RE: Re: A calculus of personal identity

2006-07-14 Thread Stathis Papaioannou


I am not so sure that the standard model of personal identity with which we are familiar would be a universal standard. Imagine intelligent beings evolved from hive insects whichgo through several radically different life stages, frequently share genetic informationwith each other like bacteria, identify self and othersvia pheromones which can change or be transferred to other individuals... the possibilities are endless. These beings would have an utterly alien psychology, ethics, aesthetics, and probably also an utterly alien sense of what it means to be a person, including what it means to be the same person from one life stage to another.However, if they were intelligent, they would come up with the same scientific truths as us, even if they thought about them very differently, because such truths are in a fundamental sense observer-independent. 

Perhaps we have reached a consensus of sorts (Brent and Lee, let me know if you disagree): evolution has given us brains hardwired witha sense of continuity of personal identity over time for very good reasons, but it could have been otherwise, and it would not have been inconsistent with any logical or empirical fact about the world had it been otherwise. On the other hand, evolution has also given us brains which tend to believe that the Earth is flat and that there is an absolute up and down in the universe, also for fairly good reasons. However, in the latter case, the received belief *is* inconsistent with empirical facts about the world. This is a basic, and I think not immediately obvious, difference between beliefs about personal identity and logical or empirical facts.

Stathis Papaioannou



 Date: Wed, 12 Jul 2006 17:25:07 -0700 From: [EMAIL PROTECTED] To: everything-list@googlegroups.com Subject: Re: A calculus of personal identity   StathisPapaioannouwrote: BrentMeekerwrites:   Iwouldsaythatwhatmakesastatementlike"we'rethesamepersonfrommomenttomoment"true isthatit'saninferencefrom,orapartof,amodeloftheworldthatis"true"inthe provisionalsenseofscientifictheories,i.e.itsubsumesandpredictsmanyemprically verifiedobservations(e.g.ifIwakeyouupinthemiddleofthenightandaskyouyourname you'llreply'Stathis')andithasnotmadeanyfalsifiedpredictions.Sointhissensewe couldsaythatourmodelofpersonhoodisbetterthanthatoftheday-people-notinthesense thatwecanshowtheirsisfalse,butinthesensethatourshasgreaterpredictivepowerand scope.   IfIwereaday-personandyouwokemeinthemiddleofthenight,Iwouldsaythattheperson whowenttobedlastnightwasStathis-1andthepersonnowawakeisStathis-2.Iwouldagree thatStathis-1andStathis-2arecomprisedofmostlythesamematterandhavesimilarmental attributes,butthefactremains,thebrainsofmyspecieshaveevolvedsothatwakingupfrom sleepmakesthembelievetheyareanewperson.Thisisn'tamodeloratheory;it'smorelike reportingthatI'mhungry,orfrightened.Philosophicalproblemsarisewhenthisfeelingof continuityofidentity(orlackofit)isequatedwithsomeempiricalfact.Ithappensthatin ourownevolutionphysicalandmentalcontinuityhasbeenstronglycorrelatedwiththesubjective feelingofcontinuityofidentity,anditistemptingtosaythatthereforephysicalandmental continuityisequivalenttoor(slightlyweaker)necessitatescontinuityofidentity.However, thisdefaultmodelthatweallusedaytodayisflawedontwocounts.Firstly,thecorrelation isnotnecessary,butcontingentonevolutionarycircumstances.Itiseasyenoughtoimagine rationalbeingsliketheday-peoplewhohaveacompletelydifferentapproachtopersonal identity.Secondly,thedefaultmodelisnoteveninternallyconsistent,asshowninduplication thoughtexperiments.IfIamtobeduplicatedtomorrowandoneofthecopiestortured,Iam worried;butwhentomorrowcomes,andIamnottortured,Iamrelieved.HowisitthatI"become" oneorothercopywhenmymentalcontinuitywithbothisthesame?Thereisnoambiguityinthe empiricalfacts,butthereisambiguityinhowIexperiencecontinuityofidentity-because thesearetwodifferentthingsandthereisnosimple,consistentrelationshipbetweenthem.  Well,thedefaultmodel,personalcontinuity,isconsistentabsentduplications...andthereain't anyyet.  Myexampleofwakingyouupandaskingyournamewasaweakone.IagreewithLeethatthetestof amodelisinthebehavoiritpredicts(andnotjustthevocalbehavoir).AndonthatbasisIthink themodelofpersonalcontinuitywouldbeabetterone,andyoumightevenconvinceaday-personof it;Justthereverseoftryingconvincepeopleherethatthereisn't*really*continuity.Ofcourse iftheydidn'tactasiftherewerepersonalcontinuity,theirphysicalcontinuitywouldlikelyend.  BrentMeeker  
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RE: Re: A calculus of personal identity

2006-07-14 Thread Lee Corbin

Stathis writes

 I am not so sure that the standard model of personal identity with which we 
 are familiar would be a universal standard. Imagine
intelligent beings evolved from hive insects which go through several radically 
different life stages, frequently share genetic
information with each other like bacteria, identify self and others via 
pheromones which can change or be transferred to other
individuals... the possibilities are endless. These beings would have an 
utterly alien psychology, ethics, aesthetics, and probably
also an utterly alien sense of what it means to be a person, including what it 
means to be the same person from one life stage to
another.


Yes, I think that that is right.

 However, if they were intelligent, they would come up with the same 
 scientific truths as us, even if they thought about them very
differently, because such truths are in a fundamental sense 
observer-independent.


Right.

 Perhaps we have reached a consensus of sorts (Brent and Lee, let me know if 
 you disagree): evolution has given us brains hardwired
with a sense of continuity of personal identity over time for very good 
reasons, but it could have been otherwise,


Otherwise in the sense that if we were like insects (instead of mammals, or 
maybe just
large primate-like creatures), yes, we might not have this lingering notion 
that we
are the same people from day to day. And the sense that (I claim) young people 
have
that they will not be the same people when they are old.

 and it would not have been inconsistent with any logical or empirical fact 
 about the
 world had it been otherwise.

Yes, that seems so too: though no tribe of humans (or even lions, for that 
matter)
would ever develop the notion of day-persons (see Mike Perry's book, Forever 
For
All for his independent discussion of day-persons), that is indeed a contingent
fact of evolution.

 On the other hand, evolution has also given us brains which tend to believe 
 that the Earth is flat and that there is an absolute
up and down in the universe, also for fairly good reasons. However, in the 
latter case, the received belief *is* inconsistent with
empirical facts about the world.


Only inconsistent, of course, when data became available that was not available
in the EEA (Environment of Early Adapteness).

 This is a basic, and I think not immediately obvious, difference between 
 beliefs about personal identity and logical or empirical
facts.


I would agree.

Lee


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Re: A calculus of personal identity

2006-07-14 Thread Brent Meeker

Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
 I am not so sure that the standard model of personal identity with which we 
 are familiar would be
 a universal standard. Imagine intelligent beings evolved from hive insects 
 which go through
 several radically different life stages, frequently share genetic information 
 with each other
 like bacteria, identify self and others via pheromones which can change or be 
 transferred to
 other individuals... the possibilities are endless. These beings would have 
 an utterly alien
 psychology, ethics, aesthetics, and probably also an utterly alien sense of 
 what it means to be a
 person, including what it means to be the same person from one life stage to 
 another. However, if
 they were intelligent, they would come up with the same scientific truths as 
 us, even if they
 thought about them very differently, because such truths are in a fundamental 
 sense
 observer-independent.
 
 Perhaps we have reached a consensus of sorts (Brent and Lee, let me know if 
 you disagree):
 evolution has given us brains hardwired with a sense of continuity of 
 personal identity over time
 for very good reasons, but it could have been otherwise, and it would not 
 have been inconsistent
 with any logical or empirical fact about the world had it been otherwise. 

I agree, except I don't see how evolution could have worked it out otherwise 
for our kind of animal. 
  Your thought-experimental day-people took supernatural intervention to 
evolve.  Assuming that 
their outward behavoir comported with personal continuity; I'm not sure how 
much their inner 
narrative could differ from our own.  To what degree could they really worry 
(an emotion) about 
their future circumstance without feeling that they would *be* that future 
person.  Is there 
anything to continuity of personal identity besides a) the third-person 
continuity of body, memory, 
personality and b) the emotions related to anticipation of pain, pleasure, etc.

You make a good point though that a species like the social insects must have a 
different kind of 
feeling of identity - if any.  Richard Hofstader imagined an intelligent ant 
colony in which the 
mind supervened on the spatial and chemical interactions among individuals of 
the colony.  This has 
also been addressed in fiction.  Greg Egan wrote a short story about a person 
who woke up in a 
different body every morning.  Stanislaw Lem, in one of his Star Diaries 
stories, has the hero land 
on a planet where everyone changes societal roles each day.

Brent Meeker

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Re: A calculus of personal identity

2006-07-13 Thread James N Rose

Thank you for your responses, Bruno.
I will reply in return.  

As an overview to my original theme, I believe you
missed several key notions.First, yes, I am bothered
by interpretations of Godel's Incompleteness Theorems,
but I avoid getting entangled in debating 'interpretations'
by getting to deeper theorems-criteria and analyzing 
those.


When I read the Theorems - which I do not have at hand
to quote - it was apparent that invariant - systemwide
information compatibility was and is a founding requirement --
when attempting to assess and invoke those -situations and
conditions- whereby 'some' information becomes segmented and
partitioned away, producing a 'self-evaluation incompleteness'.

Godel expressed the projection that non-present data or rules
may at some future time be made present and then-inclusive, 
allowing for satisfactory completion of true-false statement
assessments;  with the always receding horizon ... where new
true-false assessments arise that are undecidable under the new
added information/relations expansion.

But the scenario depends upon the criteria presumption that
no information is permanently incompatible with any other 
information. 

That is, he begins and foundations his entire assessment
on a true-false statement that is most definitely 
Intuitionist.  And a constructive keystone as well -- 
because invariant induction is at the heart of 
existence and of mathematics -- before any 'local'
differentiations produces conditional-incompleteness states.

A mathematics and systemic analysis that key on
alpha-omega compatibility are far superior and 
more productive than those built on 'incompleteness'.

But I see that no one is doing that, and they
are missing critically important new understandings
because they are not doing that.



As far as your reaction that some of my statements
were 'vague'.  You might try re-reading and re-interpreting
them.  They were in fact rather explicit.  There are
very real relational analogues that scale very nicely 
and exactly between tiers of existence and different
fields/subjects/topics also.

You need to think of metaphors as a real-form
of transduction, with all mapping validity retained.

Best of luck Bruno ; someday 'the lightbulb'.  :-)

James 

 



Bruno Marchal wrote:
 
 Le 09-juil.-06, à 17:20, James N Rose a écrit :
 
 
  from July 2, 2006 (lightly amended and then addended)
 
 
  Bruno,
 
  I have found myself in this lifetime to be a staunch
  OP-ponent and challenger to Godel's incompleteness theorems.
 
 Are they other math theorems you are opposed too?
 To be frank, I could imagine that you believe having find an error. If
 that is the case let me know or try to publish it. I doubt it of
 course. Until now I have been able to find the error of all those who
 have pretended to me having finding such an error.
 Sometimes people does not challenge Godel's proof, but some
 interpretation of it. That is a different matter, and obviously less
 simple.
 Did you realize that I have, just last week, give an astonishingly
 simple proof, based on Church thesis,  of a stronger form of Godel's
 incompleteness? Did you try to follow it?
 
 
  In the way that they are structured - with the premises
  Godel preset: of initial boundaries for what he was
  about to design by 'proof' - his theorems -are- both
  sufficiently closed and constituently -accurate- in
  their conclusion and notions.
 
 OK you are cautious. So you criticize an interpretation of Godel's
 theorem.
 
 
  _But_ what I find disturbing about them is that they are
  RELIANT on a more formative -presumption-, which presumption
  enables an analyst to draw quite a -contrary result- to what
  Godel announced. A self-discontinuity _within_ his theorems,
  as it were.
 
  Clearly, this:
 
  He tacitly identifies any information resident -outside- any that
  current/known, as -eventually accessible, connectible, relatable-;
  even if it means restructuring known-information in regard to
  alternative/new criteria and standards definitions, descriptions,
  statements.   A presumption/definition of universal information
  compatibility - of all information - whether known or unknown.
 
 You could say this about my proof, or about Emil Post's one, or about
 some simplified version of it. But it is 99% unfair to say Godel made
 those presumptions. You could argue like that a little bit by invoking
 its use of the omega-consistency notion, but then that case is closed
 after Rosser's amelioration of Godel's proof. The Godel-Rosser proof
 does not rely in any way on any semantical notion, not even AR.
 Godel's proof is even constructive and completely acceptable, even for
 an intuitionist.
 
 
  It is through this process of add then re-evaluate that new
  paradigms are achieved.  But, it is dependent on the compatibility
  of the -whole- scope of all the information present at that moment of
  evaluation; and the eventual capacity to coordinate statements with
  all content 

RE: A calculus of personal identity

2006-07-13 Thread Stathis Papaioannou


Lee Corbin writes:

 Thereisanimportantdifferencebetweennormativestatementsanddescriptiveorempiricalstatements.QuotingfromWikipedia:  "Descriptive(orconstative)statementsarefalsifiablestatementsthatattempttodescribereality.Normative statements,ontheotherhand,affirmhowthingsshouldoroughttobe,howtovaluethem,whichthingsaregoodorbad, whichactionsarerightorwrong."  Yes;it'salwaysgoodtokeepthatinmind.CatchmeifIslip;-)  Supposesomepowerfulbeingsetsupanexperimentwherebyorganismswhobelievetheyarethesameindividualdayafter dayareselectivelyculled,whilethosewhobelievethattheyarebornaneweachmorninganddiewhentheyfallasleep eachnight,butstillmakeprovisionfortheirsuccessorsjustaswemakeprovisionforourchildren,areleftaloneor rewarded Youwouldthenhavetogranttheday-peoplethattheirbeliefisjustasgoodasours, thedifferencebetweenusjustbeinganaccidentofevolution.What'smore,tobeconsistentyouwouldhavetograntthat aduplicateisnotaself,onthegroundsthatthegreatmajorityofpeopledonotbelievethisandourverylanguageis designedtodenythatsuchathingispossible(onlytheBritishmonarchuses"we"tomeanwhatcommonersrefertoas"I").  Ofcourse,actionsspeaklouderthanwords.Asyoupointout,peoplehave believedmanyseeminglystrangethings.I'msurethatsomemedieval scholastics,orperhapspeopleinaninsaneasylum,haveconsistently heldmanypositions.Whatdeterminessanity,aswellaswhatone's truebeliefsare,isthewaythatoneacts.
This is just the point I was making above: there are (at least) two different kinds of craziness. On the one hand there is the person who jumps off a tall building because he doesn't care if he lives or dies, and on the other hand there is the person who jumps because he thinks he is superman and will be able to fly. The resultis the same - both will probably be killed - but one is deluded while the other is not.
 Inyourexample,indeedpeoplecouldgoaroundsayingthattheywere notthesamepersonfromdaytoday.But(asyoualsopointout) evolutionmightcullcertainbeliefs.Nowwhatisimportantisthat someone*acts*asthoughtheyarethesamefromdaytoday.Andin fact,nomatterhowpeople'slipsmove,wewouldfindthatallbut theseriouslyderanged*act*asthoughwhathappenedto"them" tomorrowmattered.  SoIcanimaginepeople*saying*thattheyarenotthesamefrom daytoday,butIcannotimaginesuccessfulhumanorganismsacting asthoughttheywerenot.
In the world which we actually live in evolution has, in fact, culled those who don't believe they are the same person from moment to moment, which is why it is such a rare belief. But in the example I gave with the day-people, evolution has had the opposite effect. Intelligent and rational day-people, as described, completely agree on the objective facts of their existence with you, me, and every other rational species. They know that they are made up of substantially the same matter and have mostly the same memories and other mental attributes from day to day, but they report that theybelieve themselves to be different people from day to day. This would be a false belief regardless of how it evolved if continuity of personal identity were equivalent to physical and/or mental continuity. In our culture, this equivalence is generally taken for granted. But just about everyexampleother than the single branch, birth to death existence with which we are familiar shows that thisview is deeply problematic: teleportation, duplication, time travel, fission, parallel universes, alternate evolution, ad hoc psychological changes can all result in "paradoxes" of personal identityif we stubbornly stick to the intuitive, naive theory we have grown up with.
 Survivalandcontinuityofidentityconsistsolelyinthefactthatwe*believe*wesurvivefrommomenttomoment.  WhereasIbelievethathowweactiswhatisimportant,andthatour languageshouldsimplyreflecthowweact.Sincepeopledoinfact trytosavetheirskinsoverdays,insomesensethismakesthemat leastthesame"vestedinterest".  Inyourscenario,languagewouldevolve,althoughperhapsawkwardly, toaccountforpeople'sbehavior.Forinstance,contractscouldno longerbebetweenpersons(exceptoneswhosetermsexpiredwithin thecourseofasingleday),butinsteadwouldspecify"vested interests"orsomethingthatmeantthesamethingasweordinarily meanby"person".
Not at all. A system could develop so that people feel responsible for the actions of their predecessors and successors, like a stronger form of the responsibility that we feel for the actions of family members. Some people in our society care more about the welfare of their children than they care about their own welfare, and feel that they will somehow "live on" in their children after their own death, but they certainly don't believe that they are the same person as their children. However, this is beside the point. If truth were a matter of utility, then we could argue that people should believe in heaven and hell if it could be shown that such a belief would have positive social consequences.
 You'reright,ofcourse[inthat]Thebeliefthatwearethesame personfrommomenttomomenthasacertainutility,otherwiseit 

Re: A calculus of personal identity

2006-07-12 Thread Stathis Papaioannou

Brent Meeker writes:

 I would say that what makes a statement like we're the same person from 
 moment to moment true is
 that it's an inference from, or a part of, a model of the world that is 
 true in the provisional
 sense of scientific theories, i.e. it subsumes and predicts many emprically 
 verified observations
 (e.g. if I wake you up in the middle of the night and ask you your name 
 you'll reply 'Stathis') and
 it has not made any falsified predictions.  So in this sense we could say 
 that our model of
 personhood is better than that of the day-people - not in the sense that we 
 can show theirs is
 false, but in the sense that ours has greater predictive power and scope.

If I were a day-person and you woke me in the middle of the night, I would say 
that the person who went to bed last night was Stathis-1 and the person now 
awake is Stathis-2. I would agree that Stathis-1 and Stathis-2 are comprised of 
mostly the same matter and have similar mental attributes, but the fact 
remains, the brains of my species have evolved so that waking up from sleep 
makes them believe they are a new person. This isn't a model or a theory; it's 
more like reporting that I'm hungry, or frightened. Philosophical problems 
arise when this feeling of continuity of identity (or lack of it) is equated 
with some empirical fact. It happens that in our own evolution physical and 
mental continuity has been strongly correlated with the subjective feeling of 
continuity of identity, and it is tempting to say that therefore physical and 
mental continuity is equivalent to or (slightly weaker) necessitates continuity 
of identity. However, this default model that we all use day to day is flawed 
on two counts. Firstly, the correlation is not necessary, but contingent on 
evolutionary circumstances. It is easy enough to imagine rational beings like 
the day-people who have a completely different approach to personal identity. 
Secondly, the default model is not even internally consistent, as shown in 
duplication thought experiments. If I am to be duplicated tomorrow and one of 
the copies tortured, I am worried; but when tomorrow comes, and I am not 
tortured, I am relieved. How is it that I become one or other copy when my 
mental continuity with both is the same? There is no ambiguity in the empirical 
facts, but there is ambiguity in how I experience continuity of identity - 
because these are two different things and there is no simple, consistent 
relationship between them. 

Lee Corbin's solution would be that we should take the empirical facts alone - 
both copies are me - and dismiss the nagging feelings that make us think 
otherwise, but this reminds me of an old Australian poem in which a drunk is 
receiving counselling for his addiction: you've convinced me it's bad for me, 
now convince me I don't like it.

Stathis Papaioannou
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Re: A calculus of personal identity

2006-07-12 Thread Brent Meeker

Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
 Brent Meeker writes:
 
 
 I would say that what makes a statement like we're the same person from 
 moment to moment true
 is that it's an inference from, or a part of, a model of the world that is 
 true in the
 provisional sense of scientific theories, i.e. it subsumes and predicts many 
 emprically
 verified observations (e.g. if I wake you up in the middle of the night and 
 ask you your name
 you'll reply 'Stathis') and it has not made any falsified predictions.  So 
 in this sense we
 could say that our model of personhood is better than that of the day-people 
 - not in the sense
 that we can show theirs is false, but in the sense that ours has greater 
 predictive power and
 scope.
 
 
 If I were a day-person and you woke me in the middle of the night, I would 
 say that the person
 who went to bed last night was Stathis-1 and the person now awake is 
 Stathis-2. I would agree
 that Stathis-1 and Stathis-2 are comprised of mostly the same matter and have 
 similar mental
 attributes, but the fact remains, the brains of my species have evolved so 
 that waking up from
 sleep makes them believe they are a new person. This isn't a model or a 
 theory; it's more like
 reporting that I'm hungry, or frightened. Philosophical problems arise when 
 this feeling of
 continuity of identity (or lack of it) is equated with some empirical fact. 
 It happens that in
 our own evolution physical and mental continuity has been strongly correlated 
 with the subjective
 feeling of continuity of identity, and it is tempting to say that therefore 
 physical and mental
 continuity is equivalent to or (slightly weaker) necessitates continuity of 
 identity. However,
 this default model that we all use day to day is flawed on two counts. 
 Firstly, the correlation
 is not necessary, but contingent on evolutionary circumstances. It is easy 
 enough to imagine
 rational beings like the day-people who have a completely different approach 
 to personal
 identity. Secondly, the default model is not even internally consistent, as 
 shown in duplication
 thought experiments. If I am to be duplicated tomorrow and one of the copies 
 tortured, I am
 worried; but when tomorrow comes, and I am not tortured, I am relieved. How 
 is it that I become
 one or other copy when my mental continuity with both is the same? There is 
 no ambiguity in the
 empirical facts, but there is ambiguity in how I experience continuity of 
 identity - because
 these are two different things and there is no simple, consistent 
 relationship between them.

Well, the default model, personal continuity, is consistent absent 
duplications...and there ain't 
any yet.

My example of waking you up and asking your name was a weak one.  I agree with 
Lee that the test of 
a model is in the behavoir it predicts (and not just the vocal behavoir).  And 
on that basis I think 
the model of personal continuity would be a better one, and you might even 
convince a day-person of 
it; Just the reverse of trying convince people here that there isn't *really* 
continuity.  Of course 
if they didn't act as if there were personal continuity, their physical 
continuity would likely end.

Brent Meeker

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Re: A calculus of personal identity

2006-07-11 Thread Bruno Marchal


Le 09-juil.-06, à 17:20, James N Rose a écrit :


 Bruno, I reviewed the archive and found no reply.
 I will repeat it again, hoping for your thoughts:





 from July 2, 2006 (lightly amended and then addended)


 Bruno,

 I have found myself in this lifetime to be a staunch
 OP-ponent and challenger to Godel's incompleteness theorems.



Are they other math theorems you are opposed too?
To be frank, I could imagine that you believe having find an error. If 
that is the case let me know or try to publish it. I doubt it of 
course. Until now I have been able to find the error of all those who 
have pretended to me having finding such an error.
Sometimes people does not challenge Godel's proof, but some 
interpretation of it. That is a different matter, and obviously less 
simple.
Did you realize that I have, just last week, give an astonishingly 
simple proof, based on Church thesis,  of a stronger form of Godel's 
incompleteness? Did you try to follow it?



 In the way that they are structured - with the premises
 Godel preset: of initial boundaries for what he was
 about to design by 'proof' - his theorems -are- both
 sufficiently closed and constituently -accurate- in
 their conclusion and notions.


OK you are cautious. So you criticize an interpretation of Godel's 
theorem.



 _But_ what I find disturbing about them is that they are
 RELIANT on a more formative -presumption-, which presumption
 enables an analyst to draw quite a -contrary result- to what
 Godel announced. A self-discontinuity _within_ his theorems,
 as it were.

 Clearly, this:

 He tacitly identifies any information resident -outside- any that
 current/known, as -eventually accessible, connectible, relatable-;
 even if it means restructuring known-information in regard to
 alternative/new criteria and standards definitions, descriptions,
 statements.   A presumption/definition of universal information
 compatibility - of all information - whether known or unknown.


You could say this about my proof, or about Emil Post's one, or about 
some simplified version of it. But it is 99% unfair to say Godel made 
those presumptions. You could argue like that a little bit by invoking 
its use of the omega-consistency notion, but then that case is closed 
after Rosser's amelioration of Godel's proof. The Godel-Rosser proof 
does not rely in any way on any semantical notion, not even AR.
Godel's proof is even constructive and completely acceptable, even for 
an intuitionist.




 It is through this process of add then re-evaluate that new
 paradigms are achieved.  But, it is dependent on the compatibility
 of the -whole- scope of all the information present at that moment of
 evaluation; and the eventual capacity to coordinate statements with
 all content addressable by statements.


That is a little vague for me.



 So, his thesis that at any given moment in time,


The only paper where Godel mentionned time is his general relativity 
paper about its rotating universes. Its goal was to convince Einstein 
that time could not be a serious primary concept of physics.


 not all information
 is present or gathered, and that this makes for limited statement
 making, where some evaluation statements in the data-set may instead
 be reliant on future/other yet-to-be-included information .. is a
 worthy logical notion.   A closed system may not completely evaluate
 itself -- some evaluations are indeterminant.


In that vague sense I could agree with you, but we are lingering on 
many ambiguities.
It is no more clear why you say you challenge Godel, at this stage.




 But, instead of focusing on the random evaluation moment, think
 about what that presumption of 'eventual includability' dictates:

 It heavily defines that we -can- (right now) state -something specific
 and projective- about the qualia and nature of knowledge and 
 information
 -- currently -beyond- the bounds of actual experience and encounter and
 access.


You jump from mathematical logic into the cognitive field. For this you 
need to say exactly how you do that.  What are your bridges? (I show 
comp makes such an endeavor possible, but I agree that in the 
literature such a step is most of the time made in an wrong way ... We 
need to be very careful here.




 It also asserts:   information 'unknown' is compatible with and
 eventually relatable with information 'known'.

