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Torture vs. Dust Specks

The obvious answer is that torture is preferable.

If you have to pick yourself a chance of 1/3^^^3 of 50 years torture vs the dust spec you will pick the torture.

We actually do this every day: we eat foods that can poison us rather than be hungry, we cross the road rather than stay at home, etc.

Imagine there is a safety improvement to your car that will cost 0.0001 cent but will save you from an event that will happen once in 1000 universe lifetimes would you pay for it?

What Program Are You?

While I agree that humans can be decomposed into a number of program/data systems, I think there a decomposition that preserves our 'self's.

This composition is where our conscious minds is the program and our memories and sensory input is the data.

In other words, we can be copied into another substrate that has different program/data layers as long as this is maintained we will still think that our 'self' is preserved.

Note that I am not suggesting that we have a preference for preserving the 'self' in this fashion, but that we will have a subjective experience of continuity.

The First Step is to Admit That You Have a Problem

This an amazing paradigm that can be used in project management.

Take a problem break into tasks and sub-problems, keep breaking until sub-problems can not be reduced into tasks. Then we can measure the risks involved, etc.