Merging me, myself and I

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Arenamontanus Arenamontanus's picture
Merging me, myself and I
    I woke up. Sunlight, a comfortable leather sofa overlooking a roof garden. The Eiffel tower in the distance. Noise from children playing on a nearby schoolyard. I was in TransCortical’s default simulspace on Carsac; the merge had taken place. “How do you feel. Mrs Kertész?” a gentleman in tweed asked from the shadow of a potted orange tree. “Could you please recount how you got here?” I remembered going to TransCortical from my workspace at Palomar Terminal. Before that I had had breakfast at the nice little café on Rantzausgade, just next to the slow methanefall… no, that was my other fork, the one from Titan. She had egocasted out from Titan after going to the sleeveshop on Gammeltorv. Before that she had been in the bank hangar, receiving the cryptocores… no, that was last month. This month she – I! – had been at OTPMini… except that I just recalled it as a half-remembered dream involving someone else. The TransCortical gentleman clearly saw my confusion and anguish even before I began to curse. He was surreptitiously checking hidden displays that showed my mnemonic state. “I am so sorry, it appears that we had a bad engram binding, Mrs Kertész… Quite an extensive one. System: ‘Lethe, try try again’.” I was about to ask him for what he meant (and for a refund) when the garden and me blinked out of existence. I woke up. Sunlight, a comfortable leather sofa overlooking a roof garden. The Eiffel tower in the distance. Noise from children playing on a nearby schoolyard. I was in TransCortical’s default simulspace on Carsac; the merge had taken place. “How do you feel. Mrs Kertész?” a gentleman in tweed asked from the shadow of a potted orange tree. “Could you please recount how you got here?” I remembered going to TransCortical from my workspace at Palomar Terminal. Before that I had had breakfast at the fabshop in Monakow cylinder, and before that I had been at home with Tina and 9. Except that I also remembered had a final croissant at a nice little café on Rantzausgade, just next to the slow methanefall. I had taken the commute tramway to the city centre for my egocast, enjoying the sights. Two sets of memories, two lives briefly running in parallel until they merged here on the roof. The TransCortical gentleman ran his tests and nodded contentedly to my responses. “Happy customers is what we are about, Mrs Kertész.”
Merging is one of many technologies transhumans take for granted, but underlying that everyday reconnecting with forks sent on errands lies an amazing amount of cognotechnology. To construct an ego sharing the memories and subjective continuity of two similar but slightly unlike egos is by no means simple. [size=20]Merging technology[/size] If the corresponding synapses of two otherwise identical brains have both been potentiated or remain unpotentiated, guessing what the merged synapse ought to be is trivial. But what if one is potentiated while the other not? Or if changes in the connectivity of the neural network has changed the very meaning (or existence) of the synapse? The merge process has to figure out how to modify the low-level neural pattern so that the high-level pattern of memories makes sense. This is done by a process of averaging, pattern-matching and reconciling that can become arbitrarily complex: the full merging problem is equivalent to understanding both egos completely and composing a new one sharing all relevant properties. This is of course far beyond any transhuman cognotechnology, but crude approximations are surprisingly often effective. Many merge systems make use of a pre-fork ego recording to detect differences that have appeared in the egos being merged: this is why most everyday merges can be fast and reliable. Various heuristics have been developed for memory precedence, coincidence detection and even ways of remapping conflicting memories onto “free” neural networks. Human memory is imperfect, redundant and self-repairing, so the approximations often work well enough. Still, conflicts often appear between particular memories: not just occasional memory losses where one ego’s memory have been weakened, but odd source memory effects where who or in what context something was experienced get confused, paramnesias where memories merge into surreal combinations and even entirely spurious false memories crop up. People who merge too much will soon have an autobiographical past that appears more than a little surreal. In principle the people or AI doing the merging could try several variants and select the best one. But it is usually not possible to understand how well a merge worked without running the new ego and interacting with it: these variant egos would have to be conscious during testing. At least by inner system law, if an ego functions well enough it is a full rights-holder and cannot be deleted, so unless the ego completely crashes when started it has to be retained. This limitation has been placed in all merging software, preventing it from doing more than one merge of two particular forks. However, that doesn’t stop some private egocasting or psychosurgery services from surreptitiously making a few test merges and saving the “best” – usually without telling the happy customer. Extreme merging activity, or enough truly bad merges, can cause Merging Paramnesia where the sense of temporal order and personal identity of the past becomes completely dissolved. Any strange combination of memories is possible, and there is no sense that one past is more real than any other – despite some of them being obviously fictional. Sufferers are essentially confabulating their past, making it up as they go along to suit the situation. Another condition is “Merging PTSD” (properly called MIAD, Merging induced Attractor Disorder) where several overlapping similar memories form a very strong “supermemory” that causes flashbacks, obsessive thoughts (it is hard not to think about it) or delusions. The supermemory does not have to be emotionally charged or stressful, but it often is – even when the content seems neutral (one sufferer experienced his daily commute whenever he saw a wheel, experiencing a terrible feeling of dread and anxiety whenever the 35 minute commute began to play back). [size=20]Supermerging[/size]
