RE: A calculus of personal identity

2006-07-04 Thread Stathis Papaioannou


Lee Corbin writes:

 SoifIunderstandyouright,thisiswherethedifferencebetween abookandapersonarises.Whenabook'slettersarescatteredover thecosmos,theinformationislost,butwhentheobservermoments aresoscattered,thesubjectiveexperiencestillremains.
 NowwesupposefromquantummechanicsthattheBekensteinbound onthenumberofstatesahumancanbeinislessthan10^10^45. (Tipler,1993,"ThePhysicsofImmortality".)Soeachstateof yourlifeisaveryspecialsmallsubsetofallthosestates. Let'sdosomethingspecialwithjust*one*lifethatyou've led(willlead)intheuniverse,onelife,thatis,inaparticular spacetime.  Iproposetotakesomethingquiteabitlikeobserver-momentsand asksomequestionsaboutit.Supposethatanexactfrozenreplica ofyourbrainismadecorrespondingtoeach10^-42secondsofyour life.Thisgivesusabout10^42*10^7*70years,orabout10^50 states(afarcryfromallthosepossibleforhumans,10^10^45).  Weplacethose10^50statesinalongrow,andthen,foranaudience, weroundupallthebillionsofobserversinthevisibleuniverse towatchtheshow.Firstthespotlightisonyourbrainthesecond afteryouwereborn.Thenone10^-42secondslaterthespotlight movestothenextfrozenbrain,andsoforth.  Theaudienceisplacedinthesameframeofreferenceasthemoving light,andsotheyseeanapparentlycontinuousevolutionofyour brain.  Howisthisanydifferentfromwhathappenedtoyouactually?From anexternalscientificpointofview,itseemsremarkablyidentical. (Iamultimatelytoclaimthatsomethingessential---butnot "consciousness"oranythinglikethatismissing,butrather *causality*ismissing.)
Well, it depends on what youbelieve about how brains work. Let's go to the other extreme and make the observer moments very long - minutes, say. If I have a minute of conscious experience here, thenI amannihilated, and either by accident or by design a copy of my brain just as it was at the moment of annihilation ismade a trillion years later, which goes on to have another minute of conscious experience as if nothing remarkable had happened, would *that* qualify as two minutes of continuous conscious experience in my life?If so, where does causation enter into it to link the two minutes? Sure, the second minute is unlikely to come about unless some information is saved from the first minute and deliberate work put into making the copy, but *how* it comes about can't make any difference *once* it comes about. The mere fact that these two physical processes occur somewhere in the universe is enough to bring about two continuous minutes of consciousness. In fact, I don't see how the experiment I have described could possibly not give this result. You don't even need to be a computationalist or a functionalist: as long as the second copy has the right sort of mental experiences, whether due to God providing a replacement soul or the right sort of tiny black holes in the microtubules or whatever, then ipso facto, I will have two minutes of apparently continuous conscious experience.
 Isupposethatyouwouldassertthatafirstpersonexperiencewas attachedtothisperformance,aperformancemovingagainstabackground ofstarsasthestage.Isthatcorrect?
The question you are asking is in principle answerable by experiment: how finely can you divide up the physical processes which give rise to thought and still have continuous thought? You could teleport a subject nanometres to the left, then the same distance back to the right, repeating this at varying frequencies. We assume that the teleportation is as close as doesn't matter to instantaneous and that the resultant "vibration" in situ is not in itself noticeable to the subject. You have agreed in previous posts that the "regular" sort of teleportation we frequently discuss would not have much impact on the subject. Ifyou performed this sort of vibrational teleportation in the kilohertz or megahertz range, would he notice anything strange happening to him? Would you notice anything strange talking to him?

 Nextwebeginaprocessofdeconstruction.First,ononecentury's performance,thereistroublewiththespotlight,andit'sverydim althoughtheaudiencecanstillseetheshow.Butafewperformances (centuries)later,thespotlightgoesoutaltogether.Still,the audienceknowsfromthenotespassedoutexactlywhatishappening. Onanothernight,theaudiencefailstoshowup.Dothesethings reallyaffectwhetherornotafirstpersonexperienceattendsthe brain?
No, provided that the audience did not interact with the brain on the basis of what they saw.
 Inotherperformances,thespotlightdancesallaround,froma trillionthofatrillionthofatrillionthofahundredtrillionth ofasecond(about10^-50seconds)fromyourbraininmidlifeto yourbrainasanadolescent,thentoyourbrainasayoungadult, thentothegeezerStathisbrain,andsoon,completelywrecking theorder.Nowfromwhatyouwroteaboveabout  ittakestorunahumanmind,andthesemoments ofconsciousnessrandomlydispersedthroughoutthemultiverse, theywouldallconnectupbyvirtueoftheirinformationcontent.  onemightsurmisethatyoubelievethattheorderthatthesefrozen brainsappearisirrelevant.(Ihappentoagree---myownviewis thatassoonastherewasnolongercausalityconnectingeach 

