On Tue, Dec 10, 2013 at 6:03 PM, John Clark <johnkcl...@gmail.com> wrote:

>
> On Sun, Dec 8, 2013  Telmo Menezes <te...@telmomenezes.com> wrote:
>
> > You're avoiding my question. Why don't you also reject the MWI?
>
> If I am reluctant to answer your question it is because I've already done
> so many times in the past, but if you insist I will do so again. The Many
> World's Interpretation is about what can be expected to be seen, and
> although it may seem strange to us Everett's ideas are 100% logically self
> consistent. Bruno's "proof" is not about what will be seen but about a
> feeling of identity, about who you can expect to be; but you do not think
> you're the same person you were yesterday because yesterday you made a
> prediction about today that turned out to be correct, you think you're  the
> same person you were yesterday for one reason and one reason only, you
> remember being Telmo Menezes yesterday. It's a good thing that's the way it
> works because I make incorrect predictions all the time and when I do I
> don't feel that I've entered oblivion, instead I feel like I am the same
> person I was before because I can still remember being the guy who made
> that prediction that turned out to be wrong. I don't feel like I'm dead, I
> just feel like the guy who made a crappy prediction.
>
> Bruno thinks you can trace personal identity from the present to the
> future, but that is like pushing on a string.
>

Everyone thinks this. In fact, most of our predictions about the future
turn out to be correct. This is extremely important for survival. Homo
sapiens occupies an evolutionary niche where our strength is precisely
being good at predicting the future in sophisticated ways. We devote 20% of
our energy budget to an organ that does mostly that.


> You can only pull a string and you can only trace identity from the past
> to the present. A feeling of self has nothing to do with predictions,
> successful ones or otherwise, and in fact you might not even have a future,
> but you certainly have a past.
>

Bruno never claims that a feeling of self has something to do with
predictions, this is your interpretation. If you insist on it, you have to
be more precise. Where does Bruno claim this? He starts by assuming comp,
and comp tells you that the feeling of self is related to computations (a
possibility that you seem to be open to). Then he investigates the
consequences of assuming comp. Here are things that we know by direct
experience:

1) We always feel that we are a single person;
2) We feel that we have a past;
3) The future is uncertain, we don't know how some things will turn out.

With the duplicator thought experiment, you assume comp and you assume the
previous empirical observations. When someone comes out of the duplicator,
we assume that they all still apply. Of course now, this will have to apply
to two entities.

Let's get rid of the personal pronouns.

Person S is a scientist operating the duplicator the moment before time t.
Person P is going through the duplicator at time t. Person S' is a
scientist operating the duplicator the moment after time t. Persons B and M
will come out of the duplicator. Person B will be in Brussels and person M
will be in Moscow. So:

- Both persons B and M remember being person P;
- Person S' remembers being person S;
- Person P bets on the existence of a direct experience in the future.
Let's say person P bets on the existence of an experience of remembering
being person P before t, and experiencing being in Brussels right after t
and not being in Moscow right after t;
- Person B experiences a correct prediction;
- Person M experiences an incorrect prediction.
- Person S' experiences a correct prediction about the outcome of the
experience: person S' observes two identical entities, one in Brussels, one
in Moscow (maybe through some webcam)

Do you have a problem with any of this? Maybe you think it is trivial, but
do you disagree?


>
> If tomorrow somebody remembers being Telmo Menezes today then Telmo
> Menezes has a future, if not then Telmo Menezes
> has no future, and Quantum Mechanics or a understanding of Everett's Many
> Worlds is not needed for any of it.
>

Agreed, no problem.


> Period. However in a completely different unrelated matter, if you want to
> assign a probability that tomorrow a observer that can be interviewed by a
> third party will observe a electron move left or right then Quantum
> Mechanics will be needed. And some (including me) feel that Everett's
> interpretation is a convenient way to think about it, although there are
> other ways.
>

Ok, but if you use Everett's interpretation to think about reality, then
personal pronouns become ambiguous in the exact same way that you always
point out. Under the MWI, observing the behaviour of an electron is
equivalent to going through a duplicator, except that you don't get copies
in the same world. But you still have someone saying: "I saw the electron
go left!", and you can always reply: "Bullshit! what do you mean by 'you'?
You saw the electron go right too!".

I don't think this ambiguity is serious, we can parse them in the way I did
above. Personal pronouns are part of language that evolved under a certain
model of reality and, as you point out and I agree, nature doesn't care
about what seems reasonable to us. Also, evolution doesn't care about
metaphysics, it only cares about survival.

Telmo.


>
>   John K Clark
>
>
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