    Give up your selfishness, and you shall find peace; like water mingling with water, you shall merge in absorption. Sri Guru Granth Sahib
There are limitations to normal merging. It only works for egos that can be clearly mapped onto each other: two different people, or even highly divergent forks will stop standard merging software. That doesn’t stop more radical – that is experimental, illegal or hacked – software from attempting the impossible. Merging betas and gammas is not too hard: they are subsets of the original ego and as long as the software knows this the major discrepancies can be handled. Merging delta forks is inadvisable but sometimes doable. To merge two different minds requires large computing resources. The software must find a way of translating the “languages” of the two different neural networks into each other in order to merge the memories and their associations together. Worse, this has to be done not just for the memories in association cortex but also *at least* perceptual systems, motor programs and emotional pathways. The results tend to be less than impressive: a successful supermerge often produces an ego with noticeably multiple personalities – from one moment to another it might view and think as one or another of the original egos, rather than some unified person. Bizarre memory problems, hallucinations, delusions and sudden emotional jumps are the rule – and that is among the successful merges. Despite these obstacles there is much interest in developing supermerge methods. The main interest from Cognite and others is not to blend people – there is not much money or rep in that – but to be able to merge skillsets. Current skillsofts are based on copying a large number of neural networks of egos with a particular skill, find the underlying skeleton and then integrate it with recipient brains through skillware. With better merging it might be possible to truly transfer high-quality skills, radically improving the power of skillsofts. Should anybody succeed well enough the economic consequences will be enormous. Some people think a proper supermerge system could bring about not just perfect understanding of other people, but raise transhumans to a higher state. The Prakasita Atma school of techno-tantrism teaches that by merging minds it will become possible to construct manifestations of divine consciousness within the physical universe. Some members are reputed to experiment with “sublimation enhancements” at Guru Xi’s enlightenment retreat on 34 Circe. [size=15]Adventure possibilities[/size] Firewall (and many other groups) wants to keep close tabs on any supermerging technology – it has potentially enormous consequences if it is perfected. The usual suspects such as Cognite, Exotech and Sander & Avando Gmbh are of course going at it full tilt, but then there are groups like the Ultimates, Guru Xi, the Phaetonites and the Entelechy Network (suspected exhumans on Extropia) who are doing their little projects. Sentinels might be sent to infiltrate projects, get research data and then wreck things if they look too close to a breakthrough. An apparently supermerged individual shows up: perhaps a bit mentally unstable, but nevertheless that ego seems to actually have all the knowledge, memories and skills of several people. It is a skilled techie, deadly spy, elegant marketer and great cook at the same time, able to converse in 10 languages and equally at home among Barsoomian rebels and hypercorp bureaucrats. What is actually going on? Has somebody succeeded in proper supermerging, and why would they let a test subject go off on their own? Maybe it is a trap to see who sends agents? Is this composite character actually a TITAN construct, supermerged by the alien machines in order to create a very capable infiltrator? Or is it an elaborate prank or case of multiple personality disorder – a sufficiently good actor (with muse support) able to convince people that they are capable of everything? [size=20]Banyan lifestyle[/size] “Banyan lifestyle” consists of using multiple forks to live several parallel lives that are occasionally pairwisely merged together to keep the collective self together. Typically egocasts are sent at regular intervals for merging. Maintaining a large number of parallel forks is a tricky logistic problem, especially if some are remote and it is costly to egocast forks there. A common solution is the minimal spanning tree: the forks are organised in a cost-minimizing tree structure and update each other at regular intervals. This both minimizes the number of merges needed and the total cost of transmission, at the price that memories from remote forks will take a long while to reach a fork out on a limb. Among most transhumans Banyan is regarded as more than a little odd. Maybe cutting-edge in terms of existential hacking, but pushing the boundary of the sane. Still, not long ago beta forks (and before that, forking itself) were regarded as controversial: Banyans think they have are the