Jonathan Colvin wrote:
>Hal Ruhl wrote: > >>I know of no reason to assume that the various branches of MWI run >>concurrently. >> >>If they do not run concurrently then the only way I see for >immortality >>is to be in a branch where immortality is already a possibility >>inherent in that branch. > >Stathis: I don't see why this should be so. Your consciousness should >be able to jump between branches, between physical locations >and across long periods of time. I have not made up my mind >whether it can also jump backwards in time, i.e. if a moment >can be experienced as being in your future when in the real >world it is actually implemented in the past.
That is, presumably, assuming that the Principle of Indifference is correct.
I've got an issue with the PofI though; the problem of identity, or, how do
we decide whether a consciousness in a different branch or time is "mine"?
Is all that is required is that an identical brain-state exist elsewhere or
elsewhen? Then, as you've noted, there is an issue of sequencing. Why assume
a jump must always be forward in time? With no physical continuity between
brain-states, our consciousness might get stuck in an endless loop:
..W>X>Y>Z>X>Y>Z>X>Y>Z>... etc. I suppose that would be an immortality of
sorts, albeit rather a hellish one; but I suppose we wouldn't "realize" we
This question of what constitutes continuity of personal identity comes up all the time in newsgroups, of course. Even if you adhere to the most conservative, common sense belief that identity is attached only to a single animal during its lifetime, you run into problems. *Nothing* need be physically preserved between any two periods in an animal's life: not the constituent atoms, not their absolute position in spacetime, not even their position relative to each other. Your future self from 2006 need only share some of your memories and the belief that he is you; if he came back to 2005 in a time machine, moved into your home and tried to access your bank account, the fiction that you are the "same" person would be seen for what it is.
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