On Thu, Mar 8, 2012 at 1:47 PM, Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be> wrote:

> You persist in ignoring the difference between the 1-view from the 1-view
> pov, which is what I usually mean by 1-views, and the 1-views that an
> outsider can attribute to other people
>

So after you have been duplicated there is still a difference between
"1-view pov" and "1-views that an outsider can attribute to other people".
However you never make clear exactly why it can not be duplicated, and in
my symmetrical room thought experiment I make it crystal clear that the
first person personal subjective perspective CAN be duplicated just like
everything else can be.

>>  I think there is a thought experiment that can resolve this issue: You
>> are a copy of Bruno Marshal made as precisely as Heisenberg's law allows
>> and you are now facing the original Bruno Marshal in a symmetrical room,
>> thus the two of you are receiving identical sensory input and thus act
>> identically. I now use a Star Trek brand transporter to instantly exchange
>> your position with the original, or if you prefer I leave your bodies alone
>> and just exchange the two brains. There is no way subjectively you or the
>> original Bruno Marshal would notice that anything had happened, and
>> objective outside observers would not notice anything had happened either.
>> There would not even be a way to tell if the machine was actually working,
>> I could even be lying about having a transporter. Who knows who cares?
>>
>
> > OK. And?
>

And I'm delighted you said "OK", so you agree that subjectively it makes no
difference which one is the copy and which one is the original, and
objectively it makes no difference which one is the copy and which one is
the original; and being a man of logic you must therefore conclude that
there is simply no difference between the two in any way whatsoever,
including the point of view.

>>  Of course if there were a unsymmetrical change in the environment or
>> there was a random quantum fluctuation that made the people different then
>> things would evolve, well, differently, but at the instant of duplication
>> they would still be identical. So if subjectively it makes no difference
>> and objectively it makes no difference and even the very universe itself
>> isn't sure if a switch had actually been made or not then I make the very
>> reasonable assumption that it just makes no difference, and although there
>> are two bodies and two brains in that symmetrical room there is only one
>> intelligence and only one consciousness and only one point of view.
>>
>> > OK. And?
>>
>
No "and" is necessary this time because that pretty much covers it all. I'm
delighted you said "OK", so you agree the point of view can be duplicated
just like anything else, you agree that it does not matter how many bodies
or brains there are in that symmetrical room because there is only one
mind, there is only one intelligence and only one consciousness and only
one point of view. If we agree on all that I don't see why more needs to be
said, but apparently you do.

> You tell me "you are duplicated" without precising if you talk on the
> 1-view, 3-view, 3-view of 1-view".
>

Yes, if subjectively and objectively there is no difference between various
points of view then I refuse to pretend that there is a distinction.

> That would be like aa duplication W W, or M M, not W, M.
>

Bruno, tell the truth, when you wrote the above cryptic sentence did you
honestly think it would make anything clear to any conscious entity on this
planet?

> Do you agree with this principle: if today I can be sure that tomorrow I
> will be uncertain about the outcome of some experience, then I am today
> uncertain about the outcome of that future experience.
>

Obviously I agree. The future is not predictable in theory and even less so
in practice, but I don't think that fact tells us much about personal
identity.

> Let consider again the guy in Helsinki. He will be read and annihilate
> [...]
>

I'm sorry but before I can get any further in your thought experiment,
you're going to have to explain just what you mean by "annihilated". I'm
confused because you go on to say that just before he was "annihilated" the
information on the position and momentum of all the atoms in his body was
measured and that information and generic atoms were used to make the
bodies and brains of the Helsinki man in Washington and in Moscow; but all
that is just equivalent to saying that the source of his external stimuli
was switched from Helsinki to Washington and Moscow. Information was not
annihilated, matter was not annihilated, energy was not annihilated, so
just what was "annihilated" in Helsinki?

> The guy in Helsinky knew this in advance, and can apply the principle
> above to say that he is uncertain today, before the split, what he will see
> when opening
>

Yeah but you don't need elaborate thought experiments involving duplicating
chambers to realize that you can never know for sure what you will see when
you open a door, surprises are always possible.

> when both realize that there are in the reconstitution boxes, they can't
> know yet if they are in W or in M.
>

Right, they will not know if their external stimuli will come from
Washington or Moscow, but there is nothing unusual or exotic about that, we
can never totally predict our environment.

> In this case, betting with the banker that they will see "Flying Circus"
> makes the vast majority of diary containing the sentence "shit I lost the
> bet".
>

The bet was not that "they" would see anything, the bet was that John K
Clark would see Flying Circus, so the vast majority of the diaries will be
"Hurray I won the bet and now I'm rich! I John K Clark saw nothing but
white noise but John K Clark saw Flying Circus so I get the money". The one
fellow who saw Flying Circus had every bit as much right to call himself
John K Clark as the many who saw white noise. However if the bet had
stipulated that only the fellow who saw Flying Circus would get the money
then the vast majority of the diaries would read " I won the bet, John K
Clark saw Flying Circus, but shit, I John K Clark didn't get any money
because I John K Clark just saw white noise.".

>> he's the Washington guy because he received sensory information from
>> Washington not Moscow, if he had not he would not be the Washington guy.
>>
>
> > The fact that he is in Washington explains this.
>

No, by itself it explains nothing. If his brain was in Washington but all
his external stimuli came from Moscow then he'd be identical to the Moscow
guy, that is to say he'd be the Moscow guy. Except when things are very far
apart and signal transmission time becomes a factor the position of the
brain is not important.

> The guy in washington is singular. he is not even sure the guy in Moscow
> has been reconstituted.
>

That's OK, If they are identical then another way of stating the above that
is exactly the same would be saying "The guy in Moscow is not even sure he
is the guy in Moscow"; when one of them figures out he is the Moscow guy
and the other figures out he is the Washington guy then the two are
different and will have diverged. And it does not even matter if the
process used to reach these conclusions were erroneous or not because it
doesn't matter who if anybody is right, it only matters that the Washington
guy and the Moscow guy are now no longer identical. Right or wrong the two
now have different beliefs and so are different people.

> You seem to deny the very experience of each of the duplicates, when
> walking in their new environment.
>

If they wake in different environments then they immediately start
generating new memories that are different from each other so obviously
they differentiate from that point on, but in my thought experiment about
the symmetrical room the external stimuli are identical so you and the
original Bruno Marshal are identical, so until random quantum fluctuations
become significant you will not diverge, and from NOBODY'S point of view is
there any difference between the original and the copy.

> Which self-contradictory nonsense? You betray that you are not willing to
> change your opinion, before reading the argument, apparently.
>

Before reading the argument? Bruno I am not new to this, this ain't my
first time at the rodeo, I have been arguing this point for 20 years and I
always get ridiculous stuff like: There is no difference subjectively and
there is no difference objectively but there is still a enormous
difference, or, the difference is not in matter or energy or information
but the difference is still there, or, we don't do things for a reason and
we don't not do things for a reason either. And all of that, every bit of
it, is self-contradictory nonsense.

> If you can predict the personally felt outcome of a duplication
> experience, give me the algorithm.
>

OK, the algorithm is not complex: I predict that if a mind is receiving
external stimuli that originated in Washington then the personally felt
outcome will be a feeling of being in Washington, and if a mind is
receiving external stimuli that originated in Moscow then the personally
felt outcome will be a feeling of being in Moscow.

 John K Clark

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