Does Altered Carbon show any ambiguity about the idea of personalities being stored and downloaded into new bodies being the same person? Or it's completely assured they are the same person? I mean, I dont know if it's a good comparison, but if I take the hard drive from a computer and put it into another, even when I'll have the same softwares and files (which might run or not by the way), it isnt the same computer. Does Altered Carbon play with this idea or it's assured through the whole story than the personalities being stored and downloaded into new bodies are the same persons? If I recall correctly, other sci fi stories which used a similar idea (passing one person's memories from one body into another) like "The 6th day", created new persons, not the same one.

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    As far as I've seen, the only ambiguities suggested are by the people, in-universe, who think it's an unforgivable sin. – Radhil Feb 18 '18 at 19:42
  • Your question switches unknowingly between questions of science and questions of philosophy. It will be hard to answer satisfactorily. – WakeDemons3 Feb 21 '18 at 15:46
  • I dont think you understood the question, because I'm not asking how it is in the real world, I'm asking what the series suggests, and there you have the intention of the writers only – Pablo Feb 21 '18 at 16:17

In my mind that's a paradox, because "double-sleeving" is a deal breaker for the same-person argument. If you can double-sleeve that means the process is just copying. On the other hand, people are needle-casting to different sleeves and saving themselves to remote backups and dying all the time as if the newly spun up copy is still "them".

You could say the show just ignores the dilemma.

This is one of many ignored concepts in the show. I lost count of plot-holes, unscientific or plain illogical things in it.

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    That's also true in the novels. Double-sleeving is there, but everyone treats stacks as some form of immortality instead of just copying yourself around (which is only immortality from the outside). – Florian Schaetz Feb 23 '18 at 11:09
  • The novels explain (in a very small aside) that stack technology was designed by reverse engineering Martian technology, despite that they didn't make use of stack technology themselves. It's implied that there is some sort of alien 'secret sauce' which makes the upload/download process more than mere copying. This is a common enough conceit in scifi which deals with personality transfer. E.G. see Old Man's War. – bp. Apr 25 '18 at 0:36

I think the show deliberately ignores the issue. However, I think of it like this: As long as the stack is being moved from body to body I accept the premise that it is the same person. To use your computer analogy, I think of a "person" not as files, etc. (i.e. their memories) but as a "process" that runs on the stack. When a body dies the process simply hibernates and resumes when inserted into a new body.

The trouble begins with remote backups. Here I would no longer consider them the same person since it is a new "process" simply created from the same (or usually, slightly older) "files". On a computer this process would get a new pid (process id) and would thus be a completely new but similar process.

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