Here is the question I wonder about. Is it meaningful for Eric01 to consider the concept of precisely the one Eric that he is? Or would you say that it is fundamentally impossible for a system (e.g. Eric01) to accurately conceive of the concept of itself as a completely specified and single entity, since this requires discrimination beyond its powers of perception, and, as you note, a possibly infinitely detailed description? Perhaps we could consider a simpler example: a conscious computer program, an AI. Run the same program in lock step on two computers. Suppose the program is aware of these circumstances. Is it meaningful for that program to have a concept of the particular computer that is running this program? Hal I'd say no. Here's my dark room copy/teleport paradox. (probably been done before) Imagine that there is a device that can make a perfect copy of you and make it appear in another room in another part of the world. When you enter a room in New York, the lights go out and you are copied. Your copy appears in another dark room in front of the Eiffel Tower. The original is not destroyed, and remains in New York. Ok, so you try the experiment for the first time. You enter the room in New York, the lights go out, the copy is made. You then walk to the door and expect to see the Empire State when you open it. But a second before opening the door, you hesitate. How do you know you are not the copy? If you were to open the door and find that you are in Paris, should you be surprised? I think not. It all makes sense. You are the copy. Being rational you should accept this as normal (50% chance?) and proceed to the closest café and order some croissants. The point is, for all practical purpouses (from a first person perspective), this machine is a travelling device, albeit one that works only some of the times (50 % ?). If you are a die-hard materialist, you need not be worried that you will die, because the original will not be touched. So, what do you think guys? Doesn't this suggest that we are our configuration and not our atoms? This is a challenge to all those materialists out there. One could argue that you cannot make a perfect copy due to fundamental quantum limitations. But the copy doesn't have to be p-e-r-f-e-c-t to achieve similar results. I think current theory says that you can make a pretty good quantum copy statistically.
My message 6/11 to Alberto Gómez seems not to have gone through. I send it again. Apology for those who did receive it. B. At 09:24 06/11/03 +0100, Alberto Gómez wrote: For me there is no bigger step between to wonder about how conscience arises from a universe made by atoms in a Newtonian universe, particles in a quantum universe, quarks in a quantum relativistic universe and finally, superstring/n-branes in a 11 dimensional universe for one side and, on the other side, to wonder about how SAS in a complex enough mathematical structure can have a sense of conscience. BM: I agree. It is a genuine point. [SNIP] AG:That must be true either in our physical world or the world of a geometrical figure in a n-dimensional spacetime, or in a computer simulation defined by a complex enough algorithm (These three alternative ways of describing universes may be isomorphic, being the first a particular case or not. The computability of our universe doesn't matter for this question). BM:I disagree, because if you take the comp. hyp. seriously enough the physical should emerge as some precise modality from an inside view of Arithmetical Truth. See UDA ref in Hal Finney's post. AG:So the mathematical existence, when SAS are possible inside the mathematical formulation, implies existence (the _expression_ physical existence may be a redundancy) BM:Same remark. What you say is not only true, but with comp it is quasi-constructively true so that you can extract the logic and probability physical rules in computer science (even in computer's computer science). making the comp. hyp. popper-falsifiable. AG:But, for these mathematical descriptions to exist, it is necessary the existence of being with a higher dimensionality and intelligence that formulate these mathematical descriptions? That is: every mathematical object does exist outside of any conscience? The issue is not to question that mathematical existence (with SAS) implies physical existence, (according with the above arguments it is equivalent). The question is the mathematical existence itself. BM:Now, it is a fact, the failure of logicism, that you cannot define integers without implicitely postulating them. So Arithmetical existence is a quasi necessary departure reality. It is big and not unifiable by any axiomatisable theory (by Godel). (axiomatizable theory = theory such that you can verify algorithmically the proofs of the theorems) I refer often to Arithmetical Realism AR; and it constitutes 1/3 of the computationalist hypothesis, alias the comp. hyp., alias COMP: COMP = AR + CT + YD (Yes, more acronyms, sorry!) AR = Arithmetical Realism (cf also the Hardy post) CT = Church Thesis YD = (I propose) the Yes Doctor, It is the belief that you can be decomposed into part such that you don't experience anything when those parts are substituted by functionnaly equivalent digital parts. It makes possible to give sense saying yes to a surgeon who propose you some artificial substitution of your body. With COMP you can justify why this needs an irreductible act of faith (the consistency of COMP entails the consistency of the negation of COMP, this is akin to Godel's second incompleteness theorem. It has nothing to do with the hypothesis that there is a physical universe which would be either the running or the output of a computer program. Hal, with COMP the identity problem is tackled by the venerable old computer science/logic approach to self-reference (with the result by Godel, Lob, Solovay, build on Kleene, Turing, Post etc...). Bruno
