Hi Norman,

I don't think it makes much difference whether time is real or not as far as the game I have described is concerned. Each consecutive folder corresponds to a time step, but you could as easily consider the whole ensemble of folders and files as a mathematical object existing timelessly in Platonia; similarly with the multiverse.

--Stathis Papaioannou

Hi Saibal and Stathis,
This scenario that you are discussing reminds me of this interview with Julian Barbour where he proposes that "time" is an illusion. If you agree or disagree with Barbour, I'd like to hear why.


Norman Samish
----- Original Message -----
From: "Saibal Mitra" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
To: "Stathis Papaioannou" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>; <everything-list@eskimo.com>
Sent: Monday, May 30, 2005 8:28 AM
Subject: Re: objections to QTI

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 ignored. 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). -Saibal

----- 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 make in recent posts to the "Many Pasts? Not according to QM" thread, addressing one objection to QTI. You are a player in the computer game called the Files of Life. In this game 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 after your birth. You choose one of the files in this folder at random, and from this the computer generates the next folder, F_1, and places in it N files 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 file 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 so on. It should be obvious that if the game is realistic, N_i should decrease with increasing i, due to death from accidents (fairly constant) + death from age related disease. The earlier folders will therefore on average contain 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 very unlikely to be from a version of you who is 1000 years old, which has very 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 be sound if the "random sampling" were done by mixing up all the files, or all the OM's, and pulling one out at random. But this is not how the game works 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 one 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 least *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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