On 24 April 2004 Kory Heath wrote (in response to Bruno Marchal's post of 13 April 2004):

Platonia contains every possible computational state that represents a self-aware structure, and for each such state there are X number of next-possible-states, which also exist in Platonia. The chances of one self-aware state "jumping" (I know my terminology is dangerously loose here) to any particular next state is 1 / X, where X is the total number of next-possible-states for the state in question. Any regularities which emerge out of this indeterminate traversal from state to state will be perceived as local "laws of physics"...The real question is, what reason do we have to believe that any regularities actually emerge? In other words, how do we *know* that most of my "next-possible-states" do in fact contain stars and galaxies?

Does the fact that we never find ourselves in one of the bizarre, inconsistent worlds that are postulated to exist in Platonia cast doubt on the reality of these worlds and the validity of the underlying theory? Consider this thought experiment:

You are living in a time when humanity has colonised other planets in the solar system and teleportation is commonplace. For your vacation, you buy a ticket that allows you to be destructively scanned and teleported to one thousand fabulous destinations around the solar system. The machine also sends a copy of you to a receiving station next door, on Earth (it's the rules). You enter the sending station, press the red button, and a second later find yourself in slightly altered surroundings. When you get out of the machine, you realise that you are still on Earth. Disappointed, you buy another ticket on the spot and go through the same procedure again, hoping for a better result. Again, however, you walk out and see that you are still on Earth. This time, you are angry. The probability that you finish up the stay-home copy twice is less than one in one million! You suspect on this basis that the company running the teleporter has cheated you, and did not send copies to the holiday destinations at all. You demand a refund.

The confusion here arises from using the pronoun "you" in the traditional way: as if there can only be one "you" in existence at any one time. "Stay-home-you" imagines he has missed out on seeing Jupiter from its moons, because, obviously, he is here and not there. This is valid reasoning when a person cannot be in two places at once, but in this case we are starting with the premise that a person can be in at least 1001 places at once!

In a similar vein, if the existence of multiple versions of me branching out from the present moment in Platonia/Multiverse is allowed, the fact that "I-typing" do not experience, say, my laptop computer turning into a kangaroo and hopping away does not mean that it doesn't happen.

(The above discussion brings up the old arguments about personal identity, but I will refrain from starting a thread on that topic unless others are interested.)

Stathis Papaioannou.

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