future. [size=15]Mr/Dr/Professor Terry Ramirez[/size] Terry Ramirez can be found at nearly every major university in the solar system. He might be part of the faculty, a student or even a lab technician, he might be calling himself Terence, Tera, Tel, Thierry or even Theodoric, but he is there. An early and avid exponent of Banyanism, he has learned to keep quiet about his multiple existences –since some universities dislike having him teach at competing universities (and those pesky legal details about having several alphas). Friends and colleagues know him as a friendly, enthusiastic academic who seem to be interested in nearly any subject. He can quote the most amazing trivia and data, be it the peculiarities of pre-fall Indian XP production to the xenobiology of Europa to the political views of obscure autonomist splinter groups. He is an Argonaut’s Argonaut, always promoting learning and technological liberation. As well as whatever other causes that catches his interest here, this week. Although he doesn't like to talk about it, he has a background as an investment banker pre-Fall. After the Fall some of his investments have borne good fruit and he can devote himself to education thanks to the interest. He is by no means rich, but well-off enough to maintain his lifestyle – maintaining his far-flung forks and preventing the wrong authorities from figuring things out takes a bit of effort. Friends worry that Terry's lifestyle is not mentally healthy; he does seem to have more than the usual number of quirks for an absentminded professor. Terry thinks he has the situation under control – he has some black market psychotherapy contacts that maintains his mental equilibrium. Terry has several friends who are Firewall agents but is not a member and likely unaware of the organisation. An evaluation has concluded that while he is knowledgeable and would likely be a strong supporter, he is a bit too unreliable to be a good agent. Since any sensitive knowledge would also be replicated among many garrulous and widely dispersed instances, he would also be a security risk. Adventure possibilities Firewall agents might encounter Terry on a mission, and later be surprised when they are recognized somewhere else by another Terry. He might be both helpful, a foil or a security risk. If a PC is a friend of Terry (or need some help from the widespread academic) they might be contacted to help him – some authorities have connected the dots and want to stop his forking. While his outer system forks are fine, he doesn’t want his investments seized and his alphas indicted for identity fraud. Can the PCs get him out of the jam? Terry has found out something dangerous: a major Firewall operation, an easy recipe for a nanovirus, the whereabouts of a TITAN WMD. The PCs (or their enemies) are sent to try to stop the information from spreading from Terry to Terry. As the Terrys notice “accidents” starting to happen to himselves, he will start countermeasures. [size=20]Copyrations[/size] Copyrations are corporations composed only (or mostly) of forks of the same person. While Pax Familiae may be the most widely known, most are entirely legal. Unlike Banyan, this is forking and merging done for commercial reasons. [size=15]Mr Lee Tzu Chuan[/size] Mr Lee runs Xīng Partners, a law firm staffed almost completely by forks of himself. Before the Fall Tzu Chuan was a fairly ordinary attorney working for the Singapore firm Haq & Tay. After the Fall he found himself an infugee. He had saleable skills and a determined work ethic, but he also recognized that he was by no means alone in this. Rather than just accept indenture or becoming an online sarariman for some hypercorp he decided to undercut the competition. Xīng Partners is composed of a number of “partner forks” of Mr Lee, located at the offices on Mars, Luna, Venus and Extropia. These forks are merged at a regular rate to keep them synched. When needed these are further forked to do legal tasks depending on workload and client needs. If needed the firm can call up enormous number of forks, neatly avoiding the cost of educating, hiring and validating new partners (who also work nearly for free!). Clients usually have at least one dedicated fork helping them, and quite often this fork in turn forks behind the scenes to prepare material, draft texts and meet with people. Afterwards the client service forks are merged into one of the partner forks. Some deft legal trickery makes the partner and client forks appear legally to be betas. Like many legal firms Xīng Partners work on retainer basis for a number of major corporations. Since the company can always guarantee that there will be someone to provide service and has a very consistent quality, they are popular. For individual cases a standard tariff is used, modified by the estimated complexity of the case – the number of Lee-hours behind the scenes that are actually used does not necessarily correlate strongly. There is also a significant amount of pro bono work: Mr Lee recognizes the benefit of good deeds and good marketing. In some cases client forks are deleted (being a practising Buddhist and cost-conscious Mr Lee does not care too much, as long as the main partner forks are safe). The option of getting an attorney who can overhear a sensitive discussion, give advice and then be perfectly relied upon not to reveal the information is something some people are willing to pay extra for. While Mr Lee does not accept doing anything illegal in any habitat he is active, he certainly has few scruples against taking on shady or paranoid clients. Xīng Partners is not an expensive, high status firm. It aims at the profitable middle of the legal