2009/6/16 David Nyman <david.ny...@gmail.com>:
> On Jun 16, 1:04 am, Stathis Papaioannou <stath...@gmail.com> wrote:
>> The only OM's you can experience are those in which your
>> present OM is in the subjective past.
> So you are saying that - given my 'current' OM - sampling is
> restricted to the set of OM's you define above?  Why?  This seems to
> presuppose some pre-determined temporal ordering of experience
> regardless of the measure of OM's over my total life-histories.  That
> is, a 'flow of time' broadly equivalent to our 'common sense' view (in
> its MWI guise).

The illusion of a flow of time is created by the fact that
subjectively later OM's remember subjectively earlier OM's. Today is
Tuesday, and I remember yesterday, which was Monday, and look forward
to tomorrow, which will be Wednesday. It could be that in real time,
Wednesday occurred yesterday and Monday will occur tomorrow, but this
can make no subjective difference to me experiencing the illusion of
continuity from one day to the next. Even if a trillion copies of the
Monday me are run tomorrow, that cannot possibly cause me to wake up
in my subjective future and find, to my great surprise, that it is
Monday rather than Wednesday. Or to put it differently, I *will* wake
up tomorrow (per real time) and find that it is Monday, but that
version of me will have no memory of Tuesday, whereas the Wednesday
version of me that was actually run yesterday will have this memory.

The subjective temporal ordering of experience has nothing to do with
the actual temporal ordering of OM's and will also occur in the
absence of any actual temporal ordering, i.e. in a block universe.
Only OM's with a particular content are candidates for inclusion in my
subjective future. Of those candidates, which one I will experience
depends on their relative measure.

> Does this mean that you disagree with the notion that
> we can draw conclusions (a la Bostrom) about measure from the OM we
> happen to be experiencing?  IOW, the fact that I am "a human OM of a
> particular age in the 21st century on Earth" is of no particular
> significance in determining whether this represents some point of
> maximal conscious measure in my life-histories?

The self-sampling assumption is useful if I am trying to guess what
group I am in. If I don't know whether it is Monday or Tuesday but I
know that there are a trillionfold as many copies of the Monday me,
then I should bet on it being Monday. But if I already know that it's
Tuesday, then the probability that it is Monday is zero and the
probability that I will experience Monday in the future is also zero.
You might say that it very unlikely that it would be Tuesday if there
are a trillionfold as many Monday copies, but we come up against this
all the time in everyday life. It is far more likely that a person
will be born in China than in Lichtenstein, but given that he was born
in Lichtenstein, he stays born in Lichtenstein.

Stathis Papaioannou

You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
"Everything List" group.
To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to 
For more options, visit this group at 

Reply via email to