Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
> Bruno,
> I have cut out some of your detailed response to my post where I think we 
> basically agree. There
> remain some differences, and some failings on my part to understand more 
> technical aspects of
> your work.
>>> Memories of our past are generally more vivid and hold more information 
>>> than writing, film
>>> etc., but there may come a time when people directly share memories with 
>>> each other as easily
>>> as they now share mp3 files.
>> Selling, buying, sharing memories belongs to the future of applied 
>> bio-information science, I
>> guess. But still, despite infinite possible progress in that matter, what 
>> will always really be
>> shared will be numbers and partially similar decoding and interpreting 
>> procedures. For example,
>> the mp3 files contains binary digits, and people share indeed the same first 
>> level decoding
>> machinery (a Mac, a PC, an ipod, etc.). They does not share the personal 
>> experience (ex: for
>> one the music will makes him/she recall nice memories, for someone else: 
>> only bad memories).
>> Now you make one step further and share the good/bad memories. This can only 
>> partially be done,
>> and then it will be similar to number-mp3 sharing. To share the first person 
>> experience
>> completely you will have to erase memories for maintaining enough (self-) 
>> consistency, and you
>> will actually fuse the persons. The quantum analog is quantum erasure of 
>> information which
>> allows interference effects (and thus history-fusion) to (re)appear. The 
>> first person itself is
>> not first person-self-definable (I will come back on this, but those 
>> following the
>> diagonalization post can already smell this phenomenon: the collection of 
>> all computable
>> functions from N to N cannot be enumerated by a computable function).
> Yes, sharing the memory is *not* the same as having the original experience, 
> but this applies to
> recalling one's own past as well. You may argue that recalling our past is 
> different because we
> have just the right brain structure, other associated memories and so on to 
> put it all in
> context, but in principle all of these might be lacking due to illness or the 
> passage of time, or
> might be duplicated in a very good simulation made for someone else to 
> experience. The only way
> to unambiguously define a first person experience is to make it once only; 
> perfect recollection
> would be indistinguishable from the original experience, and it would be 
> impossible for the
> experiencer to either know that he was recalling a memory or to know how 
> close to the original
> the recollection was. The postulate of a first person entity persisting 
> through time violates the
> 1st person/ 3rd person distinction, since it assumes that I-now can have 1st 
> person knowledge of
> I-yesterday or I-tomorrow, when in fact such knowledge is impossible except 
> in a 3rd person way.
> I believe it is this confusion which leads to the apparent anomaly of 1st 
> person indeterminacy in
> the face of 3rd person determinacy in duplication experiments. Let us assume 
> as little as
> possible and make our theories as simple as possible. I *have* to accept that 
> there is something
> special about my experiences at the moment which distinguish them from 
> everyone else's
> experiences: this is the difference between the 1st person POV and the 3rd 
> person POV. It is
> tempting to say that my 1st person POV extends into the future and the past 
> as well, explaining
> why I think of myself as a person persisting through time. However, this 
> latter hypothesis is
> unnecessary. It is enough to say that the 1st person POV is valid only in the 
> present, and when I
> consider my future and past that is only 3rd person extrapolation. 

Well said!  I agree completely.

>What I consider myself to be
> as a person is then explained as the set of 1st person experiences related in 
> a particular way,
> such as believing themselves to be moments in the life of a single 
> individual, having memories or
> quasi-memories in common, and so on. 

But what can that "related in a particular way" be?  It is certainly not the 
case that I, at every
moment am experiencing a belief that I'm a single individual.  I cannot think 
of any 1st person
experience that is connecting my 1st person moments.  Rather it is something 
unconscious which I
"experience" only on reflection, i.e. in a 3rd person way.

I think this poses a difficulty for a world model consisting only of "observer 
moments".  There's
nothing to connect them.  A model in which there is an external substrate, 
either the physical world
or a computer simulation, avoids this problem by providing the unexperienced 
connection.  Julian
Barbour proposes a similar model in which the world consists of "time 
capsules"; each capsule is a
moment in time.  But these capsules contain much more than a conscious thought; 
they contain
something like a state of the world and so they provide enough information to 
be well ordered.