market, specialising in civil litigation and commercial law. Mr Lee is also by no means the best attorney in any of these fields, but since his firm is able to keep competitive prices it is doing well. The profits are shared among the partner forks, which makes sure they are strongly motivated to work hard for the firm so that their forks will also be. Other legal firms have been critical of the practice, but it is hard to beat economically. More and more consultancies are approaching the copyration model. As one of the successful cases, Xīng Partners has a profitable side activity in consulting about copyration HR management. The firm has also supported political candidates that speak out against indenture and limitations on personal forking. As a person, Mr Lee is fairly conventional and private. He enjoys stability, having solid investments, fine dining, watching cricket and playing badminton. He has mildly hypercapitalist views and supports a few Buddhist charities. Adventure possibilities Firewall agents sometimes need an attorney, and Mr Lee is not an implausible choice if they are involved in litigation. They might hire him, or even get him assigned pro bono for a case – especially if it has some importance for keeping personal forking free. Firewall crows have analysed likely economic futures, and they are worried about copyrations. They are competitive, relatively easy to set up, multiply human capital like crazy – and push towards a global economy consisting of billions of forks of the most copied people, working for peanuts while being vulnerable to memes and neuroviruses, and growing rapidly towards a posthuman state with no room for individuality, consciousness or human values. They want to stop copyrations. One way would be to try to discredit them: strike at prominent copyrations like Pax Familia and Xīng Partners, demonstrating that this practice produce dangerous mental, economical and legal instabilities. The PCs are sent to try to undermine a copyration so that its fall will discourage anybody from following it. [size=20]Traits[/size] [size=15]Positive traits[/size] Easily Merged (10 CP) Due to a quirk of neuroscience or lifestyle (yes, some people do have boring lives), forks of the person are somewhat easier to merge than normal. While some claim they can train this trait by multiple merging, it has more to do with memories being laid down and accessed in patterns that “add” relatively well, or an outlook on life that has no problem with multiple pasts. Add a +20 modifier to the psychosurgery test. [size=15]Negative Traits[/size] Rapid divergence (10 CP) Due to a quirk of neuroscience or lifestyle, forks tend to diverge faster than on average. When merged, use the next level of time apart (e.g. for a 1 day separation, roll as if it was a 3 days-1 week separation). People with rapid divergence are often concerned that their forks tend to develop a “will of their own” (which is of course just a projection of their own wilfulness). Merging Paramnesia (20 CP)
    “The Venus mission? I remember going to it with Zeke and Informed^3. We met with the tong and got the goods, but then SJ and her goons showed up. Zeke got shot up pretty badly, I hear she was repaired on Octavia. The goods? Got lost during the fighting.”
Due to excessive merging or bad merges, the person has a broken autobiographical memory. The sense of temporal order and personal identity of the past becomes completely dissolved. Any strange combination of memories is possible, and there is no sense that one past is more real than any other – despite some of them being obviously fictional. The person is essentially confabulating their past, making it up as they go along to suit the situation. They are not deliberately lying and might even know they are suffering from paramnesia, but they cannot tell when their memories are deceptive or not. When trying to recall past events (beyond last merging), roll an INTx3 (or harder, if it is a small thing) test to see if they remember. If they fail, they will not notice and make up a plausible memory instead. On critical successes they will permanently learn a correct memory, while a critical failure means they consolidate an erroneous memory and will now always believe it. Any attempt to insert false memories will get a +30 modifier – but over time they run the risk of getting jumbled with other made-up memories. Fork Conflict (10 CP) The character has an alpha fork that has diverged and refuses to come back. Both regard themselves as the “true” or sane fork, despite having different goals. There is plenty of room for confusion, reputation damage, and legal battles. The conflict does have some advantages: blaming the “evil twin” is easy and plausible. Former Beta (20 CP) The character is a shadow of its original self, a beta fork that has survived and become its own person. Maybe the original was destroyed in the Fall, maybe the alpha was killed using an exceedingly subtle neurovirus that infected all backups, maybe the alpha and all copies were deleted for a crime but a beta survived. The beta has grown since then, and is no longer quite as hobbled as it was. It still suffers from a social stigma if its background is revealed: in most polities it cannot be a citizen, and almost anybody tends to assume it is just a copy, not a full person. It has mental effects similar to having edited memories and possibly modified behaviour. On the plus side, being a bit cut-down it takes less memory and processing power to run – it can squeeze into some systems and morphs a full alpha might not fit into. Characters with this trait should have few active skills above 60 and few if any aptitudes close to their limits.
Extropian
Byzantine Laser Byzantine Laser's picture
Re: Merging me, myself and I
Arenamontanus wrote:
[size=20]Banyan lifestyle[/size] “Banyan lifestyle” consists of using multiple forks to live several parallel lives that are occasionally pairwisely merged together to keep the collective self together. Typically egocasts are sent at regular intervals for merging. Maintaining a large number of parallel forks is a tricky logistic problem, especially if some are remote and it is costly to egocast forks there. A common solution is the minimal spanning tree: the forks are organised in a cost-minimizing tree structure and update each other at regular intervals. This both minimizes the number of merges needed and the total cost of transmission, at the price that memories from remote forks will take a long while to reach a fork out on a limb. Among most transhumans Banyan is regarded as more than a little odd. Maybe cutting-edge in terms of existential hacking, but pushing the boundary of the sane. Still, not long ago beta forks (and before that, forking itself) were regarded as controversial: Banyans think they have are the future.
I actually have a player who's doing this, running two forks side-by-side and merging when he can. In his case, he has two radically different bodies for them and they handle different roles (and he also has a special Separation Anxiety mental flaw with [i]himself[/i].)
TBRMInsanity TBRMInsanity's picture
Re: Merging me, myself and I
Byzantine Laser wrote:
Arenamontanus wrote:
[size=20]Banyan lifestyle[/size] “Banyan lifestyle” consists of using multiple forks to live several parallel lives that are occasionally pairwisely merged together to keep the collective self together. Typically egocasts are sent at regular intervals for merging. Maintaining a large number of parallel forks is a tricky logistic problem, especially if some are remote and it is costly to egocast forks there. A common solution is the minimal spanning tree: the forks are organised in a cost-minimizing tree structure and update each other at regular intervals. This both minimizes the number of merges needed and the total cost of transmission, at the price that memories from remote forks will take a long while to reach a fork out on a limb. Among most transhumans Banyan is regarded as more than a little odd. Maybe cutting-edge in terms of existential hacking, but pushing the boundary of the sane. Still, not long ago beta forks (and before that, forking itself) were regarded as controversial: Banyans think they have are the future.
I actually have a player who's doing this, running two forks side-by-side and merging when he can. In his case, he has two radically different bodies for them and they handle different roles (and he also has a special Separation Anxiety mental flaw with [i]himself[/i].)
There is also a criminal faction that does this. Everyone is a fork of the original. Pax Familiar IIRC.
Jovian Motto: Your mind is original. Preserve it. Your body is a temple. Maintain it. Immortality is an illusion. Forget it.
nezumi.hebereke nezumi.hebereke's picture
Re: Merging me, myself and I
By the by, does anyone think there would be any problem with merging an ego with a previous upload, presumably to repair memory loss or other psychological damage? Or would an antiquated fork count as 'it's own person'? Also a possible flaw - Would Sell His Own Mother - the character is so unscrupulous that his own forks trust him specifically to betray them (and in turn, will work to betray the original, if it's to their own advantage). Forks may refuse to merge, but more generally become your own worst enemy. (Not that it should earn points or anything - just there are a few characters I find myself playing which seem like they'd deserve this.)
Arenamontanus Arenamontanus's picture
Re: Merging me, myself and I
nezumi.hebereke wrote:
By the by, does anyone think there would be any problem with merging an ego with a previous upload, presumably to repair memory loss or other psychological damage? Or would an antiquated fork count as 'it's own person'?
Rules-wise it would as they stand be its own person, but I think it would be easier. I didn't add house rules to the above text, but I would likely run things so that if there *isn't* an old backup from before the fork to help run a 3-way merge, then it gets a penalty on the Psychosurgery test. Running a merge with a past version should be easy, and indeed a good way of fixing some psychological damage. I would likely run it as giving a bonus on the roll.
Quote:
Also a possible flaw - Would Sell His Own Mother - the character is so unscrupulous that his own forks trust him specifically to betray them (and in turn, will work to betray the original, if it's to their own advantage). Forks may refuse to merge, but more generally become your own worst enemy. (Not that it should earn points or anything - just there are a few characters I find myself playing which seem like they'd deserve this.)
This kind of inter-fork rivalry is especially fun among truly ruthless people since they know just how vindictive and dangerous the other would be to them, so they better strike first. Even more fun is when they edit their own forks to have a few boobytraps "just in case"... and get paranoid about having been hacked by themselves. I was considering adding a positive Trait called "plays well with oneself", somebody who actually likes their forks and forms good teams. But I think it is best roleplayed, like the above tendency.
Extropian
TBRMInsanity TBRMInsanity's picture
Re: Merging me, myself and I
nezumi.hebereke wrote:
By the by, does anyone think there would be any problem with merging an ego with a previous upload, presumably to repair memory loss or other psychological damage? Or would an antiquated fork count as 'it's own person'? Also a possible flaw - Would Sell His Own Mother - the character is so unscrupulous that his own forks trust him specifically to betray them (and in turn, will work to betray the original, if it's to their own advantage). Forks may refuse to merge, but more generally become your own worst enemy. (Not that it should earn points or anything - just there are a few characters I find myself playing which seem like they'd deserve this.)
I'm assuming that you are merging with a previous copy to fix damaged parts of the psych but you still have to identify the damaged portions. I would say there is no change to finding the damaged parts, but since you have a pristine copy (hopefully) to compare to, repairing just the damaged parts would be easier (apply appropriate modifiers).
Jovian Motto: Your mind is original. Preserve it. Your body is a temple. Maintain it. Immortality is an illusion. Forget it.
Arenamontanus Arenamontanus's picture
Re: Merging me, myself and I
I just noticed that at the end of the merging section in the core book there is a mention of using old backups as forks, a potential way around the ban on alphas (I'll probably add that to the writeup of Mr Lee).
Extropian
TBRMInsanity TBRMInsanity's picture
Re: Merging me, myself and I
Arenamontanus wrote:
I just noticed that at the end of the merging section in the core book there is a mention of using old backups as forks, a potential way around the ban on alphas (I'll probably add that to the writeup of Mr Lee).
I would still consider a backup an alpha fork until the time that the original (ie you) is terminated. All an alpha fork is, is an exact replica of you. Eventually forks diverge (as you have different experiences) but it is essentially you.
Jovian Motto: Your mind is original. Preserve it. Your body is a temple. Maintain it. Immortality is an illusion. Forget it.
Extrasolar Angel Extrasolar Angel's picture
Re: Merging me, myself and I
Quote:
“Banyan lifestyle” consists of using multiple forks to live several parallel lives that are occasionally pairwisely merged together to keep the collective self together. Typically egocasts are sent at regular intervals for merging.
Reminds me of Alistair Reynold's House of Suns book. Interesting thing is-what happens if one of the forks acquires a morph with different gender and pairs up with another fork? What if a group of forks decide that the other forks pursue interests harmfull to their overall collective existance?
[I]Raise your hands to the sky and break the chains. With transhumanism we can smash the matriarchy together.[/i]
Arenamontanus Arenamontanus's picture
Re: Merging me, myself and I
TBRMInsanity wrote:
Arenamontanus wrote:
I just noticed that at the end of the merging section in the core book there is a mention of using old backups as forks, a potential way around the ban on alphas (I'll probably add that to the writeup of Mr Lee).
I would still consider a backup an alpha fork until the time that the original (ie you) is terminated. All an alpha fork is, is an exact replica of you. Eventually forks diverge (as you have different experiences) but it is essentially you.
What the law of the polities of the Planetary Consortium considers to be an alpha does not have to map nicely onto any truth or personal opinion about personal identity. I think the legal rationale goes something like this: "We do not want people to copy themselves, since it plays merry hell with voting (one fork, one vote?), personal property (who owns the house?), contracts (what if fork 1 reneges a contract but fork 2 doesn't?), marriage (who is married to whom?), legal culpability and plenty of other institutions we generally want to keep. But we want to be able to keep backups and egocast. Hence we declare that backups and other stored copies are not illegal alphas, but concurrently running instances of somebody are." Now, restarted old backups were probably a legal issue when they appeared. And given personal divergence the court could clearly agree that they were not the identical copies the above law dealt with. Yet they cannot be free citizens either, since then we would have all the mess we tried to avoid. So they are hence declared to be betas with no rights, and the problem is solved. Note that the lawmakers could also have solved it by initially saying that one copy of the person ("alpha prime") is the person and all other forks (alphas, betas etc.) are without rights. If that ceases another alpha, say the oldest copy, becomes alpha prime (divergence does not matter). That would also have worked. There is an interesting jurisprudential question about how something without rights (a backup) becomes someone with rights (a restored person), but it is not too different from how a person in coma can acquire rights when they wake up. Of course this is an unsatisfying solution. Sentient rights activists think it is wrong to have thinking beings who have no rights. Neuroconservatives think the restarted backup loophole ought to be closed (treat them as alphas). Some like the second option, that only one copy bears rights. But if there is anything I have learned from talking with law people it is that the morality or rationality of laws is much less important to legal systems than the fact that there is a consistent, well-defined law.
