On Oct 23, 5:34 pm, "Stathis Papaioannou" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
> If I am copied to two
> locations A and B, with each copy being identical, it seems reasonable
> to say that I have a 1/2 probability iof finding myself at A and a 1/2
> probability of finding myself at B. But if I am copied perfectly at A
> and with half my memories (or personality, or whatever) to two
> locations B and C, what does that mean for the probabilities?

That's a great question. I don't know the answer, but it seems to me
that it must affect the probabilities in some sense. If I'm copied to
two locations A and B, but something goes wrong with the B-copy,
causing it to end up as a non-conscious puddle of goo, it seems
reasonable to say that I have a 100% probability of finding myself at
A and a 0% chance of finding myself at B. However, if I'm copied to
two locations A and B over and over again, with A always being a
perfect copy and B being a successively less perfect copy until it's
just a puddle of goo, it *doesn't* seem reasonable to say that, at
some point, the removal of a single molecule causes the probabilities
to switch from 50/50 to 100/0. So even though I don't know how to
quantify the effect, I feel forced to conclude that the probabilities
gradually shift from 50/50 to 100/0 as the B-copy gets less and less
"similar" to me.

Some will argue that it's not correct to talk about probabilities in
this context - that If I'm copied identically to two locations A and
B, it's not correct to speak in terms of probabilities of finding
myself in A or B. But even if that's true, it doesn't change my
conclusion that there must be a spectrum of cases. There's still
clearly something different about the cases when both A and B
represent copies of me, compared to the cases when B is a puddle of
goo and I am certainly going to find myself at A. It's impossible (for
me) to believe that the addition or removal of a single molecule could
cause one case to flip to the other, so I must believe that there's a
spectrum between the two cases.

This conclusion has some bearing on the "white rabbit" problem. Many
people on this list think that the solution to the white rabbit
problem has something to do with "measure" - in other words, the
reason that I don't see talking white rabbits hopping through my room
right now is that in the ensemble of all my possible futures, the ones
in which talking white rabbits suddenly appear are less *numerous*
than those in which they don't. That theory has never seemed correct
to me, because I think I have an infinite number of possible futures
with talking white rabbits, and an infinite number without. The above
conclusion suggests an alternate theory based on *similarity* rather
than measure.

-- Kory

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