Eventually my meat brain dies—but the silicon part of me lives on. I think I would probably still consider that “me” in a meaningful sense. Intuitively I feel like I should treat it as the equivalent of minor brain damage.
Obviously, one could shorten the period of dual-life arbitrarily and I can’t point to a specific line where expanded-then-contracted-consciousness turns into copying-then-death. The line that immediately comes to mind is “whenever I start to feel like the technological expansion of my mind is no longer an external module, but the main component,” but that feels like unjustified punting.
I’m curious what other people think, particularly those that share my position on destructive uploads.
Edited to add: