On 'Her'

Susan Schneider (UConn) has an essay in the Times about some of the philosophical puzzles posed by the movie 'Her'. From the essay,

Ordinary physical objects follow a continuous path through space over time. For Theodore to transfer his mind into a computer program, however, his mind would not follow a continuous trajectory. His brain would be destroyed when the scan was made, and the information about his precise brain configuration would be sent to a computer, which could be miles away.

Furthermore, if Theodore were to truly upload his mind (as opposed to merely copy its contents), then he could be downloaded to multiple other computers. Suppose that there are five such downloads: Which one is the real Theodore? It is hard to provide a nonarbitrary answer. Could all of the downloads be Theodore? This seems bizarre: As a rule, physical objects and living things do not occupy multiple locations at once. It is far more likely that none of the downloads are Theodore, and that he did not upload in the first place.

Worse yet, imagine that the scanning procedure doesn’t destroy Theodore’s brain, so the original Theodore survives. If he survives the scan, why conclude that his consciousness has transferred to the computer? It should still reside in his brain. But if you believe that his mind doesn’t transfer if his brain isn’t destroyed, then why believe that his mind does transfer if his brain is destroyed?

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If the operating system from "Her" is the future, then I hope this one is too. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fobbNO1Efo4