# Re: First, Third Person and Continuum

Marchal wrote:

George Levy wrote:   (complete message below)

>This illustrates the difference in the observations. Observing a spark
>with no detonation has a probability of 0.25 for a third person observer
>but 0.33 for a first person observer.

I agree, at least intuitively, with your reasoning.

But as you perhaps remember Jacques Mallah trapped me in some
intuitive
probability reasoning,

Yes. I have run afoul of Jacques on the issue of probability. He would probably disagree on my normalization operation. However, the result of the normalization is simply the conditional probability of observing the spark given that one is alive.
But it is interesting having different approach leading
to similar propositions.
Yes. It is nice and reassuring. We have come to these conclusions via different routes. Our different background/terminology/process make it difficult for us to understand each other, but when we do it is worth it.
>The spark itself is neither a
>first nor third person event. It is in-between.

But this, I'm not sure I understand.
Could you elaborate a little bit? Is there a relationship
with the first *plural* person, which makes
possible some intermediaries between the 1 and 3 person?

An example of first person plural is for example myself thinking about the "many other myselves" in other branches having made other choices of professions/wives/stock market etc... . There is also the concept of third person singular/plural. For example I could be thinking about other instances of my wife having other destinies with other men. And of course the second person singular/plural, for example, you, in other destinies such as teaching biology, or arts or English.

All person conjugations (singular and plural) have a plural in the Plenitude. We should invent a word other than plural to denote the concept.of Plenitude-Plural. How about "plenal?"  Any suggestion?

The concept of continuity between first and third person is not difficult to accept if one is willing to adopt a relativistic point of view, where the frame of reference is taken as the degree of coupling of the observed object with the observer's own existence. We can produce an quantum analogue of Einstein's simultaneity thought experiment and show that the degree of coupling affects in a continuous fashion what the observer observes. This is precisely what I have done by modifying Tegmark's thought experiment.

First person events are those that occupy the same frame of reference as the observer. Third person events do not occupy the same frame of reference. "Frame of reference" refers to the degree of coupling with conditions affecting existence of observer.

Occupying the same  frame of reference also means sharing the same past and future cones (G* - your terminology).

One could view this continuum in probability as a cross section of this cone with each point on that cross section forming a probability distribution. High probability would occur near the center of the cone, and low or zero probability at the edges.

George

Original message:

>In my opinion, the concept of first person and third person perspective
>is really a special case of a continuum.
>
>A first person observation of an event occurs when the event is 100%
>coupled with the continued existence of the observer.
>A third person observation of an event occurs when the coupling between
>the event and the observer's existence is 0%.
>A continuum of possibilities exists between the two. In Tegmark suicide
>experiment for example, the observation of the very preliminary phase of
>the experiment is third person. The observation of the non-explosion of
>the pack of dynamite is first person.
>
>Modifying that experiment slightly, let's say that the detonation of the
>deadly explosive is intended if a quantum coin lands tail. Let's say the
>the mechanism operates  in two steps in rapid non-observable succession
>with the following probabilities:.
>1) A 50% chance p1 that the electrical circuit fires, which is a
>function of the outcome states of the coin. If or when the circuit fires
>it generates a visible spark  intended to trigger the explosive.
>2) A 50% chance p2 that the chemical responds to the spark and
>detonates. (because it is (quantum?) wet for example)
>
>Here is the Third Person Perspective:
>
>Coin Head - Probability = (1-p1) = 0.50
>
>Coin Tail => Spark => Non Detonation;  Probability = (1-p1)(1-p2) =
>0.25
>
>Coin Tail => Spark => Detonation; Probability = (1-p1)p2 = 0.25
>
>
>The third person probability of live outcome is (1-p1) + (1-p1)(1-p2) =
>0.75
>
>
>
>The First Person Perspective is obtained by normalizing the third person
>probabilities such that the sum of the live outcomes equals 1.
>
>Coin Head => Probability =  (1-p1)/((1-p1) + (1-p1)(1-p2)) = 0.50/0.75 =
>0.67
>
>Coin Tail => Spark => Non Detonation; Probability = (1-p1)(1-p2)/((1-p1)
>+ (1-p1)(1-p2)) = 0.33
>
>Coin Tail => Spark => Detonation; Probability = 0.0
>
>
>This illustrates the difference in the observations. Observing a spark
>with no detonation has a probability of 0.25 for a third person observer
>but 0.33 for a first person observer. The spark itself is neither a
>first nor third person event. It is in-between.