Hal, Waht about a definition of Observer-Moment? That would surely help me...

Thanks, -Joao Hal Finney wrote: > Jesse Mazer writes: > > In your definition of the ASSA, why do you define it in terms of your next > > observer moment? > > The ASSA and the RSSA were historically defined as competing views. > I am not 100% sure that I have the ASSA right, in that it doesn't seem > too different from the SSSA. (BTW I have kept the definitions at the end > of this email.) (BTW, BTW means By The Way.) But I am pretty sure about > the RSSA being in terms of the "next" moment, so I defined the ASSA the > same way, to better illustrate its complementary relationship to the RSSA. > > The real difference between these views was not addressed in my > glossary, which is that the RSSA is supposed to justify the QTI, the > quantum theory of immortality, while the ASSA is supposed to refute it. > That is, if you only experience universes where your identity continues, > as the RSSA implies, then it would seem that you will never die. But if > your life-moments are ruled by statistics based on physical law as the > ASSA says, then the chance that you will ever experience being extremely > old is infinitesimal. > > Personally I think the ASSA as I have it is somewhat incoherent, speaking > of a "next" observer moment in a framework where there really isn't any > such notion. But as I said it has been considered as the alternative > to the RSSA. I invite suggestions for improved wording. > > > Wouldn't it be possible to have a version of the SSA where > > you consider your *current* observer moment to be randomly sampled from the > > set of all observer-moments, but you use something like the RSSA to guess > > what your next observer moment is likely to be like? > > That seems contradictory. You have one distribution for the current > observer-moment (sampled from all of them), and another distribution for > the next observer-moment (sampled from those that are continuous with > the same identity). But the current observer-moment is also a "next" > observer-moment (relative to the previous observer-moment). So you can't > use the ASSA for current OM's and the RSSA for next OM's, because every > next is a current, and vice versa. (By OM I mean observer-moment.) > > > Also, what about a weighted version of the ASSA? I believe other animals are > > conscious and thus would qualify as observers/observer-moments, which would > > suggest I am extraordinarily lucky to find myself as an observer-moment of > > what seems like the most intelligent species on the planet...but could there > > be an element of the anthropic principle here? Perhaps some kind of theory > > of consciousness would assign something like a "mental complexity" to > > different observer-moments, and the self-sampling assumption could be biased > > in favor of more complex minds. > > Yes, I think the possibility of weighting OM's is implicit in these > definitions. We often use the term "measure" to indicate that some > OM's carry more weight and more probability than others. For example, > one theory is that OM's which take a larger program to output would > have lower measure than ones which are described by a short program. > By this definition we might think that less complex minds would have > more measure, the opposite of your idea. > > I haven't heard of anyone suggesting that complex minds would inherently > have higher measure. Instead, it seems that most people use a somewhat > arbitrary cutoff for complexity which is necessary to qualify as an > observer. In the anthropic literature this general issue is discussed > as the problem of the reference class. I'm not that familiar with all > the ideas which have been proposed. > > Your idea, and my alternative about less complex minds having more > measure, have the problem that it seems that much more and less complex > minds should exist in the multiverse, and as you note we obviously have > evidence of less-complex minds existing in abundance right here on Earth. > So if more complexity is better, why aren't we super-intelligent aliens? > > > Likewise, one might use a graded version of the RSSA to deal with "degrees > > of similarity", instead of having it be a simple either-or whether a future > > observer-moment "belongs to the same observer" or not as you suggest in your > > definition. There could be some small probability that my next > > observer-moment will be of a completely different person, but in most cases > > it would be more likely that my next observer-moment would be basically > > similar to my current one. But one might also have to take into account the > > absolute measure on all-observer moments that I suggest above, so that if > > there is a very low absolute probability of a brain that can suggest a > > future observer-moment which is very similar to my current one (because, > > say, I am standing at ground zero of a nuclear explosion) then the relative > > probability of my next observer-moment being completely different would be > > higher. Again, one would need something like a theory of consciousness to > > quantify stuff like "degrees of similarity" and the details of how the > > tradeoff between relative probability and absolute probability would work. > > This seems hard to motivate because it fails to satisfy the desire of > RSSA proponents to get quantum immortality, while still introducing > the problematic notions of identity which the ASSA was supposed to free > us from. Also, you would need to come up with some rules for how big the > threshold has to be in order to kick you out of your current identity-line > and into someone else's. It looks problematic to me. > > Hal > > : SSA - The Self-Sampling Assumption, which says that you should consider > : yourself as a randomly sampled observer from among all observers in the > : multiverse. > : > : SSSA - The Strong Self-Sampling Assumption, which says that you should > : consider this particular observer-moment you are experiencing as being > : randomly sampled from among all observer-moments in the universe. > : > : ASSA - The Absolute Self-Sampling Assumption, which says that you should > : consider your next observer-moment to be randomly sampled from among all > : observer-moments in the universe. > : > : RSSA - The Relative Self-Sampling Assumption, which says that you should > : consider your next observer-moment to be randomly sampled from among all > : observer-moments which come immediately after your current observer-moment > : and belong to the same observer. -- Joao Pedro Leao ::: [EMAIL PROTECTED] Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics 1815 Massachussetts Av. , Cambridge MA 02140 Work Phone: (617)-496-7990 extension 124 Cell-Phone: (617)-817-1800 ---------------------------------------------- "All generalizations are abusive (specially this one!)" -------------------------------------------------------