Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
> That is, once you are a conscious entity, you will follow a constrained 
> branching
> path through the multiverse giving the illusion of a single linear history. 
> Measure is
> redefined at every branching point: the subjective probability of your next 
> moment.
> Since the branches of the multiverse will never come to an abrupt stop, there 
> will always
> be a "next moment" and your stream of consciousness will never end. This the 
> quantum
> immortality idea, underpinned by what this list has called the relative 
> self-sampling
> assumption (RSSA).
> Stathis Papaioannou

I think a lot of confusion comes from the use of pronounds such as
"you".  In the realm of multiverses, block time, and many-worlds, the
word "you" becomes much harder to define.  Consider time: since your
brain is in a different state from one moment to the next how can you
be said to be the same person?  As you examine your branched selves in
more and more distantly branched universes, you will find a greater and
greater discrepancy.  You could even imagine at the moment of your
conception a different sperm may have fertalized you, would a copy of
"you" with only one gene's difference still be enough like you to be
you?  Where can the line be drawn as to who you are and who you are

I believe that if one accepts that he or she will be conscious of their
perspective five minutes from now, they must accept that they will
perceive conscious perspectives of their selves in other branched
universes.  If one accepts they will be conscious of and perceive these
other perspecties, they must also therefore be conscious of everyone
else's perspective.  And if you accept that, then you must be conscious
of every conscious creatures perspective, in every point of time, in
every branched history, in every universe.

To illustrate problems with personal identity, consider these thought

1. Imagine a technologically advanced race that created simulations of
their brains that run on computers. If two brains were being simulated
on the same computer by sharing time on the CPU, both individuals would
be conscious within the computer at the same time, but neither
simulated individual remembers being the other because the programs are
restricted from accessing each other's memory space. In the same way
those brains were simulated on the same computer, our brains are
computed by the physics of this universe. The universe experiences all
conscious perspectives simultaneously, yet we as individuals do not
remember being conscious of these other perspectives since our memory
is not shared.

2. For a second example, consider that with each successive point in
time, a new copy of you is created in a slightly modified state.
However, if that state is constantly changing, you are essentially a
different person from one point in time to the next. If time is indeed
discrete, it should be even more apparent that we have no continuous
identity. If we have no continuous identity, by what means could
consciousness be tied to one creature's perspective? There could be no
simple rule to define whose brain state you will perceive from one
point in time to the next. All that could be said is that all conscious
perspectives will be perceived, but no one could say who will perceive

3. Imagine that using advanced technology, the current state of your
body was recorded and then an exact duplicate of you was constructed.
Would you perceive the world from the viewpoint of your double? Common
sense says no, but then consider this slightly different example: A
recording of your state is recorded, and then you are completely
destroyed. Every atom in your body is taken apart. Then the recording
of your state is used to reconstruct you. Would you not have been
brought back to life by this procedure? Would you not perceive the
viewpoint of this recreation? In the first scenario we are less likely
to claim we would perceive the duplicate's perspective, but it is no
different from the second scenario where you are destroyed and
recreated. Now consider this even more bizarre scenario: Your state is
recorded, you are destroyed, and then 5 duplicates of yourself in the
recorded state are created. Which one's perspective do you take? There
can be only one answer: You take all of them.  The above scenario seems
unlikely and you probably have doubts as to whether or not is
technically feasible. Nevertheless, duplicates of you are being created
all the time as the universe branches. In each case you end up in a
slightly different universe, in some you end up slightly changed

To me this leaves two equally valid definitions for the term "you".
Either it refers to one conscious observer's perspective, at one point
of time, in one universe, in one branched history line OR it could
refer to reality's single first-person perspective of itself.

For this reason I don't believe there can be a simple definition of
"observers", there are only observer moments, but all are perceived.
There is no distinction between the consciousness that experiences any
particular observer moment.  This is why I disagree with Bruno's
version of comp which says quantum immortality is eternal agony;
considering all observer moments, reality's first-person experience
becomes more likely to perceive observer-moments of other individuals
than to continue along a branched history where one lives abnormally
long in a state of agony.

This is why I see quantum mechancs as uncessesary anthropically, but
highly proabable given the disribution of observer moments among
universes.  I think many-worlds is analagous to a mathematical function
(or program) where each state mathematically defines many other states.
 Such a program is only marginally more complex than a program that has
a 1-to-1 mapping of states, but many more observers will find
themselves in a universe defined by such a program, as it defines so
many more states.  This is where I ran into the apparent conflict that
we are conscious of perspectives that occur apprently early in the
universe's history, but I do like Stathis's point that any state we
perceive has a probably very close to 0, and we should consider
ourselves fortunate to be perceiving the states we currently find
ourselves in.

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