On 18 Dec 2008, at 03:29, Kim Jones wrote:

> On 16/12/2008, at 5:11 AM, Bruno Marchal wrote:

>> ...
>> I assume very short scanning-annihilation times and short receipting-
>> reconstitution times. Hypotheses like that, or like the fact that  
>> your
>> "generalized" brain is in your skull, will be eliminated explicitly
>> later. The role of those hypotheses consists only in making the
>> reasoning more easy.
> entendu

OK. So, no leap of faith here.

>> I assume all the usual default hypotheses: everything works fine. No
>> bugs in the scanning and reconstitution processes, no asteroid  
>> hurting
>> mars. The substitution level has been correctly bet, and it exists,  
>> by
>> the MEC assumption. All right?
> I hear this loud, computerised alarm sound bleeping! A voice is

Not at all. You have already done the first and last leap of faith of  
the reasoning when accepting the digital brain at the first step. I am  
aware that you are not aware of that, because in the reply you seem to  
believe that the MEC hypothesis can be taken for granted. But it  
can't. Of course in real life you would have to make a leap of faith  
concerning the talent of the surgeon, the correctness of the level of  
substitution used, etc. But for the thought experiment, here, those  
assumptions (good doctor,  rigthness of the chosen level) are  
considered as default assumptions, just used to make the reasoning  
easier. The only act of faith has been done right at the first step:  
yes doctor: I believe there is a (digital, finitely describable)  
mechanist substitution level, such that I survive in a copy (done at  
that level) of my current body. For the rest, it is just default  
assumption. Mainly for not repeating them.
It is a standard procedure actually. If a doctor tell you that the  
best for you consists in accepting some operation, you will not ask  
him(her) questions like: --and what if the surgeon is drunk?  --and  
what if there is a terrorist attack at the hospital the day of the  
operation,  --and what if an asteroid impacts the city, etc.

>> The first question is: do you accept the job on mars, knowing that  
>> you
>> will be obliged to use this teleportation machinery every morning and
>> evening. I assume of course that you are interested in that job, ...
> Bruno - I want the job. I need the bloody job. I copped a redundancy
> from my last employer and I have been searching on "forced vacation"
> for over a year now for The Right Job. This global recession is real.
> It would truly not surprise me if it turned up on Mars. If I want to
> "continue to put food on my family" as George Bush says, I guess I had
> better go pack my bags for the teleporter

Hmmm.... I would have prefer hearing you saying:
Bruno - I have already an artificial brain. I already "know" that I am  
immaterial. I can use the teleporter if only to prove to you I am a  
real computationalist practicer. No need to frighten me with  
terrestrial concerns like job and food.

But ok. I did propose you the job, so I must say your answer is  
enough. Perfect.

>> Yes or no?   (or comments, questions, precisions, etc.)
>> Put in another way, do you agree that if we assume MEC and the  
>> default
>> hypotheses, teleportation like this is a safe mean for transporting
>> oneself.
> I do. I even volunteer publicly to be the first person to be fully
> teleported from Sydney to Brussels to serrer Bruno à la main

Excellent. You behave at last like a real computationalist.

> So - I KNOW I'm not allowed to ask "what about the missing 4 minutes"

Indeed. This is really the matter of the next step (KIM 2.2).

> consider it "not asked" again
> Will I, after reconstitution, experience continuity from prior to the
> 4 minutes or the discontinuity of amnesia?

We assume (to simplify) that the scanning and reconstitution time are  
negligible so, once you are reconstituted on Mars, you should feel
exactly like you felt on Earth (four minutes before).
It is the state of your brain/body which is send to Mars, and there is  
no reason why you would feel anything during the four minute travel.
There will be no record of the travel in the reconstituted brain on  
Mars, so no personal awareness of that delay is possible, except  
intellectually when, on Mars, you can *imagine*, retrospectively,   
that your body/brain has traveled from Earth to Mars in four minutes.  
If you have been scanned together with a clock, you have to correct it  
for the 4m.
You cannot even be aware of the scanning, because it is supposed not  
to interfere with the scanned content of your brain. Information  
(classical, as opposed to quantum information) is like that: you can  
copy it integrally without inducing any change, like when you send a  
letter or a mail. The content is not perturbate from the read and  
write operation.

>> Here are slight variants of the same question which will be useful
>> later. I suppose you, Kim, are doing the teleportation, and that I,
>> Bruno, remains on Earth during that time.
>> Both Kim and Bruno assumes MEC and the default assumptions. On  
>> Sunday,
>> you are on Earth, Monday your job on Mars begins.
>> Is is true that:
>> -On Sunday, Kim believes he will find himself tomorrow on Mars. i.e.
>> On Sunday, Kim believes "Tomorrow, I will find myself on Mars"
> That is true but it all depends what you mean by "find"
> On Sunday I also "found myself" on Earth.


> How is this different to simply believing this to be true?

In the present setting there are no differences.

>> -On Sunday, Kim believes he will be, tomorrow, on Mars. i.e. On
>> Sunday, Kim believes "Tomorrow, I will be on Mars"

> Both these statements mean the same thing to me

For me too. I was not entirely sure the first sentence is good (non  
ambiguous) english.

>> -On Sunday , Bruno believes that tomorrow Kim will be on Mars.
> True for me, but watch out - maybe Bruno is a charlatan and the
> machine sends me to the Tax Office

Let us add in the default assumption that this fictive Bruno is not a  
charlatan (for God sake).

