Your comments touch on important issues. Having read the article on your web page I think we may basically agree but there are some differences. If you look at it from a third person perspective, continuity of personal identity over time is not only a delusion but a rather strange and inconsistent delusion. Nevertheless, in the manner of delusions, realising this intellectually does not make the delusion any less real at the "gut" level of first person experience. Using my example where I am to be copied 10 times tomorrow and one copy tortured, I view this as a 10% chance that I will be tortured tomorrow. You point out that this is not really correct: there is a 100% chance that one copy of me will be tortured and a 0% chance that the other 9 copies will be tortured, and all 10 copies have an equal claim to being "me". This is the objective truth, but that doesn't make me feel any differently about the matter. I still feel that there is a 10% chance I will be tortured, and I still feel relieved that I am one of the lucky copies when tomorrow comes and I am not tortured. There is an inconsistency here in that today I identify with all the copies and tomorrow I identify with only one, but so what? As you say, that is how our minds have evolved.

If the experiences of the copy who is to be tortured will eventually be merged with those of the non-tortured copies, that changes the situation, because then it is *guaranteed* that I will eventually experience the torture. I would worry similarly if I were to inherit the experiences of any unrelated third person; the fact that it is other copies of me who are suffering does not in itself make any selfish difference.

--Stathis Papaioannou

> [Saibal writes]
> > The same is true here. It must follow from the laws of physics (which
> > include the effects of simulations) that there are indeed many more copies
> > of you at t2.

Yes, we can say that there are more *copies*, i.e. more instantiations,
and that these provide altogether more runtime at t2 (whatever X is).

> In dealing with this type of problem you have to consider not only the
> physics, which I'm sure you understand much better than I do, but also the > psychology of how the first person experience of being a unique individual > persisting through time is constructed from observer moment building blocks.

Yes, nature would naturally construct creatures that looked at it
this way. It would not do, for example, for a lion to have other
than a single memory stream that described his current environment,
and, to the degree it is useful, how he got there.

> This is not as obvious as may first appear; specifically, it does not follow
> in general that more copies/ greater measure at time t = more likely to
> experience time t. The important thing to keep in mind is that each
> individual experiences only one OM at a time.

As I say it, one is *certain* to experience time t under your
hypothesis. I consider whether one experiences time t to be
an objective question: an examination of, say, the solar system
during a certain interval (Jan 2006 to Dec 2006) reveals that
either Stathis got runtime there or he didn't.

But "only one OM at a time"?  No, not if we are speaking of time
in the objective sense: again, a piecemeal examination of a certain
region of space could easily show that Stathis is running at two
separate locations even at the same time t1.  In fact, one possibility
is that Stathis(X1, t1) has the same OM as Stathis(X2, t1).

> If I consider the future, then there is a potential that I
> could "become" any of the many OM's who consider me to be
> in their past.

I suggest that it is better to drop the language of probability
here. It is *certain* that you will become all the Stathis's
of 2006. You will be some of them in greater measure than others.

> However, when I arrive at the future, and also when I remember
> the past, I consider myself to be unique. All the other OM's
> which from a third person perspective are other versions of
> "me" (and this third person perspective includes me looking
> at my potential futures) from my perspective are completely
> separate people.

I would say that they are separate instances, but not separate
people. (A corollary from the usual belief that we are the same
person from day to day even though our memories, obviously, are
not identical.) You are the same person that you were yesterday,
and tomorrow you will be the same person you are today, unless
we do great violence to what we mean by "person".  Derek Parfit
in "Reasons and Persons" (1986) analyses this in great detail,
along with Mike Perry in "Forever For All".

> So if I am told that tomorrow I will be copied ten times and
> one of these copies will be tortured, I am worried, because
> that means there is a 1/10 chance I will be tortured.

Good example, but I would say that you will be tortured with
100% probability at some places, and tortured with 0% probability
at nine others. The characterization of a piece of matter "Stathis
is undergoing torture" is looked upon from the 3rd person as an
entirely physically characterized objective process.

> But when tomorrow comes and I am not the torture victim, I am
> relieved, because it is someone else who is suffering, and I can
> feel sorry for him in the way I feel sorry for suffering strangers.

I suggest that this is not the correct, selfish way that you should
look at it. It's just the same as in MWI when there "really is" a
version of you who saw the other outcome. He's you. I have a so-called
proof of this proposition at http://www.leecorbin.com/dupproof.html

> What this means is that if you trace an individual's history from his birth > to his ultimate demise (which may never come, if QTI is correct), at each
> time point he is associated with only *one* OM.

Perhaps my insistence wherever possible of describing what is
happening in our universe from the 3rd person is responsible
for our different ways of talking.

> Two or more individuals may share two or more OM's at some point
> in their life, for example when a duplication occurs, but from
> the point of view of each of them, they still only experience one
> OM at a time for their entire life history. Two OM's may
> also "combine" in one of two ways: either a third OM exists with the content
> of the other two, or they do not really combine but a later OM has the
> memory of having been both in the past. The one OM per time point for each
> individual rule is maintained.
> The conclusion from the above is that the absolute measure of an individual
> at any time point, from that individual's point of view, is unity. When
> looking into the future, the other copies in the multiverse do matter, but > in this case it is the relative measure of different outcomes rather than > the absolute measure which is important. Once the future becomes present, > the other copies from the first person perspective are just other people.

Well, we aren't yet used to having more than one of us around
at any given time. Perhaps our gut feelings on this issue will
change when the technology allows duplicates. I, for example,
would never dream of regarding my duplicate as another person.
He's me, just running at a different location. (Just as, for
example, my future and past selves are also me, just running
at different times.)


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