Hi Stathis,

I think that your example below was helpful to clarify the disagreement.
You say that randomly sampling from all the files is not 'how real life
works'.  However, if you did randomly sample from all the files the result
would not be different from the selective time ordered sampling you suggest,
as long as the effect of dying (reducing the absolute measure) can be

If I'm sampled by the computer, I'll have the recollection of having been a
continuum of previous states, even though these states may not have been
sampled for quite some while. I'll subjectively experience a linear time
evolution. The order in which the computer chooses to generate me at various
instances doesn't matter.

There are a few reasons why I believe in the ''random sampling''. First of
all, random sampling seems to be necessary to avoid the Doomsday Paradox.
See this article written by Ken Olum:


He explains here why you need the Self Indicating Assumption. The self
indicating assumption amounts to adopting an absolute measure that is
proportional to the number of observers.

Another reason has to do with the notion of time. I don't believe that
events that have happened or will happen are not real while events that are
happening now are real. They have to be treated in the same way. The fact
that I experience time evolution is a first person phenomena.

Finally, QTI (which more or less follows if you adopt the time ordered
picture), implies that for the most part of your life you should find
yourself in an a-typical state (e.g. very old while almost everyone else is
very young).


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----- Oorspronkelijk bericht ----- 
Van: "Stathis Papaioannou" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
Aan: <everything-list@eskimo.com>
Verzonden: Monday, May 30, 2005 04:02 PM
Onderwerp: objections to QTI

> I thought the following analogy might clarify the point I was trying to
> in recent posts to the "Many Pasts? Not according to QM" thread,
> one objection to QTI.
> You are a player in the computer game called the Files of Life. In this
> the computer  generates consecutively numbered folders which each contain
> multiple text files, representing  the multiple potential histories of the
> player at that time point. Each folder F_i contains N_i files. The first
> folder, F_0,  contains N_0 files each describing possible events soon
> your birth. You choose one of the  files in this folder at random, and
> this the computer generates the next folder, F_1, and places in it N
> representing N possible continuations of the story. If you die going from
> F_0 to F_1, that  file in F_1 corresponding to this event is blank, and
> blank files are deleted; so for the first  folder N_0=N, but for the next
> one N_1<=N, allowing for deaths. The game then continues: you  choose a
> at random from F_1, from this file the computer generates the next folder
> F_2  containing N_2 files, then you choose a file at random from F_2, and
> on.
> It should be obvious that if the game is realistic, N_i should decrease
> increasing i, due  to death from accidents (fairly constant) + death from
> age related disease. The earlier folders  will therefore on average
> many more files than the later folders. Now, it is argued that  QTI is
> impossible because a randomly sampled observer moment from your life is
> unlikely to  be from a version of you who is 1000 years old, which has
> low measure compared with a  younger version. The equivalent argument for
> the Files of Life would be that since the earlier  files are much more
> numerous than the later files, a randomly sampled file from your life (as
> created by playing the game) is very unlikely to represent a 1000 year old
> version of you, as  compared with a younger version. This reasoning would
> sound if the "random sampling" were  done by mixing up all the files, or
> the OM's, and pulling one out at random. But this is not  how the game
> and it is not how real life works. From the first person viewpoint, it
> doesn't matter how many files are in the folder because you only choose
> at each step, spend  the same time at each step, and are no more likely to
> find yourself at one step rather than  another. As long as there is at
> *one* file in the next folder, it is guaranteed that you  will continue
> living. Similarly, as long as there is at least *one* OM in your future
> which  represents a continuation from your present OM, you will continue
> living.
> --Stathis Papaioannou
> _________________________________________________________________
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