Hi Dan,

On 03 Nov 2011, at 03:08, freqflyer07281972 wrote:

Hey there,

I don't often post on this board, but I follow it quite frequently,
and perhaps I might inject a 'fresh voice' to rescue this thread of a
cul-de-sac of its own. It's essentially buddhist in nature rather than
mathematical or computational, so forgive me if I appear presumptuous,
or off topic, or whatever. It is this:

If you believe that there are persons, then the persons you believe in
will certainly die.

Thanks for the news!

But I am not sure. I suspect a possible vocabulary problem, here.

If you take yourself to be a person, then by implication, you too will
die. (That whole "Man is mortal; Socrates is a man; Socrates is
mortal" thing).

But how do you know that Man is mortal?

By distinguishing the first person (the person, the soul, the owner of the subjective experience) from the third person (the body, the Gödel number, the code of the program, ...) two theories discussed on this list (digital mechanism, and quantum mechanics without wave-collapse) illustrate that the contrary might be true: it might be impossible to die, from the first person experience view. And this in many modalities, according to the amount of possible amnesia that might be "acceptable" for survival.

But if you realize that there has never been a person to begin with,

But this contradicts immediately my present consciousness feeling. I am currently in the state of wanting to drink water, so I am pretty sure that there exist right now at least one person, which is the one who wants to drink water. I might be able to conceive that such a person is deluded on the *content* of that experience (may be he really want to smoke a cigarette instead), but in that case a person still remains: the one who is deluded.

then your fears of death must evaporate, for what has never come into
existence surely can never go out of it.

Fear of death is easy to be cured, but the usual side effect is a renewal and deepening of the fear of life, indeed the fear of everlasting life. But then, working on fundamental question should not be based on wishful thinking, anyway.

What does it mean to "be a person"? Really, literally, from the
inside, 1p viewpoint? Yes, we can talk about it -- in terms of the
things we see, the mental states we are in, the sensations we are
having at the moment, and the meanings of those sensations, but is
there really a person there after this analysis is complete? Indeed,
can the analysis ever be completed?

No it cannot. This points on the debate between Quentin and Benjayk, which really looks like an internal Löbian dialog between Bp and Bp & p, or between the rational believer (who has a name/body) and the inner knower (no name).

You might confuse person and personal identity.
Personal identity is relative. "I" is an indexical, like "now" and "here".
I can understand it can be considered as a perspective illusion.

But the person herself? I am not sure if it is not the most fundamental thing.

Person needs respect and recognizance. It could even be a necessary ingredient for a still, but elusive, death. We don't know, even in the machine case.



On Nov 2, 9:38 pm, Nick Prince <nickmag.pri...@googlemail.com> wrote:
On 1 November 2011 21:07, Russell Standish <li...@hpcoders.com.au> wrote:

On Tue, Nov 01, 2011 at 01:07:31PM -0700, Nick Prince wrote:
This is where I am coming from:

I accept decoherence as the mechanism for suppressing interference
between universes and that this happens very quickly (no time for us
to notice).  So assuming the everett interpretation, there is no
collapse and there are two consciousnesses  in equations like (3)
representing "my consciousness" in two separate [infinite] bundles of universes). However they are no longer in a superposition (i.e. there is no interference between them going on, or as you say, off diagonal
terms in the density matrix are virtually gone).  So at each
differentiation me and my different consciousnesses diverge. We have
the same history (memories) but different futures.

Just a note on terminological confusion. Superposition, AFAIK, just means a linear combination of states. Therefore, two full decohered universes
are still in superposition, just no longer coherent.

Am I getting this wrong?

No I think it's me, I should have said "are no longer in a coherent
superposition" thanks please do pick me up on anything I get wrong, my QM
is a bit shaky.

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