Godel just says that: IF a proposition p is undecidable  in a theory T, 
then you can add p, or add ~p, as possible new axioms for T without 
making the new theory inconsistent.


 The first foundation of Godel's 'I can't decide about that Theorems'
 is the contrary moot statement: 'I -can- decide about -everything- and
 here's why';  -- which is a contradiction of logic.

The negation of ~Bp is Bp  (not B~p).   (Bp abbreviating I can prove p).


  That is:

 The limited set can make true-false statement about the -totality-
 of existence (internal and external to its bounded known-ness); but,
 it cannot 

Re: A calculus of personal identity (ERRATA)

2006-07-11 Thread Bruno Marchal


Bruno Marchal a écrit  (to Jamie N Rose):


 Concerning your use of the word proposition, I don't understand
 exactly what you mean by the words exists accessible perfectly
 accessible,  The whole sentence is rather hard to follow.
 Godel used this:
  From A - B and A - ~B, infer ~A.

 Godel did not really use the non intuitionist principle (but readily
 accepted by arithmetical platonist):
  From A - B and A - ~B, infer ~A.

 Of course Godel was platonist (even set-platonist), but he did it to
 satisfy as much as possible the finititary requirement imposed by its
 goal to solve (negatively) Hilbert's problem.
 Of course with Church thesis, all this is made much simpler.



The formula in the second paragraph should be:


 From ~A - B and ~A - ~B, infer A.

Sorry.

(An intuitionist will accept only From ~A - B and ~A - ~B, infer 
~~A.).


Bruno


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


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Re: A calculus of personal identity

2006-07-11 Thread Stathis Papaioannou

[Working my way slowly up the list of many excellent posts from the past few 
days, excuse me if someone else has already answered this...]

Lee Corbin writes (quoting SP):

  If [a] species believed that 2+2=5, or that their kidneys were the organs 
  of respiration,
  they would be wrong. But if they believe that they wake up a different 
  person every day,
  and live their lives based on this belief, they would *not* be wrong; they 
  could hold
  this belief quite consistently even if they knew all there was to know 
  about their biology.
 
 I claim that there is an important sense in which they *would* be wrong,
 that is, nature endowed us with a strong prejudice that we are the same
 creature from moment to moment for a reason. A creature exhibits a great
 deal of fear if a threat arises not to it itself in the sense of the
 creature this moment, but it in the extended sense. It acts consistently
 to ensure that itself of a few moments hence does not come to harm, and we,
 of course, understand quite well why nature did this.
 
 Creatures who do not identify with themselves a few moments hence are
 punished. They undergo pain or discomfort that is linked by their
 intelligence to what the other creature (i.e. its self of a few moments
 ago) actually did.  Again, in this way they become fearful of future
 pain, and, on the other hand, eager to ravish future gain.

There is an important difference between normative statements and descriptive 
or empirical statements. Quoting from Wikipedia:

Descriptive (or constative) statements are falsifiable statements that attempt 
to describe reality. Normative statements, on the other hand, affirm how things 
should or ought to be, how to value them, which things are good or bad, which 
actions are right or wrong.

Suppose some powerful being sets up an experiment whereby organisms who believe 
they are the same individual day after day are selectively culled, while those 
who believe that they are born anew each morning and die when they fall asleep 
each night, but still make provision for their successors just as we make 
provision for our children, are left alone or rewarded. After several 
generations, everyone would believe that they only lived for a day, and their 
culture, language and so on would reflect this belief. Philosophers would point 
out that the day-person belief, though universally accepted and understood, is 
nevertheless contingent on the particular environment in which the species 
evolved. That is, it is not a fact out there in the world, independent of 
culture and psychology, like the belief that 2+2=4 or that the most common 
isotope of the element with six protons found in our planet's crust has six 
neutrons. Everyone capable of understanding the language would agree that 
these two statements are true, or at least that they have a definite true or 
false answer. The question of the truth or otherwise of the day-person  belief 
is not straightforward in the same way. In order to make, a person lives for a 
day, then dies, and another person is born the next day inheriting most of his 
memories a true-or-false statement, one would have to add, according to the 
concept of personhood and death that we have evolved to believe. If this 
latter clause is understood as implicit, then your treatment of the idea of 
continuity of identity over time is valid. You would then have to grant the 
day-people that their belief is just as good as ours, the difference between us 
just being an accident of evolution. What's more, to be consistent you would 
have to grant that a duplicate is not a self, on the grounds that the great 
majority of people do not believe this and our very language is designed to 
deny that such a thing is possible (only the British monarch uses we to mean 
what commoners refer to as I). 

 Suppose on the other hand that this is incorrect. Suppose that identity
 does not extend in time past one Planck constant (whatever that is).
 Then no object or person survives. But then the term survival is
 also lost.

Survival and continuity of identity consist solely in the fact that we 
*believe* we survive from moment to moment. There is no objective fact beyond 
this that can be invoked to decide whether we do or do not survive in ambiguous 
cases. Superficially it may seem that that this last statement is false, 
because we can, for example, do a DNA test, or specify that there must be 
physical and/or mental continuity between two instantiations of the same 
person. However, we can always come up with a counterexample that would fool 
any such test.
 
 (Words don't have absolute meanings; only meanings that convey relative
 utility and which correspond to actual structure in the world. An object
 and even a person *does* persist in time as is revealed by a close
 examination of structure. It simply isn't very different from moment
 to moment, and if it is, then the entity has not survived. For example,
 a rock that is 

Re: A calculus of personal identity

2006-07-11 Thread Brent Meeker

Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
 [Working my way slowly up the list of many excellent posts from the past few 
 days, excuse me if
 someone else has already answered this...]
 
 Lee Corbin writes (quoting SP):
 
 
 If [a] species believed that 2+2=5, or that their kidneys were the organs 
 of respiration, 
 they would be wrong. But if they believe that they wake up a different 
 person every day, and
 live their lives based on this belief, they would *not* be wrong; they 
 could hold this belief
 quite consistently even if they knew all there was to know about their 
 biology.
 
 I claim that there is an important sense in which they *would* be wrong, 
 that is, nature
 endowed us with a strong prejudice that we are the same creature from moment 
 to moment for a
 reason. A creature exhibits a great deal of fear if a threat arises not to 
 it itself in the
 sense of the creature this moment, but it in the extended sense. It acts 
 consistently to
 ensure that itself of a few moments hence does not come to harm, and we, of 
 course, understand
 quite well why nature did this.
 
 Creatures who do not identify with themselves a few moments hence are 
 punished. They undergo
 pain or discomfort that is linked by their intelligence to what the other 
 creature (i.e. its
 self of a few moments ago) actually did.  Again, in this way they become 
 fearful of future 
 pain, and, on the other hand, eager to ravish future gain.
 
 
 There is an important difference between normative statements and descriptive 
 or empirical
 statements. Quoting from Wikipedia:
 
 Descriptive (or constative) statements are falsifiable statements that 
 attempt to describe
 reality. Normative statements, on the other hand, affirm how things should or 
 ought to be, how to
 value them, which things are good or bad, which actions are right or wrong.
 
 Suppose some powerful being sets up an experiment whereby organisms who 
 believe they are the same
 individual day after day are selectively culled, while those who believe that 
 they are born anew
 each morning and die when they fall asleep each night, but still make 
 provision for their
 successors just as we make provision for our children, are left alone or 
 rewarded. After several
 generations, everyone would believe that they only lived for a day, and their 
 culture, language
 and so on would reflect this belief. Philosophers would point out that the 
 day-person belief,
 though universally accepted and understood, is nevertheless contingent on the 
 particular
 environment in which the species evolved. That is, it is not a fact out 
 there in the world,
 independent of culture and psychology, like the belief that 2+2=4 or that 
 the most common
 isotope of the element with six protons found in our planet's crust has six 
 neutrons. Everyone
 capable of understanding the language would agree that these two statements 
 are true, or at least
 that they have a definite true or false answer. The question of the truth or 
 otherwise of the
 day-person  belief is not straightforward in the same way. In order to make, 
 a person lives for
 a day, then dies, and another person is born the next day inheriting most of 
 his memories a
 true-or-false statement, one would have to add, according to the concept of 
 personhood and death
 that we have evolved to believe. If this latter clause is understood as 
 implicit, then your
 treatment of the idea of continuity of identity over time is valid. You would 
 then have to grant
 the day-people that their belief is just as good as ours, the difference 
 between us just being an
 accident of evolution. What's more, to be consistent you would have to grant 
 that a duplicate is
 not a self, on the grounds that the great majority of people do not believe 
 this and our very
 language is designed to deny that such a thing is possible (only the British 
 monarch uses we to
 mean what commoners refer to as I).
 
 
 Suppose on the other hand that this is incorrect. Suppose that identity does 
 not extend in time
 past one Planck constant (whatever that is). Then no object or person 
 survives. But then the
 term survival is also lost.
 
 
 Survival and continuity of identity consist solely in the fact that we 
 *believe* we survive from
 moment to moment. There is no objective fact beyond this that can be 
 invoked to decide whether
 we do or do not survive in ambiguous cases. Superficially it may seem that 
 that this last
 statement is false, because we can, for example, do a DNA test, or specify 
 that there must be
 physical and/or mental continuity between two instantiations of the same 
 person. However, we can
 always come up with a counterexample that would fool any such test.
 
 
 (Words don't have absolute meanings; only meanings that convey relative 
 utility and which
 correspond to actual structure in the world. An object and even a person 
 *does* persist in time
 as is revealed by a close examination of structure. It simply isn't very 
 

RE: A calculus of personal identity

2006-07-11 Thread Lee Corbin

Stathis writes

 There is an important difference between normative statements and descriptive 
 or empirical statements. Quoting from Wikipedia:
 
 Descriptive (or constative) statements are falsifiable statements that 
 attempt to describe reality. Normative 
 statements, on the other hand, affirm how things should or ought to be, how 
 to value them, which things are good or bad, 
 which actions are right or wrong.

Yes; it's always good to keep that in mind. Catch me if I slip  ;-)

 Suppose some powerful being sets up an experiment whereby organisms who 
 believe they are the same individual day after 
 day are selectively culled, while those who believe that they are born anew 
 each morning and die when they fall asleep 
 each night, but still make provision for their successors just as we make 
 provision for our children, are left alone or 
 rewarded
 You would then have to grant the day-people that their belief is just as good 
 as ours, 
 the difference between us just being an accident of evolution. What's more, 
 to be consistent you would have to grant that 
 a duplicate is not a self, on the grounds that the great majority of people 
 do not believe this and our very language is 
 designed to deny that such a thing is possible (only the British monarch uses 
 we to mean what commoners refer to as I). 

Of course, actions speak louder than words. As you point out, people have
believed many seemingly strange things. I'm sure that some medieval
scholastics, or perhaps people in an insane asylum, have consistently
held many positions.  What determines sanity, as well as what one's
true beliefs are, is the way that one acts.

In your example, indeed people could go around saying that they were
not the same person from day to day. But (as you also point out) 
evolution might cull certain beliefs. Now what is important is that
someone *acts* as though they are the same from day to day. And in
fact, no matter how people's lips move, we would find that all but
the seriously deranged *act* as though what happened to them 
tomorrow mattered. 

So I can imagine people *saying* that they are not the same from 
day to day, but I cannot imagine successful human organisms acting
as thought they were not.

 Survival and continuity of identity consist solely in the fact that we 
 *believe* we survive from moment to moment.

Whereas I believe that how we act is what is important, and that our
language should simply reflect how we act. Since people do in fact
try to save their skins over days, in some sense this makes them at
least the same vested interest.

In your scenario, language would evolve, although perhaps awkwardly,
to account for people's  behavior. For instance, contracts could no
longer be between persons (except ones whose terms expired within
the course of a single day), but instead would specify vested 
interests or something that meant the same thing as we ordinarily
mean by person.

 You're right, of course [in that] The belief that we are the same
 person from moment to moment has a certain utility, otherwise it 
 would never have evolved. But do you think there is more to the idea
 than evolutionary expediency?

Offhand, I can't think of any reason except, as you say, evolutionary
expediency. As you also say, there can be no absolute truth to the 
matter. Nonetheless, as I said above, if we want our words to chase
our actual behavior, then there are the usual persons.

Notice the great utility of it that even fits the usage I'm suggesting.
Young people strongly discount things that will happen to them when
they are much older. But you can see a certain reason to it; in the
sense I use, they may not later be the same person (of course it lies
on a continuum, as you know).

 Also, if a particular belief or behaviour has evolved, does that
 necessarily makes it true and/or good?

The belief---as all our beliefs---are either accurate (good maps) or
they are not. We could call our accurate beliefs true---isn't that
Tarski's or someone's Correspondence Theory of Truth?.

For sure, a belief is good, (or perhaps I should simply say better)
if either it advances survival or corresponds to the structure of
the world.

lee


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RE: A calculus of personal identity

2006-07-11 Thread Lee Corbin

Brent wrote

 I would say that what makes a statement like we're the same person from 
 moment to moment true is
 that it's an inference from, or a part of, a model of the world that is 
 true in the provisional
 sense of scientific theories, i.e. it subsumes and predicts many empirically 
 verified observations
 (e.g. if I wake you up in the middle of the night and ask you your name 
 you'll reply 'Stathis') and
 it has not made any falsified predictions.  So in this sense we could say 
 that our model of
 personhood is better than that of the day-people - not in the sense that we 
 can show theirs is
 false, but in the sense that ours has greater predictive power and scope.

Well---I should have quoted this before I wrote that last post. Yes,
accurate beliefs (as I would call them) enable one to, as you say,
subsume and predict many empirically verified observations.

As for your last statement about greater predictive power and scope,
I can't quite agree, because the day-persons that Stathis postulates
*could* make just as accurate statements as we do, only they'd have
to do so quite circumspectly, in a round-about way. They'd have to
evolve the same meanings we have, and simply avoid the use of certain
terms we already employ for the purpose, e.g., persons.

If in your example, Stathis grew up in the culture he hypothesizes, 
then when you woke him in the middle of the night and asked him his
name, he may say that he has not picked one for the day yet. If you
asked him what his name was before he fell asleep, he may have to say
that names are not as such used in the way you are suggesting. But
if you watch his actions (instead of listening to his unusual words),
then you see that the organism goes to the dentist today so that
there is less pain to the same organism later that year.

We are free to use whatever vocabulary we want to describe the situation.
It's hardly a coincidence that every culture on Earth has evolved terms
suggesting the continuation of personal identity beyond a day.

Lee


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Re: A calculus of personal identity

2006-07-09 Thread Bruno Marchal


Le 09-juil.-06, à 06:50, James N Rose a écrit :

 My email has not gotten through accurately this week.
 Just wondering if you had replied to my post of July 2nd
 or just let it go?

I think I did. Perhaps you could find it on the archive.

Bruno



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


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RE: Re: A calculus of personal identity

2006-07-08 Thread Stathis Papaioannou


Brent Meeker writes:

 LeeCorbinwrote: StathiswritesandBrentevidentlyisnotonetoresistagoodpun   StathisPapaioannouwrote:  Indeed,Iwouldpersonallyfindtheideaofclonesofmyself thatIcouldrunintoquitedisturbing,andthemorelikeme theywere,theworseitwouldbe.  Asoberingreflection.;-)   Aninterestingpsychologicaldifference.About35yearsago,Iasked mylongsincedeceasedfatherwhatwouldbehisreactiontoaduplicate. Hewasveryquicktoassertthattheywouldnotgetalongatall.I havealwayswonderedatthat:whyexactlywouldsomeonenotlike himself?  (Ofcourse,thejokewouldbeonmeifIfoundoutthatallmyduplicates hadveryannoyingpersonalmannerisms,andthattheverysoundsoftheir squeekyhighpitchedvoicesirritatedthehelloutofme.)  IhavealwaysimaginedthatmyduplicatesandIwouldembracewitha lovetruerthanlong-lostbrothers.IfancythatIwouldlikemyself agreatdeal:-)  Lee  Iagree-I'dlikemyclone.IoncefoundsomeoldlabreportsandasIwasreadingthroughthemI foundonethatstruckmeasunusuallywellwrittenandinsightful-andthenIrealizeditwasoneI hadwritten.  Butwedon'tknowStathis.;-)
It's as well that this is just an online forum, because I think that if my clone could make me vanish, he probably would do it rather than face life sharing my possessions, my secrets, and so on. Would that be suicide or homicide?

Stathis PapaioannouBe one of the first to try  Windows Live Mail.
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RE: Re: A calculus of personal identity

2006-07-08 Thread Stathis Papaioannou


Lee Corbin writes:

 Brentwrites  Giventhatjustafterthecloning,thecloneswouldquicklydiverge,becomingdifferentpeople;it seemsyoucouldbehappycontemplatingthefuller,richerlifeofallthepeopleyouknowjustas muchasiftheywereclonesofyourself.  SoIsupposethatdaybydayyoubecomesomeonedifferent?  Ifyouweretogetanunexpectedcallduringthenexthour, wouldthatmakeyouadifferentpersonthanyouwouldhave becomewithoutthecall?  Lee  Sure-alittledifferent,evenifitwereexpected.  BrentMeeker
Brent's answer is obviously literally correct. In fact, between two copies of a person separated by even a moderate length of time, there may be *nothing* exactly preserved: different matter, different configuration of matter, different memories. It might look the same on the outside and feel the same on the inside, so by convention we say it is the "same" person. That convention/belief/feelingunderpins the normative usage of the words "person", "I" etc., and your preference is that we should keep to this usage so that we all know what we're talking about. That's fine, as long as it is understood that we are just talking about matters of convention, not matters of fact. We could imagine individuals of a species who consider that they are born anew person every day they wake up, regarding the memories and other mental attributes they inherit from their predecessor in much the same way as we regard the genetic and cultural inheritance we get from our parents. If this species believed that 2+2=5, or that their kidneys were the organs of respiration, they would be wrong. But if they believe that they wake up a different person every day, and live their lives based on this belief, they would *not* be wrong; they could hold this belief quite consistently even if they knew all there was to know about their biology.

Stathis PapaioannouBe one of the first to try  Windows Live Mail.
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RE: Re: A calculus of personal identity

2006-07-08 Thread Lee Corbin

Stathis writes

 If [a] species believed that 2+2=5, or that their kidneys were the organs of 
 respiration,
 they would be wrong. But if they believe that they wake up a different person 
 every day,
 and live their lives based on this belief, they would *not* be wrong; they 
 could hold
 this belief quite consistently even if they knew all there was to know about 
 their biology.

I claim that there is an important sense in which they *would* be wrong,
that is, nature endowed us with a strong prejudice that we are the same
creature from moment to moment for a reason. A creature exhibits a great
deal of fear if a threat arises not to it itself in the sense of the
creature this moment, but it in the extended sense. It acts consistently
to ensure that itself of a few moments hence does not come to harm, and we,
of course, understand quite well why nature did this.

Creatures who do not identify with themselves a few moments hence are
punished. They undergo pain or discomfort that is linked by their
intelligence to what the other creature (i.e. its self of a few moments
ago) actually did.  Again, in this way they become fearful of future
pain, and, on the other hand, eager to ravish future gain.


Suppose on the other hand that this is incorrect. Suppose that identity
does not extend in time past one Planck constant (whatever that is).
Then no object or person survives. But then the term survival is
also lost.

(Words don't have absolute meanings; only meanings that convey relative
utility and which correspond to actual structure in the world. An object
and even a person *does* persist in time as is revealed by a close
examination of structure. It simply isn't very different from moment
to moment, and if it is, then the entity has not survived. For example,
a rock that is crushed into dust no longer exists as a rock.)

Each person reading this would act in the following way if he suddenly
heard a loud animal roar behind him. If he then looked around a saw a
large tiger, all thoughts about the futility of survival past one
Planck constant would vanish. If the person takes a flying leap, and
just manages to get on the other side of a door, and is able to slam
it shut in the tiger's face, the person will rightfully be relieved.
Why shouldn't we say that the person has survived, at least for the
nonce until the tiger figures out that it may be able to burst through
the closed door?

Lee


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Re: A calculus of personal identity

2006-07-08 Thread James N Rose

Bruno,

My email has not gotten through accurately this week.
Just wondering if you had replied to my post of July 2nd
or just let it go?

Jamie


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Re: A calculus of personal identity

2006-07-07 Thread Bruno Marchal


Le 07-juil.-06, à 06:45, Lee Corbin a écrit :


 Bruno writes

 Actually I was about to say that nominal question are suggestive
 (anybody can answer by principle of a mailing list), and nominal
 question when thread interferes makes possible to send less
 mails. But I agree here I miss miserably ...

 Not sure what mistake you think you made  :-)



I see what you mean :)






   but whatever, it
 could not have been very important.



Well thanks :)







 I take the opportunity to ask you Lee what is your expectation in 
 front
 of the running of a Universal Dovetailer?

 Well, I once got fairly up to speed on the subject of the UD (i.e.,
 I understood it about half as well as you, Hal, Schmidhuber, and
 the rest of the gang here), but it just didn't grab my enthusiasm.



Given that Plato School has been closed for more than 1500 years, and 
that Aristotelian Naturalism is still the common dogma of most 
scientist, I do not expect so much *enthusiasm*.
Just trying to share plausible *understanding*.
As for some practical possible consequences I am not such much 
enthusiast myself, but then I don't put QM in the trash, despite the A 
bomb.





 So I will take the liberty of imagining a scenario that may have
 a (small) chance of answering your question.


Fair enough.





 I find out that some aliens have set up a colony on the moon.
 Worse, they've subscribed to the everything list, and having
 never had had the notion before on their home planet, are
 designing---AND INTENDING TO CUT LOOSE---a Universal Dovetailer
 made from some weird computronium substance!

 This will either be very good news, or very bad news, because the
 compute speed of their substance is utterly incredible. If they
 turn the damned thing on for even one whole second, it's easy to
 calculate that any given human being will have most of his solar
 system OMs generated by it, all his life on Earth relegated to
 relative insignificance.

 I think that I would be in favor. Because I am having a good life
 (i.e. better than one-percent worth living), and believe than
 human happiness derives mostly from chemicals in the brain
 produced by genetic settings.  So most of the copies of Lee
 Corbin that are generated by the UD should, on the average,
 also have good lives.

 (It's possible that even miserable people reading this can find
 solace in supposing that their genetic setting are not an
 intrinsic part of their identity, and that in most instantiations
 in most universes, their lives are rather good.)

 But alas, that's the limit of my knowledge about the UD.


Mmmhhh...
Given that you told me your lack of enthusiasm for the UD, it will be 
hard for me to give a detailed comment. But don't hesitate to ask me 
any explanation for the following statements:

1) the UD needs to run forever to get any interfering probabilistic 
influence of first person destiny.

(Actually, IF Hal Finney UDIST (universal distribution based on 
Kolmogorov complexity was correct in eliminating both the third person 
rabbits *and* the first person rabbits, a case could be made that a 
sufficiently large portion of the UD's trace would be enough, but this 
needs more work to be make precise ...).

2) You did agree (don't ask me to find the post :) that the proposition 
W or M was the correct *first person* bet on the most close immediate 
future personal sensation in the destructive self-duplication 
experiment, where you are destroyed in Brussels and reconstituted in 
both Washington and Moscou (with our without delays ?). W is for I 
will feel to be in Washington, and W = I will feel to be in Moscow.
W or M is always correct.
W  M is always false  (with that protocol).

3) If you get the first sixth step of UDA, which means basically that 
you would understand that the way of quantifying that first person 
indeterminacy cannot depend on the real/virtual/(arithmetical) nature 
of the reconstitution, and, most importantly, that it does not change 
when arbitrary delays of reconstitution are introduced.

4) and the UD is a program which reconstitutes you in your present 
state(s)  (for all your present states, the pasts one, the futures one 
and all the intermediates and parallels) through all computational 
histories. You met *the* comp first person indeterminacy. To predict 
exactly the observable trajectory of the observed (as well as possible) 
moon, you need ... some first person (plural) computation statistic. If 
grandmother's physics or quantum field theory gives correct approximate 
results, it means both should emerge from that 1-computation statistic.




 And my eyes glaze over every time I come to extended discussions
 about 1st person, considering as I do those to be a linguistic
 mistake/death-spiral almost as bad as discussions about qualia.


I guess the trouble is exactly there. Thanks for your frankness. But 
note that in the UDA reasoning (like in Everett QM) we use a rather 
simple third person approximation of the first 

Re: A calculus of personal identity

2006-07-07 Thread Stephen Paul King

Hi Lee,

I am reminded of the old saw from the Westerns: This town is too small 
for the both of us!

;-)

Could it be that consciousness is statistically Fermionic?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fermi-Dirac_statistics

Stephen

- Original Message - 
From: Lee Corbin [EMAIL PROTECTED]
To: everything-list@googlegroups.com
Sent: Friday, July 07, 2006 12:30 AM
Subject: RE: A calculus of personal identity



 Stathis writes and Brent evidently is not one to resist a good pun

 Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
  Indeed, I would personally find the idea of clones of myself
  that I could run into quite disturbing, and the more like me
  they were, the worse it would be.

 A sobering reflection. ;-)

 An interesting psychological difference. About 35 years ago, I asked
 my long since deceased father what would be his reaction to a duplicate.
 He was very quick to assert that they would not get along at all. I
 have always wondered at that: why exactly would someone not like
 himself?

 (Of course, the joke would be on me if I found out that all my duplicates
 had very annoying personal mannerisms, and that the very sounds of their
 squeeky high pitched voices irritated the hell out of me.)

 I have always imagined that my duplicates and I would embrace with a
 love truer than long-lost brothers.  I fancy that I would like myself
 a great deal  :-)

 Lee

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Re: A calculus of personal identity

2006-07-07 Thread Stephen Paul King

Dear Lee and Bruno,

- Original Message - 
From: Lee Corbin [EMAIL PROTECTED]
To: everything-list@googlegroups.com
Sent: Friday, July 07, 2006 12:45 AM
Subject: RE: A calculus of personal identity



 Bruno writes

 Actually I was about to say that nominal question are suggestive
 (anybody can answer by principle of a mailing list), and nominal
 question when thread interferes makes possible to send less
 mails. But I agree here I miss miserably ...

 Not sure what mistake you think you made  :-)  but whatever, it
 could not have been very important.

 I take the opportunity to ask you Lee what is your expectation in front
 of the running of a Universal Dovetailer?

