Bruno Marchal wrote:

> At 23:53 -0700 27/09/2002, George Levy wrote:
>
>> Here is a thought experiment illustrating a paradox involving the 
>> first and third person point of views.
>>
>>
>> Romeo and Juliet, being very unhappy with their families, the 
>> Montague and the Capulet, decide to engage in QS. (By QS, I do not 
>> mean Quantum Sex, even though such an activity has intriguing 
>> possibilities indeed. This topic is beyond the subject addressed here 
>> so I will postpone it for a later posting)
>
> Neither is QS for Qualified Specialist, nor for Quantum Stupidity I 
> suppose.
> Instead of telling what QS is not for, you could remind us what
> QS *is* for...   Ah! Quantum Suicide. I remember.
>
I was afraid to be censored for mentioning Quantum Suicide, so I just 
said it was not Quantum Sex.

Diverging for a minute on Quantum Sex... I am intrigued by this idea... 
Quantum superposition is what makes Quantum Sex possible. Imagine all 
the possible simultaneous partners you could have. Forget 
menage-a-trois. The "70 virgins" are insignificant compared to the huge 
number and diversity of partners...

Not that Quantum Sex and Quantum Suicide are not related. One may lead 
to the other, but I am still trying to figure out which one....

>
>> Otherwise the machine terminates itself with both persons inside it 
>> in a microsecond. Anyone within a radius of 20 feet of the machine is 
>> also terminated.
>
> Even within 19,99999999887642109 feet ?
>
If physicists can talk about "point particles" then I can say "20 feet." 
However, if you want 19,99999999887642109 feet you can have them. Just 
pay in cash!

>
>>  A few days later, after a series of successful tests demonstrating 
>> the non-operation of the machine, (otherwise the tests would destroy 
>> the machine) the device is ready to operate.  Tearfully, Romeo and 
>> Juliet say their goodbyes to their dear friends. They kiss 
>> passionately, and slowly step into the machine. Balthasar moves away 
>> in a hurry afraid for his life. Romeo is sitting in front of the 
>> command panel. One last time, he looks at Juliet who gives him a nod. 
>> Romeo pushes the ignition button....
>>
>> ... and nothing happens, Romeo and Juliet step out of the machine, 
>> and full of joy, run to their families to announce thier engagement 
>> and prepare their wedding...
>> ...and a huge exposion shakes the ground... Balthasar is at a safe 
>> distance and is not hurt. However, Mercutio, who could not bear to 
>> lose his friends, had decided at the last minute to share their fate. 
>> He had moved within one foot of the machine when Romeo hit the 
>> iginition switch.
>>
>> Now here are a few questions involving first and third person points 
>> of views :
>>
>> Q1. What is the first person point of view of Juliet by Balthasar?
>
>
>
>
> What do you mean by "the first person point of view of X by Y"?
> Here I would say the (local) third person point of view is the 
> description
> of the (genuine part) of the Schroedinger wave. No less.
> We are discussing *Quantum* S!
> Also, by definition I would say the the first person point of view of X
> is available to X, and nobody else. Oh, perhaps you mean someone, 
> belonging
> to the same quantum branch, and  who
> read Juliet (X) personal diary? OK.
>

We agree on this. It's just a queston of adjusting our terms

>
>> A1. He saw the machine explode. No more Juliet.
>
>
>
> In the (locally and even relatively) normal worlds *those* normal
> Balthazar saw the machine exploding. No more manifestation of Juliet
> relatively to *those* Balthazar, indeed.
>
>
>
>
>>
>> Q2. What is the first person point of view of Juliet by Romeo?
>> A2. He sees his dear Juliet alive and well.
>
>
>
> And well? What about the vast set of quasi normal worlds
> (that is those worlds nearest to the normal world(*) where you relatively
> consistently survive)
> where Romeo and/or Juliette survive(s) but are wounded, and not so well?
> Those worlds where Mercutio can even no more put some new ignition 
> button.
> What about those quasi normal worlds where the feud continue but
> Romeo and Juliette (and Mercutio, and Balthazar) get a brain disease
> and do no more really follow the drama?
> Both with comp and (pure) QM, violent self-annihilation send you to hell,
> I'm afraid. The amount of energy to annihilate yourself depends on the
> unknowable comp level of substitution.
>
This is an unsupported remark. It may send you to hell but it may not. 
The actual probabilities must be worked out in light of the reliability 
of the machine versus the stubborness of the Montague and Capulet. It's 
just an engineering/psychological design problem. Just put enough 
redundancy in the machine to make sure the machine operates the way it 
is supposed to, and enough wine in the families stomachs to make sure 
they don't.

>>
>> Q3. What is the first person point of view of Juliet by Mercutio?
>> A3. He sees Juliet alive and well.
>
>
>
> Same remarks.