Re: A calculus of personal identity

2006-07-04 Thread John M



--- Brent Meeker [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
.skip
I'm sure your professors will be disappointed to hear
that their hard won theories are inconsistent 
with thought.
JM:
and so would be all who's 'working' paradigm changed
in the continuation of the epistemic enrichment - and:

not 'inconsistent' and not 'thought', I referred just
to consider deemable as a belief based on the science
mindset rather than on the mystic-religious one. I did
not even refer to obsolescence, only to a parallel
between the workings of different belief-systems. 

Inconsistent those ideas became only in due course
when a newer paradigm changed the ways of speculation.
And I am speaking here about the boundary-limited,
(topically etc. 'identified') conventional -
reductionist sciences (the only one our mind can work
in including mine of course). 

(Earlier-JM:)
If I give in now to the quark, there
 is no stop all the way to back to physics 101. 
BM:
Forget quarks.  How about giant sea squids?  I've
never seen one of those either and no one has seen 
one alive.  Or a DNA molecule?  Or Plato?  If your
thought has led you to discard all narrow 
models, what do you think about?

Brent Meeker

JM:
Of course I do not discard the cognitive inventory -
collected over the past millennia, all according to
the observational skills of the time and explained 
(reductionistically) at the 'then' level of knowledge.

 The fact that our ongoing explanations about 
(sub)atomic or molecular models go out from  any
'matterly' concept does not mean that if I bounce into
a stone it does not hurt. We just reached a point with
starting to consider more interconnectedness and
involvement beyond the 'boundaries' of convention. 
Isn't this list aiming at such thinking (in a (IMO)
specialized domain? 
Your question is a good one, I wish I had already a
well defined answer WHAT I am thinking about. Ask
Armstrong, who walked on the Moon, how it would feel
on a planet in another galaxy. Different! for sure.
I am not denying the 'existence' of unseeable etc.
features  only the firm explanations based on our
(insufficient) knowkedge for the unknown. Modelbased
conclusions for beyond the model. 
I have examples: I formulated model-based conclusions
over a half century RD work. - Successfully.

Best regards

John

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Number and function for non-mathematician

2006-07-04 Thread Bruno Marchal
Hi Norman,

Le 20-juin-06, à 04:04, Norman Samish a écrit :


I've endured this thread long enough!  Let's get back to something I can understand!

This means that at some point  you have stop to understand. It is easier to help if you say so at the moment when you stop to understand. I mean this both for the Universal Dovetailer Argument (UDA) and the mathematical UDA (diagonalization stuff). Although UDA does not belongs to math, it is a rigorous reasoning showing that IF someone assume the COMP hypothesis, THEN the physical world appearances MUST emerge from the platonic relations that occur among numbers. Then the mathematical UDA, alias the interview of the universal (lobian) machine, is only a more precise version of UDA so that a (universal) machine can understand it and present it in a refined testable way..
The diagonalizations I have done are needed if only just for explaining what is a Universal Machine, how they could exist, etc.


Not that there's anything wrong with that, but we must acknowledge that Bruno speaks a language that very few of us can understand


Mmmhh... I was hoping talking a language *all* can understand. The language of numbers and functions (elementary math). By all I mean all *universal entity* having a minimum introspective ability (and later even this sentence will shown to be understandable by universal *machine*, but this, of course, will need some amount of work). Of course I am sure you are a universal machine (at least), but this will be shown in due course.

Norman, I would bet you have only a trouble with the math notations, not with the math itself. As a math teacher I know that about 99.9 of those who thinks they have problems with math have only problem with notations  or with motivation. I would like to help you to transcend that notation problem. I guess you have a problem with the notation for functions, and perhaps you need no more than a reminding of the basic definitions.


I'll reply, Because your audience is shrinking!  I've plotted the Audience vs. Topic, and find that, in 12.63 months, there is a 91% probability that, if the topic doesn't become understandable to one with an IQ of 120, your audience will be zero, and the only expositor will be Bruno.


