At 10:22 AM 6/26/2005, Norman Samish wrote:

"Stathis Papaioannou" writes:  Of course you are right: there is no way to
distinguish the original from the copy, given that the copying process works
as intended. And if you believe that everything possible exists, then there
will always be at least one version of you who will definitely experience
whatever outcome you are leaving to chance.  Probability is just a first
person experience of a universe which is in fact completely deterministic,
because we cannot access the parallel worlds where our copies live, and
because even if we could, we can only experience being one person at a time.
RM Comments: (1) I'll have to disagree with Stathis' (apparent) statement that "probability is just a first person experience of a universe." No proper foundation. (2) Additionally, Stathis assumes that we cannot access the parallel worlds where our copies live. Since no one can even define consciousness, or isolate precisely where memory is located (or even what it is), there is no way we can preclude simultaneous experience. The best we can say is, "we simply don't know." And, (3), for the same reasons, we cannot say that we "experience being one person at a time." There are numerous psychological models---neodissociationism being just one---that posit a personality made up of multiple modules, all interacting (somewhat) under the guidance of an executive, Hilgard's "hidden observer." Unless and until we fully understand how consciousness is linked to personality, we probably shouldn't preclude multiple or simultaneous experience.

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