 Well, I once got fairly up to speed on the subject of the UD (i.e.,
 I understood it about half as well as you, Hal, Schmidhuber, and
 the rest of the gang here), but it just didn't grab my enthusiasm.

 So I will take the liberty of imagining a scenario that may have
 a (small) chance of answering your question.

 I find out that some aliens have set up a colony on the moon.
 Worse, they've subscribed to the everything list, and having
 never had had the notion before on their home planet, are
 designing---AND INTENDING TO CUT LOOSE---a Universal Dovetailer
 made from some weird computronium substance!

 This will either be very good news, or very bad news, because the
 compute speed of their substance is utterly incredible. If they
 turn the damned thing on for even one whole second, it's easy to
 calculate that any given human being will have most of his solar
 system OMs generated by it, all his life on Earth relegated to
 relative insignificance.

[SPK]

You might like to know that there is a specific quantity that is the 
upper bound on the number of computations that can be implemented within a 
given hyper-volume of Space-time:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bekenstein_Bound

Given this value, it should be easy to calculate the amount of 
computational processing available (in principle) to those aliens with which 
to run a UD program...

I seem to recall that Stephen Wolfram had a thing or two to say that 
relates to this:

From: 
http://www.stephenwolfram.com/publications/articles/physics/85-undecidability/2/text.html

The behavior of a physical system may always be calculated by simulating 
explicitly each step in its evolution. Much of theoretical physics has, 
however, been concerned with devising shorter methods of calculation that 
reproduce the outcome without tracing each step. Such shortcuts can be made 
if the computations used in the calculation are more sophisticated than 
those that the physical system can itself perform. Any computations must, 
however, be carried out on a computer. But the computer is itself an example 
of a physical system. And it can determine the outcome of its own evolution 
only by explicitly following it through: No shortcut is possible. Such 
computational irreducibility occurs whenever a physical system can act as a 
computer. The behavior of the system can be found only by direct simulation 
or observation: No general predictive procedure is possible. Computational 
irreducibility is common among the systems investigated in mathematics and 
computation theory.[2] This paper suggests that it is also common in 
theoretical physics. Computational reducibility may well be the exception 
rather than the rule: Most physical questions may be answerable only through 
irreducible amounts of computation. Those that concern idealized limits of 
infinite time, volume, or numerical precision can require arbitrarily long 
computations, and so be formally undecidable.

...

This paper has suggested that many physical systems are computationally 
irreducible, so that their own evolution is effectively the most efficient 
procedure for determining their future. As a consequence, many questions 
about these systems can be answered only by very lengthy or potentially 
infinite computations. But some questions answerable by simpler computations 
may still be formulated. 

end quote

Given this argument, it follows that the world we collectively 
experience can *not* be the the result of a computation that is run *inside* 
the universe. If it is a grand computation, ala Schmidthuber, Fredkin, etc. 
then the computer hardware exists, somehow, *outside the Universe!


 I think that I would be in favor. Because I am having a good life
 (i.e. better than one-percent worth living), and believe than
 human happiness derives mostly from chemicals in the brain
 produced by genetic settings.  So most of the copies of Lee
 Corbin that are generated by the UD should, on the average,
 also have good lives.

 (It's possible that even miserable people reading this can find
 solace in supposing that their genetic setting are not an
 intrinsic part of their identity, and that in most instantiations
 in most universes, their lives are rather good.)

[SPK]

It also seems to follow from Wolfram's argument

Re: A calculus of personal identity

2006-07-06 Thread Bruno Marchal


Le 04-juil.-06, à 23:37, Lee Corbin a écrit :

 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.

Me too. Now when threads interferes I ask

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


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Re: A calculus of personal identity

2006-07-06 Thread Bruno Marchal


Le 06-juil.-06, à 17:02, Bruno Marchal a écrit :



 Le 04-juil.-06, à 23:37, Lee Corbin a écrit :

 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.

 Me too. Now when threads interferes I ask



... then I realize I could only say tautologies here, and that I didn't 
need to send a post, but apparently my computer takes the initiative to 
send the message. Sorry for that everything-spam.
Actually I was about to say that nominal question are suggestive 
(anybody can answer by principle of a mailing list), and nominal 
question when thread interferes makes possible to send less mails. But 
I agree here I miss miserably ...

I take the opportunity to ask you Lee what is your expectation in front 
of the running of a Universal
Dovetailer?
Like with Stathis (and with some other a longer time ago) I feel like 
you understand the six first steps of UDA, including the 1-person 
indeterminacy (which is independent on the identity question as we have 
already agreed sometimes ago); so I am very interested if you get the 
seventh one, that is the reversal (with the extravagant hypothesis that 
there is a physical universe).
(Step eight will eliminate that extravagant hypothesis from the 
reasoning, but is not the current main point, if I can say).

Bruno


PS I take the opportunity to repeat that I do not pretend that Hal 
Finney or even Schmidhuber and others are wrong in their complexity 
based approach to the measure problem, just that they does not provide 
explanations how their approaches make the first person white rabbit 
disappearing (but I' sure Kolmogorov complexity could play some key 
role, and I encourage those interested to dig deeper. Wei Dai has 
already mentionned the remarkable book by Li and Vitanyi (Springer 
Verlag 1993). We tackle an hard problem: it is not a luxe to approach 
it in different ways.


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


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RE: A calculus of personal identity

2006-07-06 Thread Lee Corbin

Brent writes

 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.

So I suppose that day by day you become someone different?

If you were to get an unexpected call during the next hour,
would that make you a different person than you would have
become without the call?

Lee


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RE: A calculus of personal identity

2006-07-06 Thread Lee Corbin

Stathis writes and Brent evidently is not one to resist a good pun

 Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
  Indeed, I would personally find the idea of clones of myself
  that I could run into quite disturbing, and the more like me
  they were, the worse it would be.
 
 A sobering reflection. ;-)

An interesting psychological difference. About 35 years ago, I asked
my long since deceased father what would be his reaction to a duplicate.
He was very quick to assert that they would not get along at all. I
have always wondered at that: why exactly would someone not like
himself?

(Of course, the joke would be on me if I found out that all my duplicates
had very annoying personal mannerisms, and that the very sounds of their
squeeky high pitched voices irritated the hell out of me.)

I have always imagined that my duplicates and I would embrace with a
love truer than long-lost brothers.  I fancy that I would like myself
a great deal  :-)

Lee


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Re: A calculus of personal identity

2006-07-06 Thread Brent Meeker

Lee Corbin wrote:
 Brent writes
 
 
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.
 
 
 So I suppose that day by day you become someone different?
 
 If you were to get an unexpected call during the next hour,
 would that make you a different person than you would have
 become without the call?
 
 Lee

Sure - a little different, even it were expected.

Brent Meeker

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Re: A calculus of personal identity

2006-07-06 Thread Brent Meeker

Lee Corbin wrote:
 Brent writes
 
 
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.
 
 
 So I suppose that day by day you become someone different?
 
 If you were to get an unexpected call during the next hour,
 would that make you a different person than you would have
 become without the call?
 
 Lee

Sure - a little different, even if it were expected.

Brent Meeker

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RE: A calculus of personal identity

2006-07-06 Thread Lee Corbin

Bruno writes

 Actually I was about to say that nominal question are suggestive 
 (anybody can answer by principle of a mailing list), and nominal 
 question when thread interferes makes possible to send less
 mails. But I agree here I miss miserably ...

Not sure what mistake you think you made  :-)  but whatever, it
could not have been very important.

 I take the opportunity to ask you Lee what is your expectation in front 
 of the running of a Universal Dovetailer?

Well, I once got fairly up to speed on the subject of the UD (i.e.,
I understood it about half as well as you, Hal, Schmidhuber, and 
the rest of the gang here), but it just didn't grab my enthusiasm.

So I will take the liberty of imagining a scenario that may have
a (small) chance of answering your question.

I find out that some aliens have set up a colony on the moon.
Worse, they've subscribed to the everything list, and having
never had had the notion before on their home planet, are 
designing---AND INTENDING TO CUT LOOSE---a Universal Dovetailer
made from some weird computronium substance!

This will either be very good news, or very bad news, because the
compute speed of their substance is utterly incredible. If they
turn the damned thing on for even one whole second, it's easy to
calculate that any given human being will have most of his solar
system OMs generated by it, all his life on Earth relegated to
relative insignificance.

I think that I would be in favor. Because I am having a good life
(i.e. better than one-percent worth living), and believe than 
human happiness derives mostly from chemicals in the brain
produced by genetic settings.  So most of the copies of Lee
Corbin that are generated by the UD should, on the average,
also have good lives.

(It's possible that even miserable people reading this can find
solace in supposing that their genetic setting are not an
intrinsic part of their identity, and that in most instantiations
in most universes, their lives are rather good.)

But alas, that's the limit of my knowledge about the UD.

And my eyes glaze over every time I come to extended discussions
about 1st person, considering as I do those to be a linguistic
mistake/death-spiral almost as bad as discussions about qualia.

Lee

 Like with Stathis (and with some other a longer time ago) I feel like 
 you understand the six first steps of UDA, including the 1-person 
 indeterminacy (which is independent on the identity question as we have 
 already agreed sometimes ago); so I am very interested if you get the 
 seventh one, that is the reversal (with the extravagant hypothesis that 
 there is a physical universe).
 (Step eight will eliminate that extravagant hypothesis from the 
 reasoning, but is not the current main point, if I can say).
 
 PS I take the opportunity to repeat that I do not pretend that Hal 
 Finney or even Schmidhuber and others are wrong in their complexity 
 based approach to the measure problem, just that they does not provide 
 explanations how their approaches make the first person white rabbit 
 disappearing (but I' sure Kolmogorov complexity could play some key 
 role, and I encourage those interested to dig deeper. Wei Dai has 
 already mentionned the remarkable book by Li and Vitanyi (Springer 
 Verlag 1993). We tackle an hard problem: it is not a luxe to approach 
 it in different ways.


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Re: A calculus of personal identity

2006-07-06 Thread Brent Meeker

Lee Corbin wrote:
 Stathis writes and Brent evidently is not one to resist a good pun
 
 
Stathis Papaioannou wrote:

Indeed, I would personally find the idea of clones of myself
that I could run into quite disturbing, and the more like me
they were, the worse it would be.

A sobering reflection. ;-)
 
 
 An interesting psychological difference. About 35 years ago, I asked
 my long since deceased father what would be his reaction to a duplicate.
 He was very quick to assert that they would not get along at all. I
 have always wondered at that: why exactly would someone not like
 himself?
 
 (Of course, the joke would be on me if I found out that all my duplicates
 had very annoying personal mannerisms, and that the very sounds of their
 squeeky high pitched voices irritated the hell out of me.)
 
 I have always imagined that my duplicates and I would embrace with a
 love truer than long-lost brothers.  I fancy that I would like myself
 a great deal  :-)
 
 Lee

I agree - I'd like my clone.  I once found some old lab reports and as I was 
reading through them I 
found one that struck me as unusually well written and insightful - and then I 
realized it was one I 
had written.

But we don't know Stathis. ;-)

Brent Meeker

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RE: A calculus of personal identity

2006-07-06 Thread Lee Corbin

Brent writes

 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.
  
  So I suppose that day by day you become someone different?
  
  If you were to get an unexpected call during the next hour,
  would that make you a different person than you would have
  become without the call?
 
 Sure - a little different, even if it were expected.

Well, the whole point, is *how* different. For example, we imagine
that if you were suddenly absconded from your residence a few
moments from now, conscripted into Al Qaeda and forced to learn
Muslim fundamentalist slogans and to enjoy killing unbelievers
working for the Satanic powers of the west, (I am sure that
this would require quite a bit of brainwashing), then it's
safe to say that after a few years of that you become someone
else. 

Even if some atom bombs fell, and you were forced into a horrible
struggle for survival along the lines of Mad Max, you'd probably
become someone else.

But in all *practical* matters, you do sacrifice in the hear-and-now
so that the Brent (say, of next year) does not have tooth pain, 
right? Or are you so good-hearted, that you would gladly go to the
dentist just so that someone else's teeth won't hurt next year?

I mean to say that there really is no use denying that you are the
same person from day to day under normal conditions, and it tells
us something that only philosophers would ever conceive of, let
alone believe for an instant, that they were not the same person
from day to day.

Lee


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RE: A calculus of personal identity

2006-07-06 Thread Lee Corbin

Brent writes

 I agree - I'd like my clone.  I once found some old lab reports and as I was 
 reading through them I 
 found one that struck me as unusually well written and insightful - and then 
 I realized it was one I 
 had written.
 
 But we don't know Stathis. ;-)

Okay---that makes three of us: you, me, and Norman.  Everybody
else is probably like G. H. Hardy, who, the first thing upon
entering a new hotel room, would put towels over all the mirrors
so that he wouldn't have to see himself.

Lee


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Re: A calculus of personal identity

2006-07-05 Thread Stathis Papaioannou

Brent Meeker writes (quoting Stathis Papaioannou and Lee Corbin, respectively):

 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.

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.

That's an interesting take on the question that I didn't see initially. But 
consider the following: suppose you are inadvertently exposed today to some 
toxic chemical which will kill you in a year. You are aware of this fact, and 
will remain physically well until the end. As a result, your life diverges 
somewhat from what it would have been had you not been poisoned. As the end 
approaches, you might reflect, I've had a short life, but had I not been 
poisoned, there is a high probability that the person I've been in the past 
year would not have existed. 

I think the above situation from a first person perspective is exactly 
analogous to the cloning. In both cases, you can expect that whatever happens 
after the cloning/poisoning, you will experience a year of life. In both cases, 
you can be confident that the year of life experience after the 
cloning/poisoning would probably not have occurred in its absence. In both 
cases, had the cloning/poisoning not occurred, you could have looked forward to 
a somewhat different, but hopefully no worse and probably much longer life. 
There is a difference, of course, but this is only from a third person 
perspective: the cloning would give rise to more person-years than the 
poisoning. But as Brent says, if this third person knowledge were consolation, 
you could as well be happy contemplating the lives of people you know just as 
much as if they were your clones. (Indeed, I would personally find the idea of 
clones of myself that I could run into quite disturbing, and the more like me 
they were, the worse it would be. 

Stathis Papaioannou
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Re: A calculus of personal identity

2006-07-05 Thread John M

Brent:
to your 2nd question:
 The question is, have you ever formed any conclusions or had any thoughts 
 that were *not* model based.
I have to go back to (my) 'model' vs. your remark:
The very point of using the word model is to  remind us that they are 
not reality itself, but only a map of reality.
Our mind (not yet identified) 'thinks' using a materially restricted tool, 
the neuronic brain. At this point we are still unable to encompass in our 
mentality the wholeness with all its interconnective impredicativity - so we 
formulate topically or functionally (or else...) limited (reduced) models. 
This is what I call reductionism, the possibility of human thinking.
Wholistic ideas (now in a birth-stage) widened the scope of such 
model-restriction and - although we cannot DO it, we THINK of it, calling 
such unlimited (vague) targets natural systems or maximum models (Robert 
Rosen).
Conventional science works in well defined (reduced) model - thinking within 
set boundaries of topical/functional restrictions.
There is nothing wrong in the model-view science - except for the trend to 
draw conclusions from within-boundary observation and apply them to a 
wider - beyond model - applicability. Human ingenuity made the within-model 
application most efficient and a basis for our technology - in spite of the 
uncertainty stemming from a neglect of the effects from outside the 
boundaries,  not recognized in the (applied) math equations set between 
interlaced model-values.

Answering your above question: for more than a decade or so, I am thinking 
in terms how to widen the limited model ways of science (I learned) into 
'maximum model' terms. It is still model. since all we can use in our 
mentality is the partial impact from the wholeness and our 'mind's 
interpretation of it, eo ipso all we know is I(in my terms) model.
I am not omniscient so I cannot 'think in wholeness' with all its 
impredicative interramifications.
*
Your first question, however -
 So you have replaced narrow models with mystic-religious ones? 
shows a complete misunderstanding of what I tried to explain twice already 
in this encounter.

I give up.

I do not try for the 3rd time to find better understandable ways for 
explaining my ideas. I have my limitations.
Please, consider my initiation for this exchange unsent.
I still will read your posts which I find most interesting.

John Mikes




- Original Message - 
From: Brent Meeker [EMAIL PROTECTED]
To: everything-list@googlegroups.com
Sent: Tuesday, July 04, 2006 2:49 PM
Subject: Re: A calculus of personal identity



 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

Re: A calculus of personal identity

2006-07-05 Thread Brent Meeker

Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
Indeed, I would personally find the idea of clones of myself that I could run 
into quite
 disturbing, and the more like me they were, the worse it would be.

A sobering reflection. ;-)

Brent Meeker


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Re: A calculus of personal identity

2006-07-05 Thread Norman Samish



Interesting notion. I recently read a science 
fiction story set in the distant future where people could be replicated at 
will. In the story, it was not uncommon to meet one's clone. The 
cloneswere treated as separate individuals- perhaps analogous to how 
identical twins are treated in our society. This seemed reasonable to 
me. In this contextI think I would NOT be especially disturbed to 
meet my clone.