Fromthis I can infer you have some knowledge on numbers. At least of the numbers 12.63,  91,  100, 120, 0 and 1.:-)

Well, I am sure you have some knowledge about the natural numbers:

N   = the collection of all numbers like 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, ...

I guess you remember that the expression 378 denotes usually the number given by three times 100 added to seven times 10 added with eight times 1.  All right? So a number like 36 denotes really the number of strokes in the following diagram:

| | | | | | | | | | 
| | | | | | | | | | 
| | | | | | | | | | 
| | | | | | 

Three boxes of ten strokes, and a box of six strokes. All right?
In those arrangements the number ten plays a conventional role. Why ten? Probably because we have ten fingers(*).


One of the key notion in math is the notion of function. In our setting, we can begin to limit ourself to function from N to N. But first, what is a function? 
A function from A to B is just anything which for each object in A associates one object in B. Here A = B = N, and thus, a function from N to N is an association of one number for each number. 
If f is a name for some function, f(n) represents the value f associates to n. See examples below.
Now there is an infinity of numbers (cf N= {0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, ...}, so a function can be represented by an infinite table of values:

Exemple: Hal Finney mentionned the factorial function: it associates to each number n, the product of all non nul numbers least or equal to n, except if n is null in which case the factorial of n is one, thus we have:

Factorial(0) = 1
Factorial(1) = 1
Factorial(2) = 2
Factorial(3) = 3 times 2 = 6
Factorial(4) = 4 times 3 times 2 = 4 times 6 = 24
Factorial(5) = 5 times 4 times 3 times 2 = 5 times 24 = 120
Etc.

A function can be represented by an infinite set, which is just the set of all the associations provided by the function. Example: 

Factorial = {(0, 1) (1, 1) (2, 2), (3, 6) (4, 24) (5 120) (6, 720) ...}

But function from N to N can also be represented just by their value on 0, 1, 2, ...

Factorial =  1  1  2  6  24  120  720 ...

Other examples: the function Double which sends n on 2 times n:

Double = 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, ...

Norman, are you ok with such a talk.

Concerning the motivation, just remember that old name for a computer: a number crunching machine. Indeed, even if do some text processing with a computer, whatever you type on the keyboard can be coded or interpreted as a number, the working of the computer can be interpreted in term of a function from numbers to numbers, the output again is a number which can be (re)interpreted as a text. 

Norman, and all non mathematician, please tell me if you understand this post, before 

Diagonalization (solution)

2006-07-04 Thread Bruno Marchal

Hi Tom, Hi George,

I recall the (four) diagonalization problems. I show each time the 
diagonal functions, which I will always call g, except for the Fi where 
I call it G. In each case the existence of that g proves something 
different. I have change r1, r2, r3 ... into R1 R2 R3 ... because rn 
looks to much like m in many fonts.

[Apart for Norman and the non-mathematician: please keep this posts, 
I will send preliminary posts for you to read before]


Le 22-juin-06, à 17:03, I wrote:

 The question is: what does diagonalization prove on those
 following list of functions:

 0) R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 R8 ...
 This is an arbitrary list of functions from N to N  (not necessarily
 computable one);


g(n) = Rn(n) + 1

All Rn are well defined function from N to N, so all Rn(n) + 1 are well 
defined number, and so g is a function from N to N. But g cannot be in 
the given (arbitrary) list, and this show that the set of functions 
from N to N is not enumerable.

Proof by contradiction.
Indeed, if this was the case, there would be a (precise) number k such 
that g = Rk. I will say that k is the index of Rk = g. Let us apply g 
on its own index k. In that case g(k) = Rk(k) + 1 = Rk(k). Again Rk(k) 
is a precise number, so, by subtraction in the last equality: 1 = 0. So 
g does not belong to the list R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 ... Now that list 
was arbitrary, so this proved that ALL sequences of functions from N to 
N will miss its corresponding g, that is will miss a function from N 
to N.
This is the celebrate proof by Cantor of the non enumerability of the 
functions from N to N.

Exercise: show that the functions from N to {0,1} are not enumerable, 
by a similar proof. Hint: find the appropriate slight change in the 
definition of g.



