> >Stathis wrote:
> > >When you press the button in the torture room, there is a 
> 50% chance 
> > >that your next moment will be in the same room and and a 
> 50% chance 
> > >that it will be somewhere else where you won't be 
> tortured. However, 
> > >this constraint has been added to the
> > >experiment: suppose you end up the copy still in the torture room 
> > >whenever you press the button. After all, it is certain that there 
> > >will be a copy still in the room, however many times the button is 
> > >pressed. Should this unfortunate person choose the coin 
> toss instead?
> >
> >If he shares your beliefs about identity, then if he changes 
> his mind 
> >he will be be comitting the gambler's fallacy.
> >
> >However, after having pressed the button 100 times and with 
> nothing to 
> >show for it except 100 tortures, his faith that he is a 
> random observer 
> >might be shaken :).
> Yes, but do you agree it is the same for any probabilistic 
> experiment in a many worlds cosmology? If you sit down and 
> toss a coin 100 times in a row, there will definitely be one 
> version of you who has obtained 100 heads in a row, just as 
> there will definitely be one version of you (the one still in 
> the torture room) who has nothing to show after pushing the 
> button 100 times.

Yes, I agree. There are always going to be an unfortunate few.

I think I know where this is going; if manyworlds is correct, there will be
10<sup>100 copies of me created in the next instant to which nothing bad
happens, and a much smaller measure to whom something nasty happens, quite
by chance. Presumably if I choose 50% over 10 copies, I should also choose
50% over 10<sup>100 copies, so if given the option between the status quo
(assuming manyworlds) and a seemingly much higher chance of something nasty
happening, I should choose the higher chance of nastiness (if I'm being

There's not much answer to that; probably if I was convinced that manyworlds
is correct, and something nasty *is* bound to happen to a small number of me
in the next instant, I *would* choose the copies. In our thought experiment
the subject knows he's getting tortured; unless we can prove manyworlds the
nastiness is only conjecture.

If that wasn't where you were heading, forgive the presumption... :)

Jonathan Colvin

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