- Original Message - From: Jesse Mazer [EMAIL PROTECTED] I agree that a moment from now there will be a number of exactly equal copies. Nevertheless, I am sure I will only experience being one of them, so this is what I mean by ' me ' - the actual experiences I will have. Maybe some copy of me will win the lottery every time I play, but that does not give me reason to spend my money on it. I still believe that the probability that 'I' win is 1/10^6, even if on a multiverse sense, the probability that at least one copy of me wins is 1. The same should be the case with death if we assume a materialistic position. But you should no more expect to end up in a branch where you died than in a branch where you were never born in the first place. Consider, instead of a branching multiverse, a Star-Trek-style transporter/duplicator in a single universe, which can deconstruct you and reconstruct exact copies atom-by-atom in distant locations (assuming the error introduced by the uncertainty principle is too small to make a difference--if you don't want to grant that, you could also assume this is all happening within a deterministic computer simulation and that you are really an A.I.). To use Bruno Marchal's example, suppose this duplicator recreates two identical copies of you, one in Washington and one in Moscow. As you step into the chamber, if you believe continuity of consciousness is real in some sense and that it's meaningful to talk about the probabilities of different possible next experiences, it would probably make sense to predict from a first-person-point of view that you have about a 50% chance of finding yourself in Moscow and a 50% chance of finding yourself in Washington. On the other hand, suppose only a single reconstruction will be performed in Washington--then by the same logic, you would probably predict the probability of finding yourself in Washington is close to 100%, barring a freak accident. OK, so now go back to the scenario where you're supposed to be recreated in both Washington and Moscow, except assume that at the last moment there's a power failure in Moscow and the recreator machine fails to activate. Surely this is no different from the scenario where you were only supposed to be recreated in Washington--the fact that they *intended* to duplicate you in Moscow shouldn't make any difference, all that matters is that they didn't. But now look at another variation on the scenario, where the Moscow machine malfunctions and recreates your body missing the head. I don't think it makes sense to say you have a 50% chance of being killed in this scenario--your brain is where your consciousness comes from, and since it wasn't duplicated this is really no different from the scenario where the Moscow machine failed to activate entirely. In fact, any malfunction in the Moscow machine which leads to a duplicate that permanently lacks consciousness should be treated the same way as a scenario where I was only supposed to be recreated in Washington, in terms of the subjective probabilities. Extending this to the idea of natural duplication due to different branches of a splitting multiverse, the probability should always be 100% that my next experience is one of a universe where I have not been killed. I don't quite agree with that argument, even though I was intrigued in the first read. The reason is similar to those exposed by Hal finney in his reply to this post. These copies are not copies made by the branching of MWI. In fact, I believe that I will never experience being one of those copies. Let me see if I can support that: Suppose you don't destroy the original, but merely make the copies (and this also answers the later post from someone with the address [EMAIL PROTECTED]). If a copy of me is made *in my own universe*, I don't expect to have the experiences of the copies. Suppose I sit on this copy machine in New York, and the information of the position and velocities (within quantum uncertainty) of all particles in my body is copied. Suppose, for the sake of the argument, that the mere retrieval of this information should pose no problem to me. It should me harmless. This information then travels by wire from the reader to the reproducer. An almost perfect copy of me is made in Paris. Should I, in that moment, expect to have the first-person 50% probability of suddenly seeing the eiffel tower? I don't think anyone would support that. And in that case, you shouldn't support the notion that you could ever be a copy of yourself, since you could always NOT destroy the original in your example. Whenever you did, the original would have the first-person experience of dying, i.e., it would never be conscious again. This example is similar to that of the Schwarzenegger movie where he had a clone of himself made. Of course the making of the clone has no implication in the original person's experiences whatsoever. For instance, if
