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