Extropian
nezumi.hebereke nezumi.hebereke's picture
Re: Merging me, myself and I
You might be interested to know, I inserted Professor Terence into my game - and a PC has fallen in love with him. This may get awkward.
Arenamontanus Arenamontanus's picture
Re: Merging me, myself and I
nezumi.hebereke wrote:
You might be interested to know, I inserted Professor Terence into my game - and a PC has fallen in love with him. This may get awkward.
Ah... wow! I can see the amazing possibilities/problems :-) I must use that one in my campaign. The only current romance is between the PC AGI and a security/bodyguard program ("Look at his *huge* processing power!"). Forked family life is a wonderful potential mess. Jealousy among alphas (and quite possibly among betas too) is a potentially serious problem: they all want their significant other, and if the SO is not forked they have to compete for their affections. Another reason many transhumans do not want too many alphas around. Except for the kids, who get a present from every fork at Christmas.
Extropian
nezumi.hebereke nezumi.hebereke's picture
Re: Merging me, myself and I
By the by, where is the term "banyan lifestyle" from? I couldn't find anything with my cursory google search, and the wikipedia entry on Banyans didn't turn up anything particularly illuminating. Is this a copyrighted term?
CodeBreaker CodeBreaker's picture
Re: Merging me, myself and I
nezumi.hebereke wrote:
By the by, where is the term "banyan lifestyle" from? I couldn't find anything with my cursory google search, and the wikipedia entry on Banyans didn't turn up anything particularly illuminating. Is this a copyrighted term?
I imagine it has to do with the Banyan tree. Older Banyan trees develop prop roots that support the primary trunk, in a way multiple individuals supporting the whole. Or it might be a copyrighted term. Fairly sure its the tree thing.
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Arenamontanus Arenamontanus's picture
Re: Merging me, myself and I
I just invented it, indeed thinking of the trees and their shapes. Why would it be a copyrighted term? Even if it was, it would be findable online. Of course, it might be extropian of me to copyright it, but I am argonaut enough to put it into the creative commons :-)
Extropian
The Doctor The Doctor's picture
Re: Merging me, myself and I
Arenamontanus wrote:
Another reason many transhumans do not want too many alphas around. Except for the kids, who get a present from every fork at Christmas.
Precicious children might consider forking themselves, on the hypothesis that each of the forks might get a gift.
Arenamontanus Arenamontanus's picture
Re: Merging me, myself and I
The Doctor wrote:
Precicious children might consider forking themselves, on the hypothesis that each of the forks might get a gift.
Santa will of course give each of them a lump of coal, which they will then turn into diamond toys.
Extropian
The Doctor The Doctor's picture
Re: Merging me, myself and I
Arenamontanus wrote:
Santa will of course give each of them a lump of coal, which they will then turn into diamond toys.
That would be an interesting take on Christmas for the Ultimates. The children get blocks of base material as gifts but have to program cornucopia machine templates if they want toys. I wonder what Argonaut parents would think if they discovered that their youngling had hacked the family fabber and turned the toys they gave zim into something else.
Rhyx Rhyx's picture
Re: Merging me, myself and I
Quote:
I wonder what Argonaut parents would think if they discovered that their youngling had hacked the family fabber and turned the toys they gave zim into something else.
That they are off to a great start! Double credit if it's into an ecto or a Critter
root root's picture
Re: Merging me, myself and I
root@Merging me, myself and I [hr]
The Doctor wrote:
Arenamontanus wrote:
Santa will of course give each of them a lump of coal, which they will then turn into diamond toys.
That would be an interesting take on Christmas for the Ultimates. The children get blocks of base material as gifts but have to program cornucopia machine templates if they want toys.
And being Ultimates, they would find it just adorable if the kid tried to make nanoswarm weapons out of them. "Aw, look at that adorable nanoswarm Zim made. He's running it on a greedy algorithm and he thinks it can get past your set cover swarm. Isn't it cute?"
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root root's picture
Re: Merging me, myself and I
root@Merging me, myself, and I [hr]
Arenamontanus wrote:
[...] the Entelechy Network (suspected exhumans on Extropia) [...]
I'll post The Banyan Manifesto as soon as I get it polished up enough.
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Arenamontanus Arenamontanus's picture
Re: Merging me, myself and I
root wrote:
I'll post The Banyan Manifesto as soon as I get it polished up enough.
I'm looking forward to it!