On 7 Nov 2003 at 10:25, Joao Leao wrote: OK. I get your point. That supersolipsistic situation is rendered somewhat unlikely by the fact that galaxies seem to be structuraly stable (the dark matter issue), in other words, they do not seem to berak apart with the accelerated expansion. The chances of every particle becoming its own disconnected universe are also made unlikely by what we know of microphysics. Gravitational collapse is the way out of of space-time problems altogether. At a small (galaxy size) cross section the effect of inflation has not yet (for the time periods we can observe) reached the point of causing a breaking apart. Gravity is still dominant in those local systems. Either there is or there is not inflation, either all objects as a result of inflation are or they are not all moving away and increasing distance from from each other. Unless it can be argued that inflation is not universal then it follows that ALL particles, macroscopic and microscopic are inflating. But, might the affect on fundamental forces also be inflating in propertion to all other inflation repercussions!? If so, then another argument is needed for why the universe went from a slowing down expansion rate to a speeding up expansion rate. To imagine a cyclic expansion rate requires that a new fundamental force be discovered. Well we can and have measured the dark energy distribution via the luminosity distance of Type Ia supernovae and the CMB background observations (recentlyWMAP) and it is smooth, uniform and tensional(=feels like a negative pressure). This is not an inference: it is as direct evidence as you can get in the cosmological domain! I'm not ready to agree fully accept that!grin We have measured that inflation is continuing, and in relation to observation of those supernovae the reality seems widespread and consistant. But that's a long ways from saying that the *distribution* of dark energy is uniform througout the entire universe. Dark Energy, if indeed originated in the Big Bang, could have had a very different distribution than and that is part of the problem: we don't know why it resulted in such a small cosmological term if it is indeed the combined energy of all the vacua of the interactions we know about... But then we don't know why any particles have the mass and energy that they do have, either. Some say it was chance that they are as they are (and lucky for us that things chanced as they did!) But that argument belies that virtual particles seem to have rules they obey. We just don't know why the rules are as they are, we just see the game being played. I addressed this point you keep making above. This is really not worth worrying about. Collapse is a much more likely end for a particle than supreme loneliness... But how can you say that? You maybe have a thought that the universe is not really expanding, forever and for eternity, and at all points (even within subatomic points) within itself? What mechanism might be involved? But maybe I do not understand what you mean by collapse. It isn't quite like that! If anything QM shows you that distant particles interact in some manner or better, exhibit non-local correlations beyond their time-like separation, so even between disconnected pices of the Metaverse (Level 1 as the list lingo goes)there are residual bonds that do not care about universal expansion... And there be the rub. Spooky is a good term. That bonding phenomenon does seem to be empirical. The question remains to be answered regarding if *imposed* information can be exchanged with the phenomenon, and latest indications are that particles moving at near light speed have a problem maintaining the bond. Perhaps the bond is broken when the rate of inflation becomes great enough? If the bond gets broken then a particle can not interact as it otherwise could! There is no speed limit (such as the speed of light) being argued for an ever increasing space/time inflation rate for the universe, is there? The worries that the Universe will reach a heat bath state left people very worried 2 centuries ago. I think that all the dark stuff, ominous as it sounds is kinda reassuring that such end is quite unlikely. But, if you want to be worried, I am sure you can find plenty of reasons, still. Empirical evidence is all that counts, reasonings must take it into account. My argument is that inflation must at some finite point in time result in no particle being able to exchange energy with any other particle in the entire universe - because the distance between all particles (and caused by space/time inflation) is then increasing at a rate faster than light. That's not the same as saying that a particle evaporated, although the end result seems the same! My arguement does not require that all particles be at the same energy potential, it only requires that they each not be able to know what
Readers of this list interested in issues of personal identity in the face of replication might enjoy the Sci-Fi novel Kiln People by David Brin. In the novel, a technology has been discovered that allows a person's soul standing wave (sic) to be copied into a kind of bio-engineered clay substance (molded into a shape like you and animated by some kind of enzyme-battery energy store that gives it about a day or two of life before expiry. ) These ditto people come in different qualities (more expensive to get a super-smart, super-sensitive version of yourself, cheap to get a worker-droid rough copy with fuzzy thinking capabilities and dulled senses.) The novel, apart from being a hard-boiled detective yarn in this world, explores issues of identity, and how social conventions and rights and responsibilities change with the presence of replication of personalities. Brin's one of the good writer sci-fi writers.
