[By the way, I notice that I do not receive my own postings back in email,
which makes my archive incomplete. Does anyone know if there is a way to
configure the mailing list reflector to give me back my own messages?]

Russell Standish wrote:
> On Wed, Sep 19, 2007 at 12:10:33PM -0700, "Hal Finney" wrote:
> > The lifetime formulation also captures the intuition many people have
> > that consciousness should not "jump around" as observer moments are
> > created in the various simulations and scenarios we imagine in our
> > thought experiments. That was the conclusion I reached in the posting
> > referenced above, that teleportation might in some sense "not work"
> > even though someone walks out of the machine thousands of miles away
> > who remembers walking into it. The measure of such a lifetime would be
> > substantially less than that of a similar person who never teleports.
> > 
> > Hal Finney
> I note that you have identified yourself with the the ASSA camp in the
> past (at least I say so in my book, so it must be true, right! :). What
> you are proposing above is an anti-functionalist position. The question is
> does functionalism necessarily imply RSSA, and antifunctionalism imply
> the ASSA? ie, does this whole RSSA/ASSA debate turn on the question of
> functionalism?

The distinction I am drawing seems somewhat orthogonal to the RSSA/ASSA
debate. Suppose someone is about to die in a terrible accident. From
the 1st person perspective, RSSA would say that he expects to survive
through miraculous good luck. ASSA would say that he expects to die and
never experience anything again. Now suppose that in most universes an
advanced, benevolent human/AI civilization later recreates his mental
state and in effect resurrects him in a sort of heaven. Both ASSA and
RSSA might now say that his expectation prior to the accident should be to
wake up in this "heaven", that that is his most likely "next" experience.

My argument suggests otherwise, that the chance of this being his next
experience would be rather low. However it basically leaves the RSSA/ASSA
distinction intact. We would go back to the situation where RSSA predicts
a miraculously lucky survival of the accident while ASSA predicts death.

But actually my analysis is supportive of the ASSA in this form, in that
the measure of a lifetime which ends in the accident is much higher than
the measure of one which survives.

As far as functionalism, I agree that this kind of analysis argues
against it.  Indeed the post from Wei Dai which introduced this concept,
which I quote here, http://www.udassa.com/origins.html (apologies for the
incompleteness of this web site), suggests that the size of a computer
would affect measure, contradicting functionalism.

Frankly I suspect that Bruno's analysis would or should lead to the same
kind of conclusion. I wonder if he supports strict functionalism? Would
he say "yes doctor" to any and all "functional" brain replacements? Or
would some additional investigation be appropriate?

> I wonder where this leaves Mallah, who admits to computationalism, yet
> is died-in-the-wool ASSA?

Indeed I have often wondered where in the world is Jacques Mallah,
who was so influential on this list in the past but who seems to have
vanished utterly from the net. Actually, I wrote that sentence based
on previous Google searches, but just now I discovered that as of
two weeks ago he has published his first communication in many years:
http://arxiv.org/abs/0709.0544 . Here is his abstract, which seems similar
in its goals to your own work:

: The Many Computations Interpretation (MCI) of Quantum Mechanics
: Authors: Jacques Mallah
: (Submitted on 4 Sep 2007)
:     Abstract: Computationalism provides a framework for understanding
:     how a mathematically describable physical world could give rise to
:     conscious observations without the need for dualism. A criterion
:     is proposed for the implementation of computations by physical
:     systems, which has been a problem for computationalism. Together
:     with an independence criterion for implementations this would allow,
:     in principle, prediction of probabilities for various observations
:     based on counting implementations. Applied to quantum mechanics,
:     this results in a Many Computations Interpretation (MCI), which is
:     an explicit form of the Everett style Many Worlds Interpretation
:     (MWI). Derivation of the Born Rule emerges as the central problem for
:     most realist interpretations of quantum mechanics. If the Born Rule
:     is derived based on computationalism and the wavefunction it would
:     provide strong support for the MWI; but if the Born Rule is shown not
:     to follow from these to an experimentally falsified extent, it would
:     indicate the necessity for either new physics or (more radically)
:     new philosophy of mind.

I am looking forward to reading this!


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