On 10/24/2012 8:48 PM, Jason Resch wrote:



On Oct 24, 2012, at 9:02 PM, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net <mailto:meeke...@verizon.net>> wrote:

On 10/24/2012 6:27 PM, Jason Resch wrote:


On Mon, Oct 22, 2012 at 11:04 AM, John Clark <johnkcl...@gmail.com <mailto:johnkcl...@gmail.com>> wrote:

    On Sun, Oct 21, 2012 at 6:25 PM, Jason Resch <jasonre...@gmail.com
    <mailto:jasonre...@gmail.com>> wrote

        > I think you are missing something.  It is a problem that I noticed 
after
watching the movie "The Prestige"

    In my opinion "The Prestige" is the best movie made in the last 10 years, 
and this
    is one of those rare instances where the movie was better than the book. 
Before
    the movie back in 1996 I wrote a short scenario that had somewhat similar 
themes,
    this is part of it:

    " 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 pointing 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 due to a random quantum 
fluctuation 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
    guilt about killing a living creature, but that's not what really torments 
me. How
    do I know I'm not the copy? 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. But I'm afraid to look at the tape, 
should I
    be? If I found out I was the copy what should I do? 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?"


Nice story.  It reminds me of this little puzzle (I forgot where I heard it):

You will be placed into a room with an exact clone of yourself and you will be given a gun. If you shoot your clone you can leave that room and everything will be fine. Or, if you shoot yourself your clone will be allowed to leave the room and will be given $1,000,000. What do you do? If you value the money and ascribe to certain philosophical schools, the logical decision would be to shoot yourself rather than shooting the clone.


        > you probably believe there is some stream of thoughts/consciousness 
that you
        identify with.


    I can't conceive of anyone disagreeing with that.

        > You further believe that these thoughts and consciousness are 
produced by
        some activity of your brain.


    Yes.

        > 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.


    Yes.

        > 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.


    Yes.

        > 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).


    Yes.

        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.


    Yes.

        > what happens to your consciousness when duplicated?


    When what is duplicated? Adjectives, like consciousness or Jason Resch, do 
not
    duplicate in the same way that nouns, like brains, do. If I exactly 
duplicate a
    iPod playing loud music the iPod is duplicated but the adjective "loud" is 
not
    duplicated, but if I then change the loudness level on one of them but not 
the
    other then the two differentiate. In the same way If I exactly duplicate 
you and a
    cat as you consciously look at the cat then your body and brain are 
duplicated but
    the adjective describing what the brain is doing, consciousness, is not
    duplicated; however if I then change one cat but not the other then the 
conscious
    experience and memories formed by observing the cat will be different and 
the two
    of you will no longer be each other but both will be Jason Resch.


To clarify, I mean if the substrate of your consciousness is duplicated, then the singular mind "John Clark" will have multiple manifestations. Destroying one of the manifestations will not destroy John Clark so long as there is at least one surviving manifestation. What numerous scientific theories suggest (Eternal Inflation, Many Worlds, Mathematical Realism, String Theory Landscape to name a few) is that each of us has an infinite number of manifestations, in whatever possible state we might enter.

Thus we are all immortal, survive everything, consciousness never ends, our states are interlinked and can intersect, thus we reincarnate, we resurrect to afterlives in far away places and different universes and realms, we also sometimes awaken and find ourselves to be an omega point mind with the memories of 10^10^10 life times, exploring all possibilities of reality and consciousness before jumping in to the next life. Seeing the unity in two manifestations of the same minds leads to seeing unity among all minds. Wait long enough and you will experience the lives of every person you ever meet, and all the ones you haven't met too.

Except I don't remember any of that, only this life (and not much of it) and I'm not experiencing it now - so if it's being experienced it's not by me and there's something wrong with your hypothesis.

You probably don't remember when you were two, nor are you experiencing that from your present perspective. If it wasn't you who experienced that then who did?

The two year old Brent.





        > 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


    Two identical minds are not "in a sense" the same mind they ARE the same 
mind period.


Yes.

Well two identical experiences are the same experience. But if a mind is a sequence of experiences, then two minds could share an experience but be in different sequences otherwise.