Hi, I found this post really thoughtful, but I didn't quite agree. Let's see if I can argue on it: Doesn't this part: In a materialistic framework, ' I ' am a bunch of atoms. These atoms happen to constitute a system that has self-referential qualities that we call consciousness. If it happened that these atoms temporarily (like in a coma or anesthesy) or permanently (death) lose this quality, so will ' I '. Contradict this part: It is not useful to talk about 1st person experiences in 3rd person terms, since when we do that we lose the very thing that we want to study. Since surely one can describe a bunch of atoms with self-referential qualities in wholly objective, i.e. 1st person, terms? But I'm getting ahead of myself here.. I think we actually agree on 99% of this issue. I think the only place we disagree is on some very subtle issues regarding how one can refer to I. Let me then explicitly state that I am a materialist and a functionalist with regard to consciousness. Let me stress this point: *I am, for all practical purposes, one and only one specific configuration of atoms in a specific universe. I could never say that ' I ' is ALL the copies, since I NEVER experience what the other copies experience. Here I think you're making an assumption. You are certainly not ALL the copies, but then it doesn't follow that you are only 1. You could be a fuzzy set of copies that have experiences so similar that they cannot be told apart. That is, they cannot be told apart yet. Unnoticeable differences eventually can percolate up and make a noticeable difference, or they can be made noticeable by making more sensitive observations. Yes, I am making an assumption, and working through it. The assumption is that there is nothing external to the physical body to account for consciousness. I totally agree with this assumption. It's the one and only one part that I disagree with, to this extent: You may, if you wish, decide to refer to one and only one universe and to the Eric within that universe. That is, you can stipulate that the Eric you are referring to is a completely specified entity. But to do so meaningfully, you would need to take some sort of god-like view of the plenitude, and *actually specify* the Eric you're talking about. Otherwise how do you know what you are referring to? Just saying I or one and only one does not do the job. (Like Wittgenstein's man who says I know how tall I am! and proves it by putting his hand on top of his head.) Let's say that you were able to completely specify one Eric, by giving a (possibly infinitely) long description. Let's call the entity you have thus specified Eric01. Our point of difference seems to be this: You believe that when Eric01 says I, he is referring precisely to Eric01. I believe that when Eric01 says I, he is referring to the entire ensemble of Erics who are identical to Eric01 in all the ways Eric01 is capable of detecting. Because each member of this ensemble is also saying I, and meaning the same thing by it. Now you would say that since each completely specified Eric is in fact different, each one has a different consciousness. Here is where our disagreement about _reference_ is relevant to QTI. I definitely agree with you that if you mean to completely specify one Eric when you say I, then it is almost certain that that Eric will die in one of these dangerous situations. But let's now specify TWO Erics: Eric01 and Eric02. They are indistinguishable from each other, and indeed their universes are identical, save for a tiny fluctuation which will miraculously save Eric02's life tomorrow, but doom Eric01. If Eric01 and Eric02 mean the same thing when they refer to I the instant before the death-event, then that I is going to survive, even though Eric01 does not. If they refer to different things, then there is no question of I surviving; it is simply the case that Eric01 dies and Eric02 lives. Let me stress that I do not think anything like Eric01 and Eric02 'share' a 'consciousness' that reaches between their universes. It's simply that if there is no way for Eric01 to know that he is Eric01 rather than Eric02, then there is no difference between them with respect to their consciousness. I don't quite agree with your point of view, and the reason is maybe similar to our disagreement in my statement: It is not useful to talk about 1st person experiences in 3rd person terms, since when we do that we lose the very thing that we want to study. You are trying to identify ' me ' by somehowpointing it out from the pool of similar entities in a God's perspective. That may be even impossible, if there is no God, but that is another discussion. The thing is that I find it misleading anyway. I don't need to point out who ' I ' am. I am concerned with my first-person experiences, and that is easy to determine without even
Saibal Mitra wrote: To get the effect you were suggesting would require another type of SSA, about which I have complete failure of imagination. I think it is similar. You have a set of all universes which we identify with descriptions or programs. Embedded in these descriptions are descriptions of self aware substructures. A measure on the set of all programs defines a measure on the set of all substructures. I then say: ''That's all there is''. The proponents of RSSA go further and postulate new rules about what the next experience of a SAS should be. What you are actually doing is promoting our experience of the flowing of time to fundamental law. However, this is something that should be derived from more fundamental concepts. Saibal The flowing of subjective time is proposed as necessary for conscious observation. In order for information to exist, there must be a difference between two states. In order to perceive that difference, there must be at least one dimension along which the observer must move to experience that difference. Hence time. Yes it is an assumption (or postulate). But hardly ad hoc. Cheers A/Prof Russell Standish Director High Performance Computing Support Unit, Phone 9385 6967, 8308 3119 (mobile) UNSW SYDNEY 2052 Fax 9385 6965, 0425 253119 () Australia[EMAIL PROTECTED] Room 2075, Red Centrehttp://parallel.hpc.unsw.edu.au/rks International prefix +612, Interstate prefix 02