>> -On Sunday, Bruno believes that tomorrow Kim will find himself on
>> Mars.
> As above
>> -On Monday, Bruno and Kim believes that now Kim is on the planet  
>> Mars.
> Yes, unless, like Borden and Angier in "The Prestige" we are secretly
> at war with each other and manipulating cleverly each's perception of
> the other
> Bruno could KNOW Kim is really on Earth (in the Tax Office) and Kim on
> Mars might be a zombie re-programmed (during the 4 minutes) to respond
> "as if" it were the real Kim.  From the perspective of my job, the
> zombie does it brilliantly and get lots of bonuses and a brilliant
> career and all the while on Earth Bruno is able to double-tax my
> income and becomes a highly-paid public servant

Bruno highly-paid?  Now *that* is science-fiction. (I remind you we  
can use fiction in the reasoning, but only if our hypothesis makes  
those fiction possible *in principle*).

Let us assume the doctor and its patient are not at war. (Don't look  
too much at the prestige, it is a novel, it needs an intrigue for  
protecting its audience from a too much direct contact with "truth". I  
am probably much less less tactful, I know).

>> -On Monday, Kim feels himself to be now on planet Mars.
> He does.

All right.

> Unless he is a non-conscious though nonetheless perfectly
> convincing zombie

In which case comp is false, all right.  (I guess you are still under  
your "four minute" paranoia).

> (with negative self-awareness)


>> What do you say?

Kim, I did nothing! I swear!  Come on. Even if I wanted, I couldn't.  
You were scanned by those modern photogravitonic encapsulation methods  
and send through a flash of ultraconcentrated light to Mars. Even if I  
was able to follow the flash at the speed of light, I would not have  
been able to do any serious modifications in the code. Putting my hand  
in front of the beam? I would have burned myself, and change nothing  
given the high redundancy of the coding. You don't loose anything. If  
Manchester put a goal against Liverpool during those four minutes,  
well, you will see it on Mars at the soccer tv-news, like any workers  
who cannot assist to the match. Actually you win something: you are  
four minutes younger than your twin on earth.

To sum up: you agree that IF MEC is correct, THEN teleportation can be  
used as a mode of locomotion, in principle. OK?

Your fear about the four minutes could be founded, and that is why  
there will be a "KIM 2.2" (soon on your screen). In KIM 2.2, I will  
introduce an artificial delay, not of four minutes, but of one year. I  
will not introducing it so that I can do something against you (I  
swear I will not!), but I will introduce it because such delay will  
help us in illustrating and singling out the difference between the  
third person (which has been played by Bruno here) and the first  
person, played by Kim here.

Ah but I see I have to comment your other post where you are treating  
machines as gay! I continue here.

> you think it's impolite to think of a machine as a sexless "it" (as in
> Anglais) -- yet you quite arbitrarily assign a feminine gender to the
> word!!! What's so feminine about a machine anyway? What if the machine
> is gay? "It" might fit

Gay have no sex?
All words in french are either masculine or feminine. The sun, the  
fire, the air, are male (Le soleil, le feu, un air). The moon, the  
sea, the earth, the water) are female (La lune, la mer, la terre, une  
eau). Yes "machine" is a feminine word: LA machine, UNE machine. What  
shocks me if I say "the machine itself", is not that it is sexless,  
but that it sounds "personless". In flemish words are either feminine,  
masculine or neutral: the neutral if for personless entity. If I say  
"the machine itself", I understand "the concept (of machine) itself".  
If I talk about some particular machine and say "the machine itself",  
I feel like I am denying person-ness to the machine, at the start. It  
sounds weird to me in the comp setting.

Are you telling me that if Claude is gay, you have to say "Claude  
itself", and never Claude himself or Claude herself ?

> The machine computes the Everything. It can read and it can write,
> like any machine. But because everything by definition will take an
> infinite time to compute (just to buffer the file, let alone write it
> to disc) the machine must commence reading out the file before the
> full file is written. Hence "Dovetailer". The Dreamer gathers the
> information and assembles the file for the lucid dreamer who writes
> and reads (verifies) the file

Hmmm.... ( we will come back on this).

> ça va, toi?

ça va bien, merci.

> The most magical thing of all is that there is no magic

So well said.
It confirms you have good taste. Most people like superstition magic,  
like marmalade to swallow a pill. It hides the real mystery.

> Just remember to take the mathematical part out of the maths. I will
> cope easily with the rest

Hmmm... My diagnostic is that you are suffering from an acute form of  
math-anxiety.  I can cure that!
  Tell me first if you have been once mentally or physically raped or  
tortured by a mathematician.

Friedrich Gauss said that math is the most easy of all the sciences,  
and I think he is right. It is probably not obvious to find something  
new in math, but it is easy to apprehend the discovery of others. That  
needs only work and patience, and some taste, but you are musician and  
I am sure you have the taste for at least some part of math.

Math is very large. Almost all tastes can be recompensed. Baroc,  
Classical, Jazz, Pop, Techno, Melodic, High, ...
All geometers like beauty. All logicians like mystery (but only one  
half of the logicians admit the fact).
Mathematicians of different sensibilities can be terrible among  
themselves and with their students. It is very sad!

I will do KIM 2.2 asap (= tomorrow, or Sunday, or Monday). It  
introduces the key difference between first person and third person  
experiences/discourses. We cannot really know what a person experience  
is, so we will contend ourselves for a time with their discourses  
(including silences). It will not be an ultimate definition of "first  
person", but a practical approximation which is necessary and  
sufficient for the rest of the reasoning.




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