At 20:17 03/02/04 -0500, Jesse Mazer wrote:

Personally, I would prefer to assign a deeper significance to the notion of absolute probability, since for me the fact that I find myself to be a human rather than one of the vastly more numerous but less intelligent other animals seems like an observation that cries out for some kind of explanation.

I am not sure about that. Suppose a teacher has 10^1000 students. Today
he says to the students that he will, tomorrow, interrogate one student of the
class and he will chooses it randomly. Each student thinks that there is only
1/(10^1000) chance that he will be interrogated. That's quite negligible, and
(assuming that all student are lazy) none of the students prepare the interrogation.
But then the day after the teacher says: "Smith, come on to the board, I will
interrogate you".
I hope you agree there has been no miracle here, even if for the student, being
the one interrogated is a sort of (1-person) miracle. No doubt that this student
could cry out for an explanation, but we know there is no explanations...
Suppose the teacher and the student are immortal and the teacher interrogates
one student each day. Eternity is very long, and there will be arbitrarily large
period where poor student Smith will be interrogated each days of that period.
Obviously Smith will believe that the teacher has something special against him/her.
But still we know it is not the case ...
So I don't think apparent low probability forces us to search for an explanation
especially in an everything context, only the relative probability of continuation
could make sense, or "ab initio" absolute probabilities could perhaps be given for the
entire histories.

But I think this is more of a philosophical difference, so that even if an ultimate TOE was discovered that gave unique absolute and conditional probabilities to each observer-moment, people could still differ on the interpretation of those "absolute probabilities".

I am not yet sure I can make sense of them.

I think also that your view on RSSA is not only compatible with
the sort of approach I have developed, but is coherent with
"Saibal Mitra" backtracking, which, at first I have taken
as wishful thinking.

What is the "backtracking" idea you're referring to here?

That if you put the probabilities on the infinite stories, any finite story will be of measure null, so that if an accident happens to you, and make you dead (in some absolute sense), you will never live that accident, nor the events leading to that accident: from a 3-person pov it is like there has been some backtracking, but it's seems linear from a 1-pov. (pov = point of view)

OK you make me feel COMP could be a little less
frightening I'm use to think.

Well, if I've spared you some sleepless nights I'm glad! ;)


Concerning consciousness theory and its use to isolate a similarity
relation on the computational histories---as seen from some first person
point of view, I will try to answer asap in a common answer to
Stephen and Stathis (and you) who asked very related questions.
Alas I have not really the time now---I would also like to find a way to explain
the consciousness theory without relying too much on mathematical logic,
but the similarity between 1-histories *has* been derived technically in the part
of the theory which is the most counter-intuitive ... mmh I will try soon ...

Yes, I definitely hope to understand the details of your theory someday, I think I will need to learn some more math to really follow it well though. My current self-study project is to try to learn the basic mathematical details of quantum computation and the many-worlds interpretation,

It seems a good plan.

but after that maybe I'll try to study up a bit on mathematical logic and recursive function theory. And even if I do, there's the little problem of my not knowing French, but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it...

Nice, you will be able to read the long version of my thesis ... It's almost self-contained.
In logic it is only the beginning which is hard, really. Nevertheless I will try to explain the
consciousness theory and the minimal amount of logic needed. The fact is that it is easy
to be wrong with self-applied probability, and using logic, it is possible to derive the logic
of [probability one] quasi-directly from the (counter-intuitive) godelian logic of self-reference.
There are already evidence that we get sort of quantum logic for those probability one.
I'm really searching how to justify the wavy aspect of nature.


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