# Re: first person indeterminacy

`On Sun, Mar 13, 2011 at 7:24 AM, Evgenii Rudnyi <use...@rudnyi.ru> wrote:`
```
> on 13.03.2011 08:29 Jason Resch said the following:
>
>  On Sat, Mar 12, 2011 at 6:07 AM, Stathis
>> Papaioannou<stath...@gmail.com>wrote:
>>
>>  On Tue, Mar 8, 2011 at 9:45 PM, Andrew
>>> Soltau<andrewsol...@gmail.com> wrote:
>>>
>>>  So, 'first person indeterminacy' simply means that I don't know
>>>> what observation I will make next?
>>>>
>>>
>>> It is not just ignorance, it is true indeterminacy. Even if you
>>> have all the information you cannot know which observation you will
>>> make next.
>>>
>>>
>>> -- Stathis Papaioannou
>>>
>>>
>>>  To add to Bruno's and Stathis's point, first person indeterminacy,
>> even when the details of the experiment are known, is an essential
>> piece of the Sleeping Beauty Problem:
>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sleeping_Beauty_problem
>>
>
> Do I understand correctly that first person indeterminacy means that there
> is for example not zero probability for the next event.
>
> I go along the street. Someone runs to me and injects some sleeping drug,
> then she puts me into the bag, and after some indefinite period of time I
> wake up in an unknown place.
>
> Is there some other meaning that I have missed?
>
> Evgenii
>
>

If you could be surreptitiously injected with a sleeping drug that
immediately caused a loss of consciousness, then there is a non-zero
probability that in your next conscious moment you will find yourself
awaking in some room.  Perhaps a meteor falls from space and hits you on the
head, and the next thing you know you are in a hospital bed awaking from a
coma.  Even if the probability of this happening is 1 in a trillion, there
is some probability your next moment of awareness won't be here and now but
there and then.  The other part of indeterminacy arises when you awake.  Are
you in hospital A or hospital B?  You might be in a white windowless room,
and from your perspective and knowledge either is a valid possibility with a
non-zero probability, but once you are told, then an entire consistent
history "collapses", your neighbor heard a bang and saw fire on your roof,
he called the fire department, they found you unconscious and an ambulance
took you to hospital X, where you remained for some time before you awoke.

These examples are not quite as interesting since they don't involve
duplication (of either yourself or your conscious state).  In the sleeping
beauty problem where she is awoken on both Monday and Tuesday, in effect her
identical conscious state is duplicated across two times, this is analagous
to duplicating her conscious state in two different times.  E.g., Beauty is
told she will be destroyed, then a teleporting machine will re-create her in
hospital A and hospital B, she won't know which hospital she is in.  Now
consider how this is similar to the teleporting recreating her state on
Monday, then it destroys her and on Tuesday recreates her again and destroys
her.  When she emerges from the teleporting machine (whether in a different
place or a different time) she won't know which day it is, and has at best a
50% probability of correctly guessing.  Being in the same place at two
different times is no stranger than being at two different places in the
same time, we just aren't used to it because teleporting machines do not
exist.

Assuming the universe is infinitely large (as the latest theories of cosmic
inflation suggest), and assuming that there is a finite number of states a
volume of space can be in (as suggested by the holographic principal) then
your conscious state recurs an infinite number of times, just like any
finite string of digits does in Pi.  You are in different places at the same
time (or different times, it doesn't matter) and we are always at all times
involved in some giant sleeping beauty problem (or comp duplication
experiment).  We have no ability to guess where we are now, or where we will
be in the next moment.  Consider the possibility of an oscillatory universe,
with a finite number of possible states.  As many as 50 billion years might
separate each collapse/big bang cycle, however given the finite number of
possible states, the cycles will inevitably repeat.  It might be 10^10^100
collapse cycles before Earth, and you reappear; an unimaginably large amount
of time, but your next conscious moment is just as likely to be that future
self, as it is the one in this time.  If you enter a duplicator and are
destroyed and then recreated 1 year from now, or a billion years from now,
it seems like no time at all, regardless of how long it is.  The same is
true for being duplicated across distances.  If eternal inflation is true,
you might exist somewhere 10^10^100 meters from here, and your next
conscious moment could "leap" to that location.  It is easier to see this
leaping occur intuitively if you imagine yourself destroyed in one location,
but as Bruno's steps show, this destruction is not necessary.

Jason

--
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
everything-list+unsubscr...@googlegroups.com.
For more options, visit this group at
http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en.

```