"Stathis Papaioannou" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> writes:
> Hal Finney writes:
> > I should first mention that I did not anticipate the conclusion that
> > I reached when I did that analysis.  I did not expect to conclude that
> > teleportation like this would probably not work (speaking figurately).
> > This was not the starting point of the analysis, but the conclusion.
> Yes, but every theoretical scientist hopes ultimately to be vindicated
> by the experimentalists. I'm now not sure what you mean by the second
> sentence in the above quote. What would you expect to find if (classical,
> destructive) teleportation of a subject in Brussels to Moscow and/or
> Washington were attempted?

>From the third party perspective, I'd expect that we'd start with a
person in Brussels, and end up with people in Moscow and Washington who
each have the memories and personality of the person who is no longer
in Brussels.  The population of Earth would have increased by one.
I imagine that this is unproblematic and is simply a restatement of the
stipulated conditions of the experiment.

The more interesting question to ask is whether I would submit to
this, and if so, what would I expect?  Note that this is not subject
to experimental verification.  When we have described the third party
situation, we have already said everything that experimentalists could
verify.  When those two people wake up in Moscow and Washington there
is no conceivable experiment by which we can judge whether the person
in Brussels has in some sense survived, or perhaps has done even better
than surviving.  It's not even clear what these questions mean.

It was my attempt to formalize these questions which led to my analysis.
Perhaps it is best if I go back to the more formal statement of the
results, and say that the contribution of this universe to the measure
of a person who experiences surviving the teleportation and wakes up in
W or M is much less than the contribution to the measure of a person who
walks into the machine in Brussels and never experiences anything else.
At a minimum, this would make me hesitant to use the machine.

Now, other philosophical considerations might still convince me to use the
machine; but it would be more like the two copies are my heirs, people
who will live on after I am gone and help to put my plans into action.
People sometimes sacrifice themselves for their children, and the argument
would be even stronger here since these are far more similar to me than
biological relations.  So even if I don't personally expect to survive
the transition I might still decide to use the machine.

Hal Finney

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