Suppose that you are slowly walking into a literal physical tunnel. Almost all of your head is in the tunnel. If the part of your head that is not yet in the tunnel was destroyed, you would survive, but your personality would be different, from brain damage.
Now consider an uploaded mind being copied. The simulation process is paused, the data is copied byte for byte, and then two separate simulation processes start on separate computers.
If you cut the cable halfway through, and only look at what is on the second hard drive, then you get a partial, brain damaged mind. But at no point is that mind actually run. You are saying that if you ignore part of a mind, you see a brain damaged mind. In the case of an em being copied, that part might be on a different hard drive.
Of course, there are good moral reasons to make sure that the data cable isn’t unplugged and the half-formed mind run.
I would say that I care about the simulation, not the data as such. In other words, you can encrypt the data, and decrypt it again all you want. You can duplicate the data, and then delete one copy, so long as you don’t simulate the copy before deletion. You might disagree with this point of view but it is a consistent position.
Thanks for the reply. It sounds like maybe my mistake was assuming that unsimulated brain data was functionally and morally equivalent to an unconscious brain. From what you are saying it sounds like the data would need to be simulated even to generate unconsciousness.
Yes, to get a state equivalent to sleeping, you are still simulating the neurons. You can get mind states that are ambiguous mixes of awake and asleep.
You can get mind states that are ambiguous mixes of awake and asleep.
I am having trouble parsing this statement. Does it mean that when simulating a mind you could also simulate ambiguous awake/asleep in addition to simulating sleep and wakefulness? Or does it mean that a stored, unsimulated mind is ambiguously neither awake or asleep?
There are states that existing humans sometimes experience, like sleepwalking, microsleeps ect that are ambiguous.
Whether or not a digital mind is being simulated is a much crisper definition.