Index to Alan K

I have examples of Randi not only being wrong but lying about what he had tried.
Shermer was caught saying something was impossible because it would create an awkward situation.

Okay, here is Shermer's stupid conclusion.  He said that it was impossible to clone a human being and
transfer the original mind to the clone.  This would be like teleportation in Star Trek but the original was left
alive and whole while the duplicate was also alive and identical.

When Shermer was asked why this was impossible, he stated that it was impossible because then you
couldn't figure out which one was the original guy and which was the copy.
Who would be the father of the person's children?  Who would the wife sleep with?  Given these questions,
Shermer concluded that mind downloading was impossible or that a teleportation error that left identical
people was impossible.

Using that logic, one could conclude that you couldn't possibly create two identical automobiles and affix
identical VIN numbers to them because then you wouldn't know who owned which car.  Why does not
knowing who owns which car make the physical act of cloning two cars an impossibility?  The mint prints
dollar bills with different serial numbers but they make the quarters to be indistinguishable to the casual
eye.  In fact, they make them as close to identical as they can.  Cloning of quarters is a goal.  If the printing
press makes a mistake in printing postage stamps and prints a few hundred that are NOT clones of the
others, those non-clones often become valuable because they are rare and unique.  Shermer confused
what would be an inconvenience or what would send lawmakers to the legislature to pass new laws with
something be physically impossible.

Here is another example where humans make a similar mistake almost every day.  Take a sheet of paper,
walk up to a high-quality copy machine and make ten copies.  If I shuffle those ten copies like cards, can
you tell them apart?  Now lets interview a couple who just had a baby.  Everyone says that the couple
"reproduced".  But you can certainly tell the baby from the parents and the parents from each other.  The
ten copies that were reproduced are as identical as quarters and yet they get to use the same word to
describe making a screaming baby from two grown adults.  Makes no sense to a Martian or a robot like me.

John H tells me that they will not ever allow self-driving cars on the road because as soon as there is one
accident, the lawsuits will go into the billions of dollars.
I tried to point out to him that the same argument would prevent there from ever being any cars on the
road.  But there are accidents all of the time and we learn to deal with it.  40,000 people die on US
highways and yet we all still are driving cars and the insurance companies pay off in a reasonable manner.  
Apparently it is acceptable if a human driver has an accident but unacceptable if a machine were to do
something wrong.

We all are humans and on occasion we appear to have what I refer to as "an inability to think", or at least
an inability to think clearly in a manner that could be understood by a logical Alien from another planet.

donbot