On Tuesday, December 24, 2002, at 11:02 AM, Stephen Paul King wrote:
[SPK]I just can't see any basis for invoking quantum mechanics and "no cloning" for why I am not you, or why I cannot plausibly experience being you, and vice versa, and so on.
I did state that my argument is "hand waving"! But, you seem to have
missed this. ;-)
Woah! Since when does Nature have to wait for Mankind to figure out
anything? YOur argument here is so grossly anthropocentric that I hope you
would re-think what you are saying here! I am not thinking in terms of
technical or engineering limits but instead I am trying to get at the "in
principle" notions of "what could Nature do?"
If, as I wrote before, our minds are classical computational machines,
we should have no problems in "knowing what it is like to be" any entity
that had a mind that required less computational power than that available
to our brains. We might not be able to know "what it is like to be a bat"
but surely we could "know what it is like to be an ameoba"!
Sorry, I misunderstood your chain of logic. I thought your paragraph from the earlier post said that you were attempting to explain why we _can't_ (as in "it is necessarily the case") simulate other minds or have first-person experiences of their minds.
" The no cloning theoren of QM seems to have the "right flavor" to explain
how it is that we can not have first person experience of each other's
minds, whereas the UTM model seems to strongly imply that I should be able
to know exactly what you are thinking."
I read the "how it is that we can not have" as your claim that we know this to be the case.
I see you are saying something close to what I am saying, "It may be the case" that minds cannot be simulated. And it may be the case, via some hand-wavy arguments, that this is "because" to do so would violate the no cloning theorem.
But, even on this claim, I am intensely skeptical. I don't believe that any mind is critically dependent on a precise, perfect quantum state.
Consider this thought experiment. Suppose the no cloning theorem does indeed mean that my mind in the state it is now in at this exact instant cannot be exactly duplicated.
Well, would you settle for my mind as of a minute ago? A second ago?
(And the usual chestnuts about whether the "myself" of _right now_ is the same person as a microsecond ago, an hour ago, etc.)
I can imagine some variant of the usual epsilon-delta arguments of analysis to show that given any degree of closeness of states (possible worlds), there exists some time delay which gives a simulation and which still violates no theorems about cloned states. (I would guess the time for biological systems is on the order of what Max Tegmark and others have estimated for decoherence.)
In other words, no quantum clones doesn't mean no for all intents and purposes clones.