On 04 Nov 2012, at 18:58, John Clark wrote:
On Sun, Nov 4, 2012 at 6:03 AM, Stathis Papaioannou <stath...@gmail.com
>>> As in the movie the Prestige, would you step into the
duplicating machine knowing that one of your duplicates would
survive and one would drown?
>> Absolutely not! There was a delay between the copy being made and
it being destroyed, the delay might not have been long but it was
more than long enough to have a last thought, and a very painful one
at that. Having a last thought is death and that drowning man would
have one. I would not be happy about my body being destroyed unless
a copy was made right now. How long is now? About a second or two. I
would step into the machine if the original John Clark was instantly
destroyed and the copy appeared on the other side of the stage. Of
course I can't claim that my choice in this matter represents any
sort of universal truth, I just happen to prefer life over death and
I don't like pain much, but your mileage may vary.
> What if there were not two copies but a million, one of which
would be tortured
John Clark would not step into that duplicating chamber even if
there were a billion copies made because John Clark would still be
certain to die a painful death.
Again the same main 1-3 confusion. You can only say that John Clark
would be certain that *a* John Clark would die a painful death, not
that it will necessarily ever matter from your (the unique John Clark
before the experience) future point of view (except by a form of
solidarity with the other John Clarks).
Now with comp or just Everett, we have just no choice in the matter.
However it should be said that when thought experiments switch from
"what you would observe" to "what you would prefer" they loose most
of their power because in the one case it is universal and true for
anyone but in the other case it also depends on the prejudices and
trivial likes and dislikes of the particular person involved.
> Would you still say, like the mathematically innumerate who
refuses potentially life-saving surgery after being told of some
extremely rare complication, "Yeah, but what if I'm that one in a
That is not a good analogy. In the one case John Clark knows for
certain that John Clark will slowly drown, in the other case John
Clark knows it is very unlikely that John Clark will have this rare
It may sound a little stilted but questions of this sort which
involve duplication of the self become far less confusing if
pronouns are simply avoided, pronouns in which it is anything but
clear as to whom or what they refer to.
Look at AUDA where all pronouns, for each points of view, are defined
mathematically. But most people does not need that to get this for
understanding the first indeterminacy notion. Avoiding the use of
pronouns there would conflate even more easily the 1-3 key
distinction. We need them to highlight the key difference between the
1p and the 3p, which in natural language uses both the word "I", but
one is the Gödelian Bp, and the other is the Grzegorczykian Bp & p.
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups
"Everything List" group.
To post to this group, send email to email@example.com.
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to
For more options, visit this group at