 1) h0 h1 h2 h3 h4 h5 h6 ...
 This is a list of total computable functions from N to N that we can
 generate mechanically (I mean we can generate their codes). It means
 that we can generate the codes of each hi, written in some language,
 and that, for some reason, we are sure that each hi is total
 computable. Examples: Caylor last funny enumeration; all the
 (transfinite collection of) sequences of growing functions we have
 defined in this thread (since Smullyan Smullyan ...);


g(n) = hn(n) + 1

All hn are well defined function from N to N, and now we are told they 
are also computable. And then we are also told that we can generate 
mechanically their codes, for example: C1 C2 C3 C4 ... where each Ci 
computes the functions hi. (Meaning the program/codes Ci with input n 
will gives the result hi(n). In particular all hn(m) can be computed.
Well, this means in particular that I can compute hn(n). Just apply Cn 
on n. So obviously, for any n, I can compute hn(n)+1. Just generate the 
Ci up to Cn, apply it to n and add one. But this is g(n), and so g is a 
computable function from N to N.
But now g cannot belong to the list h1 h2 h3   The hi does not 
exhaust the computable functions.

Proof by contradiction.
Indeed if g belongs to that list, then it exists a precise number k 
such that g = hk. G would have a program Ck. Let us apply g on its 
index k. g(k) = hk(k) = hk(k)+1. Now hk(k) is the result of appying the 
program Ck, which computes a total, well defined function, so it is a 
number which I can subtract  on each side of the last inequality giving 
0 = 1.
This show that all mechanically generable set of total computable 
functions will miss a total computable functions.
Obviously, the set of total computable function *is* enumerable. We 
have just proved that this set cannot be mechanically enumerable. 
Logicians says such sets are not recursively enumerable; they write 
that they are not RE.
Actually we have show more: such set are constructively not recursively 
enumerable. This is because the diagonalization is effective. Given any 
attempt to enumerate a set of total computable functions can lead 
mechanically to the counterexample. Such sets are called productive.
We have met already three examples of such sets: the set of (code of) 
total functions, the set of formal arithmetical truth, the set of all 
computable growing functions, etc.
Any RE set approximating such a set can be extended into the 
constructive transfinite (reread perhaps the posts on the growing 
functions).





 2) f0 f1 f2 f3 f4 f5 f6 f7 ...
 This is an arbitrary list of *all* total computable functions;


Given that the set of the (code) of the total function is enumerable 
(although not *recursively* enumarable), we can use the bijection 
between that set and the set of natural numbers to give to such 
function the indices 0, 1, 2, 3, ... getting f0, f1, f2, f3, f4, 
The preceding reasoning has already shown that such a bijection cannot 
be computable, indeed it would make the set of total functions 
recursively enumerable. But you can got the contradiction by direct 
construction of g, and it is instructive to do so:

g(n) = fn(n) + 1

Does that g belongs to the list of the fi ? Put 

Re: A calculus of personal identity

2006-07-04 Thread Bruno Marchal

Le 04-juil.-06, à 04:53, Stathis Papaioannou a écrit :

x-tad-biggerLee Corbin writes:/x-tad-bigger
x-tad-bigger  /x-tad-bigger
x-tad-bigger > > which is why in symmetrical duplication experiments I anticipate/x-tad-bigger
x-tad-bigger> > that I will become one of the duplicates with equal probability./x-tad-bigger
x-tad-bigger> /x-tad-bigger
x-tad-bigger> What do you think of your survival chances if you happen to know/x-tad-bigger
x-tad-bigger> that after you fall asleep tonight, you will be disintegrated,/x-tad-bigger
x-tad-bigger> but the information will be used to create two exact duplicates,/x-tad-bigger
x-tad-bigger> and then one of the duplicates is vaporized and the other /x-tad-bigger
x-tad-bigger> returned to your bed completely unaware?/x-tad-bigger
x-tad-bigger> /x-tad-bigger
x-tad-bigger> Zero?  (I.e., you don't survive the teleportation aspect at all.)/x-tad-bigger
x-tad-bigger> /x-tad-bigger
x-tad-bigger> One-half?  (I.e., your soul goes into one at random, and if that's/x-tad-bigger
x-tad-bigger> the one that dies, then your number is up.)/x-tad-bigger
x-tad-bigger> /x-tad-bigger
x-tad-bigger> One?   (I.e., Stathis will wake up in bed for sure tomorrow, and/x-tad-bigger
x-tad-bigger> resume his life just as he has done everyday (since our/x-tad-bigger
x-tad-bigger>  fiendish experiments began when he was five years old))/x-tad-bigger

x-tad-bigger One. That's how it will *seem* and that is what is important to me.
/x-tad-bigger


In case someone doubt it, it is the comp answer. But then, what happens to you in front of a universal dovetailing ?

