Security of Vanishing Pacts in Human Copying

by phil on Sunday Nov 18, 2012 3:26 AM

This is Part 3 of 4 in a series of posts sparked by the Kurzweil's You 2 thought experiment.

In a world where human copying is normal, vanishing pacts could also become normal. In a vanishing pact, you agree that if you wake up as the discarded version (d-version), you agree to vanish after a set period of time. Theoretically these pacts could be made legally binding, with the government guaranteeing the destruction of d-versions. But most likely there will be some flexibility in the pact. At the very least, there will always be the possibility of a renegade d-version defying the government, breaking free, and choosing to live on.

In the case of voluntary or pseudo-voluntary vanishing pacts, your willingness to make a copy of yourself is dependent largely on how well you would cooperate with yourself.

For example, your vanishing pact might be set to 24 hours, where your d-version lives on for a full day while simultaneously as the c-version (canonical version) is alive. During this 24 hours, the d-version might meet someone interesting, go on a spontaneous date, and decide they want to see it through, keeping their identity, and nullifying the vanishing pact.

The c-version may object to this. Perhaps they don't trust you (the d-version) now because you violated the vanishing pact, and they're worried you might try to steal their identity, taking their bank accounts and relationships. The c-version would then have to hunt you down. Perhaps, they might even have the force of government behind them.

This pattern might become so widespread, that all d-versions could receive mandatory marks to distinguish them from the c-version. Maybe they are given a slightly bent nose or a special QR code representing the timestamp and site of their copying.

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