Another thought on the Bayesian / SSA argument. Suppose (recent cosmological
discoveries aside) that we discovered that the universe
was going to fall back on itself into a big crunch in, say, 1 googol years' time. In
such a universe QTI could still operate, but
would only operate until the big crunch, which would act as a cul-de-sac. Now the SSA
would say that typically you'd "expect to find
yourself" (whatever that means) with an age around 0.5 googol, but that nevertheless
there was a finite chance that you'd "find
yourself" at age, say, 20. So assuming the SSA is valid for a moment, it wouldn't rule
out QTI (although it would make it seem
rather unlikely) if we discussed it when aged 20 in a closed universe. But it would be
*impossible* if had the same discussion in an
open universe! Odd that the average density of our branch of the multiverse should
make all the difference to a theory based on the
MWI . . . odd too (though not impossible) that the distant future history of the
universe should determine the probability of events
in the present . . .
(BTW, would I be right in thinking that, applying the SSA to a person who "finds
himself" to be 1 year old, the chances that he'll
live to be 80 is 1/80?)
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Russell Standish [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]]
> Sent: Wednesday, 12 September 2001 12:35 p.m.
> To: Charles Goodwin
> Cc: "Everything-List (E-mail)"
> Subject: Re: Conventional QTI = False
> The reason for failure of Jacques' argument is no. 1) from Charles's
> list below, which he obviously thought of independently of me. I
> originally posted this at
> http://www.escribe.com/science/theory/m583.html, on 10th May
> 1999. Unfortunately, I couldn't find where the orginal SSA argument
> was posted - perhaps this was via some other papers.
> The discussion that followed over the following year was quite
> interesting at times, and boringly technical at other times. It
> clarified a number of technical concepts, in particular what became
> known as the ASSA - which seems exactly like point 3) of Charles's
> post below: random hoppings of some "soul" between observer
> moments. Despite your protestations to the contrary Jacques, which I
> never found convincing.
> By contrast, "soul hopping" does not happen in the usual formulation
> of QTI, although I grant it is a feature of some computational
> theories of immortality based on infinite sized universes.
> I find it very droll that Jacques attempted to tar his opposition's
> theories with the very same brush that tars his own ASSA theory.
> The point of this is not to say that QTI is true (for which I
> retain my
> usual degree of scepticism), but simply that the Jacques Mallah SSA
> argument simply does not work as a counter argument.
> Charles Goodwin wrote:
> > > -----Original Message-----
> > > From: Jacques Mallah [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]]
> > >
> > > >From: Russell Standish <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
> > > >I suspect you are trying to find ways of making QTI
> compatible with
> > > >Jacques ASSA based argument, when it is clear his argument fails
> > > >completely. Not that the argument is unimportant, as the
> reasons for
> > > >the failure are also interesting.
> > >
> > > What the hell are you babbling about?
> > I don't know whether he's thinking about my objections to
> the SSA argument, but mine certainly *appear* to undermine it
> (at least I
> > haven't yet heard a good reason why they don't). Briefly,
> (1) the SSA argument neglects the fact that even with an
> infinitely long
> > worldline, everyone must pass through every age from 0
> upwards, which is precisely what we observe. It also (2)
> ignores a selection
> > effect, namely that only in a thermodynamically low number
> of universes can a person who is not "QTI-old" expect to
> communicate with
> > someone who *is* (and hence 99.999999999999...% of
> discussion groups will necessarily be composed of "QTI-young"
> people). The SSA
> > argument also (3) gives the strong impression (though this
> could *perhaps* be argued away) that it relies on us treating our
> > worldlines as though we've just been "dropped" into them at
> some random point, like Billy Pilgrim; which is, of course, not what
> > happens in reality.
> > Maybe there are some more technical objections to the SSA
> argument, but these are the simplest and most obvious.
> > Charles
> Dr. Russell Standish Director
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