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Old November 5 2012, 06:38 PM   #223
Christopher
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Re: TNG: The Persistence of Memory by David Mack Review Thread (Spoile

Relayer1 wrote: View Post
I haven't had the pleasure of reading it yet (thanks Amazon) but with Data's emotion chip, wouldn't B4 have a copy of Data's emotions too ? To my way of thinking, along with his knowledge and memories, that would make up much of what made Data, Data...
I don't think the phrase "a copy of Data's emotions" is even meaningful. Emotions aren't files, they're more like subroutines, programming that triggers certain responses to certain stimuli. They're hardware/firmware rather than software.

B-4 didn't have an emotion chip, and as per the literature, Data didn't either by the time of Nemesis. (The movie seemed to forget the emotion chip had ever existed.) By that point, Data would've retained the memory of events that had emotional impact for him, but without the capacity to process emotion, he wouldn't have been able to understand or re-experience the emotional content of those memories. Data Jr. does have full emotional capacity in his neural net, so he'd probably be able to remember those emotional memories and form new ones.

On the other hand, if the cognitive routines necessary for comprehending and processing emotion were physically stored within the chip (which seems to be the case, since Data apparently didn't retain his emotional capability without the chip active or installed), the emotional component of his memories might have been lost. We think of a memory as a single integrated whole, but its parts are actually stored separately and the brain reconstructs them from multiple stored elements. So you can remove some aspect of a memory altogether, or even of a real-time perception -- like the way brain-damaged people can be unaware of the existence of a whole limb or side of their body, not only failing to perceive it but no longer realizing that it ever existed.


Deranged Nasat wrote: View Post
Part of the issue here, I think, is the degree to which a sapient being can ever truly understand the identity process of another. The final chapter of The Persistence of Memory sort of suggests that this is going to be a dilemma. Geordi is somewhat confused that Data considers his relationship to the old Data to be problematic, difficult to describe. If it has Data's memories, Data's knowledge and Data's feelings regarding, for example, his friends, then as far as Geordi's concerned it's Data, right? But Data himself isn't so sure, because his vantage point is rather different from Geordi's.
That's why I think joined Trill are an appropriate analogy. It's not a black-and-white question, either he's the same or different. It's somewhere in between. It's unusual enough that we have to be open to changing our definitions of identity.

Relayer1 wrote: View Post
If someone suffers a brain injury and recovers, but some memory, motor control, behavior, character etc. change (albeit slightly), it is still the same person. Is this not analogous to Data 2.0 ?
But is it really the same person? We assume that because we see the same face, hear the same voice, but is that too superficial an analysis? For that matter, am I the same person I was 20 years ago? Or have I become a different person who retains many memories and habits of the person I was then, but has also lost a lot of who that person was and gained other attributes? Identity is not a simple thing to define. It's unwise to leave your assumptions unexamined when dealing with a situation outside your past experience.

And the situation here doesn't fit your analogy very well. This is a different positronic brain, constructed to house a different personality, with its experiential memories wiped and replaced with a copy of a copy of the memories from the original positronic brain. Also, brain damage tends to take elements away; this new brain has added abilities and enhanced performance. It's kind of the reverse of brain damage.
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