On 11/5/2012 10:33 AM, Bruno Marchal wrote:

On 04 Nov 2012, at 18:58, John Clark wrote:

On Sun, Nov 4, 2012 at 6:03 AM, Stathis Papaioannou <stath...@gmail.com <mailto:stath...@gmail.com>> wrote:

            >>> As in the movie the Prestige, would you step into the 
            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 
        destroyed, the delay might not have been long but it was more than long 
        to have a last thought, and a very painful one at that. Having a last 
        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 
        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 
        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 

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 
    life-saving surgery after being told of some extremely rare complication, 
    but what if I'm that one in a million?"

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 complication.

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.


What if, in addition to the duplicating transporter there were a transporter merger; one that would take JC-Moscow and JC-Washington and merge them into one JC-Istanbul. What would JCI write in his diary? And more interesting, what if JCM were drowned and then merged with JCW?


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