Norman
~~~
- Original Message - 
From: "Brent Meeker" [EMAIL PROTECTED]
To: everything-list@googlegroups.com
Sent: Wednesday, July 05, 2006 4:18 PM
Subject: Re: A calculus of personal 
identity
  Stathis Papaioannou wrote:Indeed, I would 
personally find the idea of clones of myself that I could run into 
quite disturbing, and the more like me they were, the worse it would 
be.  A sobering reflection. ;-)  Brent 
Meeker
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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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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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(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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RE: Re: A calculus of personal identity

2006-07-03 Thread Stathis Papaioannou


Bruno Marchal writes:

 Itcouldbe,forexample,thatIhavebeenbrainwashedandmymemories ofthepastarepartlyorcompletelyfalsememories.   Thereisnofalse1-memories.Onlyanassociationbetweensome1-memory andsome3-realitycanbefalse.Ifsomeonesucceedsinimplementing correctly(morethanjustcoherently)falsebeliefs(likeIamNapoleon justafterWaterloo),thenIwillbelievecorrectlythatIamNapoleon andthatIhavejustloseabattle,almostbydefinition.Iwillhave togoinanasylum,sure,butmy 1-memoryofthepastiscorrectgiventhattheyhavebeencorrectly implemented.
This is just what I meant, though my terminology seems to differ from yours. As a result, I have a belief in a persisting 1st person through time, in this example the belief that I was and still am Napoleon. Now while I can't be wrong about having this memory/belief, I could be wrong in asserting that it reflects some 3rd person reality, such as that I am over 300 years old. In the same way, I think I am wrong in asserting that I believed I was Napoleon yesterday, and the day before, and the day before that, and so on, which is what a persisting 1st person through time is as commonly understood; it is true that I *believe* I believed that, but the best I could do to verifyit would be to examine my current memory or other evidence, such as my diary.And while my assertion that my present body is over 300 years old could be verified in principle by some medical test, my assertion that I have continuouslyexperienced the mental states of Napoleon during this time period runs up against the problem of other minds - even when the "other mind" is a past version of my own (putative) mind.

I'll respond to the rest of your post on the UDA at a later time, I need to read it more closely than I have time to do today...

--Stathis Papaioannou



 Iagreeifyoumeanby"future"and"past"3-futureand3-past.1- past  and1-futureisnotextrapolationthyarefeelingscontinuouslylived  inalastingpresent.IcannomoredoubtofmyfeelingofpastthanI  candoubtofaheadache(say).Eveniftimebyitselfdoesnotexistat   all(whichisthecasewithcomp).Theextrapolationwouldresideonly insomethirdpersonprojectionofthattime,space,...(Ithinkwe agree,theproblemcouldjustbetheterm"illusion").  I'mnotsureifyou'resayingwhatIwassayingaboveby distinguishingbetween1-future/pastand3-future/past.   Ithinkso.   Therelationshipbetweendifferentstagesinaperson'slife-how faraparttwodifferentexperiencescanbeandstillbelongtothe sameperson-iscomplicatedandnecessarilyvague.Ifweallowthat inprincipleanyonecanchangeintoanyoneelse,howcanyoupindown thisrelationshipwithanyrigour?   TounderstandtheconsequenceofUDA,Itrytonoputmorerigorthan needed.Eventuallythoserelationshipwillappearinmathematicalform withthelobianinterview.Self-referencethroughdiagonalizationwill dothework,butthisisneededtoextractphysicsfromnumbers,notto understandwehavetoextractphysicsfromnumbersonceweassumecomp.  suchasbelievingthemselvestobemomentsinthelifeofasingle individual,havingmemoriesorquasi-memoriesincommon,andsoon.  IfIsplitintotwothatpresentsnoproblemforthe3rdpersonPOV  (therearetwoinstantiationsofStathisextantwherebeforetherewa s one)norforthe1stpersonPOV(eachinstantiationknowsitis experiencingwhatitisexperiencingasitisexperiencingit).   OK. AproblemdoesarisewhenIanticipatethesplit(whichonewillI  become?)orlookbackatthesplit(*I*wastheoriginal!);thereis nocorrectanswerinthesecasesbecauseitisbasedon3rdperson  extrapolationofthe1stpersonPOV,whichinadditiontoitsother  failingsassumesonlyasingleentitycanbeextantatanyonetime (onlyasingle1stpersonexistsbydefinition,butmultiple3rd personscanexistattheonetime).   Thisisalittleweird.Yousaythereisnocorrectanswer,andthen yougivethecomp-correctanswer. ThefirstpersonisindeedjustNOTfirstperson-duplicable(unless  someaddedartificialtelepathictrick,butingeneralItalkonlyon theusualsimpleteleportationorduplication).  Thereisanunambiguous3rdpersondescriptiveanswer,butnosuch unambiguous1stpersonanswer.   Ithinkthereis,onceassumingcomp.Wecanstilltalkabout1stpersonexpectations,whichIagreeisthe importantthingforthesubject.   Yes,physicswillarisefromthat.  Thisisnottosaythatmymindcanorshouldovercome[LeeCorbin disagreesonthe"should"]thedeeplyingrainedbelieforillusion  thatIamaunique,one- trackindividuallivingmylifefromstartto finish,Hereyoureallytalkaboutthethirdpersonextrapolation,soIagree  withyou.Butthefirstpersonisnotdeceivebyitsfeelingofliving  uniquelyintimeandspace.Itcouldbedangeroustosayso,becauseit   leadsto(materialism)eliminativismwhicheventuallyconcludethatthe   wholefirstpersonthingisanillusion.Thisleadstoadeeplywrong  senseof"human"- irresponsibility.Well,itisanegationofthefirst person.Icanbesureitiswrong,asIbetyoucantoo.  Iwouldsaythatthe1stpersonexperienceis*not*anillusionin anysenseoftheword.   Allright.Itistheveryopposite,inaway:themostrealthing,whichcannot bedoubted.   Yes.   Butextrapolatingtootherpeopleorotherselvesinthepast,future, comingoutoftheteleporterorwhatever,thatisanothermatter.   

RE: Re: A calculus of personal identity

2006-07-03 Thread John M


Stathis and Bruno:
I am still perlexed (aren't we all?) about the use of
the 1 vs 3. There is no 3rd person 'reality', only the
1st person memory of somebody else communicated to me
when it becomes acknowledged as MY 1st person
interpretation of it. 
I feel we rub too close to the solipsist quagmire of
its unprovable and undeniable lunacy. 

John M
--- Stathis Papaioannou
[EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:

 Bruno Marchal writes:
  
   It could be, for example, that I have been
 brainwashed and my memoriesof the past are
 partly or completely false memories.   There
 is no false 1-memories. Only an association between
 some 1-memory   and some 3-reality can be false. If
 someone succeeds in implementing   correctly (more
 than just coherently) false beliefs (like I am
 Napoleon   just after Waterloo), then I will
 believe correctly that I am Napoleon   and that I
 have just lose a battle, almost by definition. I
 will have   to go in an asylum, sure, but my
 1-memory of the past is correct given that they have
 been correctly   implemented.
 This is just what I meant, though my terminology
 seems to differ from yours. As a result, I have a
 belief in a persisting 1st person through time, in
 this example the belief that I was and still am
 Napoleon. Now while I can't be wrong about having
 this memory/belief, I could be wrong in asserting
 that it reflects some 3rd person reality, such as
 that I am over 300 years old. In the same way, I
 think I am wrong in asserting that I believed I was
 Napoleon yesterday, and the day before, and the day
 before that, and so on, which is what a persisting
 1st person through time is as commonly understood;
 it is true that I *believe* I believed that, but the
 best I could do to verify it would be to examine my
 current memory or other evidence, such as my diary.
 And while my assertion that my present body is over
 300 years old could be verified in principle by some
 medical test, my assertion that I have continuously
 experienced the mental states of Napoleon during
 this time period runs up against the problem of
 other minds - even when the other mind is a past
 version of my own (putative) mind. 
  
 I'll respond to the rest of your post on the UDA at
 a later time, I need to read it more closely than I
 have time to do today...
  
 --Stathis Papaioannou
  
  
  
 I agree if you mean by future and past
 3-future and 3-past. 1-   past   and
 1-future is not extrapolation thy are feelings
 continuously lived   in a lasting present.
 I can no more doubt of my feeling of past than I  
 can doubt of a headache (say). Even if time
 by itself does not exist at  all
 (which is the case with comp). The extrapolation
 would reside onlyin some third person
 projection of that time, space, ... (I think we  
  agree, the problem could just be the term
 illusion).I'm not sure if you're saying
 what I was saying above bydistinguishing
 between 1-future/past and 3-future/past.   I
 think so. The relationship between different
 stages in a person's life - howfar apart two
 different experiences can be and still belong to the
same person - is complicated and necessarily
 vague. If we allow thatin principle anyone can
 change into anyone else, how can you pin down   
 this relationship with any rigour?To
 understand the consequence of UDA, I try to no put
 more rigor than   needed. Eventually those
 relationship will appear in mathematical form  
 with the lobian interview. Self-reference through
 diagonalization will   do the work, but this is
 needed to extract physics from numbers, not to  
 understand we have to extract physics from numbers
 once we assume comp.   such
 as believing themselves to be moments in the life of
 a single individual, having memories or
 quasi-memories in common, and so on.   If
 I split into two that presents no problem for the
 3rd person POV(there are two
 instantiations of Stathis extant where before there
 wa   s one) nor for the 1st person POV
 (each instantiation knows it is experiencing
 what it is experiencing as it is experiencing it).
   OK.  A
 problem does arise when I anticipate the split
 (which one will Ibecome?) or look back
 at the split (*I* was the original!); there is   
  no correct answer in these cases because it is
 based on 3rd personextrapolation of
 the 1st person POV, which in addition to its other 
   failings assumes only a single entity can
 be extant at any one time (only a single 1st
 person exists by definition, but multiple 3rd   
  persons can exist at the one time).  
 This is a little weird. You say there is no correct
 answer, and thenyou give the comp-correct
 answer.   The first person is indeed just NOT
 first person-duplicable (unless   some
 added artificial telepathic trick, but in general I
 talk only onthe usual simple teleportation or
 duplication).There 

RE: Re: A calculus of personal identity

2006-07-03 Thread Stathis Papaioannou


Quentin Anciaux writes:
 HiJohn,  LeVendredi30Juin200621:06,JohnMaécrit: AninterestingobservationfromSaibalthatincreasing theinfo-inputtoone'sbrainkillsperson(ality?). Iwouldnotsay"dead",rather'changed'asintosome differentone.(Itisagradualchange,deathisbeing thoughtofassomethingmoreabruptand comprehensive.)  Formedeathmeanstoneverbeconsciousagain...never.That'swhydeathis meaninglessina1stpersonpointofview,becauseitisimpossibleby definitiontofeelbeingdead,becauseifyoucouldfeelbeingdead,itmeans you'renot(dead),ifyouwerebydefinitionyoucouldn'tfeel/experienceit.
OK, that's a reasonable working definition of death...
 So"theyou"at3yearsoldcouldnotbedead,becauseyourememberbeingit (inyour"bones").

You remember being 3, but it's probably nothing like being 3. It is possible that your brain has changed so much in the interim that even though you now remember being 3 "in your bones",almost no aspect of this memory is anything quite like the original experience. In fact, people might completely forget thingsthat happened to them in early childhood,or might "remember" things that didn't happen to them at all, or happened to someone else. Imagine what would happen if we did not have continuous conscious experience in the one body, if we could edit our memories at will, if we could download other peoples' memories or other mental attributes - including that bone-deep sense of identity, which whatever else it is must also besomehow physically imprinted in our brains.
 Inspiteofthat,knowingthatwhenasa5-yoIhad differentperson-alityandideas,brainfunctionand emotions,IstillfeelNOWidentitywithTHATPERSON.  Itotallyagreewiththis.AndIthinkspeaking(bisrepetita)of1stperson experience/continuousidentitythroughtimeasbeinganillusioncannot explainthefeelingofbeing"aself"everydaytill...?;)
Why not? If you were killed every night in your sleep and the next day a close copy reconstructed complete with memories (to the same extent as they are preserved "naturally" from day to day as our brain falls apart and is rebuilt by the neuronal nanomachinery), how would you know the difference? Unless you answer this question by saying that if your brain structure were preserved in the copying from day to day then continuity of identity is not an illusion, by definition... but then what if the copying after you are killed is delayed, or 1% more degradation than naturally occurs is allowed every cycle, or zero degradation is allowed but 1% false memories are added every cycle: would the strong feeling that you were the same person from day to day (which would still be present) then qualify as an illusion?

Stathis PapaioannouBe one of the first to try  Windows Live Mail.
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Re: A calculus of personal identity

2006-07-03 Thread jamikes


- Original Message -
From: Brent Meeker [EMAIL PROTECTED]
To: everything-list@googlegroups.com
Sent: Sunday, July 02, 2006 2:54 PM
Subject: Re: A calculus of personal identity



Bruno Marchal wrote:

 Le 01-juil.-06, à 19:54, Brent Meeker a écrit :


Sure it is.  Just because something cannot be directly experienced
doesn't rule it out of a
scienctific model: quarks can't be observed, but their effects can.

Brent:
what gives you the right to assume a non experienceable quark as
described,
and 'assign' some observation (rather: math. conclusion) to IT?
Only after eliminating ALL (possible and impossible in our view) other cases
that might have led to the effect assigned to  quarks quae non sunt.
This is the very method by which conventional science arrives at paradoxes.
Sorry for the outburst, please read it in a mild tune of voice.
Thank you

John M


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Re: A calculus of personal identity

2006-07-03 Thread Brent Meeker

[EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
 
 - Original Message -
 From: Brent Meeker [EMAIL PROTECTED]
 To: everything-list@googlegroups.com
 Sent: Sunday, July 02, 2006 2:54 PM
 Subject: Re: A calculus of personal identity
 
 
 
 Bruno Marchal wrote:
 
Le 01-juil.-06, à 19:54, Brent Meeker a écrit :



Sure it is.  Just because something cannot be directly experienced
doesn't rule it out of a
scienctific model: quarks can't be observed, but their effects can.

 Brent:
 what gives you the right to assume a non experienceable quark as
 described,
 and 'assign' some observation (rather: math. conclusion) to IT?
 Only after eliminating ALL (possible and impossible in our view) other cases
 that might have led to the effect assigned to  quarks quae non sunt.
 This is the very method by which conventional science arrives at paradoxes.
 Sorry for the outburst, please read it in a mild tune of voice.
 Thank you
 
 John M

I, or more accurately Murray Gell-Mann, didn't assume a non-experiencable 
quark; he created a 
model of nuclear constituents and called them quarks.  Frank Wilcez showed why 
they would not be 
observable individually.  But this model correctly predicted (not assigned) 
the results found in 
many subsequent experiments.  So it is a model in which I place some credence.

You gotta problem with that!?

Brent Meeker

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Re: A calculus of personal identity

2006-07-03 Thread John M



--- Brent Meeker [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:

 
 [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
  
  - Original Message -
  From: Brent Meeker [EMAIL PROTECTED]
  To: everything-list@googlegroups.com
  Sent: Sunday, July 02, 2006 2:54 PM
  Subject: Re: A calculus of personal identity
  
  
  
  Bruno Marchal wrote:
  
 Le 01-juil.-06, à 19:54, Brent Meeker a écrit :
 
 
 
 Sure it is.  Just because something cannot be
 directly experienced
 doesn't rule it out of a
 scienctific model: quarks can't be observed, but
 their effects can.
 
  Brent:
  what gives you the right to assume a non
 experienceable quark as
  described,
  and 'assign' some observation (rather: math.
 conclusion) to IT?
  Only after eliminating ALL (possible and
 impossible in our view) other cases
  that might have led to the effect assigned to 
 quarks quae non sunt.
  This is the very method by which conventional
 science arrives at paradoxes.
  Sorry for the outburst, please read it in a mild
 tune of voice.
  Thank you
  
  John M
 
 I, or more accurately Murray Gell-Mann, didn't
 assume a non-experiencable quark; he created a 
 model of nuclear constituents and called them
 quarks.  Frank Wilcez showed why they would not be 
 observable individually.  But this model correctly
 predicted (not assigned) the results found in 
 many subsequent experiments.  So it is a model in
 which I place some credence.
 
 You gotta problem with that!?
 
 Brent Meeker
 
YES, Brent, 'I gotta problem with that'. (It seems yoU

did not read my post in 'mild' enough tune) Gell- Mann

created a model to carry those assumptions (oops! math
predictions) which resulted in the 10^nth level
assumption from the caveman's first observation of
nature, adjusted continually by the ongoing epistemic
enrichment of human thinking. This limited model was
reduced to serve that ONE purpose and was cut off from
the 'rest of the world and its unlimited functions'. 
 I heard Gell-Mann in 1997 about 'complex models' and
found him excellent in the reductionist science. Some
people raised such points and he became impatient. I
liked his book and the quark story. If there is no
such thing as 'atom' or 'matter' for that matter, why
should I 'believe' a narrow nodel of its ingredient?
(I did not find any 'matterly' in the (sub)atomic
physical particles that could justify the hardess of a
tabletop. I was a 'belever' in physics 101 in college,
where reputable professors (books) recited the 
 'experiments' of others from the past and calculated
those models so drawn up with the topical limitatins
in beautiful equations. I got rid of all that when I
started to think. If I give in now to the quark, there
is no stop all the way to back to physics 101. I leave
that to the engineers and the technical inventors, who
created our fabulous technology and I use it happily.
Not as tools for some in-debth understanding
(including the 38 patents to my name either). 
Toothbrush vs Debussy. 
I claim my ignorance in a scientific agnosticism and
live with it. I am searching for words not too much
anchored in unwanted semantics to express what I feel
is right. It needs a mother tongue. Unfortunately I
stopped using my mother tongue when I was still
sitting in my reductionist model (natural) science and
English is the 5th...
  I could use 2-300 more years for the search. 
Maybe there IS a Q-suicide with teleportation to some
other universe although THAT I consider not an
assumption but an illusion or an exaggerated sci-fi. 

Sorry if I annoyed you

John


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RE: A calculus of personal identity

2006-07-03 Thread Stathis Papaioannou


Lee Corbin writes:

 whichiswhyinsymmetricalduplicationexperimentsIanticipate thatIwillbecomeoneoftheduplicateswithequalprobability.  Whatdoyouthinkofyoursurvivalchancesifyouhappentoknow thatafteryoufallasleeptonight,youwillbedisintegrated, buttheinformationwillbeusedtocreatetwoexactduplicates, andthenoneoftheduplicatesisvaporizedandtheother returnedtoyourbedcompletelyunaware?  Zero?(I.e.,youdon'tsurvivethe"teleportation"aspectatall.)  One-half?(I.e.,yoursoulgoesintooneatrandom,andifthat's theonethatdies,thenyournumberisup.)  One?(I.e.,Stathiswillwakeupinbedforsuretomorrow,and resumehislifejustashehasdoneeveryday(sinceour fiendishexperimentsbeganwhenhewasfiveyearsold))
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.

While you may agree that the answer to your question above is "one", we may differ in another thought experiment. 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 andone copy as per usual made tomorrow plus an extra copy made with a mild headache. 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, 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. 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. I *know* that there is no such thing as a soul, that I die every moment, was dead before birth, will be dead for most of eternity, am dead almost everywhere, death doesn't necessarily hurt, but I still don't want to die. Similarly, I *know* that each of the copies tomorrow has equal claim to being me, but I still feel that only one of them is going to me, and I worry about which one it's going to be. There is, on the one hand, logic and empirical truth, and on the other hand the way I feel, and the two do not necessarily coincide. I would be *wrong* if I made an empirical claim about the world on the basis of a feeling; for example, that I must have an immaterial soul which persists in a single version of my body throughout life. But I am *not* wrong if I simply report that I have the strong feeling of a persistent soul, that I don't want to die, and that I can only feel that I am one person at a time.

Stathis PapaioannouBe one of the first to try  Windows Live Mail.
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Re: A calculus of personal identity

2006-07-03 Thread Brent Meeker

John M wrote:
 
 
 --- Brent Meeker [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
 
 
[EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:

- Original Message -
From: Brent Meeker [EMAIL PROTECTED]
To: everything-list@googlegroups.com
Sent: Sunday, July 02, 2006 2:54 PM
Subject: Re: A calculus of personal identity



Bruno Marchal wrote:


Le 01-juil.-06, à 19:54, Brent Meeker a écrit :




Sure it is.  Just because something cannot be

directly experienced

doesn't rule it out of a
scienctific model: quarks can't be observed, but

their effects can.

Brent:
what gives you the right to assume a non

experienceable quark as

described,
and 'assign' some observation (rather: math.

conclusion) to IT?

Only after eliminating ALL (possible and

impossible in our view) other cases

that might have led to the effect assigned to 

quarks quae non sunt.

This is the very method by which conventional

science arrives at paradoxes.

Sorry for the outburst, please read it in a mild

tune of voice.

Thank you

John M

I, or more accurately Murray Gell-Mann, didn't
assume a non-experiencable quark; he created a 
model of nuclear constituents and called them
quarks.  Frank Wilcez showed why they would not be 
observable individually.  But this model correctly
predicted (not assigned) the results found in 
many subsequent experiments.  So it is a model in
which I place some credence.

You gotta problem with that!?

Brent Meeker

 
 YES, Brent, 'I gotta problem with that'. (It seems yoU
 
 did not read my post in 'mild' enough tune) 

I shoulda put a smiley on that.  ;-)

Gell- Mann
 
 created a model to carry those assumptions (oops! math
 predictions) which resulted in the 10^nth level
 assumption from the caveman's first observation of
 nature, adjusted continually by the ongoing epistemic
 enrichment of human thinking. This limited model was
 reduced to serve that ONE purpose and was cut off from
 the 'rest of the world and its unlimited functions'. 
  I heard Gell-Mann in 1997 about 'complex models' and
 found him excellent in the reductionist science. Some
 people raised such points and he became impatient. I
 liked his book and the quark story. If there is no
 such thing as 'atom' or 'matter' for that matter, why
 should I 'believe' a narrow nodel of its ingredient?
 (I did not find any 'matterly' in the (sub)atomic
 physical particles that could justify the hardess of a
 tabletop. I was a 'belever' in physics 101 in college,
 where reputable professors (books) recited the 
  'experiments' of others from the past and calculated
 those models so drawn up with the topical limitatins
 in beautiful equations. I got rid of all that when I
 started to think. 

I'm sure your professors will be disappointed to hear that their hard won 
theories are inconsistent 
with thought.

If I give in now to the quark, there
 is no stop all the way to back to physics 101. 

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


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RE: A calculus of personal identity

2006-07-03 Thread Stathis Papaioannou


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?

Stathis Papaioannou



 From: [EMAIL PROTECTED] To: everything-list@googlegroups.com Subject: RE: A calculus of personal identity Date: Sat, 1 Jul 2006 22:52:07 -0700   Stathiswrote  Sent:Wednesday,June28,20065:53AM  whichiswhyinsymmetricalduplicationexperimentsIanticipate thatIwillbecomeoneoftheduplicateswithequalprobability.  Whatdoyouthinkofyoursurvivalchancesifyouhappentoknow thatafteryoufallasleeptonight,youwillbedisintegrated, buttheinformationwillbeusedtocreatetwoexactduplicates, andthenoneoftheduplicatesisvaporizedandtheother returnedtoyourbedcompletelyunaware?  Zero?(I.e.,youdon'tsurvivethe"teleportation"aspectatall.)  One-half?(I.e.,yoursoulgoesintooneatrandom,andifthat's theonethatdies,thenyournumberisup.)  One?(I.e.,Stathiswillwakeupinbedforsuretomorrow,and resumehislifejustashehasdoneeveryday(sinceour fiendishexperimentsbeganwhenhewasfiveyearsold))  Lee   
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RE: A calculus of personal identity

2006-07-02 Thread Lee Corbin

Hal writes

 What I argued was that it would be easier to find the trace of a person's
 thoughts in a universe where he had a physically continuous record than
 where there were discontinuities (easier in the sense that a smaller
 program would suffice).  In my framework, this means that the universe
 would contribute more measure to people who had continuous lives than
 people who teleported.

Just out of curiosity, does a person who saw a chance TV show on Chaucer
and now reads Chaucer have less measure than if he'd been  just as 
influenced by a TV show about Harry Potter?

 Someone whose life ended at the moment of
 teleportation would have a higher measure than someone who survived
 the event.  Therefore, I would view teleportation as reducing measure
 similarly to doing something that had a risk of dying.  I would try to
 avoid it, unless there were compensating benefits

That is, you would avoid it more than you avoid crossing the street
more often than you have to (*with* the stop lights; far be it from
me to accuse you of unlawful behavior)?

 If we wanted to create a physical record where this framework would
 be compatible with saying that people die often, it would be necessary
 to physically teleport people thousands of times a second.  Or perhaps
 the same thing could be done by freezing people for a substantial time,
 reviving them for a thousandth of a second, then re-freezing them again
 for a while, etc.
 
 If we consider the practical implications of such experiments I don't
 think it is so implausible to view them as being worse than living a
 single, connected, subjective life.  It would be quite difficult to
 interact in a meaningful way with the world under such circumstances.

But it may be that this is a simulation, and the destruction amounts
to erasure of data from working memory, and the restoration the
retrieval from a distant part of the network bus. Thus, the interaction
of people with people left in working memory would go completely
unnoticed.

Equivalently, we could find out that the Martians operate millions of
times faster than we do, and employ something a little more advanced
than superconducting that copies my body information, stores it a
few meters away, then disintegrates my body, copies my data back from
where they stored it, and fabricates a new copy.  This should not
be evident to people with such slow senses as us animals.

 However, if one were so unfortunate as to be put into such a situation,
 then it would no longer be particularly bad to teleport.  You're being
 broken into pieces all the time anyway, so the event of teleportation
 would presumably not make things any worse.  Particularly if you were
 somehow being teleported thousands of times a second, then adding a
 teleportation would basically be meaningless since you're teleporting
 anyway at every instant.  So I don't agree with Lee's conclusion that
 in this situation people would still resist teleportation.

I meant it in the way that today many people resist air travel, i.e.,
a part of them knows that they are not being rational in a way.

Lee


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Re: A calculus of personal identity

2006-07-02 Thread Bruno Marchal


Le 01-juil.-06, à 19:35, Brent Meeker a écrit :

 That's not contrary to my conception at all.  I certainly do bet on 
 the existence of others, and
 of chairs and tables and stars and electrons and myself, and all for 
 the essentially the same reasons.

OK.




 I don't understand the conjunction of necessarily and 
 serendipitous.


It can be proved that if I am a self-referentially correct machine then 
I cannot know which machine I am.
So if the doctor *guaranties* that I will survive the digital graft at 
the substitution level he has chosen, then I'l better run ... (if I 
can).


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


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Re: A calculus of personal identity

2006-07-02 Thread Bruno Marchal


Le 01-juil.-06, à 19:54, Brent Meeker a écrit :


 Sure it is.  Just because something cannot be directly experienced 
 doesn't rule it out of a
 scienctific model: quarks can't be observed, but their effects can.


OK, but we were discussing about theories. general relativity, as a 
theory does not assume the existence of readers of relativity 
journal. The quantum theory *with collapse* is already less clear on 
that ...


 So I believe in other people's
 first person experience because that is a good way to predict their 
 behavoir.

Except the same theory would predict the behavior of zombie. We are 
arguing on a fundamental level. All what I argue for is that once you 
*assume* comp, then there is no aristotelian primary matter, and 
eventually physics is branch of number's bio/psych/theo/logy.


  I consult a model in
 which I use my first person experience to perdict how they will behave 
 - this is called emphathizing
 - and I find it works pretty well.

You are lucky but then I don't know any other ways. But again, in those 
threads we are not just interested in prediction (even if they are the 
ultimate test) but in understanding.

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


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Re: A calculus of personal identity

2006-07-02 Thread Bruno Marchal


Le 01-juil.-06, à 19:59, James N Rose a écrit :



 Math and reductive science ignore and dis-consider collateral 
 co-extancy.



The comp assumption leads to the less reductive possible account of the 
person and person POVs.
For example, comp does not guaranties *any* survival, but it guaranties 
  that no such survival-guaranties are possible. It guaranties 
eventually that personal identity can only be a matter of ...  
*personal* matter.

Perhaps are you confusing math before and after 
Post-Turing-Church-Godel-Lob ...

... or you refer to those mathematicians who have not yet swallow the 
incompleteness phenomena...

Actually I believe that the incompleteness theorem (especially with 
comp or weaker) makes it impossible for science, or better, for the 
scientific attitude, to be reductive. With comp the diagonalization 
tale is before all a lesson of modesty.

Despite this, Goel's incompleteness theorem is a constructive theorem, 
and it leads to the discovery that machine ignorance is wonderfully 
structured, rich, productive ...
And UDA justifies why the laws of physics comes from there, in a 
testable way.

To assume our finiteness, what comp really is about, enlarges the range 
of our possible infinite realms. With comp only the gods can miss the 
unconceivable freedom. Somehow.

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


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Re: A calculus of personal identity

2006-07-02 Thread jamikes

Hello, Quentin:
we agree in spite of a different formulation:

death - I wrote about it as a process in a concept, while I feel you refer
to the 'death' of a 'person' or whatever, as a state.

The person (or whatever) is a complex entity of its (his?) interconnected
and self-reflective (yes, even 'lifeless' features) components - in
