We're not getting very far with this. Let me put some alternative
equivalent versions of the ASSA as I use it.

The ASSA is the assumption that the SSSA applies to the question of
what our "next OM" will be.


Given an assumed "birth OM", the ASSA is the assumption that our
current OM is sampled from some absolute measure independent of the
birth OM.

With the RSSA of course, the measure depends on the previous moment
(or the birth moment, if you prefer). The PROJECTION postulate, which
I introduce in "Why Occams Razor" and also better explained in my book
explicitly postulates an RSSA-like probability measure. Of course that
postulate generates the Born rule, so this is some confirmation of the

Of course the RSSA depends upon an explicit notion of time, or at very
least successor OMs. In my book I introduce the TIME postulate, which
is that the OMs experienced by an observer will form an ordered set.

The ASSA crowd appear to be free to deny the existence of such
subjective time. These so called "time deniers" would say that the
question of "next OM" is meaningless. Perhaps being a time denier is
the only way of making the ASSA consistent. I do not know.

Another concern I have about the ASSA, is that it would appear that
the sampling of birth moments is drawn from a complex
measure. Only the relative measures between successive OMs are
probabilities. With the ASSA, however, all OMs seem to need to be drawn
from a positive measure (not necessarily normalisable), which would be
in contradiction with quantum mechanics. Of course I don't know how to
map the ASSA to QM, if indeed it is possible, so this "conundrum" may
be resolvable.


On Fri, Oct 05, 2007 at 03:30:25PM +0200, Saibal Mitra wrote:
> 1) looks better because there is no unambiguous definition of "next". 
> However, I don't understand the "shared by everyone" part. Different 
> persons are different programs who cannot exactly represent the 
> "observer moment" of me.
> As I see it, an observer moment is a snapshot of the universe taken by 
> my brain. The brain simulates a virtual world based on information from 
> the real world. We don't really experience the real world, we just 
> experience this simulated world. Observer moments for observers should 
> refer to the physical states of the virtual world they live in. Since 
> different observers live in different universes which have different 
> laws of physics, these physical states (= qualia) cannot be compared to 
> each other.
> We can only talk about an absolute measure for programs (simulated by 
> other programs or not)...
> Citeren Wei Dai <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>:
> >
> > Russell Standish wrote:
> >> This is actually the SSSA, as originally defined by Bostrom. The ASSA
> >> is the SSSA applied to "next observer moments".
> >
> > I guess there is a bit of confusing on these terms. I did some searching in
> > the mailing list archives to find out how they were originally defined.
> > First of all SSSA was clearly coined by Hal Finney, not Bostrom. Here's Hal
> > Finney on May 18, 1999:
> >
> >> Perhaps we need to distinguish a "Strong Self-Sampling Assumption",
> >> which is like the SSA but instead of discussing "observers", it refers to
> >> "observer-instants".
> >
> > Followed by Bruno Marchal's reply defining RSSA/ASSA:
> >
> >> >Perhaps we need to distinguish a "Strong Self-Sampling Assumption",
> >> >which is like the SSA but instead of discussing "observers", it refers to
> >> >"observer-instants".
> >>
> >> Useful distinction, indeed.
> >>
> >> Nevertheless I do think we should also distinguish between
> >> a relative strong SSA and a absolute strong SSA.
> >> The idea is that we can only quantify the first-person
> >> indeterminism on the set of consistent observer-instants
> >> extensions. I mean : consistent with the observers memory of its own
> >> (first person) past.
> >
> > Actually now I'm not sure what Bruno really meant. I had assumed that ASSA
> > was the same thing as SSSA, only with the clarification that it's not
> > relative. But if Bruno had really meant to define ASSA as "SSSA applied to
> > the next observer moment" then I have been using the term "ASSA"
> > incorrectly.
> >
> > So to sum up, there are two possible meanings for ASSA currently. Does
> > anyone else have an opinion on the matter? Here are the competing
> > definitions:
> >
> > 1. You should reason as if your current observer-moment was randomly
> > selected from a distribution that is shared by everyone and independent of
> > your current observations (hence "absolute").
> >
> > 2. You should expect your next observer-moment to be randomly selected from
> > a distribution that is shared by everyone and independent of your current
> > observations.
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > >
> >

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

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