On 22 Oct 2012, at 18:26, meekerdb wrote:

On 10/22/2012 12:51 AM, Quentin Anciaux wrote:

2012/10/22 Jason Resch <jasonre...@gmail.com>

On Sun, Oct 21, 2012 at 12:46 PM, John Clark <johnkcl...@gmail.com> wrote:
On Sun, Oct 21, 2012  Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be> wrote:

>> I stopped reading after your proof of the existence of a new type of indeterminacy never seen before because the proof was in error, so there was no point in reading about things built on top of that

> From your "error" you have been obliged to say that in the WM duplication, you will live both at W and at W


yet your agree that both copy will feel to live in only one place


> so the error you have seen was dues to a confusion between first person and third person.

Somebody is certainly confused but it's not me. The fact is that if we are identical then my first person experience of looking at you is identical to your first person experience of looking at me, and both our actions are identical for a third person looking at both of us. As long as we're identical it's meaningless to talk about 2 conscious beings regardless of how many bodies or brains have been duplicated.

Your confusion stems from saying "you have been duplicated" but then not thinking about what that really means, you haven't realized that a noun (like a brain) has been duplicated but a adjective (like Bruno Marchal) has not been as long as they are identical; you are treating adjectives as if they were nouns and that's bound to cause confusion. You are also confused by the fact that if 2 identical things change in nonidentical ways, such as by forming different memories, then they are no longer identical. And finally you are confused by the fact that although they are not each other any more after those changes both still have a equal right to call themselves Bruno Marchal. After reading these multiple confusions in one step of your proof I saw no point in reading more, and I still don't.


I think you are missing something. It is a problem that I noticed after watching the movie "The Prestige" and it eventually led me to join this list.

Unless you consider yourself to be only a single momentary atom of thought, you probably believe there is some stream of thoughts/ consciousness that you identify with. You further believe that these thoughts and consciousness are produced by some activity of your brain. Unlike Craig, you believe that whatever horrible injury you suffered, even if every atom in your body were separated from every other atom, in principle you could be put back together, and if the atoms are put back just right, you will be removed and alive and well, and conscious again.

Further, you probably believe it doesn't matter if we even re-use the same atoms or not, since atoms of the same elements and isotopes are functionally equivalent. We could take apart your current atoms, then put you back together with atoms from a different pile and your consciousness would continue right where it left off (from before you were obliterated). It would be as if a simulation of your brain were running on a VM, we paused the VM, moved it to a different physical computer and then resumed it. From your perspective inside, there was no interruption, yet your physical incarnation and location has changed.

Assuming you are with me so far, an interesting question emerges: what happens to your consciousness when duplicated? Either an atom for atom replica of yourself is created in two places or your VM image which contains your brain emulation is copied to two different computers while paused, and then both are resumed. Initially, the sensory input to the two duplicates could be the same, and in a sense they are still the same mind, just with two instances, but then something interesting happens once different input is fed to the two instances: they split. You could say they split in the same sense as when someone opens the steel box to see whether the cat is alive or dead. All the splitting in quantum mechanics may be the result of our infinite instances discovering/learning different things about our infinite environments.

I would add that what's interresting in the duplication is the what happens next probability (when the "two" copies diverge). If you're about to do an experience (for exemple opening a door and looking what is behind) and that just before opening the door, your are duplicated, the copy is put in the same position in front of an identical door, the fact that you were originally (just before duplication) in front of a door that opens on new york city, what is the probability that when you open it *it is* new york city... in case of a single universe (limited) where not duplications of state could appear the answer is straighforward, it is 100%, but in case of comp or MWI, the probability is not 100%, you must take in account all duplications (now and then) and there relative measure. That is the "measure" problem. The "before" divergence is not interresting, that's the point where John stays stuck willingly.


There is something puzzling here. Duplication at the lowest level, cloning the quantum state, is impossible. And even duplicates at a relatively high state, e.g. nuerons, must quickly diverge just because of interactions with the uncontrolled environment - and in fact if QM is correct it is the interaction with the environment that permits the "higher" classical level to exist. In this thought experiments, Bruno sweeps these problems aside by considering conscious states. Conscious states are very crude things. We're not aware of very much of the world. So Bruno notes that a given conscious state is consistent with a lot of different worlds - different computational states in different computational threads of a UD. Then he proposes that the physical world is just a kind of consistency class within all the consciousness threads (intersujective agreement). But each thread of computation that contributes to a given consciousness only does so in virtue of being consistent with the other threads (one is never literally of two minds). So it seems that consciousness, by this theory, is an epiphenomena on certain classes of computation (e.g. those that 'hang together' enough to be conscious "of" something). Then we're back to the same sort of question asked of materialism, but instead of "Why is this physical process conscious and not that one?" the question is "Why is this bundle of computational states conscious and not that one?"

You are right. I have often said this: comp does not solve the mind- body problem. But it does something: it shows the problem two times more difficult, because it reduces the problem partially, but obligatory, to a justification of the appearance of matter from only a statistics on computations.

That is why I explain those things preferably to people who have a good understanding of Everett. Comp give no choice other than generalize Everett's embedding of the physicist in the QM wave into an embedding of the thinker/dreamer in the arithmetical reality.

Comp solves 100% of the TOE problem. Arithmetic or combinators or anything Turing universal is enough, ontologically. Then the logic of self-reference and computer science solves 99% of the hard consciousness problem, by showing that there is something verifying the semi-axiomatic of consciousness for the machines which look at themselves, and eventually this gives a theory close to Plotinus, Plato, contradicting Aristotle.

The main point is that it gives also the physical laws, so that it is testable.

All this shows also that if you want to keep a primitively material universe, you have to never say yes to a digitalist surgeon.



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 
For more options, visit this group at 

Reply via email to