Bruno

http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/


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Re: A calculus of personal identity

2006-07-04 Thread Brent Meeker

John M wrote:
 
 
 --- Brent Meeker [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
 .skip
 I'm sure your professors will be disappointed to hear
 that their hard won theories are inconsistent 
 with thought.
 JM:
 and so would be all who's 'working' paradigm changed
 in the continuation of the epistemic enrichment - and:
 
 not 'inconsistent' and not 'thought', I referred just
 to consider deemable as a belief based on the science
 mindset rather than on the mystic-religious one. I did
 not even refer to obsolescence, only to a parallel
 between the workings of different belief-systems. 

So you have replaced narrow models with mystic-religious ones?  I have 
difficult parsing  
referred just to consider deemable as a belief.

 
 Inconsistent those ideas became only in due course
 when a newer paradigm changed the ways of speculation.
 And I am speaking here about the boundary-limited,
 (topically etc. 'identified') conventional -
 reductionist sciences (the only one our mind can work
 in including mine of course). 
 
 (Earlier-JM:)
 
If I give in now to the quark, there
is no stop all the way to back to physics 101. 
 
 BM:
 Forget quarks.  How about giant sea squids?  I've
 never seen one of those either and no one has seen 
 one alive.  Or a DNA molecule?  Or Plato?  If your
 thought has led you to discard all narrow 
 models, what do you think about?
 
 Brent Meeker
 
 JM:
 Of course I do not discard the cognitive inventory -
 collected over the past millennia, all according to
 the observational skills of the time and explained 
 (reductionistically) at the 'then' level of knowledge.
 
  The fact that our ongoing explanations about 
 (sub)atomic or molecular models go out from  any
 'matterly' concept does not mean that if I bounce into
 a stone it does not hurt. We just reached a point with
 starting to consider more interconnectedness and
 involvement beyond the 'boundaries' of convention. 
 Isn't this list aiming at such thinking (in a (IMO)
 specialized domain? 
 Your question is a good one, I wish I had already a
 well defined answer WHAT I am thinking about. Ask
 Armstrong, who walked on the Moon, how it would feel
 on a planet in another galaxy. Different! for sure.
 I am not denying the 'existence' of unseeable etc.
 features  only the firm explanations based on our
 (insufficient) knowkedge for the unknown. 

They are firm on in the sense of being definite.  The very point of using the 
word model is to 
remind us that they are not reality itself, but only a map of reality.

Modelbased
 conclusions for beyond the model. 
 I have examples: I formulated model-based conclusions
 over a half century RD work. - Successfully.

The question is, have you ever formed any conclusions or had any thoughts that 
were *not* model based.

Brent Meeker

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RE: A calculus of personal identity

2006-07-04 Thread Lee Corbin

Bruno had written

 [Lee wrote] 
 What do you think of your survival chances if you happen to know
 that after you fall asleep tonight, you will be disintegrated,
 but the information will be used to create two exact duplicates,
 and then one of the duplicates is vaporized and the other 
 returned to your bed completely unaware?
 
 Zero?  (I.e., you don't survive the teleportation aspect at all.)
 
 One-half?  (I.e., your soul goes into one at random, and if that's
 the one that dies, then your number is up.)
 
 One?   (I.e., Stathis will wake up in bed for sure tomorrow, and
 resume his life just as he has done everyday (since our
  fiendish experiments began when he was five years old))

and then Bruno said: Interesting question. I am interested in your
own answer. I let Stathis answer (to see if he will give the comp one).
Note that the comp answer here is not needed in the UDA argument where 
overlapping reconstitution (like in duplications) are never followed by 
somethings which looks (at least) like a murder.


Well, in the first place, I assume that when a question is asked of
anyone on this list, EVERYONE is invited to answer. Certainly when
I ask any question, it is for everyone, even if it's true that at
the moment I seem more interested in some particular person's answer.

Stathis now answers my question:

 One. That's how it will *seem* and that is what is important to me.
 As discussed previously, I like to say that the actual objective
 reality is that I die in any case every moment, and that the 
 appearance/sensation of continuity is just that. This is a non-
 normative use of the terms I and die, I know, but what I want 
 to capture is that there is in fact no soul that flies from one 
 instantiation to another instantiation of me, making sure that 
 it really is me and not just some guy who thinks he is me. It 
 certainly *feels* that there is such a persisting soul, 
 occupying only one body at any one time, but there isn't.

