On Jan 17, 11:51 am, Stathis Papaioannou <stath...@gmail.com> wrote:
> 2010/1/17 Nick Prince <m...@dtech.fsnet.co.uk>:
> > You can see I am struggling with these self sampling assumptions. I
> > just cannot get a handle on how to think about them.
> The SSA is difficult to get one's head around, and sometimes leads to
> counterintuitive conclusions. Have you looked up Nick Bostrom's
> writings in relation to the SSA and the Doomsday Argument? I believe
> he was the first to use the concept of the observer-moment.
> > I noticed in a
> > past post (Many pasts - not according to QM) you said:
> >>I attempted something like your water tank model of the multiverse with the
> >>game I describe here:
> >>My conclusion was that the relative measure is important in determining the
> >>successor OM (I think this is what you call the RSSA, although I prefer to
> >>spell it out when the idea is at all problematic), but the absolute measure
> >>makes no difference from the observer's point of view (is this a rejection
> >>of the ASSA?).
> >>One can imagine God shuffling all the instantiations of all the OM's
> >>associated with a particular observer and pulling out an OM at random, which
> >>will then more probably be an OM with higher absolute measure. But this is
> >>not how it works from the observer's point of view, contemplating his place
> >>in the multiverse. For a start, it is impossible to know what the absolute
> >>measure of an OM is, because it makes no first person difference. If it did,
> >>i.e. if multiple instantiations of an OM could somehow be distinguished,
> >>then by definition it is not the one OM.
> > I could not access the link you gave. Do you have another link to it
> > because I think I need an analogy to help me here. Jesse Mazer's was a
> > good one (and correct as far as I know?) but your ideas relating to
> > how the RSSA can be thought of in this analogy would be welcomed too.
> I don't have that link and I only vaguely recall the details of the
> game referred to (I believe no-one else until now has commented on
> it!). My problem is that I worry that I might have misunderstood
> something the ASSA proponents have said, since their position seems to
> me obviously absurd. It's always worth reading Jesse's posts carefully
> but I found it difficult to follow the motivation behind his water
> tank analogy, other than an attempt at reconciling the ASSA and RSSA.
> Some comments:
> If you had to guess you would say that your present OM is a common
> rather than a rare one, because you are more likely to be right.
> However, knowledge trumps probability. If you know that your present
> OM is common and your successor OM a minute from now rare - because
> there are many copies of you now running in lockstep and most of those
> copies are soon going to be terminated - then you can be certain that
> a minute from now you will be one of the rare copies. This is what
> happens in a quantum suicide experiment under the MWI. To put some
> numbers on it, if there are 100 copies of you now, and in a minute 90
> of those copies will be terminated, and of the remaining 10 copies 3
> will be given a cup of coffee and 7 a cup of tea, then as one of the
> 100 original copies according to the RSSA you have a 30% chance of
> surviving and getting coffee and a 70% chance of surviving and getting
> tea; i.e. you have a 100% chance of surviving. Proponents of the ASSA
> would say you have a 3% chance of surviving and getting coffee and a
> 7% chance of surviving and getting tea, or a 10% chance of surviving
> overall. I think they would say something like this - the
> probabilities may be off since the total contribution of pre/post
> termination OM's has to be tallied up, but in any case they would not
> say you are guaranteed of surviving. The only way I can understand
> this latter view is in the context of an essentialist theory of
> personal identity, according to which once a body is dead it's dead,
> and it's impossible to live on as even a perfect copy.
> Stathis Papaioannou- Hide quoted text -
> - Show quoted text -
Thank you Stathis, that was a really helpful reply and has confirmed
my own thinking on this in many respects. I'm never quite sure why
list members work in copies though. I am hoping you (or anyone) can
clarify the following queries.
1. Can we not say that (under RSSA) my measure of existence has
initially say 100 units and if there is a 90% chance of being blown up
before being offered the tea or coffee then if I end up drinking tea
my relative measure has reduced to 70 units in this branch (note the
word relative here - I hope I'm getting this right). If I find myself
drinking coffee then my relative measure has reduced to 30 (my global
measure over all universes still remains at 100 though?)
2. In this way (under RSSA) my relative measure continually decreases
within each branch(hence use of word relative) but my global measure
across the multiverse is conserved. According to ASSA though my
measure deceases both across universes and in each branch - in all
branches I eventually die as well as differentiate.
3. Is this copy concept used because of the idea of "differentiation"
as mentioned in Russells book on p144. I guess in a huge universe
there will be a very large (infinite?) number of identical me's,
currently all in lockstep. A single consciousness supervenes over
these copies until such time as they differentiate due to some bundles
going through different OM's. The bundle's "thickness" is the measure
of my existence. In RSSA terms my measure of existence is always
constant globally ( I am using a definition of measure based on Lev
Vaidman’s measure of existence as in the link below).
Sincere thanks for your patience with my fumblings
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups
"Everything List" group.
To post to this group, send email to everything-l...@googlegroups.com.
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to
For more options, visit this group at