On 19 Mar 2012, at 17:40, John Clark wrote:

On Sun, Mar 18, 2012 at 7:22 PM, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net> wrote:

> I didn't pretend there are two points of view in your symmetric room thought experiment.

Great, then like me you believe that although there are 2 living human bodies and 2 living human brains inside that symmetrical room there is only one human consciousness.

Everyone agree with this.


> I think Bruno also agreed that consciousness only split when there was some difference in perception - which he equated with opening the transporter door.

I think he did too and I'm glad of that, but he also thought that if the body of the Helsinki man was annihilated the instant after the information in it was read and the information used to make identical living bodies in Moscow and Washington then the Helsinki man is dead;

I have never said that. That would contradict blatantly the UDA step one, which is that comp makes us survive classical teleportation. I have just said that the guy in Helsinki has been annihilated, to remind you the protocol of step 3.

and that is inconsistent, or at least it is if he also thinks (as I'm sure he does) that the idea of the Bruno of yesterday or even the Bruno of one nanosecond ago is dead is just silly.

Of course. You are just correcting your own misinterpretation of what is being said. It is obvious that if the guy of Helsinki died, the probability to have the future feeling of being in W or in M would be zero and comp would be finished.

> Even if the brain is strictly classical and deterministic, the world still has plenty of thermal randomness that would very quickly cause the two brains to diverge into different conscious (and subconscious) thoughts.

Maybe, but nobody knows. Even if it's true at the instant of duplication the 2 are identical, and I certainly never denied that thermal vibrations, or any other environmental factors, could cause the two to differentiate and the situation become unsymmetrical.

> If you exchange two things that are identical except for position *while no one is watching* then the change is unobservable.

Yes, and the faster the exchange the harder to observe.

> But big classical things have continuity in spacetime

You know that only because that's what you've always observed, but there is a reason for that. Although there is no law of logic or physics that forbids their existence you have never seen 2 big things that are identical, current technology is just not up to the job of making them, but that may not always be true.

> if someone is watching, they can tell that the bodies have been exchanged.

It's interesting you should mention that because it relates to a personal problem I have and you might be the right man to give me some advice. About a year ago I started building a matter duplicating machine. It could find the position and velocity of every atom in a human being to the limit imposed by Heisenberg's law. It then used this information to construct a copy and it does it all in a fraction of a second and without harming the original in any way. You may be surprised that I was able to build such a complicated machine, but you wouldn't be if you knew how good I am with my hands. The birdhouse I made is simply lovely and I have all the latest tools from Sears.

I was a little nervous but I decided to test the machine by duplicating myself. The day before yesterday I walked into the chamber, it filled with smoke (damn those radio shack transformers) there was a flash of light, and then 3 feet to my left was a man who looked exactly like me. It was at that instant that the full realization of the terrible thing I did hit me. I yelled "This is monstrous, there can only be one of me", my copy yelled exactly the same thing. I thought he was trying to mock me, so I reached for my 44 magnum that I always carry with me (I wonder why people think I'm strange) and pointed it at my double. I noted with alarm that the double also had a gun and he was pointed it at me. I shouted "you don't have the guts to pull the trigger, but I do". Again he mimicked my words and did so in perfect synchronization, this made me even more angry and I pulled the trigger, he did too. My gun went off but his gun jammed. I buried him in my back yard.

Now that my anger has cooled and I can think more clearly I've had some pangs of conscious about killing a living creature, but that's not what really torments me. How do I know I'm not the copy?

Good! That's the first person indeterminacy confirmation. You could have been better prepared in advance for that ignorance!

I feel exactly the same as before, but would a copy feel different? Actually there is a way to be certain, I have a video tape of the entire experiment. My memory is that the copy first appeared 3 feet to my LEFT, (if I had arranged things so he appeared 3 feet in front of me face to face things would have been more symmetrical, like looking in a mirror) if the tape shows the original walking into the chamber and the copy materializing 3 feet to his RIGHT, then I would know that I am the copy. I'm afraid to look at the tape, should I be? If I found out I was the copy what should I do?

So you get that one bit of information, which confirms the p=1/2.


I suppose I should morn the death of John Clark, but how can I, I'm not dead. If I am the copy would that mean that I have no real past and my life is meaningless? Is it important, or should I just burn the tape and forget all about it?
  John K Clark


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