Well, I am sure that probability=one is as close to being a correct
answer as there can be. So I'm glad to see that several people agree
with me (Bruno didn't actually say yet, nor did anyone else).

For the record, it is still curious to me that you persist in using
non-normative terms, even though they invite confusion. (Honestly,
I am not sure that I do not sometimes do the same :-)

 While you may agree that the answer to your question above is one, 
 we may differ in another thought experiment.

Now you're talking!  The terms we use, phooey.  The philosophical
ramblings we emit, phooey. True philosophy should be about prescriptions
for action!

 Suppose you were offered two choices for tomorrow: you will be
 disintegrated tonight and a single copy made tomorrow, or you
 would be disintegrated tonight and one copy as per usual made
 tomorrow plus an extra copy made with a mild headache.

I would choose the two copies, because I will get over my headache
when I am in the 2nd location. (The 2nd location conceivably could
be 10^10^20 light years from here, and it really is a case of whether
I want to execute in some volume of spacetime, or if instead I would
prefer to be dead there. You clearly prefer to be dead almost everywhere,
or at least to not care much.)

 I feel that if I choose the two copies, my soul might end up in
 the one with a headache, whereas if I choose the single copy, my
 soul is guaranteed to end up in the headache-free copy. So I would
 choose the single copy option, even though I would much rather have
 a mild headache than be dead. I know that you might call this
 irrational,

Actually, it's not only irrational, but in my opinion it is inconsistent.
Because in the above experiment that I formulated, you readily agree that
you survive no matter which duplicate is destroyed. Therefore, it is 
logical and necessary that you survive (a) in the headachey duplicate
and (b) in the ordinary duplicate. Mathematical symmetry grabs to by
the throat and FORCES you to admit it!  (To borrow a phrase from Lewis
Carroll.)

 and it is irrational if we are talking about the objective reality. 
 But wanting to be alive at all is not rational or irrational: it 
 is not inconsistent to imagine an intelligent being completely 
 indifferent to its continuing survival, or even actively suicidal 
 on a faint whim.

Yes, that is right. You have a point there.

 It is just my evolutionary programming which makes me want to 
 survive, and it is that same evolutionary programming which 
 tells me my soul can only occupy one body at a time.

But you as a free being  :-)  do not have to actually *believe*
what your evolutionary programming suggests. You *can* simply
practice saying I know that the objective truth is that I will
be in two places at the same time. I know that I will have a
headache and I know that I will not have a headache.

I suggest that if you practice it then it will actually be easier
to believe than the photon is both a 

RE: A calculus of personal identity

2006-07-04 Thread Lee Corbin

Stathis asks

 Yet another thought experiment for your consideration. You are 
 offered the option of 10 years of normal life, or being cloned 
 20 times with each clone living one year. I would choose the 
 10 years; if I chose the 20 clones, each one of those clones 
 would be kicking themselves for their stupidity. I take it you 
 would choose the 20 clones, and each of your clones would be 
 smug in the knowledge that they have doubled their effective 
 runtime?

That's right.  Math grabs me by the throat and says the bridge
will hold  oops, that's another time you have to believe the
math, sorry, it says you will live twice as long and derive
twice the benefit in 20 copies as 10, just as if a single one
were to live 20 years instead of 10, he would acquire twice the
benefit.

(For other readers, Stathis and I of course are controlling for
irrelevant aspects of this, such as nonlinearities that might follow,
for example, from considering that twenty successive years may be
a lot more meaningful, or something, than just ten years.)

Yes, as each clone was about to die, they'd feel bad of course,
since the death of any human being is a sort of lie, an unfulfilled
promise.  But they'd feel better than the 10 year version when his
time is nearly up.  He'd say I should have gone with the 20 duplicates
and had a fuller, richer life.

Lee


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RE: Back to Existence: Physically Real vs. Platonic

2006-07-04 Thread Lee Corbin

Stathis agreed with most of my long post, but then wrote

  What I disagree with is your statement that the mind of the
  observer really played any key role. True, in most realistic
  situations it helped for the new sentient race to have minds
  and to exercise them in the conscious collection of these
  far flung pages; but accidental solar winds from millions
  of stars per chance could have done exactly the same thing.
  So the book would come back into existence again, totally
  without observers being present anywhere in the universe.