        > but then something interesting happens once different input is fed to 
the
        two instances: they split.


    Yes, now let me tell you of a thought experiment of my own.

    An exact duplicate of the earth, and it's entire ecosystem, is created a 
billion
    light years away. The duplicate world would need some sort of feedback 
mechanism
    to keep the worlds in synchronization, non linear effects would amplify tiny
    variations, even quantum fluctuations, into big differences, but this is a 
thought
    experiment so who cares.


(If the universe is infinitely big, then there is no need to worry about keeping the two worlds in sync, as there will an infinite number of worlds intersecting that same quantum state of the entire planet and even galaxy. QM already suggests that this is the kind of world we inhabit.)

    In the first two cases below the results would vary according to 
personalities,
    remember there's a lot of illogic even in the best of us.

    1) I know all about the duplicate world and you put a 44 magnum to my head 
and
    tell me that in ten seconds you will blow my brains out. Am I concerned? 
You bet I
    am because I know that your double is holding an identical gun to the head 
of my
    double and making an identical threat.


    2) I find out that for the first time since the Big Bang the worlds will 
diverge,
    in 10 seconds you will put a bullet in my head but my double will be 
spared. Am I
    concerned? Yes, and angry as well, in times of intense stress nobody is 
very logical.


Also, even if we always survive from a first-person perspective, there are things that might decrease our measure and thus it could be said that the "universal soul" who experiences everything will experience being "John Clark" less frequently.

    My double is no longer exact because I am going through a traumatic 
experience and
    my double is not. I'd be looking at that huge gun and wondering what it 
will be
    like when it goes off and if death will really be instantaneous. I'd be 
wondering
    if my philosophy was really as sound as I thought it was and I'd also be 
wondering
    why I get the bullet and not my double and cursing the unfairness of it 
all. My
    (semi) double would be thinking "it's a shame about that other fellow but 
I'm glad
    it's not me".


Imagine if you and your double drew straws and one would be tortured and the other released. The released one might conclude "I sure am glad I wasn't tortured", but is the one who was tortured any better off than if he himself had been tortured, but then had the memories and all traces of that punishment erased from his body? The experience still happened, that you don't remember it from your current perspective does not mean it didn't happen. We can make similar problems with duplicates and committing crimes. If you had a perfectly identical twin (same memories and everything) but your twin committed murder, most would say only the twin who committed that murder should be punished, but what if after committing the murder both you and your twin have your brains reset to the period right before your minds diverged, now you and your twin are perfectly identical again, does that wash away his guilt? Should he still be punished? If so, why punish one and not the other when they are both identical?

The purpose of punishment is social. So we punish one or the other so that people don't suppose they can get away with murder by just resetting themselves to "innocent". It doesn't matter which one we punish since they are ex hypothesi identical (and each one is equally likely to kill again).


So what if a murderer duplicates themselves into 100 copies? Do all go to prison for life, does one? Or do they each go for one year?

You'd probably have to put all of them in for the full term to constitute effective deterrence of murder and of retaliatory feuds.




Are you not in a sense, also punishing the innocent one (who now has a 50/50% of finding himself diverging to experience the life in prison).


    3) I know nothing about the duplicate world, a gun is at both our heads and 
we
    both are convinced we're going to die. One gun goes off, making a hell of a 
mess,
    but the other gun, for inexplicable reasons misfires. In this case NOBODY 
died and
    except for undergoing a terrifying experience I am completely unharmed. The 
real
    beauty part is that I don't even have to clean up the mess.

    The bottom line is we don't have thoughts and emotions, we are thoughts and
    emotions, and the idea that the particular hardware that is rendering them 
changes
    their meaning is as crazy as my computer making the meaning of your post 
different
    from what it was on yours.


What will your next thought or emotion be? Answering that question depends on the goings on of things a trillion light years away, a million years in the future, and even things outside this physical universe.

Or that's just a fancy way of saying QM includes randomness.

The randomness and qm is explained by the everything.  It is secondary.

Except you can calculate with the randomness and Born's rule.

Brent
The person I was when I was 3 years old is dead. He died because
too much new information was added to his brain.
         -- Saibal Mitra

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