RE: Amoeba croaks

From: Higgo James <>
Date: Mon, 11 Jan 1999 10:57:46 -0000

Your world-view is very similar to mine. We only see an arrow of time as we
are 'creatures in time'. Time is not an objective feature of the block
universe. If you adopt Huw Price's Archimedean standpoint in 'nowhen' and
look through Deutsch's 'multiverse' at a certain angle, you might happen (by
a one in a ten to the billion chance) to string certain 'snapshots' together
so you saw a 'world' evolving in time.

The difference is that I am initerested in the practical question: whatever
consciousness is (I'm with Dennett), can I expect to die or should I expect
to be conscious for ever? I have, as yet, heard of no reason why not.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Gilles HENRI []
> Sent: 11 January 1999 10:35
> To: Higgo James
> Subject: RE: Amoeba croaks
> >But Max, this is a very important point. If you *know* that no matter
> how
> >far you degenerate there is *always* a subsequent universe in which you
> are
> >'you' again, then the immortality problem is still there. 'Typically' we
> >disappear in a puff of smoke. So what? Weak anthropic principle - we
> always
> >end up in a universe in which we exist (which normally means, one with a
> >history which fits the laws of physics).
> >
> >> -----Original Message-----
> >> From: Max Tegmark []
> >> Sent: 10 January 1999 22:52
> >> To:;
> >> Cc:
> >> Subject: Re: Amoeba croaks
> >>
> >> > the amoeba can regenerate into you
> >> That's an interesting point.
> >> I agree that you'll make a spectacular recovery from
> >> your brain-damaged amoeba-like state in a number of branches,
> >> but just like a broken egg only comes together again
> >> in a negligible fraction of all branches, the same will apply here.
> >> So a TYPICAL expectation for my subjective future is probably that
> >> I
> >> will gradually fade away without ever making much of a comeback.
> >> Cheers,
> >> Max
> >> ;-)
> maybe the question of identity is not so trivial. Who is "you"? In the
> "everything" hypothesis (that I share with Deutsch if I understand
> correctly James' previous mail) only some states are connected together
> from "past" to "future" following a classical "consistent history"
> (following Griffith), defining a possible world story. The notion of "you"
> can be followed by temporal continuity. But it is not so obvious if you
> consider very rare, quantum events that branch you on completely different
> worlds. What allows to say "you are 'you'" during such process? You are
> you
> because of your memory of your past, which implies an arrow of time, which
> implies classically allowed evolution...
> By the way I defended on another forum (initiated by Jacques) the idea
> that
> in the "everything" hypothesis time is really not existing, since the
> total
> wavefunction of the Universe is most probably stationary. Each "instant"
> we
> observe is only a classical subcomponent of this wavefunction, apparently
> connected to "past" and "future" states (much like Deutsch again if I
> understood it correctly). So the question of one's "future" is really a
> question of how many "classical" states can exist and which of them do
> contain a "you-like" (to be defined..) with a certain age?
> Gilles
Received on Mon Jan 11 1999 - 03:02:07 PST

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