 OK, but first you would have to wait for chance or whatever to
 put the book back together again, and then you would have to wait
 for someone to read it if it's going to be of any use, right?
 It's not performing its bookish function at any given time unless
 it is being read, and it's not going to be readable until it's
 assembled in the appropriate way.

Well, that applies to old books hidden in secret passages in monasteries.
We ought to say that they exist, but have been currently forgotten about.
But the books are still there, even if no one knows about them, just as
a falling tree creates sound, even if no one is there to listen. (Feynman
chimed in on this one saying that the falling tree makes scratches on
leaves that corresponded to the vibrations through the air, and so it
did make a sound---and who is going to argue with Feynman? :-)

 Chopped up moments of conscious experience, on the other hand, do *not*
 need to be specially ordered nor do they need to have an external observer
 to appreciate them (although they would be less lonely if they did), ...

I know what you are saying, and agree.  But as we are evidently arguing
about what the term exists should mean (i.e. how we should use it, given
that its usage does shape our thinking), then I'm stubbornly clinging to
the idea that the book existed too.

I guess you are right: the set of OMs in question has a certain additional
benefit or use: they are of use to the person himself.

Lee

 because (a) they have their own observer built in, by definition, and (b) 
 their ordering is a function of their information
content, not a function of specially being linked up by someone. This is 
expressed well in Greg Egan's Permutation City, in which
the upload's moments of conscious experience are implemented here, there, 
backwards, forwards, etc. on a distributed computer
network, but the result from the inside (as it were) is of a single continuous 
conscious stream. This is not the case for an
external observer: the widely distributed computations have to be specially 
ordered and interpreted to make any sense, just as the
words in a book have to be specially ordered, and without this ordering they 
are so much noise. But for the observer implemented by
the computations himself, the ordering follows implicitly from the nature of 
the information being encoded, as surely as 3 follows 2
and precedes 4 .

Stathis Papaioannou



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(offlist) RE: A calculus of personal identity

2006-07-04 Thread Lee Corbin



Oh, I see you wrote 
more about that long letter of mine.

Thanks for breaking 
it up! It's really a separate idea.

I'll respond today 
if time.

Lee


  -Original Message-From: 
  everything-list@googlegroups.com 
  [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]On Behalf Of Stathis 
  PapaioannouSent: Tuesday, July 04, 2006 4:46 AMTo: 
  everything-list@googlegroups.comSubject: RE: A calculus of personal 
  identityLee Corbin writes: 
  SoifIunderstandyouright,thisiswherethedifferencebetween 
  abookandapersonarises.Whenabook'slettersarescatteredover 
  thecosmos,theinformationislost,butwhentheobservermoments 
  aresoscattered,thesubjectiveexperiencestillremains. 
  NowwesupposefromquantummechanicsthattheBekensteinbound 
  onthenumberofstatesahumancanbeinislessthan10^10^45. 
  (Tipler,1993,"ThePhysicsofImmortality".)Soeachstateof 
  yourlifeisaveryspecialsmallsubsetofallthosestates. 
  Let'sdosomethingspecialwithjust*one*lifethatyou've 
  led(willlead)intheuniverse,onelife,thatis,inaparticular 
  spacetime.  
  Iproposetotakesomethingquiteabitlikeobserver-momentsand 
  asksomequestionsaboutit.Supposethatanexactfrozenreplica 
  ofyourbrainismadecorrespondingtoeach10^-42secondsofyour 
  life.Thisgivesusabout10^42*10^7*70years,orabout10^50 
  states(afarcryfromallthosepossibleforhumans,10^10^45). 
   
  Weplacethose10^50statesinalongrow,andthen,foranaudience, 
  weroundupallthebillionsofobserversinthevisibleuniverse 
  towatchtheshow.Firstthespotlightisonyourbrainthesecond 
  afteryouwereborn.Thenone10^-42secondslaterthespotlight 
  movestothenextfrozenbrain,andsoforth. 
   
