On Fri, Apr 20, 2007 at 09:53:03AM -0000, Jason wrote:
> Do you agree that under ASSA, the fact that you find yourself as an
> observer who was spared from torture should give you no relief, as
> your next OM is equally likely to sample the tortured perspective as
> it is to experience the spared perspective?  Shouldn't you be equally
> as worried if anyone in the world (your copy or not) was to be
> tortured, as the next sampled OM could be that person's.
> RSSA has never appealed to me because I see no logical reason to link
> two observer moments from one time to another when those two observer
> moments are not the same.  Intuitively it feels that each mind is on a
> set track to only experience those OM's that follow from the birth of
> an observer, but logically there are too many problems with this.
> Possible problems with RSSA:
> Quantum mechanics means each observer follows multiple paths, some of
> which intersect with what might have been considered a different
> observer previously, this forms a spectrum linking all observers
> together.
> Time by its nature implies change, an observer's brain state is in
> different from one time to another, if the brains are different the
> observers are different.  By what rule set can two different observers
> be said to be the same?

The teleporter thought experiments do show up problems with
traditional ideas of personal identity. However, it may still be true
that there is no continuous path linking you and me. Consider the sort
of mechanism discussed by Parfit, replacing my neurons one by one with
yours. It is very likely that once a certain percentage of neurons
have been replaced, brain function will have been disrupted and I am
no longer conscious. What is harder to say is whether there is a
possible way of doing the replacements such that consciousness is
maintained at all times. 

If we are all islands in the Multiverse, then there is a notion of
global personal identity. If, on the other hand, we are all peninsulas
of some massive fractal continent, then global identity may not be
possible, but local identities such as we practice in day to day life
is still meaningful.


> The existance of a spectrum of related OM's means there is a choice in
> interpretation of this infinite OM set.  Either you can hold that each
> OM constitues its own mind, or if you believe there is any
> relationship between OM's (i.e. You experience now AND you will
> experience 10 seconds from now) then you must conclude there is only
> one mind.  This is just my viewpoint on the issue and I invite others
> to give their opinions on it and poke holes in it.
> Jason

You have identified yourself as an ASSAer. I daresay your viewpoint is
probably perfectly consistent within the ASSA framework, but with the RSSA
framework I don't see how this follows at all. My successor OMs are
not the same as yours, and I don't expect to experience yours, ever.


A/Prof Russell Standish                  Phone 0425 253119 (mobile)
UNSW SYDNEY 2052                         [EMAIL PROTECTED]
Australia                                http://www.hpcoders.com.au

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