I noticed someone taking my name in vain. ;)  (though experiment where
I, Tom, am a clone of Will Riker)  The magic of thought experiments,
it's amazing.  I felt my measure decrease, but only after I read the
thought experiment.

I trust this will not derail anyone's personal identity here, but I
have some subjectively random thoughts.  The importance of, the
necessary dependence of any model of reality on, our subjective view
of things has struck me lately.  For instance, I brought up the
"should I worry about a clone dying?" question a while back.  This
seems totally subjective to me.  And that's not a put-down, it's an
observation.  What if we started thinking about making a clone as sort
of like having a baby?  Then it would suddenly change from being
something uncertain to something exhilating, plus there probably
wouldn't be any diapers involved.  I'm not suggesting we do that, just
performing a thought experiment.  When we die, the "personal identity"
pain is less if we have passed on something of ourselves in some way.
But then of course we care if that passed-on stuff is discontinued,
for instance if one of our children die, or a symphony we've written
is forgotten.  The Golden Rule still applies.

The latest Scientific American has an article about non-locality, and
it seems to me that this is related to this topic, through the causal-
chain aspect of it.  One thought-picture that was used to try to
convey non-locality is that it is like a fist punching in Chicago and
a face being hurt in Los Angeles.  So it occurred to me that it is
only in the presence of a consciously-aware assignment of cause that a
causal chain is present.  We are not omniscient, there is always
something in a universe which cannot be predicted by any model within
that universe.  There are always those faces feeling pain for which we
have no knowledge of the cause, so how can we claim that everything
has a cause?  So effectively there are things happening in any
universe which have no cause.

But what does that mean (subjectively of course) to us?  It shouldn't
stop us from trying to find causes and do predictions, since this
works for everything that we need to work, macroscopic things, local
things.  Just rambing here, it seems to me that the whole quantum
entanglement/non-locality thing is fairly intuitive.  It is based on
the fact that you need at least three things to have meaning.  (For
instance, the distance between two points by themselves is
meaningless.)  And one of those things seems to be consciousness.

Tom (Riker's brother)

P.S. On your groggy morning, does the fact that you can have an
infinitely long tail but have a finite area underneath it have any
bearing?

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