connection with the rest of the world and when death (my semantics)
steps in - such complex entity starts ;losing connection and accordingly
ceases to exist altogether (as in its entirety). Portions of it do not
qualify for the (entire) complex entity subjected to the 'death' (your
semantics) process. It may continue to be something partially similar, but
not anymore the entire complex. I have to differentiate in this respect
between essential and non essential ingredients: a limb does not seem to
be essential to a person, so the loss of a leg does not destroy the 'person'
complexity into death. Even a (larger) part of the neuronic brain is not
necessarily 'death-inducing', nor the partial loss of mentality. I have yet
to find the criteria for identifying the kinds of 'ingredients' the loss
(destruction, paralysis, dysfunction) of which we may qualify for
'death-inducing' - I do not rely on the ongoing medical terms which allow
'near-death' and reversible 'clinical' death (coma?) and consider the
medically pronounceable death in a physiological restriction.
I have no acceptable (for me) identification for life. For sure I consider
it wider than the churning of C-H-O-N based molecules in the Terrestrial
biosphere.

Feeling identical with that kid of 5 is a funny notion: emotionally it is
memory of that early I in my present terms, mentality is the present one,
not that 5 year old (logic, experience, cognitive inventory, even use of
memes) and - allegedly none of my present 'atoms' in my 'body' is the same
anymore. So what is what I feel as MYSELF? In spite of Saibal's 'killing
of a person by adding too much new information to his experience'??? I am
still 'alive'(?) and feel identical to that (Saibal-killed) infant. And when
I die, that kid also dies (with/in me).

This question of the two of us is real, within common sense normalcy, no
teleportation or duplication involved.

Regards

John M

- Original Message -
From: Quentin Anciaux [EMAIL PROTECTED]
To: everything-list@googlegroups.com
Sent: Friday, June 30, 2006 6:51 PM
Subject: Re: A calculus of personal identity



Hi John,

Le Vendredi 30 Juin 2006 21:06, John M a écrit :
 An interesting observation from Saibal that increasing
 the info-input to one's brain kills person(ality?).
 I would not say dead,  rather 'changed' as into some
 different one. (It is a gradual change, death is being
 thought of as something more abrupt and
 comprehensive.)

For me death means to never be conscious again... never. That's why death is
meaningless in a 1st person point of view, because it is impossible by
definition to feel being dead, because if you could feel being dead, it
means
you're not (dead), if you were by definition you couldn't feel/experience
it.

So the you at 3 years old could not be dead, because you remember being it
(in your bones). That's why I think speaking of 1st person
experience/identity as being illusionary is a bad step for explaining 1st
person experience, which is the only thing we ever experience, the only real
thing we can be sure of.

 In spite of that, knowing that when as a 5-yo I had
 different person-ality and ideas, brainfunction and
 emotions, I still feel NOW identity with THAT PERSON.

I totally agree with this. And I think speaking (bis repetita) of 1st person
experience/continuous identity through time as being an illusion can not
explain the feeling of being a self every day till ... ? ;)

 The best

 John M

Regards,
Quentin



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Re: A calculus of personal identity

2006-07-02 Thread jamikes


- Original Message -
From: Brent Meeker [EMAIL PROTECTED]
To: everything-list@googlegroups.com
Sent: Friday, June 30, 2006 3:34 PM
Subject: Re: A calculus of personal identity



 John M wrote:
 
  ...
  Stathis wrote:
  ...
 
  I agree.  Other people are part of the model of the
  world we form.  And in the same way the existence of
  myself, as a durable entity, is also a part of that
  model.
  Brent Meeker
  *
  Does this agreed double(?) statement not rub too close
  on solipsism?

 Not if you accept that *all* our ideas of reality are models.  The fact
that they work well and are
 coherent makes me believe they are models of an external reality - not a
personal illusion - but I
 can still doubt that they *are reality* itself.  In other words I take
them to be like scientific
 theories: provisionally accepted, but subject to refutation.

Provided that your solipsism does not 'illusion' similarly thinking persons
and phenomena that all match closely he one you imagined as the 'original'
one.
'Scientific theories' ditto.
Solipsism is an irrefutable quagmire of lunacy.
 
  Then again:
...
 I have memories from when I was 5yrs old, but the source of identity I
feel in those memories arises
 only from the fact that I remember a personal viewpoint in spactime and I
remember emotions.  Those
 are the same aspects of memories of last week that make them coherent with
my model of myself as a  being who persists over time.

 Brent Meeker

I would love to go a bit further than that. I am working on it without
firmly believing to arrive at a good solution soon. (I.e. during the time
I have left).

John M


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RE: A calculus of personal identity

2006-07-02 Thread Lee Corbin

Stathis also wrote in the same email, Sent: Friday, June 30, 2006 12:24 AM
To: everything-list@googlegroups.com
Subject: Re: A calculus of personal identity

 Brent wrote
  That's why I suggest that OMs are not an adequate ontological basis for a 
  world model.  On the other 
  hand, if we include brain processes, or more abstractly, subconscious 
  thoughts, then we would have 
  enough information to string them together.
 
 I know some people on this list have attempted world-building 
 with OMs, but my starting point is the less ambitious idea that 
 consciousness can in principle extend across time and space 
 without being specially linked. If a person's stream of consciousness 
 were chopped up into seconds, minutes, days or whatever, using 
 whatever vehicle it takes to run a human mind, and these moments 
 of consciousness randomly dispersed throughout the multiverse, 
 they would all connect up by virtue of their information content. 
 Do you disagree that it would in principle be possible?

So if I understand you right, this is where the difference between
a book and a person arises. When a book's letters are scattered over
the cosmos, the information is lost, but when the observer moments
are so scattered, the subjective experience still remains.

Now we suppose from quantum mechanics that the Bekenstein bound
on the number of states a human can be in is less than 10^10^45.
(Tipler, 1993, The Physics of Immortality.) So each state of
your life is a very special small subset of all those states.
Let's do something special with just *one* life that you've
led (will lead) in the universe, one life, that is, in a particular
spacetime.

I propose to take something quite a bit like observer-moments and
ask some questions about it. Suppose that an exact frozen replica
of your brain is made corresponding to each 10^-42 seconds of your
life. This gives us about 10^42 * 10^7 * 70years, or about 10^50
states (a far cry from all those possible for humans, 10^10^45).

We place those 10^50 states in a long row, and then, for an audience,
we round up all the billions of observers in the visible universe
to watch the show. First the spotlight is on your brain the second
after you were born. Then one 10^-42 seconds later the spotlight
moves to the next frozen brain, and so forth. 

The audience is placed in the same frame of reference as the moving
light, and so they see an apparently continuous evolution of your
brain.

How is this any different from what happened to you actually? From
an external scientific point of view, it seems remarkably identical.
(I am ultimately to claim that something essential---but not 
consciousness or anything like that is missing, but rather
*causality* is missing.)

I suppose that you would assert that a first person experience was
attached to this performance, a performance moving against a background
of stars as the stage. Is that correct? 


Next we begin a process of deconstruction.  First, on one century's
performance, there is trouble with the spotlight, and it's very dim
although the audience can still see the show. But a few performances
(centuries) later, the spotlight goes out altogether. Still, the
audience knows from the notes passed out exactly what is happening.
On another night, the audience fails to show up. Do these things
really affect whether or not a first person experience attends the
brain?

In other performances, the spotlight dances all around, from a
trillionth of a trillionth of a trillionth of a hundred trillionth
of a second (about 10^-50 seconds) from your brain in midlife to
your brain as an adolescent, then to your brain as a young adult,
then to the geezer Stathis brain, and so on, completely wrecking
the order. Now from what you wrote above about  

 it takes to run a human mind, and these moments 
 of consciousness randomly dispersed throughout the multiverse, 
 they would all connect up by virtue of their information content. 

one might surmise that you believe that the order that these frozen
brains appear is irrelevant. (I happen to agree---my own view is
that as soon as there was no longer causality connecting each 
frozen brain with another brain---that is, that no real computation
was taking place---the first person experience no longer occurred.)

But if I have surmised correctly, then you wouldn't care that the
frozen brains were not only shown sometimes out of sequence, but
that there did not have to be an audience, nor was the spatial
relative locations of the brains relevant. They could be jumbled
all over the cosmos.

But next, what about the neurons making up the brains?  What would
be lost if they too were dispersed through time and space? Finally, 
just when, if any time, would anything be lost: what if the neurons
are themselves separated into atoms and dispersed?

Well, to me this is the ultimate reductio, because it means that
among the dust in the vast, vast, vast volumes of the cosmos, each
of your brain states already

Re: A calculus of personal identity

2006-07-02 Thread Brent Meeker

Bruno Marchal wrote:
 
 Le 01-juil.-06, à 19:54, Brent Meeker a écrit :
 
 
Sure it is.  Just because something cannot be directly experienced 
doesn't rule it out of a
scienctific model: quarks can't be observed, but their effects can.
 
 
 
 OK, but we were discussing about theories. general relativity, as a 
 theory does not assume the existence of readers of relativity 
 journal. The quantum theory *with collapse* is already less clear on 
 that ...
 
 
 
So I believe in other people's
first person experience because that is a good way to predict their 
behavoir.
 
 
 Except the same theory would predict the behavior of zombie. We are 
 arguing on a fundamental level. All what I argue for is that once you 
 *assume* comp, then there is no aristotelian primary matter, and 
 eventually physics is branch of number's bio/psych/theo/logy.

As I understand it, assuming comp is assuming that there are no zombies.

Brent Meeker


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Re: A calculus of personal identity

2006-07-02 Thread James N Rose

Bruno,

I have found myself in this lifetime to be a staunch
OP-ponent and challenger to Godel's incompleteness
theorems.   

In the way that they are structured - with the premises
Godel preset, of initial boundaries for what he was
about to design by 'proof' - his theorems are both 
sufficiently closed and constituently -accurate- in 
their conclusion and notions.

_But_, what I find disturbing about them is that they are
RELIANT on a more formative -presumption-, which presumption
enables an analyst to draw quite a -contradiction aspect- 
to what Godel announced. A self-discontinuity _within_ his
theorems, as it were.

Clearly, this:

He tacitly identifies any information resident -outside- any 
current/known, as -eventually accessible, connectible, relatable-,  
even if it means restructuring known-information in regard to
alternative/new criteria and standards definitions, descriptions,
statements.

It is through this process of add then rerevaluate that new
paradigms are achieved.  But, it is dependent on the compatibility
of the whole scope of all the information -then- present; and the
eventual capacity to coordinate statements with all content addressable
by statements.

So, his thesis that at any given moment in time, not all information
is present or gathered, and that this makes for limited statement
making, where some evaluation statements in the data-set may instead
be reliant on future/other yet-to-be-included information .. is a 
worthy logical notion.   A closed system may not completely evaluate
itself -- some evaluations are indeterminant.


But, think for a moment about what that presumption of eventual
includability dictates:

That we -can- (right now) state something specific and projective
about the qualia and nature of knowledge and information -- currently
-beyond- the bounds of actual experience and encounter and access.

It also aserts:   information 'unknown' is compatible with and
eventually relatable with information 'known'.

The first foundation of Godel's 'I can't decide about that Theorems'
is the moot statement: 'I -can- decide about -everything- and here's why';
--which is a contradiction of logic.  

The limited set can make true-false statement about the
totality of existence (internal and external to known-ness),
but it cannot guarantee it's own true-false statements
without added 'external' information made internal.


Therefore, the logic of future science and knowledge, 
I assert, is -incorrectly- contrained and defined by 
this - by Godel and his Incompleteness Theorems.


Rather, the logic of future science and knowledge
is premised in Information and Performance Holism.
The unitary interactional and information accessible
quality of Existence.  Which fundamental notion is what
Godel ignores and rejects and tries to discredit.


Where, we CAN in fact make VALID STATEMENTS -about that which-
the incompleteness theorems 'conclude': we should not be able
to say -anything- at all.

You can absolutely place me in the community of thinkers 
who do not swallow the incompleteness phenomena.  Because
my statements/logic are not incorrect and they do identify
flaw/weakness/incorrectness in Godel.

He used not a tautology but a strange negative tautology.

If A then not-A ; if not-A, then never(A) as long
as not-A exists; and since not-A always exists
then A is not accessible to evaluate not-A; but
not-A can assert A and assess A.

All Godel did was give a validation for information
hiding and manipulation -- something useful to politicians
and economic manipulators and spiritual advocates.

He didn't do science or logic or math any favors.
Or the future for that matter.


James N Rose



Bruno Marchal wrote:
 
 Le 01-juil.-06, à 19:59, James N Rose a écrit :
 
 
  Math and reductive science ignore and dis-consider collateral
  co-extancy.
 
 The comp assumption leads to the less reductive possible account of the
 person and person POVs.
 For example, comp does not guaranties *any* survival, but it guaranties
   that no such survival-guaranties are possible. It guaranties
 eventually that personal identity can only be a matter of ...
 *personal* matter.
 
 Perhaps are you confusing math before and after
 Post-Turing-Church-Godel-Lob ...
 
 ... or you refer to those mathematicians who have not yet swallow the
 incompleteness phenomena...
 
 Actually I believe that the incompleteness theorem (especially with
 comp or weaker) makes it impossible for science, or better, for the
 scientific attitude, to be reductive. With comp the diagonalization
 tale is before all a lesson of modesty.
 
 Despite this, Goel's incompleteness theorem is a constructive theorem,
 and it leads to the discovery that machine ignorance is wonderfully
 structured, rich, productive ...
 And UDA justifies why the laws of physics comes from there, in a
 testable way.
 
 To assume our finiteness, what comp really is about, enlarges the range
 of our possible infinite 

Re: A calculus of personal identity

2006-07-01 Thread Bruno Marchal


Le 30-juin-06, à 21:06, John M a écrit :

 I agree.  Other people are part of the model of the
 world we form.  And in the same way the existence of
 myself, as a durable entity, is also a part of that
 model.
 Brent Meeker
 *
 Does this agreed double(?) statement not rub too close
 on solipsism?

I agree, and, with all my respect to Brent, I would say it is an 
illustration of a typical error of the *first* person. Because she is 
unable to convince herself (neither in some personal third person way, 
nor in any first person ways) of the existence of another, she forgets 
she can correctly bet on that others. And this even if with comp we 
can prove (communicate to oneself in a third person way) that the 
*correctness* of that bet is necessarily of the type of serendipitous 
correctness.



 An interesting observation from Saibal that increasing
 the info-input to one's brain kills person(ality?).
 I would not say dead,  rather 'changed' as into some
 different one. (It is a gradual change, death is being
 thought of as something more abrupt and
 comprehensive.)
 In spite of that, knowing that when as a 5-yo I had
 different person-ality and ideas, brainfunction and
 emotions, I still feel NOW identity with THAT PERSON.


I understand you. In particular, if some bad even happens, or not, to a 
child at his third birthday event, whatever computational influence 
this can have for the personality of that person, its future 1-present 
will reflect that 1-past event in a probable 1-continuous way to its 
1-present. Somehow, we are, at each instant, partially defined by a 
product of our (possible) 1-past(s), as we are dually partially 
defined by a sum of our 1-futures.
(A product like a big and, a sum like a big or).

Bruno

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


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Re: A calculus of personal identity

2006-07-01 Thread Bruno Marchal


Le 30-juin-06, à 21:34, Brent Meeker a écrit :


 John M:
 Does this agreed double(?) statement not rub too close
 on solipsism?

 Not if you accept that *all* our ideas of reality are models.  The 
 fact that they work well and are
 coherent makes me believe they are models of an external reality - not 
 a personal illusion - but I
 can still doubt that they *are reality* itself.  In other words I take 
 them to be like scientific
 theories: provisionally accepted, but subject to refutation.


You are not answering John, I think, Brent. A scientist who send a 
paper to a journal does not assume her aper will be read, he just hope 
for. To bet on the other's first person experience is not of the kind 
scientific and refutable.

 I have memories from when I was 5yrs old, but the source of identity I 
 feel in those memories arises
 only from the fact that I remember a personal viewpoint in spactime 
 and I remember emotions.


I agree.



 Those
 are the same aspects of memories of last week that make them coherent 
 with my model of myself as a
 being who persists over time.



All right, but at the first person level, there is a point where you 
*are* the model/theory/machine, like when you embed a map of Finland 
into Finland: as far as you allow continuous transformation of the 
map (remaining embedded in Finland) there will be a fixed point: a 
point of the map which is exactly and literaly on the corresponding 
locality of Finland.
The diagonalization procedures can be used for finding the similar 
fixed point of computable transformations.
Also: when you say yes to a teleporting doctor, you assume the 
artificial brain is not just a model of yourself, but that it 
implements genuinely, albeit in a relative numerical way, you first 
person pasts/futures.
Perhaps you are just putting comp into question, (not its consequences) 
are you?
I just try to understand.

Bruno


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


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Re: A calculus of personal identity

2006-07-01 Thread Bruno Marchal


Le 30-juin-06, à 20:43, Brent Meeker a écrit :

 Bruno Marchal wrote:
 There is no false 1-memories. Only an association between some
 1-memory and some 3-reality can be false. If someone succeeds in
 implementing correctly (more than just coherently) false beliefs (like
 I am Napoleon just after Waterloo), then I will believe correctly that
 I am Napoleon and that I have just lose a battle, almost by
 definition. I will have to go in an asylum, sure, but my

 1-memory of the past is correct given that they have been correctly
 implemented.

 ===

 What does correctly implemented mean?  Doesn't it reference some 3rd 
 person standard of correct?


Yes. Like in a plane with an altimeter telling the plane is 1 miles 
above the sea, when the plane actually  *is* 1 miles above the sea 
(with respect to its most probable relative computation history).

Correctly implemented means---assuming comp and thus assuming the 
existence of the substitution level---that the doctor has luckily 
implemented the Napoleon's software at that correct level (or below).

I could have said:

 1-memory of the past is correct given that they have been correctly
 implemented, *by assumption*.

Bruno

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


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RE: A calculus of personal identity

2006-07-01 Thread Stathis Papaioannou


Hal Finney writes:

 OK,thisistheoldASSAversusRSSAdistinction.Butleavingthis argumentaside,Idon'tseehowteleportationcouldbeanalogoustoa risky,measurereducingactivityifitseemedtobeareliableprocess fromathirdpersonperspective.IfsomeoneplaysRussianRoulette,we bothagreethatfromathirdpersonperspective,wearelikelytoobserve adeadbodyeventually.Butwithteleportation(destructive,tooneplace) thereisa1:1ratiobetweenpre-experimentsubjectsandpost-experiment subjectsfromathirdpersonperspective.Areyousuggestingthatthe predicteddropinmeasurewillhavenothirdpersonobservableeffect?  First,Itendtothinkthatthephrase"thirdpersonobservable"is somethingofacontradiction.Observationisafirst-personactivity. Iwouldprefertothinkofthirdpersoneffectsassimplythephysical recordofevents.  Inthiscase,therewilldefinitelybeathirdpersoneffect.Having someoneteleportisathird-persondifferencefromnothavingthem teleport.Wearetalkingabouttwocasesherethatarethird-person distinguishable,withverydifferentphysicalhistories,henceitis plausiblethattherebedifferentsubjectivefirst-personeffects.  AsfarasthecomparisonwithRussianRoulette,ifsomeoneonlyplaysit once,theremightnotbeathirdpersondifference.YetIwouldargue hismeasurewasreduced(inthemultiverse).  Really,whenwearetalkingaboutthirdpersonrecords,allwehave istheactualsequenceofeventsthatoccurs.Supposesomeoneplays RussianRoulettemultipletimes.Inthisuniverse,perhapsweseethem pullthetriggerfivetimesandsurvive,andonthesixthpulltheydie. Thatsubjectivehistory,ofplayingRRsixtimes,isinstantiatedin thisuniverse.Thisuniversecontributesmeasuretothathistory.  Otheruniverses,notobservabletous,mayhavehimdieafterdifferent trials.Eachofthosecontributesmeasuretosubjectivehistoriesthat endatdifferentpoints.Theresultisthatthemeasureofhislifespan isreducedateachtriggerpull,butthatinanysinglethird-person universethatreductioninmeasureisunobservable.Insteadweseeno changeuntilthefinaltriggerpull.  Considerthisexample:someonecommitstokillinghimselfifyoudie,and nowyouplayRussianRouletteyourself.Eachtimeyoupullthetrigger youreducehismeasure,thatoftheotherpersonwhowillkillhimself ifyoudie.Butyouwillneverobservehimdying(inthefirst-person sense).Thisisacaseofanunobservablemeasuredecreasewhichyou mightneverthelessbelievein.
OK, I used "third person observable" too loosely. What I meant was this: if a person's measure in the multiverse falls as a result of teleportation compared to, say, taking the train, then there will be fewer copies of that person in the multiverse after teleportation compared to what would have been the case had he taken the train. "Fewer copies in the multiverse" assumes a God's eye view, but a probabilistic analysis will give an indication of the right answer if the experiment can be repeated enough times and if theexperimenter can avoid becoming a victim of the effect he is studying. In this case, given thatteleportation does not obviously result in a dead subject any more often than the train journey does, the only way I can see that would allow you to say it caused a greater drop in measure would be if the subject entering the teleporter,at least some of the time, were not reallythe same person as the oneexiting the teleporter at the destination. I assumed this is in fact what you were saying, but...

 AsfarasLee'ssuggestionthatpeoplecouldbedyingthousandsof timesasecond,myframeworkdoesnotallowforarbitrarystatements likethat.Givenaphysicalcircumstance,wecancalculatewhathappens. It'snotjustarbitrarywhatwechoosetosayaboutlifeanddeath. Wecancalculatethemeasureofdifferentsubjectivelifeexperiences, basedonthephysicalrecord.  Ifwewantedtocreateaphysicalrecordwherethisframeworkwould becompatiblewithsayingthatpeopledieoften,itwouldbenecessary tophysicallyteleportpeoplethousandsoftimesasecond.Orperhaps thesamethingcouldbedonebyfreezingpeopleforasubstantialtime, revivingthemforathousandthofasecond,thenre-freezingthemagain forawhile,etc.  IfweconsiderthepracticalimplicationsofsuchexperimentsIdon't thinkitissoimplausibletoviewthemasbeingworsethanlivinga single,connected,subjectivelife.Itwouldbequitedifficultto interactinameaningfulwaywiththeworldundersuchcircumstances.  Assumingitcouldbedoneseamlessly,howwoulditmakeanydifference?If youbelievetheimportantaspectofourconsciousnessresidesinthe activityatneuralsynapses,thisisexactlywhatishappening.They areconstantlyfallingapartandbeingrepairedinanenergy-requiring process,suchthatthemattercomprisingoursynapsescompletelyturns overinamatterofminutes.It'sjustthebasicbraintemplatethat ismaintainedovertime,andeventhatchangesaswechange.Ifyou couldsomehowgoldplateyourneuronessothatthenormalturnoverof matterduetowearandtearstops,andonlytheturnoverduetothinking differentthoughtsoccurs,doyouthinkitwouldmakeanysubjective difference?Whatiftheturnoverincreased,orithappenedallatonce inburstsratherthangradually,allthewhilemaintainingthesame basicstructureasoccursnormally?  Yes,Ithinkthesephysiologicaldifferencesmightmakeadifferencein measure,althoughitwouldprobablybesmall.Whywouldyoubelieve 

Re: A calculus of personal identity

2006-07-01 Thread Brent Meeker

Bruno Marchal wrote:
 
 Le 30-juin-06, à 21:06, John M a écrit :
 
 
I agree.  Other people are part of the model of the
world we form.  And in the same way the existence of
myself, as a durable entity, is also a part of that
model.
Brent Meeker
*
Does this agreed double(?) statement not rub too close
on solipsism?
 
 
 I agree, and, with all my respect to Brent, I would say it is an 
 illustration of a typical error of the *first* person. Because she is 
 unable to convince herself (neither in some personal third person way, 
 nor in any first person ways) of the existence of another, she forgets 
 she can correctly bet on that others. And this even if with comp we 
 can prove (communicate to oneself in a third person way) that the 
 *correctness* of that bet is necessarily of the type of serendipitous 
 correctness.

That's not contrary to my conception at all.  I certainly do bet on the 
existence of others, and 
of chairs and tables and stars and electrons and myself, and all for the 
essentially the same reasons.

I don't understand the conjunction of necessarily and serendipitous.

Brent Meeker


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Re: A calculus of personal identity

2006-07-01 Thread Brent Meeker

Bruno Marchal wrote:
 
 Le 30-juin-06, à 21:34, Brent Meeker a écrit :
 
 
 
John M:
Does this agreed double(?) statement not rub too close
on solipsism?

Not if you accept that *all* our ideas of reality are models.  The 
fact that they work well and are
coherent makes me believe they are models of an external reality - not 
a personal illusion - but I
can still doubt that they *are reality* itself.  In other words I take 
them to be like scientific
theories: provisionally accepted, but subject to refutation.
 
 
 
 You are not answering John, I think, Brent. A scientist who send a 
 paper to a journal does not assume her aper will be read, he just hope 
 for. To bet on the other's first person experience is not of the kind 
 scientific and refutable.

Sure it is.  Just because something cannot be directly experienced doesn't rule 
it out of a 
scienctific model: quarks can't be observed, but their effects can.  So I 
believe in other people's 
first person experience because that is a good way to predict their behavoir.  
I consult a model in 
which I use my first person experience to perdict how they will behave - this 
is called emphathizing 
- and I find it works pretty well.

 
 
I have memories from when I was 5yrs old, but the source of identity I 
feel in those memories arises
only from the fact that I remember a personal viewpoint in spactime 
and I remember emotions.
 
 
 
 I agree.
 
 
 
 
Those
are the same aspects of memories of last week that make them coherent 
with my model of myself as a
being who persists over time.
 
 
 
 
 All right, but at the first person level, there is a point where you 
 *are* the model/theory/machine, like when you embed a map of Finland 
 into Finland: as far as you allow continuous transformation of the 
 map (remaining embedded in Finland) there will be a fixed point: a 
 point of the map which is exactly and literaly on the corresponding 
 locality of Finland.

I don't understand the application of this analogy.  When I say I have a model 
of the world (which 
includes myself) I mean I have a set of concepts and rules for manipulating 
them that allows me to, 
in a limited and provisional way to interact successfully with what I take to 
be an external 
reality.  This doesn't necessarily have the same topology as the external 
reality, so I don't see 
how the fixed point theorem applies.  The same would apply to my computer.  It 
has a map of the 
United States coded into its memory, but it is in a binary representation 
distributed across several 
registers  - a different topology than the planar surface of the United States. 
 So while my 
computer has a location in the U.S. (as I have in my model of reality) there is 
no point in my 
computer memory that corresponds to the same point in the U.S.

 The diagonalization procedures can be used for finding the similar 
 fixed point of computable transformations.
 Also: when you say yes to a teleporting doctor, you assume the 
 artificial brain is not just a model of yourself, but that it 
 implements genuinely, albeit in a relative numerical way, you first 
 person pasts/futures.

No, I only bet that it will have first person experiences as I would have if I 
had continued in my 
biological form.  I don't know what implements genuinely means - it seems to 
imply some extra 
ingredient (spirit?) that makes an implementation genuine.

Brent Meeker


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Re: A calculus of personal identity

2006-07-01 Thread James N Rose

The notions of observed/observing, of first vs third,
and all such round robin banter .. all fall down as nonsense
conversation because -no one- has in any real sense
specified the new-functions required to make such
concepts ... a calculus.


There are conflated criteria involved - as well as a total
lack of mathematical symbology that might otherwise provide
fresh territory and useful new ways to procede.

The tendency of science and mathematics is to get rid of
clutter -- and 'reduce' to basic truths and principles and
operations.  The imagined/aspired grail of 'objective reality'.

Unfortunately, reductive operands tend to erase 'distinctions'
that one would otherwise -need- in order to make sense of
'identity/ies' and comparative-perception-sets: .. can V and Z ..
ostensibly 'identical' in construct .. have -different- 'experiences',
or would they superpositionedly co-mingle and 'be one/together'?

General relativity pushed the envelope even -more shut- to distinctions
by identifying transforms, that do allow for alternative experiences
-but- by invoking the principle that no frame of reference is prioritized
over any other.

BUT, just because transforms are possible and therefore Universals and 
Invariants and Conservants seem to be underscoring -reliables- that
make the Objectivity grail seem more real and reachable, it is the 
collateral concurrent fact which is as equally - or more - important:

MANY 'frames of reference' exist - and - they are founded on
criteria which make their distinctionness profound.

The simplest notion being:

  entities exist embedded in concurrent spaces; nothing is a pure-isolate

