Sorry, I can't let go of this one. I'm trying to understand it
psychologically.

Here's another thought experiment which is roughly equivalent to our
original scenario.

You are sitting in a room, with a not very nice man.

He gives you two options.

1) He'll toss a coin. Heads he tortures you, tails he doesn't.

2) He's going to start torturing you a minute from now. In the meantime, he
shows you a button. If you press it, you will get scanned, and a copy of you
will be created in a distant town. You've got a minute to press that button
as often as you can, and then you are getting tortured.

What are you going to choose (Stathis and Bruno)? Are you *really* going to
choose (2), and start pressing that button frantically? Do you really think
it will make any difference? 

I'm just imagining having pressed that button a hundred times. Each time I
press it, nothing seems to happen. Meanwhile, the torturer is making his
knife nice and dull, and his smile grows ever wider.

Cr^%^p, I'm definitely choosing (1).

Ok, sure, each time I press it, I also step out of a booth in Moscow,
relieved to be pain-free (shortly to be followed by a second me, then a
third, each one successively more relieved.) But I'm still choosing (1). 

Now, the funny thing is, if you replace "torture" by "getting shot in the
head", then I will pick (2). That's interesting, isn't it?

Jonathan Colvin

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