I (Jonathan Colvin) 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 consistent). 
> 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... :)

Ok, you've convinced me (or did I convince myself?). I've joined the ranks
of the button pushers (with large number of copies anyway). But the
probabilities seem to make a difference. For instance if there's a 50%
chance of torture vs. 3 copies with one getting tortured for sure, I'll
still choose the 50%. Don't ask me at which number of copies I'll start
pushing the button; I dunno.

Jonathan Colvin 

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