When Bruno spoke of the "ASSA" I looked up some messages in this list
dealing with the ASSA and RSSA. My message does not aim at initiating
yet another controversial discussion of the subject. But I rather hope
that you will assist me resolving a misunderstanding.

Searching for the self-sampling assumption in Wikipedia leads to the

"Each observer moment should reason as if it were randomly selected
from the class of all observer moments in its reference class."

What remains unclear in this definition is the term "reference class"
which is also the source of the ASSA/RSSA debate. When we want to know
which observer moment to expect "next", we look at the class of all
observer moments provided with a measure. The ASSA applies a uniform
measure over all observer moments, whereas supporters of the RSSA may
for example apply the Born rule to the class of observer moments given
by quantum theory. That's an outline of how I understand it.

I have serious problems with this kind of reasoning. It suggests the
misleading idea of some entity (let's call it the "self") jumping from
one observer moment to the next. In general, this is a very
questionable concept, of course. I feel satisfied with the idea that
the observer moments don't come up with a measure by themselves and
that nothing at all is jumping.

We will introduce measures for practical reasons depending on the
problem we are concerned with. The same holds for the study of chains
of observer moments. In each case, I will find it useful to introduce
different concepts that will show resemblance to the ASSA or RSSA.

1st problem: "What will I experience next?"

I refused the idea of the 'self' being an entity jumping between
observer moments. So the word "I" does not refer to something fixed.
It is a vague perception of self-identification (e.g. to be Youness
Ayaita) that is part of the current observer moment. If we consider
the evolution of the observer from a third person perspective (within
our world and its usual dynamics), then we will see how the observer
changes with time. Though, as far as his capacity for remembering did
not disappear, the observer will still find within himself the old
self-identification. This self-identification makes the observer have
the feeling that his identity is something constant which is
preserved. This feeling gives a meaningful understanding of the word
"I" in the question of interest. By the word "I" the question
restricts the class of observer moments to those who share the
mentioned self-identification, e.g. to be Youness Ayaita. This class
probably consists for the most part of observers that other observers
would identify as Youness Ayaita, too.

The word "next" (despite of the fact that it makes only sense in
worlds with time) leads to a further restriction to the class of
observer moments: The observer moment to choose must include the
memory that the last experience was to ask the question: "What will I
experience next?" The small subclass we have now typically corresponds
to what we would expect from quantum theory. The measure that comes up
with it corresponds to the Born rule.
Nonetheless, the Born rule is not of general applicability here. For
example, if the observer falls into coma and wakes up some years later
or if he is frozen for some time in some futuristic machine, the
observer moments waking up at a later time must have a nonzero measure
as well. On the contrary, if the observer experiences a dangerous
accident losing his capacity for remembering, the observer moment
after the accident has a zero measure for the question of interest.

To summarize, we see that a specific question leads to a specific
measure. In this case, we get a result usually assigned to the RSSA.

2nd problem: Having had an accident that led to the loss of his
capacity for remembering, an observer asks himself (before noticing
his environment): "Who am I?"

In this case, the self-identification process failed. Thus, the word
"I" cannot be refered to a self-identification but rather to the
identification by other observers. The class of observer moments of
interest is restricted: We are only interested in conscious observers
that don't have a self-identification process. Thus, in worlds similar
to ours we would assign a non-zero measure to all observer moments
waking up after such an accident or having lost their capability of
self-identification due to some kind of mental illness. This measure
has nothing in common with the quantum mechanical Born rule.

So, I don't see any need for some kind of fundamental measure for
observer moments. Whenever we have a restriction defining a subclass
of observer moments that are of interest, we are naturally driven to
the RSSA and to a specific measure. If we have no restriction, then we
assign equal measure to all observer moments leading to the ASSA. I do
not see the categorical difference between the two concepts. Can you
make clear where the difference lies?

Thank you

Youness Ayaita

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