>If I split into two that presents no problem for the 3rd
> person POV (there are two instantiations of Stathis extant where before there 
> was one) nor for
> the 1st person POV (each instantiation knows it is experiencing what it is 
> experiencing as it is
> experiencing it). A problem does arise when I anticipate the split (which one 
> will I become?) or
> look back at the split (*I* was the original!); there is no correct answer in 
> these cases because
> it is based on 3rd person extrapolation of the 1st person POV, which in 
> addition to its other
> failings assumes only a single entity can be extant at any one time (only a 
> single 1st person
> exists by definition, but multiple 3rd persons can exist at the one time). 
> This is not to say
> that my mind can or should overcome [Lee Corbin disagrees on the "should"] 
> the deeply ingrained
> belief or illusion that I am a unique, one-track individual living my life 
> from start to finish,

It's only an illusion if you assume the "observer moment" model is reality.  In 
a sense all models
are "illusions", but some are better than others and at any given time we might 
as well tentatively
take our best model as a representation of reality.

> which is why in symmetrical duplication experiments I anticipate that I will 
> become one of the
> duplicates with equal probability. In asymmetrical duplication experiments 
> with partial memory
> loss or merging, it becomes very difficult to know what to expect.

Here you've slipped back into a persisting 1st person view.  It's easy to know 
what to expect from a
3rd person view.  The reason the duplication is hard to talk about is that it 
supposes a view that
is neither 1st nor 3rd person - we might call it 2nd person.

>>> It can only be made unambiguous by introducing the third person POV because 
>>> the "I" refers to
>>> different tokens/instantiations depending on the stage of the teleportation 
>>> process: the idea
>>> that there is a single "I" persisting through time is an illusion, 
>>> involving looking at one's
>>> future or past as if from the 1st person POV when in fact the 1st person 
>>> POV is necessarily
>>> tied to a single token/instantiation.
>> All right then. Except that I am not sure I really agree with the idea that 
>> the persisting "I"
>> is an illusion. Here, it is hard for me not taking account of the main UDA 
>> conclusion: the
>> reversal physics/bio/compscience/theology/numbers. So let me tell you what I 
>> believe, accepting
>> comp and the UDA reasoning: The persisting "I" is not an illusion, or is 
>> less an illusion than
>> its body or time itself. What could also be an illusion is the feeling that 
>> "I" and "you" are
>>  absolutely different, when the difference is only relative.
> See above. Perhaps "illusion" is not the right word. Is a motion picture an 
> illusion? It is a
> series of still pictures presented in a particular way giving the effect of 
> motion from the POV
> of a human observer; better to be descriptive than use words like illusion 
> and delusion.

Generally a frame of a motion picture film (including the sound track) has 
enough information that
it could be put in order - but not necessarily.

>>> This is why I say that "I" live only transiently when I am interested in 
>>> being rigorous,
>>> while in everyday life I use the pronoun "I" to mean what most people mean 
>>> by it, and what my
>>> human-standard psychological makeup tells me it means.
>> This is hard matter and I don't expect we will settle this in few posts. I 
>> think I see what you
>> mean, and at the same time I believe comp forces us to believe in the 
>> contrary (but I know this
>> is strongly counter-intuitive for those who thinks a lot on personal 
>> identity and does keep
>> some form of naturalism). The reason is that eventually the first persons 
>> will appear to be the
>> time and space constructors, and that the first person "I" does not even 
>> exists transiently (it
>> needs at least two instants!). So here, comp could come back toward common 
>> sense: "you" are
>> really defining partially and locally a past and a future (or many possible 
>> futures) like
>> everyday life suggests. Identity is attached (partially) to connected 
>> memories, and all what
>> matters consists in keeping that connection through the construction of time 
>> for consistency
>> purpose. We are not allow to get others' experiences for the same 
>> consistency reason, so "I"
>> remains invariant to "my" continuous or computable changes, and actually 
>> this is what allows us
>>  to be teleported or duplicated through comp, with giving the right for all 
>> my doppelgangers to
>> say consistently that they are all "me", persisting through those 
>> experience/experiments, and
>> being just accidentally and relatively (in W or M for example) disconnected. 
>> I think that
>> people, like Lee Corbin, who insists that the W and M doppelgangers are 
>> really himself, should
>> accept the possibility, at least, that all of us are already the same self, 
>> produced by many
>> many duplications and multiplications made through our biological history. 
>> We are unable to
>> recognize ourself as our selves due to other evolutionary factors which 
>> apparently did bet on
>> some competition among us. Another is some hidden part of oneself, in this 
>> setting. It is known
>> that hiding information can be a key to learning behavior.

Or it is because our feeling of self is a physical process in our brain and the 
world really is
continuous over time (or at least has enough information to be well ordered).

Brent Meeker

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