On 10 January 2013 15:31, Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be> wrote:

*I am still not sure this does not simply add a layer of difficulty,
> because it is not clear (to me) what can possibly be such a sampling.*
>

Well, as I've said, there need be no mystery about it - it's just a way of
examining one's thinking about observation in a very general way. I had a
number of motivations for this idea, not the least of which is that it is
more-or-less implied by the Deutsch or Barbour view of the multiverse, as
Gary has commented on the FOAR list. I realise that this is not necessarily
the case for CTM, so it has been interesting to discuss this possibility
with you. I am not of course suggesting that individual consciousness is
"literally" consequential on a single knower sampling discrete moments at
random (indeed I have no idea what "literally" would mean in this
connection). However I do find it instructive, in certain cases, to
consider the matter *as if* this were the case. It helps (me, at least) to
analyse issues of extended personal identity that can otherwise be
extremely puzzling and difficult to resolve.

As an example, think of the interminable argument over "who is who" after
replication. According to Hoyle the answer to "which continuation is you"
in such scenarios is: all of them (to some degree), but not all together.
This formulation focuses attention specifically on the momentary and
retrospective nature of subjective identification and spatio-temporal
localisation, and the context-dependent resolution of questions of "before"
and "after". IOW, subjectively speaking, moments just "happen" and the
resolution of such happenings is always retrospective. This way of thinking
can be of particular utility with respect to puzzles like Mitra's "changing
the future by forgetting the past".

David

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