Russell Standish writes:

> On Sun, Oct 08, 2006 at 12:36:04AM +1000, Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
> > For how would a1/a1b1 
> > know or care about a2b2, whether in the next room or in another branch of 
> > the multiverse?
> > 
> Perhaps they do depend on other Multiverse branches. This is no more
> absurd than saying recordings can be conscious.

Perhaps you are right, but the simplest position seems to me to be that if a 
machine is conscious 
with all its fellows in the multiverse implementing the counterfactuals, it 
should also be conscious 
if all the other machines did not exist. What you have argued is that a 
mechanism for handling 
counterfactuals which is apparently inert and irrelevant on a particular run is 
actually neither if 
the MWI is true, because the presence of the mechanism ensures that the 
counterfactuals are 
realised in other branches. This means that a machine with such a mechanism in 
place (i.e., a 
machine that is not a recording) has a varied and first person indeterminate 
future ahead of it. 
However, I don't see why having an interesting future should make the 
difference between 
consciousness and zombiehood. How do I know that I am not currently living 
through a virtual 
reality replay of something recorded yesterday? I could try to confound the 
simulation by 
performing an unpredictable act, but no matter how hard I tried I could not 
surprise an external 
observer in the know any more than I could surprise my reflection in the 
mirrror with a sudden 
unexpected movement.

Stathis Papaioannou
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