I’ve read through a good deal of previous posts on the ASSA/RSSA
debate but I keep reaching a stumbling block regarding how successive
observer moments (OM) are to be expected in terms of their
continuity. I think Youness Ayaita queried the same thing as I am
here but articulated it much better - this post was "a question
concerning the ASSA/RSSA debate (Sept 18 2007). Stathis gave an
answer which was very helpful (as usual) but he still referred to a
uniform? distribution which I find difficult to understand. Russell
called it global!
>From the everything wiki I have looked up the relevant definitions for
the two contentious sampling assumptions which are quote :
"The Relative Self Sampling Assumption (RSSA) is a form of anthropic
reasoning that assumes our present observer moment is selected
according to a measure that depends on another given observer moment
(the prior observer moment). As such it implicitly relies on a notion
of time that gives rise to a succession of observer moments.
In one interpretation of quantum mechanics, observer moments are
identified with the quantum state |psi>. The measure used with the
RSSA is just given by the Born rule
The Absolute Self Sampling Assumption, (ASSA) is a form of anthropic
reasoning that assumes our present observer moment is selected from
the set of all observer moments according to some absolute measure. To
be contrasted with the Relative Self Sampling Assumption."
Where I have difficulty with understanding the ASSA is in terms of its
implications for our next observer moment. Is the absolute measure,
referred to in the ASSA definition really intended to be a uniform
distribution in the sense that my next OM could be equally any one
from the multiverse? This would be strange indeed and would result in
me experiencing all sorts of discontinuous happenings – even if the
reference class was restricted to OM’s which I experience. On the
other hand, am I to understand that the ASSA does not carry with it
any implicit assumption about the probability distribution (absolute
measure) that OM’s are selected from? Instead must we assume the
nature of this distribution for picking out our next OM is to be
determined by some other considerations like: “it is the laws of
physics which glue OM’s together” as an example)? (I know that a
computationalist might come up with another solution as to how the
OM’s are stitched together, but that is not my point). Is it assumed
(as a given for now anyway), that there is some additional mechanism
or explanation as to why observer moments are stitched together in the
way they are? Or, if a uniform distribution is implied, then how can
this be reasonable?
The RSSA, as I understand it would use the Born rule to indicate which
successive OM’s are possible and likely.
Why the ASSA is applicable to determine our birth OM I am also not
sure of either. I would be very grateful to anyone who can clarify
this for me.
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