I’ve been reading The Age of Spiritual Machines by Kurzweil, and got to the obligatory section where he pontificates about the philosophical issues behind consciousness copying and transfer. In the process I thought of a nice analogy between one of the practical issues involved and bungee jumping.
Imagine that your brain is scanned and an improved replica of yourself is created. There are now two copies, and for practical reasons (say population control), you only get to keep one.
Imagine a computer stored in a box with a single small hole connecting it to the outside world. We are able to run programs inside the box and receive the results through the hole. In fact, in a sense results are all we can see; if the program makes efficient use of the hardware inside, the size of the hole will prevent us from knowing exactly what went on inside the box (unless we simulate the workings of the box somewhere else, but then the box is useless).