On 25 Jan 2010, at 23:15, Mark Buda wrote:

On 25 Jan 2010, at 04:39, Mark Buda wrote:

Bruno Marchal wrote:
I would suggest the SANE 2004 paper:


[mixed up question deleted]

I don't understand clearly your protocol.

That's because I got Brussels and Amsterdam mixed up.


All what I say in step 5 is that a teleportation from x to y without
annihilation of the "original" (thus at x) is equivalent with a
duplication, with annihilation of the original from x to (x and y). In
x, an absence of annihilation can be considered as an annihilation
followed by a reconstitution with a zero delay. This follows from
digitalism which prevents to use a notion of continuity based on the
reals, for example.
This is already in contradiction with Robert Nozick who uses a notion
of closer continuer. From the first person point of view, such
"topology" cannot be recognized.

I'll try again. What does the doctor tell the subject he will experience? The subject ending up at x has experienced "I stayed at x, and a copy of
me appeared at y", the subject ending up at y has experienced "I was
transported to y, and a copy of me appeared at x". But what does the
doctor tell the subject to expect before step 5 is performed? I believe you are saying the doctor would tell the subject "There is a fifty percent
chance you will stay at x, and a fifty percent chance you will be
transported to y. Whichever you experience, you will find that a duplicate of you has appeared who claims to have experienced the other alternative."
Is this correct?

To be sure I am not saying that the chance are 1/2, but that IF the chance are 1/2 in the step 3, then the chance are 1/2 in the step 5. I guess that is what you meant.

Second question: in step 6, again assuming the measure is 1/2 in the
preceding steps. Am I correct in my understanding that what you are
describing is the doctor, instead of reconstituting me in Brussels, is
merely taking the digital description of me and giving it as input
to a
program which simulates me interacting with a Brussels-like
That is, after T seconds of simulated time, the program has a new
description of me, one that reflects T seconds of experience in the
virtual Brussels?

Yes, in case the description of you has been made at the correct
substitution level. Somehow you are the program, and the virtual
machine simulates Brussels perfectly (for a non null duration).

So in this case, since the original has been "annihilated", the subject should expect to experience interacting with the (virtual) Brussels for
some duration,

Yes. And in case the subject is not eliminated, we have to reason like in step 5, i.e. we have to add the "staying at x" alternatives. Not being annihilated is equivalent with a annihilation followed by a reconstitution with a null delay. if you want, digital mechanism entails that we can conceive ourselves to be annihilated and reconstituted at each "instant".

and after that, the subject's experiences are not defined
by the setup of the experiment. (Since you seem to be claiming it depends on what is done with the digital description after running the Brussels
simulation with it for a time.)

Yes. This is because I am interested by the calculus of "immediate uncertainty" or direct probabilities". I am supposing implicitly that the subject will stay in the virtual environment for the rest of his life, or that he will recover a body.

Those thought experiences with annilihation will in fine appeared to be impossible to do in practice, because we have to conclude we can never be annihilated. This is the comp immortality. But this comes in the conclusion.

And that my subjective experience would be the same as you are
for step 5, except that instead of actually being in Brussels either
I or
the copy would be in the simulated Brussels, believing, Matrix-like,
it was real?

Yes, except that in all steps, the experiencer knows the protocol in
advance, so he/she knows that he/she is in a virtual environment, like
in a video game or in a lucid dream.

I thought steps 1-5 involved reconstitution in organic form, like the
transporters on Star Trek.

You are right, but my answer concerned the step 6 (which is really steps 1-5 re-done with virtual constitutions in place of the "organic" reconstitution. Again, a first person (= a person from its personal subjective perspective) cannot be "directly" aware of the difference between "real" and "virtual". After step 8, we can understand it can not be aware of the difference between "virtual" and "arithmetical".

Step 6 recapitulates all the five preceding steps, except that the
reconstitution are done in virtual (digital simulation) of the

Are you OK with the first six steps? Assuming comp! I am only asking
if you see that those propositions follow from the comp hypothesis
(not if you believe them!).

I am trying right now to be very certain that I understand your claims
about what I would experience were these things to be actually done to me, without provoking discussion of a lot of issues that I don't have time to discuss at the moment. So let me summarize again what I believe you are

Step 1 works like the transporters on Star Trek during normal operation.

Assuming comp, or digital mechanism. OK, yes. (Except that star trek is not completely clear on the protocol, at least in most episodes).

Step 2 works like the transporters on Star Trek: The Next Generation,
where the subject is held in the pattern buffers for a year. (I don't
think they mentioned the pattern buffers in the original series :-) ).


Step 3 works like the transporters in the Star Trek novel "Spock Must
Die!", where a modified transporter created a duplicate Spock (except that
in the the novel, the duplicate Spock could be distinguished by his
biochemistry - he was a mirror image, so the enantiomers in his body all
had the opposite chirality).

OK. (But you see the teleporter of Star Trek is not necessarily based on COMP).

Step 4 works like the transporters in the Star Trek episode "The Enemy
Within", where Kirk beamed up from the planet, followed after a delay by a
duplicate Kirk, except for the whole good Kirk/evil Kirk thing.

Perhaps. I have not seen that episode. The good/evil difference suggests the duplication is not perfect, or some intervening event occured.

Step 5 is where I'm unclear on what you're saying the subjects and the
experimenter will experience.

The subjects (after the experiment is done) will experiences the same as step 3. The motto is that only a "third person" can be aware of the delays of reconstitution.

Are you OK with the first six steps.

It seems you like Sci. Fic. You may read Daniel Galouye's "simulacron III" which is cleare on the "protocol" and get the correct comp conclusion. Well, not the hero but his girl friend!



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