Extropian
root root's picture
Re: Merging me, myself and I
root@Merging me, myself, and I [hr]
Arenamontanus wrote:
root wrote:
I'll post The Banyan Manifesto as soon as I get it polished up enough.
I'm looking forward to it!
One little question: Did you pick the word "banyan" strictly because of it's reference to the banyan tree, or did you know that "banyan" was such a densely connected node and pick it for it's other associations?
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Arenamontanus Arenamontanus's picture
Re: Merging me, myself and I
root wrote:
One little question: Did you pick the word "banyan" strictly because of it's reference to the banyan tree, or did you know that "banyan" was such a densely connected node and pick it for it's other associations?
I was thinking mainly of the tree, which has always amazed me since I first saw it. I knew it had some associations, but not ~that~ many! :-)
Extropian
root root's picture
Re: Merging me, myself and I
root@Merging me, myself and I [hr]
Arenamontanus wrote:
root wrote:
One little question: Did you pick the word "banyan" strictly because of it's reference to the banyan tree, or did you know that "banyan" was such a densely connected node and pick it for it's other associations?
I was thinking mainly of the tree, which has always amazed me since I first saw it. I knew it had some associations, but not ~that~ many! :-)
That makes me feel better. Doing that on purpose for a single line reference sort of intimidated me in reference to a mind that worked like that. That would be supermerge behavior, in my opinion.
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Quincey Forder Quincey Forder's picture
Re: Merging me, myself and I
actually the old backup alpha fork is the main concept of my graphic novel. It's more complex than that, though. the real question is, who is considered to be the legal original? the current one, or the old one that went AWOL and making his return?
[center] Q U I N C E Y ^_*_^ F O R D E R [/center] Remember The Cant! [img]http://tinyurl.com/h8azy78[/img] [img]http://i249.photobucket.com/albums/gg205/tachistarfire/theeye_fanzine_us...
CodeBreaker CodeBreaker's picture
Re: Merging me, myself and I
Quincey Forder wrote:
actually the old backup alpha fork is the main concept of my graphic novel. It's more complex than that, though. the real question is, who is considered to be the legal original? the current one, or the old one that went AWOL and making his return?
My opinion: At the time of backup, when the Alpha is first made, a contract is signed stating that that backup is only to be used in case of legal death (By a neutral party). If the backup is initiated before such a decision has been made it is considered something similar to a child. It would have a potential claim to any inheritance, any outstanding debt and any properties should you, in the future die, but for all other purposes it is its own individual. After being declared legally deceased (again, by an agreed neutral party) that backup may be initiated and is from then on, legally, you. If you at a future point return you basically take the place of the fork in the above paragraph.
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root root's picture
Re: Merging me, myself and I
root@Merging me, myself, and I [hr] I always assumed that any alpha is considered to have equal rights and equal ownership, as there is no way to tell who came first. Unless there is a proprietary body involved. By proprietary, I mean the body the ego was birthed in, which implies that they date from an era where egos were born in bodies. It also implies that they got their body away from Earth by one means or another. Which makes it very likely that proprietary bodies are only possessed by Oligarchs and Jovians as a general rule. But that's because I think any Oligarch will want to make a copyration, and will also want that right to be restricted to members of their own social class. But I'm also aware that most people don't find Eclipse Phase: Courtroom Drama to be very interesting, so I should stop expounding on this one and get some new material.
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The Doctor The Doctor's picture
Re: Merging me, myself and I
root wrote:
I always assumed that any alpha is considered to have equal rights and equal ownership, as there is no way to tell who came first.
I would have thought that such would be recorded in the ego metadata for the purposes of recordkeeping and revision control.
Rhyx Rhyx's picture
Re: Merging me, myself and I
Hmm ego meta data...wonder what else it could give out as information and who indexes this stuff. It could probably have name, age, city and planet or residence, some version of a CV, rep at the time of cold storage
Thunderwave Thunderwave's picture
Re: Merging me, myself and I
The Doctor wrote:
root wrote:
I always assumed that any alpha is considered to have equal rights and equal ownership, as there is no way to tell who came first.
I would have thought that such would be recorded in the ego metadata for the purposes of recordkeeping and revision control.
I think what he's trying to get at is that an Alpha is an EXACT copy of the original. All the same memories, personality quirks, and so on. It is, for all intents and purposes, the exact same person up until it starts having enough different life experiences from the original. Now look at it from the judge's point of view. You've got two people, both act, talk, and think exactly the same. Both have the same memories up until a single point. Which came first? Are you 100% sure you can trust records that date back to The Fall, the most chaotic time in Humanity's history?