# Re: language, cloning and thought experiments

```2009/3/8 Jack Mallah <jackmal...@yahoo.com> wrote:

> It's not the addition then loss that's bad (since you end up with the same
> measure you started with); it's the loss.
>
> In the culling teleportation, both people are lost, which is doubly bad.
> Elsewhere, one new person appears, which is good, but not as good as there
> being two people.  So it's not a wash; it's a loss.```
```
It's a loss that makes no difference to either of the two people that
vanish, since both will feel that they have survived. This is not to
say that the loss does not matter in any sense; for example, as a
result there will be only half as many hands to chop wood. But the
loss makes no difference to personal survival, which is what we are
discussing here.

>> I don't agree with the way you calculate utility at all.
>
> It's easy to say you don't agree but you haven't given an alternative.
> Precisely how would you calculate it?  U = ...

U = (Sum_i M_i Q_i) / (Sum_i M_i), as Wei Dai wrote. I don't
understand your objection that this is less well defined than U =
Sum_i M_i Q_i, since the variables are exactly the same in each case.
However, stating a formula is simply another way of stating an
opinion. The crux of the matter is that if neither I nor my copies
will feel any different as a result of being culled, then being culled
does not matter. It could be that my measure is being regularly halved
every Tuesday and Thursday, and I have no way of knowing and no reason
to care as long as it doesn't go to zero.

--
Stathis Papaioannou

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