----- Original Message ----- From: "Jesse Mazer" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
> > I agree that a moment from now there will be a number of exactly > >equal copies. Nevertheless, I am sure I will only experience being > >one of them, so this is what I mean by ' me ' - the actual experiences > >I will have. Maybe some copy of me will win the lottery every time > >I play, but that does not give me reason to spend my money on it. I > >still believe that the probability that 'I' win is 1/10^6, even if on a > > multiverse sense, the probability that at least one copy of me wins is 1. > >The same should be the case with death if we assume a materialistic > >position. > > But you should no more expect to end up in a branch where you died than in a > branch where you were never born in the first place. Consider, instead of a > branching multiverse, a Star-Trek-style transporter/duplicator in a single > universe, which can deconstruct you and reconstruct exact copies > atom-by-atom in distant locations (assuming the error introduced by the > uncertainty principle is too small to make a difference--if you don't want > to grant that, you could also assume this is all happening within a > deterministic computer simulation and that you are really an A.I.). To use > Bruno Marchal's example, suppose this duplicator recreates two identical > copies of you, one in Washington and one in Moscow. As you step into the > chamber, if you believe continuity of consciousness is "real" in some sense > and that it's meaningful to talk about the probabilities of different > possible next experiences, it would probably make sense to predict from a > first-person-point of view that you have about a 50% chance of finding > yourself in Moscow and a 50% chance of finding yourself in Washington. > > On the other hand, suppose only a single reconstruction will be performed in > Washington--then by the same logic, you would probably predict the > probability of finding yourself in Washington is close to 100%, barring a > freak accident. OK, so now go back to the scenario where you're supposed to > be recreated in both Washington and Moscow, except assume that at the last > moment there's a power failure in Moscow and the recreator machine fails to > activate. Surely this is no different from the scenario where you were only > supposed to be recreated in Washington--the fact that they *intended* to > duplicate you in Moscow shouldn't make any difference, all that matters is > that they didn't. But now look at another variation on the scenario, where > the Moscow machine malfunctions and recreates your body missing the head. I > don't think it makes sense to say you have a 50% chance of being "killed" in > this scenario--your brain is where your consciousness comes from, and since > it wasn't duplicated this is really no different from the scenario where the > Moscow machine failed to activate entirely. In fact, any malfunction in the > Moscow machine which leads to a duplicate that permanently lacks > consciousness should be treated the same way as a scenario where I was only > supposed to be recreated in Washington, in terms of the subjective > probabilities. Extending this to the idea of natural duplication due to > different branches of a splitting multiverse, the probability should always > be 100% that my next experience is one of a universe where I have not been > killed. I don't quite agree with that argument, even though I was intrigued in the first read. The reason is similar to those exposed by Hal finney in his reply to this post. These copies are not copies made by the branching of MWI. In fact, I believe that I will never experience being one of those copies. Let me see if I can support that: Suppose you don't destroy the original, but merely make the copies (and this also answers the later post from someone with the address [EMAIL PROTECTED]). If a copy of me is made *in my own universe*, I don't expect to have the experiences of the copies. Suppose I sit on this copy machine in New York, and the information of the position and velocities (within quantum uncertainty) of all particles in my body is copied. Suppose, for the sake of the argument, that the mere retrieval of this information should pose no problem to me. It should me harmless. This information then travels by wire from the reader to the reproducer. An almost perfect copy of me is made in Paris. Should I, in that moment, expect to have the first-person 50% probability of suddenly seeing the eiffel tower? I don't think anyone would support that. And in that case, you shouldn't support the notion that you could ever be a copy of yourself, since you could always NOT destroy the original in your example. Whenever you did, the original would have the first-person experience of dying, i.e., it would never be conscious again. This example is similar to that of the Schwarzenegger movie where he had a clone of himself made. Of course the making of the clone has no implication in the original person's experiences whatsoever. For instance, if the bad guy in the movie offered you the opportunity of being cloned and win 1 million dollars, but killing the original (you), would you accept it? Why or why not? The answer to this question is the only thing that matters to us when talking about Immortality. > The big assumption here, as I said earlier, is that there is some sort of > "objective" truth about continuity of consciousness and subjective > probabilities, that it's not just a bunch of isolated observer-moments who > just have an illusion of a consciousness which changes over time due to > memories and expectations. See my thread on "3 possible views of > 'consciousness'" here: > > http://www.escribe.com/science/theory/m2358.html > > >If non-observing states are prohibited, then we should never expect to > >be in a coma, or anesthesized, for instance. Whenever you would be > >submitted to a surgery, you would see that the doctor somehow failed > >to apply the anesthesy correctly, and you would have a *very* conscious > >experience. > > > > I don't see any justification for that. Why can't your "next" > observer-moment after the anesthesia begins to take effect be of waking up > hours later? That's a lot what waking up from dreamless unconsciousness > feels like, subjectively. What I was saying was that the usual QI argument seems to imply that there is an external consciousness which cannot be definitely unconscious. But if unconsciousness was prohibited somehow, the most probable thing was that you would never be unconscious, since there are always universes where you never are. But this is a very loose argument, and does not matter to the main discussion. -Eric.