I’ve been contemplating the nature of consciousness and identity. It’s been fueled by reading much lately on parallel universes and artificial intelligence. One question has been top of mind: what makes two minds the same? (If you have some good articles or books addressing this, please post them in the comments.)
Here’s the thought experiment. Imagine an organism with a simple brain capable of being in 1 million possible configurations. This means there are 1 million possible unique minds. Now what happens when the population of this organism surpasses 1 million, if we assume brain configurations are randomly distributed? Would you not start to see duplicate minds?
We can extend this to human minds. They just have more possible configurations. When you consider the vastness of the universe, never mind parallel universes, it seems inevitable that every mind exists multiple times. The question, then, is when these copies are sufficiently similar to be considered the same. How close of a copy of me does something have to be, to be considered me too?