Math and reductive science ignore and dis-consider collateral co-extancy.

Translated: ... no 'identical' entities could or would have perfect identical
indistinguishable experience(s) .. unless ALL internal -and- external parameters
were as-well 'exactly identical' in all aspects, constructs, -and- relations.

Since the only way for such total identicality to exist is such
entities to be perfectly superpositioned  .. and that can't happen
because of the Pauli exclusion principle .. no two (or more) 'identities'
could or would be ... a single persona .. laying claim to some 
'true identity' versus others/clones being replicant/false identities.

Any clones/replicants -- however similar/identical -- would be their OWN
persona and experiant .. having access to wholly unique and personal 
'interactions sets', distinct from any other entity.

Personal Identity is a de-fault resultant of the structure of the universe.
Integrity - of systemic base/performance/entity-ness is key - for everything.


Jamie Rose
Ceptual Institute


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Re: A calculus of personal identity

2006-07-01 Thread Brent Meeker

Bruno Marchal wrote:
 
 Le 30-juin-06, à 20:43, Brent Meeker a écrit :
 
 
Bruno Marchal wrote:
There is no false 1-memories. Only an association between some
1-memory and some 3-reality can be false. If someone succeeds in
implementing correctly (more than just coherently) false beliefs (like
I am Napoleon just after Waterloo), then I will believe correctly that
I am Napoleon and that I have just lose a battle, almost by
definition. I will have to go in an asylum, sure, but my

1-memory of the past is correct given that they have been correctly
implemented.

===

What does correctly implemented mean?  Doesn't it reference some 3rd 
person standard of correct?
 
 
 
 Yes. Like in a plane with an altimeter telling the plane is 1 miles 
 above the sea, when the plane actually  *is* 1 miles above the sea 
 (with respect to its most probable relative computation history).
 
 Correctly implemented means---assuming comp and thus assuming the 
 existence of the substitution level---that the doctor has luckily 
 implemented the Napoleon's software at that correct level (or below).

This seems circular - correctly implemented means a the correct level (or 
below).  Suppose the 
implementation caused Napoleon-2 to believe he had just won the Battle of 
Waterloo.  That is a 
conflict which seems to imply an incorrect implementation.  But is it incorrect 
because of the 
historical fact that he lost, or because of the 1st person fact that Napoleon-1 
didn't believe he 
had won.  Suppose Napoleon-1 did believe he had won?

Brent Meeker


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Re: A calculus of personal identity

2006-07-01 Thread James N Rose

Addendum to my previous:

TO make math sensitive to frame of reference distinctions
and useful in an expanded way added parameter-dimensions
might be useful.

Color coding for example.  With new translation operators.

Equations written in red might indicate that attention
be maintained that the values are in regard to frame
of reference P and that factors or sub equations displayed
in gray make note that those are written representative
of an alternative 'perspective' base-frame set.

The math may conflate but the perticipating frames of 
reference can be kept distinct and identified.


Jamie


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Re: A calculus of personal identity

2006-07-01 Thread John M

Jamie,
your highly critical post is worthwhile reading. 
I like your antithesis for 'reductive operands'  and
would almost like what you wrote:
 Personal Identity is a de-fault resultant of the
 structure of the universe.
unless I had this idiosyncrasy against axioms, givens,
accepted de-faults etc. All as crutches for the not
(yet?) understood/explainable necessities to feel
comfortable within the theories we embrace. 
Of course to use structure of this universe is
selective for THIS universe and to refer to some
structure is translatable to and what may that be? I
mean structure. Which I may understand as relations
within identifiable components - back and forth, but
I do not bank on much acceptence for that.

I seek clearness in processes (changes) and effects
they exercise on each other - as WE think of it,
since in the wholeness there are NO separate entities
to react. 

About the 'personal identity': I sense a
'conscious'(?) 
existence in everything, WE consider separate
entities. I am at the immature level of considering
internal and self-reflexive togetherness factors in
functional and interconnected associations (including
us, humans) which covers the undivisable wholeness. 
It is not far from your (de-fault) axiom, but I do not
give up to learn more about its details (will I ever?)
and not sit back woth a complacent acceptance of the
given. 

John Mikes


--- James N Rose [EMAIL PROTECTED]
wrote:

 
 The notions of observed/observing, of first vs
 third,
 and all such round robin banter .. all fall down as
 nonsense
 conversation because -no one- has in any real sense
 specified the new-functions required to make such
 concepts ... a calculus.
 
 
 There are conflated criteria involved - as well as a
 total
 lack of mathematical symbology that might otherwise
 provide
 fresh territory and useful new ways to procede.
 
 The tendency of science and mathematics is to get
 rid of
 clutter -- and 'reduce' to basic truths and
 principles and
 operations.  The imagined/aspired grail of
 'objective reality'.
 
 Unfortunately, reductive operands tend to erase
 'distinctions'
 that one would otherwise -need- in order to make
 sense of
 'identity/ies' and comparative-perception-sets: ..
 can V and Z ..
 ostensibly 'identical' in construct .. have
 -different- 'experiences',
 or would they superpositionedly co-mingle and 'be
 one/together'?
 
 General relativity pushed the envelope even -more
 shut- to distinctions
 by identifying transforms, that do allow for
 alternative experiences
 -but- by invoking the principle that no frame of
 reference is prioritized
 over any other.
 
 BUT, just because transforms are possible and
 therefore Universals and 
 Invariants and Conservants seem to be underscoring
 -reliables- that
 make the Objectivity grail seem more real and
 reachable, it is the 
 collateral concurrent fact which is as equally - or
 more - important:
 
 MANY 'frames of reference' exist - and - they are
 founded on
 criteria which make their distinctionness profound.
 
 The simplest notion being:
 
   entities exist embedded in concurrent spaces;
 nothing is a pure-isolate
 
 Math and reductive science ignore and dis-consider
 collateral co-extancy.
 
 Translated: ... no 'identical' entities could or
 would have perfect identical
 indistinguishable experience(s) .. unless ALL
 internal -and- external parameters
 were as-well 'exactly identical' in all aspects,
 constructs, -and- relations.
 
 Since the only way for such total identicality to
 exist is such
 entities to be perfectly superpositioned  .. and
 that can't happen
 because of the Pauli exclusion principle .. no two
 (or more) 'identities'
 could or would be ... a single persona .. laying
 claim to some 
 'true identity' versus others/clones being
 replicant/false identities.
 
 Any clones/replicants -- however similar/identical
 -- would be their OWN
 persona and experiant .. having access to wholly
 unique and personal 
 'interactions sets', distinct from any other entity.
 
 Personal Identity is a de-fault resultant of the
 structure of the universe.
 Integrity - of systemic base/performance/entity-ness
 is key - for everything.
 
 
 Jamie Rose
 Ceptual Institute
 
 

 
 


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RE: A calculus of personal identity

2006-07-01 Thread Lee Corbin

Stathis wrote

 Sent: Wednesday, June 28, 2006 5:53 AM

 which is why in symmetrical duplication experiments I anticipate
 that I will become one of the duplicates with equal probability.

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))

Lee


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Re: A calculus of personal identity

2006-06-30 Thread Saibal Mitra


- Original Message - 
From: Stathis Papaioannou [EMAIL PROTECTED]
To: everything-list@googlegroups.com
Sent: Friday, June 30, 2006 09:23 AM
Subject: Re: A calculus of personal identity


Brent Meeker writes:

  I think it is one of the most profound things about consciousness  
that observer moments don't *need* anything to connect them other than  
their content. They are linked like the novels in a series, not like the  
carriages of a train. It is not necessary that the individual novels be  
lined up specially on a shelf: as long as they have each been written  
and exist somewhere in the world, the series exists.   But the series
exists, as a series, by virtue of the information in them.  They are like
Barbour's  time-capsules; each contains enough references and characters
from the others to allow them to be  put into order.  It's not clear to me
what duration obserever moments have - but I don't think  they are novel
length.  I imagine them more like sentences (a complete thought as my
English teacher  used to say), and sentences *don't* have enough
information to allow them to be reconstructed into  the novel they came
from.
A book is the analogy that came to mind, but there is an important
difference between this and conscious experience. Books, sentences, words
may not need to be physically collected together to make a coherent larger
structure, but they do need to be somehow sorted in the mind of an observer;
otherwise, we could say that a dictionary contains every book ever written
or yet to be written. Moments of consciousness, on the other hand, by their
nature contain their own observer.
 That's why I suggest that OMs are not an adequate ontological basis for a
world model.  On the other  hand, if we include brain processes, or more
abstractly, subconscious thoughts, then we would have  enough information
to string them together.
I know some people on this list have attempted world-building with OMs, but
my starting point is the less ambitious idea that consciousness can in
principle extend across time and space without being specially linked. If a
person's stream of consciousness were chopped up into seconds, minutes, days
or whatever, using whatever vehicle it takes to run a human mind, and these
moments of consciousness randomly dispersed throughout the multiverse, they
would all connect up by virtue of their information content. Do you disagree
that it would in principle be possible?


You can take time evolution as an example. In both classical physics and
quantum mechanics, information is preserved. All the information about us
was already present in the early universe


Saibal







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Re: A calculus of personal identity

2006-06-30 Thread Stathis Papaioannou


Bruno Marchal writes:

 Yes,sharingthememoryis*not*thesameashavingtheoriginal experience,butthisappliestorecallingone'sownpastaswell.   Areyoureallysure?Whentwopeoplesharememories,theycanonly sharethirdpersoninformation,whichwilltriggertheirrespective unsharablefirstpersonidentities/memories. Whenrecollectingourownmemories,wedorecollect(approximations)of ourunsharablefirstpersonmemories,which*does*,inthepresent, participateintoourpresentfirstpersonidentity.Youmayarguethatrecallingourpastisdifferentbecausewehave justtherightbrainstructure,otherassociatedmemoriesandsoonto putitallincontext,butinprincipleallofthesemightbelacking duetoillnessorthepassageoftime,ormightbeduplicatedina verygoodsimulationmadeforsomeoneelsetoexperience.   Yes.NotethatfromafirstpersonmemoryPOV,perfectquasimemories arenotdistinguishablefrom"realmemories"(ifthatmeansanythings: assumingcomp"real"memoriesandartificialquasimemoriesarejust equivalent). Theonlywaytounambiguouslydefineafirstpersonexperienceisto makeitonceonly;perfectrecollectionwouldbeindistinguishable fromtheoriginalexperience,anditwouldbeimpossibleforthe experiencertoeitherknowthathewasrecallingamemoryortoknow howclosetotheoriginaltherecollectionwas.   Iagree. Thepostulateofafirstpersonentitypersistingthroughtime violatesthe1stperson/3rdpersondistinction,   Iamnotsure,althoughitmakessense,butonlybecauseeventuallyit isthewholeideaofobjectivetimewhichis"illusory".Subjective time,Iwouldsay,cannotbeillusory,norcansubjectivepainbe. sinceitassumesthatI-nowcanhave1stpersonknowledgeof I-yesterdayorI-tomorrow,wheninfactsuchknowledgeisimpossible exceptina3rdpersonway.   Idisagree.IdohaveafirstpersonaccountofI-yesterday,andsome firstpersonfeelingsaboutpossiblefirstpersonfeelingsofmyself tomorrow,allofwhicharenondescribableinanythirdpersonway. Againwecouldbeinagreementhere.IfyouwantIhavenodoubtabout my"I-yesterday",evenifIdon'tbelieveatallinsomeabsolutethird persondescribablenotionof"yesterday".ButIdo"feel"I-yesterday: Icannotseparateitfrom"I-now"and"I-tomorrow".Thisiscompletely independentofthefactthatImaywelldieinasecond.
My recollection of what I did yesterday is itself a first person experience, whichis not shareable. If I imagine what you did yesterday, that - meaning my imagining - is also a first person experience,also not shareable.Of course, I am more confident that I can "capture" the experience of what I was doing yesterday better than I can "capture" the experience of what you were doing yesterday, but the difference between the two is one of degree, not kind. Whether I think about my own past or about someone else's experiences, I am making an extrapolation: the only thing I can know in a first person way is my own *present* experience. This is also shown by the idea that any person might become any other person by gradual mental change over a sufficiently long period of time, in which case any imagining of someone else's experiences would be a recollection of one's own experiences from the distant past. I can only know about my own past in a3rd person way, albeit in a more intimate 3rd person way than I can know about someone else's experiences.

 Ibelieveitisthisconfusionwhichleadstotheapparentanomalyof 1stpersonindeterminacyinthefaceof3rdpersondeterminacyin duplicationexperiments.   Idon'tseeanyanomaly,tobesure.Onlyweirdness,relativeto probableprejudices.Letusassumeaslittleaspossibleandmakeourtheoriesassimpleas possible.I*have*toacceptthatthereissomethingspecialaboutmy experiencesatthemomentwhichdistinguishthemfromeveryoneelse's experiences:thisisthedifferencebetweenthe1stpersonPOVandthe 3rdpersonPOV.   OK,butjustrememberthatintheUDAthoughtexperiment,thefirst personisalmostdefinedbythecontentofapersonaldiary/memory.And whatmakesthoseexperiencespersonalhereisthattheyaredestroyed togetherwiththebodyduringdestructiveteleportationorduplication. Butthememoriesrefers,inthepresent,tosubjective(firstperson) pastandfuture.Wecannothaveillusionsaboutthat,onlyaboutthird personextrapolation*from*that.
Yes, but when the subject reads his own diary or examines his own memory of events, that is also third person extrapolation. Do you remember what your third birthday was like? Even if you have some memory of what happened on the day, it is likely that your brain has changed so much in the intervening years that it is actually impossible to come anywhere near capturing what the experience was actually like for the child. Another three year old may actually be able to come closer to the actual experience by imagining what it would have been like than you are able to by recollection.

 Itistemptingtosaythatmy1stpersonPOVextendsintothefuture andthepastaswell,explainingwhyIthinkofmyselfasaperson persistingthroughtime.  Iwouldsayitisinthenatureofthefirstpersontopersistin *subjective*time.Ihavemoreproblemwith(naive?)notionoftimeand space.SoagainIwouldagreeitisan"illusion"that"1-I"persists throughsomenotionof3-timeand3-space,butsomehowthefirstperson 

Re: A calculus of personal identity

2006-06-30 Thread Bruno Marchal

Le 30-juin-06, à 15:19, Stathis Papaioannou a écrit :


x-tad-bigger  /x-tad-bigger
x-tad-bigger I have the subjective experience of being a person persisting through time because I feel that I know in a 1st person way what I did in the past. If I really did know in a 1st person way what I did in the past I could not possibly doubt it, just as I cannot possibly doubt that I am having my *present* experience. 
/x-tad-bigger

All right.


x-tad-biggerHowever, I cannot be sure of my memories of the past just as I cannot be sure about someone else's experiences: I can only have 3rd person knowledge in either case. 
/x-tad-bigger

I would say 3rd belief, reserving knowledge for the first person (may be plural).



x-tad-biggerIt could be, for example, that I have been brainwashed and my memories of the past are partly or completely false memories. /x-tad-bigger
x-tad-bigger  /x-tad-bigger

There is no false 1-memories. Only an association between some 1-memory and some 3-reality can be false. If someone succeeds in implementing correctly (more than just coherently) false beliefs (like I am Napoleon just after Waterloo), then I will believe correctly that I am Napoleon and that I have just lose a battle, almost by definition. I will have to go in an asylum, sure, but my 
1-memory of the past is correct given that they have been correctly implemented.




x-tad-bigger /x-tad-bigger
x-tad-bigger> I agree if you mean by future and past 3-future and 3-past. 1-past /x-tad-bigger
x-tad-bigger> and 1-future is not extrapolation thy are feelings continuously lived /x-tad-bigger
x-tad-bigger> in a lasting present. I can no more doubt of my feeling of past than I /x-tad-bigger
x-tad-bigger> can doubt of a headache (say). Even if time by itself does not exist at /x-tad-bigger
x-tad-bigger> all (which is the case with comp). The extrapolation would reside only /x-tad-bigger
x-tad-bigger> in some third person projection of that time, space, ... (I think we /x-tad-bigger
x-tad-bigger> agree, the problem could just be the term illusion)./x-tad-bigger

x-tad-bigger I'm not sure if you're saying what I was saying above by distinguishing between 1-future/past and 3-future/past./x-tad-bigger


I think so. 


x-tad-bigger The relationship between different stages in a person's life - how far apart two different experiences can be and still belong to the same person - is complicated and necessarily vague. If we allow that in principle anyone can change into anyone else, how can you pin down this relationship with any rigour? /x-tad-bigger


To understand the consequence of UDA, I try to no put more rigor than needed. Eventually those relationship will appear in mathematical form with the lobian interview. Self-reference through diagonalization will do the work, but this is needed to extract physics from numbers, not to understand we have to extract physics from numbers once we assume comp.



x-tad-bigger  /x-tad-bigger
x-tad-bigger > > such as believing themselves to be moments in the life of a single /x-tad-bigger
x-tad-bigger> > individual, having memories or quasi-memories in common, and so on./x-tad-bigger
x-tad-bigger> > If I split into two that presents no problem for the 3rd person POV /x-tad-bigger
x-tad-bigger> > (there are two instantiations of Stathis extant where before there was /x-tad-bigger
x-tad-bigger> > one) nor for the 1st person POV (each instantiation knows it is /x-tad-bigger
x-tad-bigger> > experiencing what it is experiencing as it is experiencing it)./x-tad-bigger
x-tad-bigger> /x-tad-bigger
x-tad-bigger> /x-tad-bigger
x-tad-bigger> OK./x-tad-bigger
x-tad-bigger> /x-tad-bigger
x-tad-bigger> /x-tad-bigger
x-tad-bigger> /x-tad-bigger
x-tad-bigger> >  A problem does arise when I anticipate the split (which one will I /x-tad-bigger
x-tad-bigger> > become?) or look back at the split (*I* was the original!); there is /x-tad-bigger
x-tad-bigger> > no correct answer in these cases because it is based on 3rd person /x-tad-bigger
x-tad-bigger> > extrapolation of the 1st person POV, which in addition to its other /x-tad-bigger
x-tad-bigger> > failings assumes only a single entity can be extant at any one time /x-tad-bigger
x-tad-bigger> > (only a single 1st person exists by definition, but multiple 3rd /x-tad-bigger
x-tad-bigger> > persons can exist at the one time)./x-tad-bigger
x-tad-bigger> /x-tad-bigger
x-tad-bigger> /x-tad-bigger
x-tad-bigger> This is a little weird. You say there is no correct answer, and then /x-tad-bigger
x-tad-bigger> you give the comp-correct answer./x-tad-bigger
x-tad-bigger> The first person is indeed just NOT first person-duplicable (unless /x-tad-bigger
x-tad-bigger> some added artificial telepathic trick, but in general I talk only on /x-tad-bigger
x-tad-bigger> the usual simple teleportation or duplication)./x-tad-bigger

x-tad-bigger There is an unambiguous 3rd person descriptive answer, but no such unambiguous 1st person answer. 
/x-tad-bigger

I think there is, once assuming comp.

Re: A calculus of personal identity

2006-06-30 Thread Brent Meeker

Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
 Brent Meeker writes:
 
 I think it is one of the most profound things about consciousness that 
 observer moments don't
 *need* anything to connect them other than
 
 their content. They are linked like the novels in a series, not like the
 
 carriages of a train. It is not necessary that the individual novels be
 lined up specially on a shelf: as long as they have each been written and 
 exist somewhere in
 the world, the series exists.
 
 
 But the series exists, as a series, by virtue of the information in them.  
 They are like
 Barbour's
 
 time-capsules; each contains enough references and characters from the others 
 to allow them to be
 
 
 put into order.  It's not clear to me what duration obserever moments have 
 - but I don't think
 
 
 they are novel length.  I imagine them more like sentences (a complete 
 thought as my English
 teacher
 
 used to say), and sentences *don't* have enough information to allow them to 
 be reconstructed
 into
 the novel they came from.
 
 A book is the analogy that came to mind, but there is an important difference 
 between this and
 conscious experience. Books, sentences, words may not need to be physically 
 collected together to
 make a coherent larger structure, but they do need to be somehow sorted in 
 the mind of an
 observer; otherwise, we could say that a dictionary contains every book ever 
 written or yet to be
 written. Moments of consciousness, on the other hand, by their nature contain 
 their own observer.

Even if they are not self-conscious?  If they are not reflective, as most 
aren't, then what is it 
about the observer that makes it *the same observer*?  You seem to be 
postulating a mystic dualism 
in which otherwise disjoint moments of consciousness are joined by having the 
same observer...in the 
Cartesian theater?

 
 
 
 That's why I suggest that OMs are not an adequate ontological basis for a 
 world model.  On the
 other
 
 hand, if we include brain processes, or more abstractly, subconscious 
 thoughts, then we would
 have
 enough information to string them together.
 
 I know some people on this list have attempted world-building with OMs, but 
 my starting point is
 the less ambitious idea that consciousness can in principle extend across 
 time and space without
 being specially linked.

I'm not sure how to take that - a poetic metaphor?  Time and space are our 
inventions: part of our
model of the world.  In that model

 If a person's stream of consciousness were chopped up into seconds, minutes, 
 days or whatever,
 using whatever vehicle it takes to run a human mind, and these moments of 
 consciousness randomly
 dispersed throughout the multiverse, they would all connect up by virtue of 
 their information
 content. Do you disagree that it would in principle be possible?

Yes, I disagree.  At the level of minutes it would probably work; at the level 
of seconds, I'm
doubtful; at the level of milliseconds, I don't believe it.

Brent Meeker

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Re: A calculus of personal identity

2006-06-30 Thread Brent Meeker

Saibal Mitra wrote:
 
 - Original Message - 
 From: Stathis Papaioannou [EMAIL PROTECTED]
 To: everything-list@googlegroups.com
 Sent: Friday, June 30, 2006 09:23 AM
 Subject: Re: A calculus of personal identity
 
 
 Brent Meeker writes:
 
 
I think it is one of the most profound things about consciousness  
 
 that observer moments don't *need* anything to connect them other than  
 their content. They are linked like the novels in a series, not like the  
 carriages of a train. It is not necessary that the individual novels be  
 lined up specially on a shelf: as long as they have each been written  
 and exist somewhere in the world, the series exists.   But the series
 exists, as a series, by virtue of the information in them.  They are like
 Barbour's  time-capsules; each contains enough references and characters
 from the others to allow them to be  put into order.  It's not clear to me
 what duration obserever moments have - but I don't think  they are novel
 length.  I imagine them more like sentences (a complete thought as my
 English teacher  used to say), and sentences *don't* have enough
 information to allow them to be reconstructed into  the novel they came
 from.
 A book is the analogy that came to mind, but there is an important
 difference between this and conscious experience. Books, sentences, words
 may not need to be physically collected together to make a coherent larger
 structure, but they do need to be somehow sorted in the mind of an observer;
 otherwise, we could say that a dictionary contains every book ever written
 or yet to be written. Moments of consciousness, on the other hand, by their
 nature contain their own observer.
 
That's why I suggest that OMs are not an adequate ontological basis for a
 
 world model.  On the other  hand, if we include brain processes, or more
 abstractly, subconscious thoughts, then we would have  enough information
 to string them together.
 I know some people on this list have attempted world-building with OMs, but
 my starting point is the less ambitious idea that consciousness can in
 principle extend across time and space without being specially linked. If a
 person's stream of consciousness were chopped up into seconds, minutes, days
 or whatever, using whatever vehicle it takes to run a human mind, and these
 moments of consciousness randomly dispersed throughout the multiverse, they
 would all connect up by virtue of their information content. Do you disagree
 that it would in principle be possible?
 
 
 You can take time evolution as an example. In both classical physics and
 quantum mechanics, information is preserved. All the information about us
 was already present in the early universe

That is not a consensus theory.  The Copenhagen and other intepretations in 
which the wave-function 
collapses provide for growing information.  Even many of those who assume a 
strictly unitary 
evolution, suppose that the net information is zero or very small: the 
information we see is 
cancelled by negative information embodied in correlations with particles that 
inflation has pushed 
beyond our horizon.

Brent Meeker

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Re: A calculus of personal identity

2006-06-30 Thread Brent Meeker

Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
 Bruno Marchal writes:
...
This is not to say that my mind can or should overcome [Lee Corbin 
disagrees on the should] the deeply ingrained belief or illusion 
that I am a unique, one-track individual living my life from start to 
finish,
  
  
   Here you really talk about the third person extrapolation, so I agree 
   with you. But the first person is not deceive by its feeling of living 
   uniquely in time and space. It could be dangerous to say so, because it 
   leads to (materialism) eliminativism which eventually conclude that the 
   whole first person thing is an illusion. This leads to a deeply wrong 
   sense of human-irresponsibility. Well, it is a negation of the first 
   person. I can be sure it is wrong, as I bet you can too.
 
 I would say that the 1st person experience is *not* an illusion in any 
 sense of the word. It is the very opposite, in a way: the most real 
 thing, which cannot be doubted. But extrapolating to other people or 
 other selves in the past, future, coming out of the teleporter or 
 whatever, that is another matter.

I agree.  Other people are part of the model of the world we form.  And in the 
same way the 
existence of myself, as a durable entity, is also a part of that model.

Brent Meeker
The person I was when I was 3 years old is dead. He died because
too much new information was added to his brain.
  -- Saibal Mitra


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Re: A calculus of personal identity

2006-06-30 Thread Brent Meeker

Bruno Marchal wrote:
There is no false 1-memories. Only an association between some
1-memory and some 3-reality can be false. If someone succeeds in
implementing correctly (more than just coherently) false beliefs (like
I am Napoleon just after Waterloo), then I will believe correctly that
I am Napoleon and that I have just lose a battle, almost by
definition. I will have to go in an asylum, sure, but my

1-memory of the past is correct given that they have been correctly
implemented.

===

What does correctly implemented mean?  Doesn't it reference some 3rd person 
standard of correct?

Brent Meeker
P.S. For some reason I get some of your posts, like the above, as enclosures to 
an otherwise empty 
message!?

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Re: A calculus of personal identity

2006-06-30 Thread John M


--- Brent Meeker [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote: 
(unless the final remark with Saibal/s signature
underneath comes from him):
...
Stathis wrote:
...
 I would say that the 1st person experience is *not*
 an illusion in any sense of the word. It is the very
 opposite, in a way: the most real thing, which 
 cannot be doubted...
*
I agree.  Other people are part of the model of the
world we form.  And in the same way the existence of
myself, as a durable entity, is also a part of that
model.
Brent Meeker
*
Does this agreed double(?) statement not rub too close
on solipsism? 

Then again:
 The person I was when I was 3 years old is dead. He
 died because
 too much new information was added to his brain.
   -- Saibal Mitra
*
An interesting observation from Saibal that increasing
the info-input to one's brain kills person(ality?). 
I would not say dead,  rather 'changed' as into some
different one. (It is a gradual change, death is being
thought of as something more abrupt and
comprehensive.)
In spite of that, knowing that when as a 5-yo I had
different person-ality and ideas, brainfunction and
emotions, I still feel NOW identity with THAT PERSON. 

The best

John M








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Re: A calculus of personal identity

2006-06-30 Thread Brent Meeker

John M wrote:
 
 --- Brent Meeker [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote: 
 (unless the final remark with Saibal/s signature
 underneath comes from him):
 ...
 Stathis wrote:
 ...
 
I would say that the 1st person experience is *not*
an illusion in any sense of the word. It is the very
opposite, in a way: the most real thing, which 
cannot be doubted...
 
 *
 I agree.  Other people are part of the model of the
 world we form.  And in the same way the existence of
 myself, as a durable entity, is also a part of that
 model.
 Brent Meeker
 *
 Does this agreed double(?) statement not rub too close
 on solipsism? 

Not if you accept that *all* our ideas of reality are models.  The fact that 
they work well and are 
coherent makes me believe they are models of an external reality - not a 
personal illusion - but I 
can still doubt that they *are reality* itself.  In other words I take them to 
be like scientific 
theories: provisionally accepted, but subject to refutation.

 
 Then again:
 
The person I was when I was 3 years old is dead. He
died because
too much new information was added to his brain.
  -- Saibal Mitra
 
 *
 An interesting observation from Saibal that increasing
 the info-input to one's brain kills person(ality?). 
 I would not say dead,  rather 'changed' as into some
 different one. (It is a gradual change, death is being
 thought of as something more abrupt and
 comprehensive.)
 In spite of that, knowing that when as a 5-yo I had
 different person-ality and ideas, brainfunction and
 emotions, I still feel NOW identity with THAT PERSON. 

I have memories from when I was 5yrs old, but the source of identity I feel in 
those memories arises 
only from the fact that I remember a personal viewpoint in spactime and I 
remember emotions.  Those 
are the same aspects of memories of last week that make them coherent with my 
model of myself as a 
being who persists over time.

Brent Meeker

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Re: A calculus of personal identity