  Theaudienceisplacedinthesameframeofreferenceasthemoving 
  light,andsotheyseeanapparentlycontinuousevolutionofyour 
  brain.  
  Howisthisanydifferentfromwhathappenedtoyouactually?From 
  anexternalscientificpointofview,itseemsremarkablyidentical. 
  (Iamultimatelytoclaimthatsomethingessential---butnot 
  "consciousness"oranythinglikethatismissing,butrather 
  *causality*ismissing.)Well, it depends on what 
  youbelieve about how brains work. Let's go to the other extreme and make 
  the observer moments very long - minutes, say. If I have a minute of conscious 
  experience here, thenI amannihilated, and either by accident or by 
  design a copy of my brain just as it was at the moment of annihilation 
  ismade a trillion years later, which goes on to have another minute of 
  conscious experience as if nothing remarkable had happened, would *that* 
  qualify as two minutes of continuous conscious experience in my life?If 
  so, where does causation enter into it to link the two minutes? Sure, the 
  second minute is unlikely to come about unless some information is saved from 
  the first minute and deliberate work put into making the copy, but *how* it 
  comes about can't make any difference *once* it comes about. The mere fact 
  that these two physical processes occur somewhere in the universe is enough to 
  bring about two continuous minutes of consciousness. In fact, I don't see how 
  the experiment I have described could possibly not give this result. You don't 
  even need to be a computationalist or a functionalist: as long as the second 
  copy has the right sort of mental experiences, whether due to God providing a 
  replacement soul or the right sort of tiny black holes in the microtubules or 
  whatever, then ipso facto, I will have two minutes of apparently continuous 
  conscious experience. 
  Isupposethatyouwouldassertthatafirstpersonexperiencewas 
  attachedtothisperformance,aperformancemovingagainstabackground 
  ofstarsasthestage.Isthatcorrect?The 
  question you are asking is in principle answerable by experiment: how finely 
  can you divide up the physical processes which give rise to thought and still 
  have continuous thought? You could teleport a subject nanometres to the left, 
  then the same distance back to the right, repeating this at varying 
  frequencies. We assume that the teleportation is as close as doesn't matter to 
  instantaneous and that the resultant "vibration" in situ is not in itself 
  noticeable to the subject. You have agreed in previous posts that the 
  "regular" sort of teleportation we frequently discuss would not have much 
  impact on the subject. Ifyou performed this sort of vibrational 
  teleportation in the kilohertz or megahertz range, would he notice anything 
  strange happening to him? Would you notice anything strange talking to 
  him? 
  Nextwebeginaprocessofdeconstruction.First,ononecentury's 
  performance,thereistroublewiththespotlight,andit'sverydim 
  althoughtheaudiencecanstillseetheshow.Butafewperformances 
  (centuries)later,thespotlightgoesoutaltogether.Still,the 
  audienceknowsfromthenotespassedoutexactlywhatishappening. 
  Onanothernight,theaudiencefailstoshowup.Dothesethings 
  reallyaffectwhetherornotafirstpersonexperienceattendsthe 
  brain?No, provided that the audience did not interact with the brain 
  on the basis of what they saw. 
  

Re: A calculus of personal identity

2006-07-04 Thread Brent Meeker

Lee Corbin wrote:
 Stathis asks
 
 
Yet another thought experiment for your consideration. You are 
offered the option of 10 years of normal life, or being cloned 
20 times with each clone living one year. I would choose the 
10 years; if I chose the 20 clones, each one of those clones 
would be kicking themselves for their stupidity. I take it you 
would choose the 20 clones, and each of your clones would be 
smug in the knowledge that they have doubled their effective 
runtime?
 
 
 That's right.  Math grabs me by the throat and says the bridge
 will hold  oops, that's another time you have to believe the
 math, sorry, it says you will live twice as long and derive
 twice the benefit in 20 copies as 10, just as if a single one
 were to live 20 years instead of 10, he would acquire twice the
 benefit.
 
 (For other readers, Stathis and I of course are controlling for
 irrelevant aspects of this, such as nonlinearities that might follow,
 for example, from considering that twenty successive years may be
 a lot more meaningful, or something, than just ten years.)
 
 Yes, as each clone was about to die, they'd feel bad of course,
 since the death of any human being is a sort of lie, an unfulfilled
 promise.  But they'd feel better than the 10 year version when his
 time is nearly up.  He'd say I should have gone with the 20 duplicates
 and had a fuller, richer life.

I think he might say, I've had such a short life, maybe I should have chosen 
the 10yrs - but then 
I'd have high probability of not having existed.

Given that just after the cloning, the clones would quickly diverge, becoming 
different people; it 
seems you could be happy contemplating the fuller, richer life of all the 
people you know just as 
much as if they were clones of yourself.

Brent Meeker

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