Re: effective probability

From: <>
Date: Mon, 1 Feb 1999 11:59:29 -0800

Jacques M Mallah, <>, writes:
> On Wed, 27 Jan 1999 wrote:
> > This view is especially perplexing if my measure changes drastically
> > over time. With some of our thought experiments, I could boost the
> > measure of an instant of my consciousness by making copies of my brain
> > state (say, a high-resolution X-ray). But the next instant, my measure
> > drops again. Would I somehow expect to notice myself spending more
> > time in that amplified instant? Suppose I spent half my days with a
> > big brain and half my days with a small brain. Am I to be puzzled on
> > those days I am in the small brain, faced with the mystery of why I am
> > not experiencing the measure-enhanced big-brain days?
> Making copies would not enhance your measure unless they are
> functional copies, according to computationalism. Even if they are, it
> would just mean you could expect an enhanced a priori chance of being on a
> 'big brain day'. 'Small brain' days would not be of zero measure, so
> would still occur, and if you find yourself in one, fine. It won't feel
> any different, just as it wouldn't feel any different if you had an exact
> twin you didn't know about.

So what would distinguish big brain days from small brain days? You say I
would "expect an enhanced a prior chance of being on a 'big brain day'".
Does that mean that, if at some random time in my life I ask myself,
"is this a big brain day?", that the answer would be more likely than
not to be true? Surely not. Would I expect more things to happen to me
on big brain days? Surely not. Would I remember big brain days better
than small brain days? Surely not. Would there be any point in trying
to arrange my life so that good things happen on big brain days and bad
things on small brain days? Surely not.

The fact is, there would be no detectable differences whatsoever
between big brain and small brain days.

What does it mean, then, for me to "expect an enhanced a priori chance of
being on a 'big brain day'"? More generally, what does it mean for me to
"expect to be" on any day? This concept does not seem to correspond in
any way to my experience of reality.

Received on Mon Feb 01 1999 - 12:08:57 PST

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Feb 16 2018 - 13:20:06 PST