2006-06-30 Thread Quentin Anciaux

Hi John,

Le Vendredi 30 Juin 2006 21:06, John M a écrit :
 An interesting observation from Saibal that increasing
 the info-input to one's brain kills person(ality?).
 I would not say dead,  rather 'changed' as into some
 different one. (It is a gradual change, death is being
 thought of as something more abrupt and
 comprehensive.)

For me death means to never be conscious again... never. That's why death is 
meaningless in a 1st person point of view, because it is impossible by 
definition to feel being dead, because if you could feel being dead, it means 
you're not (dead), if you were by definition you couldn't feel/experience it.

So the you at 3 years old could not be dead, because you remember being it 
(in your bones). That's why I think speaking of 1st person 
experience/identity as being illusionary is a bad step for explaining 1st 
person experience, which is the only thing we ever experience, the only real 
thing we can be sure of.

 In spite of that, knowing that when as a 5-yo I had
 different person-ality and ideas, brainfunction and
 emotions, I still feel NOW identity with THAT PERSON.

I totally agree with this. And I think speaking (bis repetita) of 1st person 
experience/continuous identity through time as being an illusion can not 
explain the feeling of being a self every day till ... ? ;)

 The best

 John M

Regards,
Quentin

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Re: A calculus of personal identity

2006-06-29 Thread Stathis Papaioannou


Brent Meeker writes (quoting SP):

 Yes,sharingthememoryis*not*thesameashavingtheoriginalexperience,butthisappliesto recallingone'sownpastaswell.Youmayarguethatrecallingourpastisdifferentbecausewe havejusttherightbrainstructure,otherassociatedmemoriesandsoontoputitallin context,butinprincipleallofthesemightbelackingduetoillnessorthepassageoftime,or mightbeduplicatedinaverygoodsimulationmadeforsomeoneelsetoexperience.Theonlyway tounambiguouslydefineafirstpersonexperienceistomakeitonceonly;perfectrecollection wouldbeindistinguishablefromtheoriginalexperience,anditwouldbeimpossibleforthe experiencertoeitherknowthathewasrecallingamemoryortoknowhowclosetotheoriginal therecollectionwas.Thepostulateofafirstpersonentitypersistingthroughtimeviolatesthe 1stperson/3rdpersondistinction,sinceitassumesthatI-nowcanhave1stpersonknowledgeof I-yesterdayorI-tomorrow,wheninfactsuchknowledgeisimpossibleexceptina3rdpersonway. Ibelieveitisthisconfusionwhichleadstotheapparentanomalyof1stpersonindeterminacyin thefaceof3rdpersondeterminacyinduplicationexperiments.Letusassumeaslittleas possibleandmakeourtheoriesassimpleaspossible.I*have*toacceptthatthereissomething specialaboutmyexperiencesatthemomentwhichdistinguishthemfromeveryoneelse's experiences:thisisthedifferencebetweenthe1stpersonPOVandthe3rdpersonPOV.Itis temptingtosaythatmy1stpersonPOVextendsintothefutureandthepastaswell,explaining whyIthinkofmyselfasapersonpersistingthroughtime.However,thislatterhypothesisis unnecessary.Itisenoughtosaythatthe1stpersonPOVisvalidonlyinthepresent,andwhenI considermyfutureandpastthatisonly3rdpersonextrapolation.  Wellsaid!Iagreecompletely.
Thank-you!
 WhatIconsidermyselftobe asapersonisthenexplainedasthesetof1stpersonexperiencesrelatedinaparticularway, suchasbelievingthemselvestobemomentsinthelifeofasingleindividual,havingmemoriesor quasi-memoriesincommon,andsoon.   Butwhatcanthat"relatedinaparticularway"be?ItiscertainlynotthecasethatI,atevery momentamexperiencingabeliefthatI'masingleindividual.Icannotthinkofany1stperson experiencethatisconnectingmy1stpersonmoments.RatheritissomethingunconsciouswhichI "experience"onlyonreflection,i.e.ina3rdpersonway.
Yes.
 Ithinkthisposesadifficultyforaworldmodelconsistingonlyof"observermoments".There's nothingtoconnectthem.Amodelinwhichthereisanexternalsubstrate,eitherthephysicalworld oracomputersimulation,avoidsthisproblembyprovidingtheunexperiencedconnection.Julian Barbourproposesasimilarmodelinwhichtheworldconsistsof"timecapsules";eachcapsuleisa momentintime.Butthesecapsulescontainmuchmorethanaconsciousthought;theycontain somethinglikeastateoftheworldandsotheyprovideenoughinformationtobewellordered.
I thinkit is one of the mostprofound things about consciousness thatobserver momentsdon't *need* anything to connect them other than their content. They arelinked like the novels in a series, not like the carriages of a train. It is not necessary that the individual novels be lined up specially on a shelf: as long as they have each been written and exist somewhere in the world, the series exists. The carriages of a train, on the other hand, not only have to be the right sort of physical structures, they also have to be specially linked in order to make up the train.You might argue that as a matter of technical necessity, the moments in an individual stream of consciousness can only be generated by the activity of a single human brain, but that wouldjust belike saying that only a particular author would have the technical ability to write a particular series of novels.It's tempting to think that within the cranium there is a special glue connecting our thoughts together so that they seem to belong to the one person, but, as Laplace saidabout God, there is no need for such a hypothesis.
 IfIsplitintotwothatpresentsnoproblemforthe3rd personPOV(therearetwoinstantiationsofStathisextantwherebeforetherewasone)norfor the1stpersonPOV(eachinstantiationknowsitisexperiencingwhatitisexperiencingasitis experiencingit).AproblemdoesarisewhenIanticipatethesplit(whichonewillIbecome?)or lookbackatthesplit(*I*wastheoriginal!);thereisnocorrectanswerinthesecasesbecause itisbasedon3rdpersonextrapolationofthe1stpersonPOV,whichinadditiontoitsother failingsassumesonlyasingleentitycanbeextantatanyonetime(onlyasingle1stperson existsbydefinition,butmultiple3rdpersonscanexistattheonetime).Thisisnottosay thatmymindcanorshouldovercome[LeeCorbindisagreesonthe"should"]thedeeplyingrained belieforillusionthatIamaunique,one-trackindividuallivingmylifefromstarttofinish,  It'sonlyanillusionifyouassumethe"observermoment"modelisreality.Inasenseallmodels are"illusions",butsomearebetterthanothersandatanygiventimewemightaswelltentatively takeourbestmodelasarepresentationofreality.
I don't mean anything by "observer moment" beyond the fact that a stream of consciousness can be divided up into moments of arbitrary length. This doesn't mean the moments have some separate physical reality, like elementary particles do in physics.Even if asI said above 

Re: A calculus of personal identity

2006-06-29 Thread Bruno Marchal

Le 28-juin-06, à 14:52, Stathis Papaioannou a écrit :

Bruno,

I have cut out some of your detailed response to my post where I think we basically agree. 


Good idea. Of course it will looks like I disagree with all what you say, but just remember we are concentrating on those points where we disagree, or where we misunderstand each other. A case will be made that it could be a question of vocabulary, but perhaps also I am nearer  to Lee Corbin on those points; we will see.



There remain some differences, and some failings on my part to understand more technical aspects of your work.


OK.



Yes, sharing the memory is *not* the same as having the original experience, but this applies to recalling one's own past as well. 


Are you really sure? When two people share memories, they can only share third person information, which will trigger their respective unsharable first person identities/memories.
When recollecting our own memories, we do recollect (approximations) of our unsharable first person memories, which *does*, in the present, participate into our present first person identity.



You may argue that recalling our past is different because we have just the right brain structure, other associated memories and so on to put it all in context, but in principle all of these might be lacking due to illness or the passage of time, or might be duplicated in a very good simulation made for someone else to experience.


Yes. Note that from a first person memory POV, perfect quasi memories are not distinguishable from real memories (if that means anythings: assuming comp real memories and artificial quasi memories are just equivalent).




The only way to unambiguously define a first person experience is to make it once only; perfect recollection would be indistinguishable from the original experience, and it would be impossible for the experiencer to either know that he was recalling a memory or to know how close to the original the recollection was. 


I agree.




The postulate of a first person entity persisting through time violates the 1st person/ 3rd person distinction, 


I am not sure, although it makes sense, but only because eventually it is the whole idea of objective time which is illusory. Subjective time, I would say, cannot be illusory, nor can subjective pain be.




since it assumes that I-now can have 1st person knowledge of I-yesterday or I-tomorrow, when in fact such knowledge is impossible except in a 3rd person way.


I disagree. I do have a first person account of I-yesterday, and some first person feelings about possible first person feelings of myself tomorrow, all of which are non describable in any third person way. Again we could be in agreement here. If you want I have no doubt about my I-yesterday, even if I don't believe at all in some absolute third person describable notion of yesterday. But I do feel I-yesterday: I cannot separate it from I-now and I-tomorrow. This is completely independent of the fact that I may well die in a second.



I believe it is this confusion which leads to the apparent anomaly of 1st person indeterminacy in the face of 3rd person determinacy in duplication experiments. 


I don't see any anomaly, to be sure. Only weirdness, relative to probable prejudices.



Let us assume as little as possible and make our theories as simple as possible. I *have* to accept that there is something special about my experiences at the moment which distinguish them from everyone else's experiences: this is the difference between the 1st person POV and the 3rd person POV. 


OK, but just remember that in the UDA thought experiment, the first person is almost defined by the content of a personal diary/memory. And what makes those experiences personal here is that they are destroyed together with the body during destructive teleportation or duplication. But the memories refers, in the present, to subjective (first person) past and future. We cannot have illusions about that, only about third person extrapolation *from* that.




It is tempting to say that my 1st person POV extends into the future and the past as well, explaining why I think of myself as a person persisting through time. 

I would say it is in the nature of the first person to persist in *subjective* time. I have more problem with (naive?) notion of time and space. So again I would agree it is an illusion that 1-I persists through some notion of 3-time and 3-space, but somehow the first person is inextricably linked to a notion of 1-time and 1-space. The illusion would consist in believing in a sort of describable existence of myself in some describable notion of absolute space-time.



However, this latter hypothesis is unnecessary. It is enough to say that the 1st person POV is valid only in the present, 


But what could that means? Which present? Certainly a lasting present: it is part of my first person identity that I feel a sort of continuous time, which gives sense to all my first person 

Re: A calculus of personal identity

2006-06-29 Thread John M

Bruno:

This thread is more than I could follow in detail at
this time, when I am involved with different areas to
speculate on - on other lists. I apologize. Not that I
assume you're missing my input (usually marginal), but
for not being better informed on the details.
I pick from time to time a post and so I saw
references to experience - meaning stored in that
thing: memory
 
My question: do we have a wider agreement what to call
'memory' - as a process? Those fables of physiologists
with stored 'codes' in tissue do not make sense to me:
one has to remember first the topic to remember then
the code applied and recall the stored molecular
variations to REMEMBER at all. Then decipher into the
'meaning' it stood for. Those alleged 'codes' are
fixed and the tissue-variations do not alter into any
faded or even distorted 'remembering'.

It pertains to your naive time-concept which I go 
along with strongly: it is in our conscious thinking
(as the 'time' of unconsciousness is missing from the
'time'). Not a fundamental parameter as certain
physics theoreticians say. (Cf my worldview
narrative). 
We think timelessly, spacelessly, and assign sp/t to
it, as coordinating factors. So we can go back and
take another look at it - what we call - the memories.
No two person/alitie/s see the revisited event etc.
identically - maybe similarly. 'I' myself also see it
differently from the former sight: I changed in the
meantime. Memories are stable only in digital form
fixed, in mechan. machines. (not us!-machines). 
 

You use 'illusion' a lot. I think it is a narrowed pic
from ALL 1st pers. content which ALL are illusions -
as I picked up the distinction here: - as the
'percept' of reality. You narrow the total (illusion)
to those domains you find 'unreal' vs other 'unreals'
you may consider as 'real'. 
And I return to my earlier favorite: 3rd pers. info. 
It is as 'believable' as close its formulation comes
to our own (1st pers.) ways. 

So I see a fine line between solipsism and
unsolipsism: we 'illusion' the existence of 3rd
persons and accept 'them' just as real as those
illusions which you do not call 'illusions'. I am on
your side of the fine line.

Thoughts like these prevent me from considering the
teleportation/duplication topic worthwhile thinking
in/ about. To remember (see above) would necessitate a
teleportee to teleport back into the environment where
a 'second look' is feasible, not resulting in some
different event of the remote environment. So in my
terms an 'outsourced' (teleported/duplicated) entity
lost its background-identity. 

Regards

John M

 



--- Bruno Marchal [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:

 
 Le 28-juin-06, � 14:52, Stathis Papaioannou a
�crit
 :
 
 
  Bruno,
 
  I have cut out some of your detailed response to
 my post where I think 
  we basically agree.
 
 
 Good idea. Of course it will looks like I disagree
 with all what you 
 say, but just remember we are concentrating on those
 points where we 
 disagree, or where we misunderstand each other. A
 case will be made 
 that it could be a question of vocabulary, but
 perhaps also I am nearer 
   to Lee Corbin on those points; we will see.
 
 
 
  There remain some differences, and some failings
 on my part to 
  understand more technical aspects of your work.
 
 
 OK.
 
 
 
  Yes, sharing the memory is *not* the same as
 having the original 
  experience, but this applies to recalling one's
 own past as well.
 
 
 Are you really sure? When two people share memories,
 they can only 
 share third person information, which will trigger
 their respective 
 unsharable first person identities/memories.
 When recollecting our own memories, we do recollect
 (approximations) of 
 our unsharable first person memories, which *does*,
 in the present, 
 participate into our present first person identity.
 
 
 
  You may argue that recalling our past is different
 because we have 
  just the right brain structure, other associated
 memories and so on to 
  put it all in context, but in principle all of
 these might be lacking 
  due to illness or the passage of time, or might be
 duplicated in a 
  very good simulation made for someone else to
 experience.
 
 
 Yes. Note that from a first person memory POV,
 perfect quasi memories 
 are not distinguishable from real memories (if
 that means anythings: 
 assuming comp real memories and artificial quasi
 memories are just 
 equivalent).
 
 
 
 
   The only way to unambiguously define a first
 person experience is to 
  make it once only; perfect recollection would be
 indistinguishable 
  from the original experience, and it would be
 impossible for the 
  experiencer to either know that he was recalling a
 memory or to know 
  how close to the original the recollection was.
 
 
 I agree.
 
 
 
 
  The postulate of a first person entity persisting
 through time 
  violates the 1st person/ 3rd person distinction,
 
 
 I am not sure, although it makes sense, but only
 because eventually it 
 is the whole idea 

Re: A calculus of personal identity

2006-06-29 Thread John M

Thanks, Stathis, for your words not too distant from
where I stand. As I wrote to Bruno, I assign my
present memory to my present viewing technology, not
to 'my' 5-year old as you refer to. 
You mention sense of identity - I think it is more
than just a 'sense': it is a reflective relation of
the 
individual mental processes to the wider relations of
its environment (more than ambience) so the impact is
fundamental, controlling more than just a 'sense'. 
Furthermore: I think we 'work up' our sensorial input
into 'meaning' - even control (suppress?) them, while
the 'identity' (or personality) is pervading - even
(controling) - our mentality. 
This is my lay opinion and I am still speculating on
it, not ready to defend. Replies appreciated.

John M


--- Stathis Papaioannou
[EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:

We can't be sure that our memories are accurate. This
puts us in a 
similar position when we consider our own past as when
we consider someone 
else's past: we think that we know what it was like to
be five years 
old, but our brains may have changed so much in the
intervening years 
that this recollection may be little more vivid or
accurate than if we 
were imagining what someone else's childhood was like
after reading a book 
about it. There is no reason why every other mental
quality, including 
the sense of identity, might not also change greatly
over decades, with 
the only reason we think we remain the same person
being that this 
change is gradual.

Stathis Papaioannou

 
 John Mikes writes (quoting Brent Meeker):
 
   Well that's the question isn't it.  Is there
   something besides memories and personality that
   makes you you...
   
- truncated - 

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RE: A calculus of personal identity

2006-06-29 Thread Hal Finney

Stathis Papaioannou writes:
 Hal Finney writes:
  
  What I argued was that it would be easier to find the trace of a person's
  thoughts in a universe where he had a physically continuous record than
  where there were discontinuities (easier in the sense that a smaller
  program would suffice).  In my framework, this means that the universe
  would contribute more measure to people who had continuous lives than
  people who teleported.  Someone whose life ended at the moment of
  teleportation would have a higher measure than someone who survived
  the event.  Therefore, I would view teleportation as reducing measure
  similarly to doing something that had a risk of dying.  I would try to
  avoid it, unless there were compensating benefits (as indeed might be
  the case, just as people willingly accept the risk of dying by driving
  to work, because of the compensating benefits).
  
  You can say that by definition the person survives, but then, you
  can say anything by definition.  I guess the question is, what is the
  reasoning behind the definition.

 OK, this is the old ASSA versus RSSA distinction. But leaving this
 argument aside, I don't see how teleportation could be analogous to a
 risky, measure reducing activity if it seemed to be a reliable process
 from a third person perspective. If someone plays Russian Roulette, we
 both agree that from a third person perspective, we are likely to observe
 a dead body eventually. But with teleportation (destructive, to one place)
 there is a 1:1 ratio between pre-experiment subjects and post-experiment
 subjects from a third person perspective. Are you suggesting that the
 predicted drop in measure will have no third person observable effect?

First, I tend to think that the phrase third person observable is
something of a contradiction.  Observation is a first-person activity.
I would prefer to think of third person effects as simply the physical
record of events.

In this case, there will definitely be a third person effect.  Having
someone teleport is a third-person difference from not having them
teleport.  We are talking about two cases here that are third-person
distinguishable, with very different physical histories, hence it is
plausible that there be different subjective first-person effects.

As far as the comparison with Russian Roulette, if someone only plays it
once, there might not be a third person difference.  Yet I would argue
his measure was reduced (in the multiverse).

Really, when we are talking about third person records, all we have
is the actual sequence of events that occurs.  Suppose someone plays
Russian Roulette multiple times.  In this universe, perhaps we see them
pull the trigger five times and survive, and on the sixth pull they die.
That subjective history, of playing RR six times, is instantiated in
this universe.  This universe contributes measure to that history.

Other universes, not observable to us, may have him die after different
trials.  Each of those contributes measure to subjective histories that
end at different points.  The result is that the measure of his lifespan
is reduced at each trigger pull, but that in any single third-person
universe that reduction in measure is unobservable.  Instead we see no
change until the final trigger pull.

Consider this example: someone commits to killing himself if you die, and
now you play Russian Roulette yourself.  Each time you pull the trigger
you reduce his measure, that of the other person who will kill himself
if you die.  But you will never observe him dying (in the first-person
sense).  This is a case of an unobservable measure decrease which you
might nevertheless believe in.


  As far as Lee's suggestion that people could be dying thousands of
  times a second, my framework does not allow for arbitrary statements
  like that.  Given a physical circumstance, we can calculate what happens.
  It's not just arbitrary what we choose to say about life and death.
  We can calculate the measure of different subjective life experiences,
  based on the physical record.
  
  If we wanted to create a physical record where this framework would
  be compatible with saying that people die often, it would be necessary
  to physically teleport people thousands of times a second.  Or perhaps
  the same thing could be done by freezing people for a substantial time,
  reviving them for a thousandth of a second, then re-freezing them again
  for a while, etc.
  
  If we consider the practical implications of such experiments I don't
  think it is so implausible to view them as being worse than living a
  single, connected, subjective life.  It would be quite difficult to
  interact in a meaningful way with the world under such circumstances.

 Assuming it could be done seamlessly, how would it make any difference? If
 you believe the important aspect of our consciousness resides in the
 activity at neural synapses, this is exactly what is happening. They
 are constantly falling 

Re: A calculus of personal identity

2006-06-29 Thread Brent Meeker

Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
 Brent Meeker writes (quoting SP):
  
   
   Yes, sharing the memory is *not* the same as having the original 
 experience, but this applies to
   
   recalling one's own past as well. You may argue that recalling our past is 
 different because we
   
   have just the right brain structure, other associated memories and so on 
 to put it all in
   
   context, but in principle all of these might be lacking due to illness or 
 the passage of time, or
   
   might be duplicated in a very good simulation made for someone else to 
 experience. The only way
   
   to unambiguously define a first person experience is to make it once only; 
 perfect recollection
   
   would be indistinguishable from the original experience, and it would be 
 impossible for the
   
   experiencer to either know that he was recalling a memory or to know how 
 close to the original
   
   the recollection was. The postulate of a first person entity persisting 
 through time violates the
   
   1st person/ 3rd person distinction, since it assumes that I-now can have 
 1st person knowledge of
   
   I-yesterday or I-tomorrow, when in fact such knowledge is impossible 
 except in a 3rd person way.
   
   I believe it is this confusion which leads to the apparent anomaly of 1st 
 person indeterminacy in
   
   the face of 3rd person determinacy in duplication experiments. Let us 
 assume as little as
   
   possible and make our theories as simple as possible. I *have* to accept 
 that there is something
   
   special about my experiences at the moment which distinguish them from 
 everyone else's
   
   experiences: this is the difference between the 1st person POV and the 3rd 
 person POV. It is
   
   tempting to say that my 1st person POV extends into the future and the 
 past as well, explaining
   
   why I think of myself as a person persisting through time. However, this 
 latter hypothesis is
   
   unnecessary. It is enough to say that the 1st person POV is valid only in 
 the present, and when I
consider my future and past that is only 3rd person extrapolation. 
  
   Well said!  I agree completely.
 
 Thank-you!
  
   What I consider myself to be
   
   as a person is then explained as the set of 1st person experiences related 
 in a particular way,
   
   such as believing themselves to be moments in the life of a single 
 individual, having memories or
quasi-memories in common, and so on. 
  
  
   
 But what can that related in a particular way be?  It is certainly not the 
 case that I, at every
   
 moment am experiencing a belief that I'm a single individual.  I cannot think 
 of any 1st person
   
 experience that is connecting my 1st person moments.  Rather it is something 
 unconscious which I
   experience only on reflection, i.e. in a 3rd person way.
 
 Yes.
  
   
 I think this poses a difficulty for a world model consisting only of 
 observer moments.  There's
   
 nothing to connect them.  A model in which there is an external substrate, 
 either the physical world
   
 or a computer simulation, avoids this problem by providing the unexperienced 
 connection.  Julian
   
 Barbour proposes a similar model in which the world consists of time 
 capsules; each capsule is a
   
 moment in time.  But these capsules contain much more than a conscious 
 thought; they contain
   
 something like a state of the world and so they provide enough information to 
 be well ordered.
 
 I think it is one of the most profound things about consciousness 
 that observer moments don't *need* anything to connect them other than 
 their content. They are linked like the novels in a series, not like the 
 carriages of a train. It is not necessary that the individual novels be 
 lined up specially on a shelf: as long as they have each been written 
 and exist somewhere in the world, the series exists. 

But the series exists, as a series, by virtue of the information in them.  They 
are like Barbour's 
time-capsules; each contains enough references and characters from the others 
to allow them to be 
put into order.  It's not clear to me what duration obserever moments have - 
but I don't think 
they are novel length.  I imagine them more like sentences (a complete thought 
as my English teacher 
used to say), and sentences *don't* have enough information to allow them to be 
reconstructed into 
the novel they came from.

That's why I suggest that OMs are not an adequate ontological basis for a world 
model.  On the other 
hand, if we include brain processes, or more abstractly, subconscious thoughts, 
then we would have 
enough information to string them together.

Brent Meeker



The carriages of a 
 train, on the other hand, not only have to be the right sort of physical 
 structures, they also have to be specially linked in order to make up 
 the train. You might argue that as a matter of technical necessity, the 
 moments in an individual stream of consciousness can only be generated 
 by 

Re: A calculus of personal identity

2006-06-28 Thread Stathis Papaioannou

John Mikes writes (quoting Brent Meeker):

  Well that's the question isn't it.  Is there
  something besides memories and personality that
  makes you you...
  
 
 But how much do we (already???) know about our
 memories 
 which for sure is a concoction with our personality,
 of which we just as well know very little.
 Different people have different memories of the same
 event (not only the biased eyewitnesses). \
 Never ask a psych-professional because he may be just
 as biased in knowing his profession as you are with
 yours. (Stathis, no hard feelings, please, you have
 disclosed a lot of thinking beyond your learned
 topics) 
 We have a crude fractional picture of who we are and
 what we know (or don't) and memory is a big mystery.
 Bigger only is personality. 

We can't be sure that our memories are accurate. This puts us in a similar 
position when we consider our own past as when we consider someone else's past: 
we think that we know what it was like to be five years old, but our brains may 
have changed so much in the intervening years that this recollection may be 
little more vivid or accurate than if we were imagining what someone else's 
childhood was like after reading a book about it. There is no reason why every 
other mental quality, including the sense of identity, might not also change 
greatly over decades, with the only reason we think we remain the same person 
being that this change is gradual.

Stathis Papaioannou
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Re: A calculus of personal identity

2006-06-28 Thread Stathis Papaioannou

Bruno,

I have cut out some of your detailed response to my post where I think we 
basically agree. There remain some differences, and some failings on my part to 
understand more technical aspects of your work.

  Memories of our past are generally more vivid and hold more  
  information than writing, film etc., but there may come a time when  
  people directly share memories with each other as easily as they now  
  share mp3 files.
 
 
 Selling, buying, sharing memories belongs to the future of applied  
 bio-information science, I guess. But still, despite infinite possible  
 progress in that matter, what will always really be shared will be  
 numbers and partially similar decoding and interpreting procedures. For  
 example, the mp3 files contains binary digits, and people share indeed  
 the same first level decoding machinery (a Mac, a PC, an ipod, etc.).  
 They does not share the personal experience (ex: for one the music will  
 makes him/she recall nice memories, for someone else: only bad  
 memories). Now you make one step further and share the good/bad  
 memories. This can only partially be done, and then it will be similar  
 to number-mp3 sharing. To share the first person experience completely  
 you will have to erase memories for maintaining enough (self-)  
 consistency, and you will actually fuse the persons. The quantum analog  
 is quantum erasure of information which allows interference effects  
 (and thus history-fusion) to (re)appear.
 The first person itself is not first person-self-definable (I will come  
 back on this, but those following the diagonalization post can already  
 smell this phenomenon: the collection of all computable functions from  
 N to N cannot be enumerated by a computable function).

Yes, sharing the memory is *not* the same as having the original experience, 
but this applies to recalling one's own past as well. You may argue that 
recalling our past is different because we have just the right brain structure, 
other associated memories and so on to put it all in context, but in principle 
all of these might be lacking due to illness or the passage of time, or might 
be duplicated in a very good simulation made for someone else to experience. 
The only way to unambiguously define a first person experience is to make it 
once only; perfect recollection would be indistinguishable from the original 
experience, and it would be impossible for the experiencer to either know that 
he was recalling a memory or to know how close to the original the recollection 
was. The postulate of a first person entity persisting through time violates 
the 1st person/ 3rd person distinction, since it assumes that I-now can have 
1st person knowledge of I-yesterday or I-tomorrow, when in fact such knowledge 
is impossible except in a 3rd person way. I believe it is this confusion which 
leads to the apparent anomaly of 1st person indeterminacy in the face of 3rd 
person determinacy in duplication experiments. Let us assume as little as 