Russel, If you view the "observer-moments" as transitions rather than states, then there is no need for requiring a time dimension. Each observer-moments carries with it its own subjective feeling of time. Different observer-moments can form vast networks without any time requirement. Saibal IMHO the main difference between ASSA and RSSA is that measure is assumed to be absolute in ASSA and relative in RSSA. Accidental or intended death in ASSA corresponds to an objective decrease in measure (as seen by first or third person). In RSSA death is accompanied by a decrease in the measure of a first person as seen by a 3rd person. However, measure of a first person as seen by a first person remains constant. Because of this drastic difference, ASSA and RSSA supporters are led to widely different views of Quantum immortality. George Russell Standish wrote: Saibal Mitra wrote: To get the effect you were suggesting would require another type of SSA, about which I have complete failure of imagination. I think it is similar. You have a set of all universes which we identify with descriptions or programs. Embedded in these descriptions are descriptions of self aware substructures. A measure on the set of all programs defines a measure on the set of all substructures. I then say: ''That's all there is''. The proponents of RSSA go further and postulate new rules about what the next experience of a SAS should be. What you are actually doing is promoting our experience of the flowing of time to fundamental law. However, this is something that should be derived from more fundamental concepts. Saibal The flowing of subjective time is proposed as necessary for conscious observation. In order for information to exist, there must be a difference between two states. In order to perceive that difference, there must be at least one dimension along which the observer must move to experience that difference. Hence time. Yes it is an assumption (or postulate). But hardly ad hoc. Cheers A/Prof Russell Standish Director High Performance Computing Support Unit, Phone 9385 6967, 8308 3119 (mobile) UNSW SYDNEY 2052 Fax 9385 6965, 0425 253119 (") Australia [EMAIL PROTECTED] Room 2075, Red Centrehttp://parallel.hpc.unsw.edu.au/rks International prefix +612, Interstate prefix 02
Greetings, Brent. Thanks for joining the conversation! On 8 Nov 2003 at 14:37, Brent Meeker wrote: I think you are misinterpreting inflation. The cosmological constant produces an inflationary pressure that's proportional to volume, so over large distances it dominates over gravity. But over shorter distances, i.e. galaxy clusters, gravity dominates. Since gravity dominates, the matter in the cluster doesn't move apart and gravity continues to dominate. Other clusters that are moving away experience greater expansion force and move away faster as gravity weakens due to distance. Of course it is not known whether the acceleration observed is due to a cosmological *constant* or due to some field that may dynamically depend on other variables and so change or go to zero. I think that's the same viewpoint that Joao is putting forth? Then the counter to my argument is that their can be no inflation within regions of the universe where the force of gravity is above a threshold value? That is a strong counter argument. I am not convinced that any value of gravity can stop inflation. Slow it locally, yes, and even slow it dramatically. I can not argue against that unless dark energy suddenly came into being everywhere and all at once when the universe was something around 5 billion years old. But I think it was there all along and from the moment of creation of the universe. It's just a matter of how it gets expressed when mitigating circumstances are specified. Instead I again think of the balloon model. Place one dot on the surface of a balloon that is being inflated. Place another dot 90 degrees away from it, also on the surface. As the balloon continues to inflate, the dots move away from each other. Although very primitive in description, this pretty much mirrors what seems to actually be happening to our universe. For simplicity of argument, I'm ignoring the dimensional movement of the individual dots relative to each other and which is not accounted for by inflation. However, I will consider the two individual dots, for the sake of argument, relative to what is happening to the balloon. As the balloon inflates the dots move away from each other. So do the subatomic components of an individual dot. But the dots are moving away from each other at a very much faster rate than are the subatomic components of an individual dot moving away from each other. It is, as you pointed out, a phenomenon that is relative to volume. There is more volume involved between the 2 dots than there is between the components that make up one dot. It is easy to measure the apparent inflation velocity of the 2 dots relative to each other due to the huge amount of volume involved. But the volume difference is so great between the 2 dots as compared to the components that make up just one dot that we simply have not observed the drastically slowed but still occurring inflation being experienced within 1 dot. Someone better than I am will have to do the calculations! But I am suggesting, based upon what I think is logic, that the amount of inflation occurring within one dot in the universe, relative to the amount of inflation assumed to be current for the entire universe, is going to result in a number that looks very familiar at the quantum level. And Im suggesting that the value for it changes over time because it is dependant upon how much inflation has occurred. And, I suggest that this changing value is what describes the inflationary rate of the universe as it continues to speed up. At some finite time in the future it will make itself obvious at the quantum level. But for now entire galaxies are just too small in of themselves to fall apart, much less atomic particles! Not enough space/time volume involved! But given a distant yet finite time, in each case there will be, rather suddenly, enough volume involved. But it won't happen everywhere at the same time. Ron McFarland