Same remarks

>
>
>>
>> Q4. What is the first person experience of Juliet by Juliet?
>> A4 She is happy to be alive and in love with Romeo.
>
>
>
> OK (modulo the remarks).

OK (modulo the remarks)

>
>
>>
>> Now here is the trick question
>> Q5. What is the third person point of view of Juliet?
>
>
> ?
>
>
>> A5. Balthasar sees Juliet dead, but both Romeo and Mercutio see her 
>> alive and well.
>
>
> Just looking at the Balthasar point of views:
>
> The many (normal) Balthasar sees Juliet dead.
> The many (but relatively much less) quasi-normal Balthasar sees 
> Juliet, and
> Romeo, and Mercutio, terribly wounded.
> The exceptional Balthasar sees, with astosnishment, Romeo and Mercutio
> alive and well.
>
> (Exceptional because we take Shakespeare word for describing the "normal
> world", where the feud is not supposed to stop!)
>
Your machine just wounds people. My machine is better, it kills them 
outright!

>>
>> There lies the paradox.
>>
>> The question should be rephrased as:
>> 1) What is the third person point of view of Juliet by Romeo,
>
> I don't understand to much this phrasing. I think you described only
> first person (plural) points of view. The third person point view
> can be taken (by hypothesis) as the wave with its many superposition.
> We bet on it. We can never be sure. The third person point of view
> is really the intended scientific point of view. By construction it
> is doubtful, and with comp, it is never really distinguishable with
> some plural first person point of view.
>
I think we agree on the main  concept. It's just that our terminology is 
different.

>> 2) What is the third person point of view of Juliet by Mercutio, and
>> 3)What is the third person point of view of Juliet by Balthasar.
>>
>> This rephrasing however defeats the whole point of having a "third" 
>> objective person.
>
>
>
> Sure. But there is a third person *point of view*. With QS it is the 
> description
> of the (universal) quantum wave. It has been implicit here. (Note that 
> you could
> have use comp instead).
>
>
>> There is no such a thing as a third person.
>
>
>
> I would agree. I prefer to talk on third person point of view. It is
> the ideal point of view of a scientist making a repetable experiment
> or a verifiable argument, it is the cart we put on the table, the local
> rule of the game we accept for the sake of the argument. Or the local
> experimental device we accept as obviously presented. 


I agree. The third person point of view allows "objective experiments" 
to be performed. Thus Mercutio and Romeo would be able to share such 
objective experiments.

>
>
>
>> The concept of third person should be rephrased in terms of persons 
>> sharing the same experience because they share the same frame of 
>> reference.
>
>
>
> I think that this is what I call the first person plural point of view.
> Amazing, we where just talking about it. Let me quote myself:
>
> <<This gives rise to a notion of first person plural discourse, which is
> just sharable first person discourse, and which can make some of
> the typical first person notions (like the 1-indeterminacy) into locally
> third person notions (like the apparent quantum indeterminacy).>>
> (at the recent http://www.escribe.com/science/theory/m4075.html  )
>
I love the term "locally third person." This is exactly what it is, 
where "locally" I think is defined in your terms as "logical extensions"...


>
>> In this thought experiment, both Romeo and Mercutio share the same 
>> frame of reference and therefore perceive Juliet in the same way.
>
>
>
> Yes. This exemplifies the need of relativizing the probabilities.
> QM illustrates a way to make that relativization in some coherent way.
> With comp it is still an open problem, although results shows
> it is meaningful to expect such coherence from the constraint of Church
> thesis.


I agree

>
> I think your thought experiment illustrates quite well the distinction
> between the first person and the first person plural povs.
> It is true that sometimes I call the owner of the third person point
> of view a "third person". You make me think that this language abuse
> can be misleading, thanks.
> Your experience illustrates also very well CS, (it is'nt comp sex ;)
>
> I have a question (related to the unsolvable question of the possible
> number of persons). Would you say Juliet has survived in case a long
> "time" after the "normal" explosion she get total amnesia, and believes
> she is ... George Levy?
>
Take all the letters of "Othello," scamble them, and then reorder them 
as "Hamlet." Is it still Othello? Historians have discovered that 
Shakespeare did not actually write "Hamlet." Somebody else wrote 
"Hamlet" who just happened also to be named Shakespeare.

Your point is well taken.

>
> (*) This is roughly speaking the Lewis-Stalnaker semantics for the
> conterfactuals, like in Hardegree 1976, and in James J. Joyce book on 
> causal
> decision theory suggested by Wei. People interested can also read
> the book "Inquiry" by Stalnaker.
>
>
Thank you for the references. I am extremely busy right now, but I will 
make a point to look them up.


George

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