possible and make our theories as simple as possible. I *have* to accept that 
there is something special about my experiences at the moment which distinguish 
them from everyone else's experiences: this is the difference between the 1st 
person POV and the 3rd person POV. It is tempting to say that my 1st person POV 
extends into the future and the past as well, explaining why I think of myself 
as a person persisting through time. However, this latter hypothesis is 
unnecessary. It is enough to say that the 1st person POV is valid only in the 
present, and when I consider my future and past that is only 3rd person 
extrapolation. What I consider myself to be as a person is then explained as 
the set of 1st person experiences related in a particular way, such as 
believing themselves to be moments in the life of a single individual, having 
memories or quasi-memories in common, and so on. If I split into two that 
presents no problem for the 3rd person POV (there are two instantiations of 
Stathis extant where before there was one) nor for the 1st person POV (each 
instantiation knows it is experiencing what it is experiencing as it is 
experiencing it). A problem does arise when I anticipate the split (which one 
will I become?) or look back at the split (*I* was the original!); there is no 
correct answer in these cases because it is based on 3rd person extrapolation 
of the 1st person POV, which in addition to its other failings assumes only a 
single entity can be extant at any one time (only a single 1st person exists by 
definition, but multiple 3rd persons can exist at the one time). This is not to 
say that my mind can or should overcome [Lee Corbin disagrees on the should] 
the deeply ingrained belief or illusion that I am a unique, one-track 
individual living my life from start to finish, which is why in symmetrical 
duplication experiments I anticipate that I will become one of the duplicates 
with equal probability. In 

Re: A calculus of personal identity

2006-06-28 Thread Brent Meeker

Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
 Bruno,
 
 I have cut out some of your detailed response to my post where I think we 
 basically agree. There
 remain some differences, and some failings on my part to understand more 
 technical aspects of
 your work.
 
 
 Memories of our past are generally more vivid and hold more information 
 than writing, film
 etc., but there may come a time when people directly share memories with 
 each other as easily
 as they now share mp3 files.
 
 
 Selling, buying, sharing memories belongs to the future of applied 
 bio-information science, I
 guess. But still, despite infinite possible progress in that matter, what 
 will always really be
 shared will be numbers and partially similar decoding and interpreting 
 procedures. For example,
 the mp3 files contains binary digits, and people share indeed the same first 
 level decoding
 machinery (a Mac, a PC, an ipod, etc.). They does not share the personal 
 experience (ex: for
 one the music will makes him/she recall nice memories, for someone else: 
 only bad memories).
 Now you make one step further and share the good/bad memories. This can only 
 partially be done,
 and then it will be similar to number-mp3 sharing. To share the first person 
 experience
 completely you will have to erase memories for maintaining enough (self-) 
 consistency, and you
 will actually fuse the persons. The quantum analog is quantum erasure of 
 information which
 allows interference effects (and thus history-fusion) to (re)appear. The 
 first person itself is
 not first person-self-definable (I will come back on this, but those 
 following the
 diagonalization post can already smell this phenomenon: the collection of 
 all computable
 functions from N to N cannot be enumerated by a computable function).
 
 
 Yes, sharing the memory is *not* the same as having the original experience, 
 but this applies to
 recalling one's own past as well. You may argue that recalling our past is 
 different because we
 have just the right brain structure, other associated memories and so on to 
 put it all in
 context, but in principle all of these might be lacking due to illness or the 
 passage of time, or
 might be duplicated in a very good simulation made for someone else to 
 experience. The only way
 to unambiguously define a first person experience is to make it once only; 
 perfect recollection
 would be indistinguishable from the original experience, and it would be 
 impossible for the
 experiencer to either know that he was recalling a memory or to know how 
 close to the original
 the recollection was. The postulate of a first person entity persisting 
 through time violates the
 1st person/ 3rd person distinction, since it assumes that I-now can have 1st 
 person knowledge of
 I-yesterday or I-tomorrow, when in fact such knowledge is impossible except 
 in a 3rd person way.
 I believe it is this confusion which leads to the apparent anomaly of 1st 
 person indeterminacy in
 the face of 3rd person determinacy in duplication experiments. Let us assume 
 as little as
 possible and make our theories as simple as possible. I *have* to accept that 
 there is something
 special about my experiences at the moment which distinguish them from 
 everyone else's
 experiences: this is the difference between the 1st person POV and the 3rd 
 person POV. It is
 tempting to say that my 1st person POV extends into the future and the past 
 as well, explaining
 why I think of myself as a person persisting through time. However, this 
 latter hypothesis is
 unnecessary. It is enough to say that the 1st person POV is valid only in the 
 present, and when I
 consider my future and past that is only 3rd person extrapolation. 

Well said!  I agree completely.

What I consider myself to be
 as a person is then explained as the set of 1st person experiences related in 
 a particular way,
 such as believing themselves to be moments in the life of a single 
 individual, having memories or
 quasi-memories in common, and so on. 


But what can that related in a particular way be?  It is certainly not the 
case that I, at every
moment am experiencing a belief that I'm a single individual.  I cannot think 
of any 1st person
experience that is connecting my 1st person moments.  Rather it is something 
unconscious which I
experience only on reflection, i.e. in a 3rd person way.

I think this poses a difficulty for a world model consisting only of observer 
moments.  There's
nothing to connect them.  A model in which there is an external substrate, 
either the physical world
or a computer simulation, avoids this problem by providing the unexperienced 
connection.  Julian
Barbour proposes a similar model in which the world consists of time 
capsules; each capsule is a
moment in time.  But these capsules contain much more than a conscious thought; 
they contain
something like a state of the world and so they provide enough information to 
be well ordered.

If I split into two that presents 

RE: A calculus of personal identity

2006-06-28 Thread Hal Finney

Lee Corbin writes:
 Stathis writes
  Hal Finney in his recent thread on teleportation thought
  experiments disagrees with the above view. He suggests
  that it is possible for  a subject to apparently undergo
  successful teleportation, in that the individual walking
  out of the receiving station has all the appropriate
  mental and physical attributes in common with the individual
  entering the transmitting station, but in reality not survive
  the procedure. I have difficulty understanding this, as it
  seems to me that the subject has survived by definition.

 Well, if you've characterized his views correctly, then he's
 not in agreement with you, me, and Derek Parfit. What might
 be fun to explore is how desperate some people would have to
 be in order to teleport (or perhaps how lucrative the
 opportunity?).  Also, I suppose that if you confided to them
 that this was happening to them all the time thousands of
 times per second, they'd still have some unfathomable reason
 not to go near a teleporter.

Sorry, I have been reading the list somewhat lightly recently and
have missed some threads.

What I argued was that it would be easier to find the trace of a person's
thoughts in a universe where he had a physically continuous record than
where there were discontinuities (easier in the sense that a smaller
program would suffice).  In my framework, this means that the universe
would contribute more measure to people who had continuous lives than
people who teleported.  Someone whose life ended at the moment of
teleportation would have a higher measure than someone who survived
the event.  Therefore, I would view teleportation as reducing measure
similarly to doing something that had a risk of dying.  I would try to
avoid it, unless there were compensating benefits (as indeed might be
the case, just as people willingly accept the risk of dying by driving
to work, because of the compensating benefits).

You can say that by definition the person survives, but then, you
can say anything by definition.  I guess the question is, what is the
reasoning behind the definition.

As far as Lee's suggestion that people could be dying thousands of
times a second, my framework does not allow for arbitrary statements
like that.  Given a physical circumstance, we can calculate what happens.
It's not just arbitrary what we choose to say about life and death.
We can calculate the measure of different subjective life experiences,
based on the physical record.

If we wanted to create a physical record where this framework would
be compatible with saying that people die often, it would be necessary
to physically teleport people thousands of times a second.  Or perhaps
the same thing could be done by freezing people for a substantial time,
reviving them for a thousandth of a second, then re-freezing them again
for a while, etc.

If we consider the practical implications of such experiments I don't
think it is so implausible to view them as being worse than living a
single, connected, subjective life.  It would be quite difficult to
interact in a meaningful way with the world under such circumstances.

However, if one were so unfortunate as to be put into such a situation,
then it would no longer be particularly bad to teleport.  You're being
broken into pieces all the time anyway, so the event of teleportation
would presumably not make things any worse.  Particularly if you were
somehow being teleported thousands of times a second, then adding a
teleportation would basically be meaningless since you're teleporting
anyway at every instant.  So I don't agree with Lee's conclusion that
in this situation people would still resist teleportation.

Hal Finney

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in turn Re: A calculus of personal identity

2006-06-27 Thread Stathis Papaioannou

Brent Meeker writes:

  If the duplicate did not feel he was the original, then he wouldn't have 
  all the memories and personality of the original, would he? 
 
 Well that's the question isn't it.  Is there something besides memories and 
 personality that makes 
 you you.  Could you feel that your memories belonged to somebody else?  I 
 think that no duplication 
 is going to be perfect - it's just a question of whether the difference will 
 be detectable with 
 reasonable effort.  If one remembers having a green pencil in the first grade 
 and the other 
 remembers having a blue one, how could anyone know which is right?

Is the duplication process good enough to match or better the mechanisms 
naturally in place to preserve the functional integrity of the brain from 
moment to moment? That is the question that needs to be answered. It would be 
unreasonable to speculate that the duplicate may not be the same person as the 
original based on some test which, if applied consistently, might also cast 
doubt on whether we are still the same person from moment to moment in ordinary 
life. Putting it differently, maybe we *aren't* the same person from moment to 
moment: maybe we are constantly dying, to be replaced by a close, but 
necessarily imperfect copy. After all, nature will not evolve a system to 
perfectly preserve mental attributes throughout life just because such an 
arrangement is aesthetically pleasing. Preservation of the majority of 
memories, personality, other learned and instinctive behaviours, and a *belief* 
that we are the same person throughout life so that we will plan for our future 
well-being are the only qualities that evolution could act on. Since our brains 
are being continuously rebuilt at considerable metabolic expense, any subtle 
mental quality that has no effect on behaviour would be ruthlessly pared away 
by evolution's razor. 

Stathis Papaioannou
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Re: in turn Re: A calculus of personal identity

2006-06-27 Thread Brent Meeker

Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
 Brent Meeker writes:
 
 
 If the duplicate did not feel he was the original, then he wouldn't have 
 all the memories
 and personality of the original, would he?
 
 Well that's the question isn't it.  Is there something besides memories and 
 personality that
 makes you you.  Could you feel that your memories belonged to somebody else? 
  I think that no
 duplication is going to be perfect - it's just a question of whether the 
 difference will be
 detectable with reasonable effort.  If one remembers having a green pencil 
 in the first grade
 and the other remembers having a blue one, how could anyone know which is 
 right?
 
 
 Is the duplication process good enough to match or better the mechanisms 
 naturally in place to
 preserve the functional integrity of the brain from moment to moment? That is 
 the question that
 needs to be answered. It would be unreasonable to speculate that the 
 duplicate may not be the
 same person as the original based on some test which, if applied 
 consistently, might also cast
 doubt on whether we are still the same person from moment to moment in 
 ordinary life. Putting it
 differently, maybe we *aren't* the same person from moment to moment: maybe 
 we are constantly
 dying, to be replaced by a close, but necessarily imperfect copy. After all, 
 nature will not
 evolve a system to perfectly preserve mental attributes throughout life just 
 because such an
 arrangement is aesthetically pleasing. Preservation of the majority of 
 memories, personality,
 other learned and instinctive behaviours, and a *belief* that we are the same 
 person throughout
 life so that we will plan for our future well-being are the only qualities 
 that evolution could
 act on. Since our brains are being continuously rebuilt at considerable 
 metabolic expense, any
 subtle mental quality that has no effect on behaviour would be ruthlessly 
 pared away by
 evolution's razor.

Well, only assuming there is some evolutionary cost to them.   There might be 
lots of what Gould 
called 'spandrels'.  But what I'm wondering is whether the *belief* that we're 
the same person is 
some wholistic property of the brain or is it just some small module.  If the 
latter then it seems 
possible the duplicate could have all the other attributes, but lack that 
belief.  This seems 
perfectly plausible, since I can have doubts about other things why not doubt 
I'm me?

Brent Meeker


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Re: A calculus of personal identity

2006-06-27 Thread Stathis Papaioannou


Brent Meeker writes:

 Istheduplicationprocessgoodenoughtomatchorbetterthemechanismsnaturallyinplaceto preservethefunctionalintegrityofthebrainfrommomenttomoment?Thatisthequestionthat needstobeanswered.Itwouldbeunreasonabletospeculatethattheduplicatemaynotbethe samepersonastheoriginalbasedonsometestwhich,ifappliedconsistently,mightalsocast doubtonwhetherwearestillthesamepersonfrommomenttomomentinordinarylife.Puttingit differently,maybewe*aren't*thesamepersonfrommomenttomoment:maybeweareconstantly dying,tobereplacedbyaclose,butnecessarilyimperfectcopy.Afterall,naturewillnot evolveasystemtoperfectlypreservementalattributesthroughoutlifejustbecausesuchan arrangementisaestheticallypleasing.Preservationofthemajorityofmemories,personality, otherlearnedandinstinctivebehaviours,anda*belief*thatwearethesamepersonthroughout lifesothatwewillplanforourfuturewell-beingaretheonlyqualitiesthatevolutioncould acton.Sinceourbrainsarebeingcontinuouslyrebuiltatconsiderablemetabolicexpense,any subtlementalqualitythathasnoeffectonbehaviourwouldberuthlesslyparedawayby evolution'srazor.  Well,onlyassumingthereissomeevolutionarycosttothem.TheremightbelotsofwhatGould called'spandrels'.ButwhatI'mwonderingiswhetherthe*belief*thatwe'rethesamepersonis somewholisticpropertyofthebrainorisitjustsomesmallmodule.Ifthelatterthenitseems possibletheduplicatecouldhavealltheotherattributes,butlackthatbelief.Thisseems perfectlyplausible,sinceIcanhavedoubtsaboutotherthingswhynotdoubtI'mme?
A "spandrel" must not only be benign, it must also be a side-effect of some other positive evolutionary benefit, otherwise in the longrun it will fade away into the genetic noise. Regardless, it is possible that the sense of personality identity is some complex and delicate property of the brain which might be difficult to capture in duplication even if everything else is apparently intact. Well, all that means is that it would be technically difficult to achieve an identity-preserving duplication. Is there any reason to think this would be a different kind of difficulty to the difficulty involved in duplicating any other mental quality? 

Thereare another couple ofpositions on this question which have been expressed at one time or another by other list members. One is thetraditional dualist view, that despite perfect physical duplication,and despite the duplicate behaving like the original, what has in fact been created is a zombie. The otherposition is that despite perfect physical*and* as a consequence perfect mental duplication, the subject has still not survived (as he would have survived in ordinary life). The firstof these I merely disagree with, but thesecond Ifind incoherent.

Stathis PapaioannouExpress yourself instantly with  Windows Live Messenger!
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Re: A calculus of personal identity

2006-06-27 Thread Bruno Marchal

Le 26-juin-06, à 14:28, Stathis Papaioannou a écrit :



x-tad-bigger Bruno Marchal writes (quoting SP):/x-tad-bigger
x-tad-bigger  /x-tad-bigger
x-tad-bigger > > Of course, it is not possible for a third person observer to be /x-tad-bigger
x-tad-bigger> > certain about first person mental states, and this would apply to our /x-tad-bigger
x-tad-bigger> > teleportee: he may feel as if he is the same person as he was prior to /x-tad-bigger
x-tad-bigger> > the procedure, but he might be wrong./x-tad-bigger
x-tad-bigger> /x-tad-bigger
x-tad-bigger> If he is a zombie, by definition he feels nothing./x-tad-bigger
x-tad-bigger  /x-tad-bigger
x-tad-bigger I am assuming here he is not a zombie, that he has a memory of what he felt like pre-teleportation, but that he may be wrong about this. 
/x-tad-bigger

I am not sure any entity can be wrong about a (first) personal feeling. The person can only be wrong relatively to some (personal) interpretation of some (non personal) world (its most probable history/computation).
(Actually even a zombie cannot be wrong when he asserts, for example, that he has a headache. But this happens for a different reason: he is *not* interpreting at all its own words. Feelings have to be conscious by definition I would say).



x-tad-biggerWhen we remember our past, we are doing something analogous to what we do when we look at someone else's account of their first person experience and try to imagine what it must have been like to have that experience. 
/x-tad-bigger

All right, but only partially so. We hardly succeed imagining the real things here, except perhaps twins or doppelgangers, but in both case, only serendipitously. 



x-tad-biggerMemories of our past are generally more vivid and hold more information than writing, film etc., but there may come a time when people directly share memories with each other as easily as they now share mp3 files./x-tad-bigger


Selling, buying, sharing memories belongs to the future of applied bio-information science, I guess. But still, despite infinite possible progress in that matter, what will always really be shared will be numbers and partially similar decoding and interpreting procedures. For example, the mp3 files contains binary digits, and people share indeed the same first level decoding machinery (a Mac, a PC, an ipod, etc.). They does not share the personal experience (ex: for one the music will makes him/she recall nice memories, for someone else: only bad memories). Now you make one step further and share the good/bad memories. This can only partially be done, and then it will be similar to number-mp3 sharing. To share the first person experience completely you will have to erase memories for maintaining enough (self-) consistency, and you will actually fuse the persons. The quantum analog is quantum erasure of information which allows interference effects (and thus history-fusion) to (re)appear.
The first person itself is not first person-self-definable (I will come back on this, but those following the diagonalization post can already smell this phenomenon: the collection of all computable functions from N to N cannot be enumerated by a computable function).



x-tad-bigger> I would agree if I was believing in Nature. As a scientist I am neutral /x-tad-bigger
x-tad-bigger> about the existence of nature, but assuming comp Nature, like /x-tad-bigger
x-tad-bigger> matter should not be reified./x-tad-bigger

x-tad-bigger Can you think of any findings in evolutionary biology which count as evidence either for or against the existence of a material world? 
/x-tad-bigger

We must be very careful here. Evolutionary biology assumes a material world, and I would say (just apparently against comp) that evolutionary biology CORRECTLY assumes a material world.
Somehow like a chess player assumes some local chessboard and a car driver assumes some local car.
It just happen that evolutionary biologists are not so much interested in the very nature and origin of that material world. They either define it as a bunch of interacting fields and particles they heard about, or even more generally just as the object matter of physics, without looking to the conceptual problem of physics at all.
For example in consciousness explained Dennett explictly asserts that there is no more conceptual problem in physics: only technical problem would remain.
(This attitude evolves slightly thanks to quantum computation).
Note that this is also the reason why comp cannot threaten evolutionary biology, quite the contrary, it proceeds according to the same basic mechanist philosophy. A case can even been made that comp extends Darwinism by allowing the physical laws to evolve, in some logical or psycho or theo-arithmetical selection process.




x-tad-biggerOf course, most scientists, like most people, assume there is a material world out there, but this is not a premiss on the basis of which scientific theories stand or fall.
/x-tad-bigger

The science or art of 

Re: A calculus of personal identity

2006-06-27 Thread John M



--- Brent Meeker [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
to Stathis (excerpt):


 Well that's the question isn't it.  Is there
 something besides memories and personality that
 makes you you...
 

But how much do we (already???) know about our
memories 
which for sure is a concoction with our personality,
of which we just as well know very little.
Different people have different memories of the same
event (not only the biased eyewitnesses). \
Never ask a psych-professional because he may be just
as biased in knowing his profession as you are with
yours. (Stathis, no hard feelings, please, you have
disclosed a lot of thinking beyond your learned
topics) 
We have a crude fractional picture of who we are and
what we know (or don't) and memory is a big mystery.
Bigger only is personality. 

John Mikes


 Could you feel that your memories belonged
 to somebody else?  I think that no duplication 
 is going to be perfect - it's just a question of
 whether the difference will be detectable with 
 reasonable effort.  If one remembers having a green
 pencil in the first grade and the other 
 remembers having a blue one, how could anyone know
 which is right?
 
 Brent Meeker


 
 

 
 


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RE: A calculus of personal identity

2006-06-27 Thread Lee Corbin

Stathis writes

 Lee,

 It’s perhaps unfortunate that we are arguing about this because
 I think we basically agree on what Derek Parfit has called a
 reductionist theory of personal identity (in his 1984 book
 Reasons and Persons;

Yes, I was very relieved to have read portions of that book.
Very few people I knew---and they, only because I had talked
them into it---accepted the theory that you and I are espousing.

 apparently reductionist was not in wide use as a term of
 abuse back then).

Oh yes it was; I think that it got even worse before it got better.
But even today, it may be that you have to come to an Everything
list, or other forum where the skeptical and well-read hang out.

 I like to emphasize the instantaneous or granular nature of
 personhood not because we literally die and are resurrected every
 moment, as those words are commonly understood, but because it
 would make no significant difference to our stream of
 consciousness or sense of self if in fact this were the case.

Why are you so sure that there is a fact of the matter?

Insofar as facts are concerned, there is a lot of agreement that
you are the same person you were yesterday. I'm not sure why we
need to redefine what is normally meant.

 How, where and when the mental states are implemented is
 irrelevant and unknowable from a first person perspective,
 unless it actually affects the content of the mental states.

Oh, well if you mean to be talking about mental states, then
I cannot disagree with anything you've said. But if we are
trying to talk about people or personhood, it's evident
that many mental states correspond to one person.

 Hal Finney in his recent thread on teleportation thought
 experiments disagrees with the above view. He suggests
 that it is possible for  a subject to apparently undergo
 successful teleportation, in that the individual walking
 out of the receiving station has all the appropriate
 mental and physical attributes in common with the individual
 entering the transmitting station, but in reality not survive
 the procedure. I have difficulty understanding this, as it
 seems to me that the subject has survived by definition.

Well, if you've characterized his views correctly, then he's
not in agreement with you, me, and Derek Parfit. What might
be fun to explore is how desperate some people would have to
be in order to teleport (or perhaps how lucrative the
opportunity?).  Also, I suppose that if you confided to them
that this was happening to them all the time thousands of
times per second, they'd still have some unfathomable reason
not to go near a teleporter.

Finally, if we had such devices, soon only the real old fogeys
and a few peculiar philosophers wouldn't make steady use of them.

Lee


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Re: A calculus of personal identity

2006-06-26 Thread Brent Meeker

Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 Bruno Marchal writes (quoting SP):
  
Of course, it is not possible for a third person observer to be 
certain about first person mental states, and this would apply to our 
teleportee: he may feel as if he is the same person as he was prior to 
the procedure, but he might be wrong.
  
   If he is a zombie, by definition he feels nothing.
  
 I am assuming here he is not a zombie, that he has a memory of what he 
 felt like pre-teleportation, but that he may be wrong about this. When 
 we remember our past, we are doing something analogous to what we do 
 when we look at someone else's account of their first person experience 
 and try to imagine what it must have been like to have that experience. 
 Memories of our past are generally more vivid and hold more information 
 than writing, film etc., but there may come a time when people directly 
 share memories with each other as easily as they now share mp3 files.
  
The flaw in this argument is that the same considerations hold if he 
had travelled by train: he may look and feel like the same person, 
have all the appropriate memories, and so on, but how does he know 
that the original didn't die during the journey, to be replaced by a 
copy as would have happened had he teleported?
  
   Here I agree and see what you mean. That is why those saying yes to 
   the doctor eventually should understand we do die at each instant. Like 
   we do split or differentiate at each instant without any means to 
   know that directly.
  
If there is some sense in which a person's identity might be lost 
despite his physical and mental attributes being apparently preserved 
(and I'm not sure the idea is even coherent), there is no reason for 
nature to waste effort evolving and maintaining such an 
identity-conservation system, because it cannot make any difference to 
behaviour.
  
   I would agree if I was believing in Nature. As a scientist I am neutral 
   about the existence of nature, but assuming comp Nature, like 
   matter should not be reified.
 
 Can you think of any findings in evolutionary biology which count as 
 evidence either for or against the existence of a material world? Of 
 course, most scientists, like most people, assume there is a material 
 world out there, but this is not a premiss on the basis of which 
 scientific theories stand or fall.
  
Comp itself cannot be proved but what can be proved is that IF comp is
correct then comp cannot be proved, necessarily. So we have, somehow,
to be open to non-comp beliefs.
   
Put in another way: if you survive when saying YES to the doctor, you
have to respect those who say NO to the doctor (unless you have bad
intentions of course or are ignorant).
   
The falseness of comp (or functionalism) does not necessarily mean 
duplication would be a death sentence.
  
  
   You are right but the reverse is true: if duplication (at any level) is 
   a death sentence, then comp is wrong.
   But you a right, for example we could survive duplication because God 
   is so good and so clever as being able to duplicate our non-comp-soul 
   and link it to the genuine digital brain copies 
 
 I don't understand why you say 
 if duplication (at any level) is a death sentence, then comp is wrong. 
 There must be a *minimal* level of duplication fidelity below which 
 consciousness/intelligence is not preserved, no? Or are you using 
 duplication to mean perfect duplication, in which case how can we have 
 different levels of perfection? 

I we actually tried duplication, then as in all communication technologies, 
there would be errors 
and the duplication would not be perfect.  But then the question arises, could 
the duplicate have 
all the memories and personality of the original but still not feel that he 
was the same person? 
In other words he would be a perfect duplicate from the 3rd person viewpoint, 
except that he would 
say he was not.

Brent Meeker


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Re: A calculus of personal identity

2006-06-26 Thread John M



--- Brent Meeker [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:

SNIP previous
 I we actually tried duplication, then as in all
 communication technologies, there would be errors 
 and the duplication would not be perfect.  But then
 the question arises, could the duplicate have 
 all the memories and personality of the original but
 still not feel that he was the same person? 
 In other words he would be a perfect duplicate from
 the 3rd person viewpoint, except that he would 
 say he was not.
 
 Brent Meeker
 
Brent:
I may condone a 'flawless' duplication (why not? it is
a thought experiment, I allow what I like...) BUT the
recipient world has got to be identical, not only as
is in the instant of the duplication, (eliminating
any disturbing background differences from its past),
but also as continuing in the same way
(undifferentiatably from the original one) *beyond*
that point, so the duplicate person 'learns' the same
experiences after duplication with the 'original' one.
Otherwise we talk futile. In this case, however, there
is no new world, there is the good old one just
continuing with the old person as was.
Untistinguishably both from the old world and from the
original person. Not only - as you suggested - from a
3rd person point of view, but in 1st person as well. 
There is a German proverb (joke?) for that: 
Warum haben wir die Kroeten gefressen? about a
double bet back and forth. 

John Mikes


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