> -----Original Message-----
> From: Stathis Papaioannou [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED] 
> Sent: Wednesday, June 08, 2005 5:16 PM
> To: [EMAIL PROTECTED]; everything-list@eskimo.com
> Subject: RE: Many Pasts? Not according to QM...
> 
> Jonathan Colvin writes:
> 
> [quoting Stathis Papaioannou]:
> > >The situation is different when I am considering my copies in the 
> > >future. If I know that tomorrow I will split into two 
> copies, one of 
> > >whom will be tortured, I am worried, because that means 
> there is 1/2 
> > >chance that I will "become" the torture victim. When 
> tomorrow comes 
> > >and I am not the torture victim, I am relieved, because now I can 
> > >feel sorry for my suffering copy as I might feel sorry for a 
> > >stranger. You could argue that there is an inconsistency 
> here: today 
> > >I identify with the tortured copy, tomorrow I don't. But 
> whether it 
> > >is inconsistent or irrational is beside the point:
> > >this is how our minds actually work. Every amputee who experiences 
> > >phantom limb pain is aware that they are being 
> "irrational" because 
> > >there is no limb there in reality, but knowing this does 
> not make the 
> > >pain go away.
> >
> >This is incorrect, I think. At time A, pre-split, there is a 100% 
> >chance that you will *become* the torture victim. The torture victim 
> >must have once been you, and thus you must become the torture victim 
> >with probability 1.
> >There's no inconsistency here; you are quite right to be worried at 
> >time A, because you (at time A) *will* be tortured (at time B). The 
> >inconsistency comes with identifying (you at time A, pre-split) with 
> >(one of the you's at time B, post-split). There can be no 
> one-to-one correspondence.
> 
> You are right to say that I will definitely become the 
> torture victim, insofaras there will definitely be a torture 
> victim and he will have been me pre-split. However, what I am 
> interested in is the *apparent* probability that I will be 
> tortured, however that may come about. Here is another 
> example. You are offered two choices:
> 
> (a) A coin will be flipped tomorrow. If the result is heads, 
> you will be tortured; if tails, you will not be tortured.
> 
> (b) You will be copied 10 times tomorrow. One of the copies 
> will be tortured, and the other 9 will not be tortured.
> 
> By your reasoning, there is a 50% chance you will be tortured 
> in (a) and a 100% chance you will be tortured in (b), so (a) 
> is better. But I would say the probabilities are (a) 50% and 
> (b) 10%, so (b) is clearly the better choice.

Hmmmm...I'd disagree. Emotionally, (a) feels the better choice to me; in (b)
I'm definitely getting tortured, in (a) I may dodge the bullet. On a purely
objective basis (attempting to mimimize the amount of torture in the world),
(a) is also obviously superior.

This would make an interesting poll. Who prefers (a) over (b)?

Jonathan Colvin


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