Stephen writes

> > [LC]
> > I'm skeptical of "continuity" requirements. Now I do not believe in
> > Greg Egan's equations in "Permutation City": according to a premise
> > of the story, it order to obtain the you of tomorrow, there is a
> > short-cut alternative to just letting you run.  And that is to
> > determine the solutions of an immense number of differential
> > equations that do not in fact emulate your intermediary states.
> > If this were so, then it may be that you could discontinuously
> > skip past all of tonight and tomorrow's experiences, and just
> > start living by directly experiencing the day after that.
> 
> [SPK]
>     Does it not seem that the continuity requirement is such that it only 
> comes up when we consider either an external 3rd person P.o.V. of a OM 
> chaining P.o.V. or an internal 1st person of a memory of having changed 
> one's mind about something is some other OM?

Yes, it does seem to come up under both points of view. For some
reason I can't fathom. To me, there is no use of it either way:

Let's take the first-person point of view first. What if in some
universe it so happened that none of your Monday OMs existed? I
say that you would have Sunday's OMs followed by Tuesday's OMs,
and be none-the-wiser. The discontinuity would not be important
at all.

I considered the third-person view above, but here's more: *If*
something weird like Greg Egan investigated were true, then one's
experiences could be discontinuous. However, as actual machines
we compute all our intermediate states, and so experience is
continuous (no matter how it may seem via memory erasure or
brain malfunction). 

(In Repeated Experience, this characteristic is not present. If
your behavior today is a reenactment of an original calculation
from billions of years ago, then in principle it would be possible
for you to experience Sunday, then be terminated, and then a
recorded state from the original Tuesday billions of years ago
commenced.)

> [LC] 
>     If we erase our memories of having done the loathsome
> event after actually going through it, do we not need to
> also erase the memory of any other witness that might be
> able to remind us of the event?

No, witnesses can be bought off, or, where I come from, snuffed
out. So long as they keep their traps shut, see, I don't
start to wonder about it. But anyway, having them tell me in
all sincerity about things I don't remember isn't anything
*like* actually having had the experiences:  suppose that you
convince me that the Nazis ran a version of me in 1944 and
tortured the bejesus out of me---well, I'd rather listen to
your story a thousand times than actually go through the
alleged experience.

>     How can a OM encode a trace of other OMs such that it
> can capture the notion of "remembering something"?

Nature has given our brains a way, somehow. But remember,
those do not need to be veridical OMs. In principle you
can insert the memory of me having been elected president
into my brain. Doesn't make it so at all.

(Yes, yes, yes, I know: in some universe I *was* elected
president. But truly, that's irrelevant.)

> [SPK]
> 
>     What, exactly makes me "me"? Is it "I am what I
> remember myself to be"?

I would say yes. If we got hold of Napoleon's memories and
inserted them in your brain while discarding SPK's original
ones, then Napoleon would be alive and you'd be dead.

> [SPK]
>     I don't have any problem believing that I *am* all of my duplicates 
> either, so long as there is some way that the "me" that I remember now could 
> be smoothly continued within the world of a duplicate *and* all witnesses 
> agree that I did all that I claim I did with in that world.

Like I said, witnesses aren't important, and are expendable. Why
do you care about witnesses? Besides, the quality of your life
over the next few minutes is not affected by whether or not it
is true that God created the world 30 seconds ago (and so you
never had any experiences, and even your mother and father are
not reliable witnesses).

> > Mike Perry, in his book "Forever For All" develops these
> > [ideas] from the idea of "day-persons",...> [SPK]
> 
>     Does Mike Perry elaborate on how anyone can know for sure that "they are 
> not the same person from day to day". What does he define "same" to be?

No, this is pretty-much at the level of definition, I think.
It's just that some folks we talk to contend that you are not
the same person from second to second, nor, of course, from
month to month. He argues that our identities are real and
do continue through time (under usual circumstances).

He defines sameness based upon the "information or pattern
view of identity" which I also subscribe to.

> >> [Stathis]
> >> We die all the time, so death is nothing to worry about.
> > [LC]
> > On this definition, yes. But this is *such* an impractical
> > approach. We all know that it's bad for your neighbor when
> > he dies, despite us and him totally believing in the MWI.
> > We would like to avoid having to say that we die all the
> > time.
> 
> [SPK]
>     Are we really just recoiling in horror at the prospect of our own 
> non-existence (mortality) and trying like madmen to find an escape clause? 
> Isn't this the same motivation that exists at the root of Religions?
>     If this is true, can we admit it to ourselves; much like Tipler has?

I didn't know that Tipler admitted to being desperate.
While it's always possible that there are deeper psychological
explanations for why we hold certain beliefs, all we can do
is to use our conscious minds to examine them the best we
can.

It's usually *after* I totally agree with someone that we engage in
pleasant conjectures about the psychological processes underlying
our adversaries' views  :-)

Lee

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