Thought Experiment #269-G (Duplicates)

Bruno wrote about whether or not we are all the same person.

> Sent: Tuesday, July 05, 2005 1:59 AM
> Subject: Re: What does "ought" mean? (was RE: Duplicates Are Selves)

I have changed the subject line once again, because this is
no longer about what "ought" ought to mean.

> Le 04-juil.-05, à 22:18, Lee Corbin a écrit :
>
> > Yes, but I contend that while there are two organisms present,
> > there is only one person.  It's much as though some space
> > aliens kidnapped you and tried to say that Pete at spacetime
> > coordinates (X1,T1) could not possibly be the same person as
> > Pete at coordinates (X1,T2) because the times weren't the same.
> > You'd have to get them to wrap their heads around the idea that
> > one person could be at two different times in the same place.
> > They might find this bizarre.
> >
> > I'm trying to tell you a possibility that you think equally
> > bizarre: namely that Pete(X1,T1) is the same person as Pete(X2,T1),
> > namely that the same person may be at two different locations at
> > the same time.  That's all.
>
> I like that idea, but if they are the *same* person then we are
> all the same person.
> Or, perhaps you were just meaning that they are very close/similar;

That is so: but moreover, being very very close/similar is what
should be meant by "the same person".

> in which case you can say Pete(X2,T1) is much closer to
> Pete(X1,T1) than Bruno(x, now) is close to Lee(y, now).
> But then, strictly speaking Pete(X1,T1) is not the same
> person as Pete(X2,T1).

Well, that's up for discussion!  That's what we are trying
to decide.

I say that it gets pretty silly to formulate our ideas so
that we turn out not to be the same person from second to
second. Now, yes, in order to evade the notion that one is
the same person as one's duplicate across the room, people
will try anything, even denying that they have any identity
whatsoever. They are, apparently, more comfortable with the
notion that they are not the same person from second to
second that the shocking idea that they and their duplicates
are the same person.

> In any case I am not sure that those distinctions have any
> bearing on the existence of first person indeterminacy and
> the problem to quantify that indeterminacy.

(Yes, maybe it is detached from the question you are trying

> Imagine you are duplicated iteratively. At the start you
> are in room R. You are scanned and destroyed, painlessly,

given some of the discussions we have, :-) this is rather
pleasant to entertain

> and we tell you that you will be reconstituted in room 0
> and in room 1. Then Lee0 and Lee1 are invited in room R
> again and the experience is repeated. Rooms 0 and 1 are
> identical and quite separate. The only difference is
> that in room 0 there is a big 0 drawn on the wall and
> in room 1 there is a big 1 drawn on the wall.

So as this is repeated, there are 2, then 4, then 8, etc.,
copies, and each of them remembers a different sequence of
0's and 1's.

> You are asked to bet on your immediate and less immediate
> future feeling. Precisely: we ask you to choose among the
> following bets:
>
> Immediate:
> A. I will see 0 on the wall.
> B. I will see 1 on the wall.
> C. I will see 0 on the wall and I will see 1 on the wall.
> D. I will see 0 on the wall or I will see 1 on the wall.
>
> Less immediate:
> A'. I will always see 0 on the wall.
> B'. I will always see 1 on the wall
> C'. I will see as many 0 and 1 on the wall
> D'. I will see an incompressible sequence of 0 and 1 on the wall
>
> And there are three versions of the experiences. In a first version you
> are always reconstituted in the two rooms.

Okay, let's handle just that for now.

> We suppose obviously that you want maximize "your" benefit(s).

Well, since you are asking *me*, then naturally I'll want a
global maximum for me, and so a maximal sum for each instance.

> Each Lee-i is offered 5\$ each time his bet is confirmed, but
> loses 5\$ if he makes a wrong bet.

And yes, it would be possible to emphasize to each instance that
he is to attempt to maximize "his own instance's" earnings.

> What will be your strategy in each version? Will your strategy differ?

Now if the Lees know all these facts, then they'll anticipate being
in both rooms upon each iteration. Therefore, they'll anticipate
losing \$5 in one room and gaining \$5 in the other. They'll also
realize that all bit sequences are being carried out. Therefore,
it doesn't make any difference whatsoever. The expectation of
each sequence is exactly the same number of dollars: zero.

I don't get the significance of this.

Lee

> Note that I have purposefully avoided the use of "first person" in the
> question, and so "C" can be considered as a little ambiguous. My point
> will be to make you accept there is indeed an ambiguity in C.

> In the second version we tell you in advance that once on 2 iterations,
> you are reconstituted in one room only, and this one is chosen by
> random with a coin.
> In the third version we don't tell you if we choose the first version
> or the second version.
>
> We suppose obviously that you want maximize "your" benefit(s). Each
> Lee-i is offered 5\$ each time his bet is confirmed, but loose 5\$ if he
> makes a wrong bet.
>
> What will be your strategy in each version? Will your strategy differ?
> Note that I have purposefully avoided the use of "first person" in the
> question, and so "C" can be considered as a little ambiguous. My point
> will be to make you accept there is indeed an ambiguity in C.
>
> Bruno
>
> http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/
>