Re: all of me or one of me

From: Gilles HENRI <>
Date: Thu, 8 Apr 1999 08:46:25 +0200

>>But what is the meaning of two identical Universes ? should they not be
>>identified as a single one?
>Yes, at least FAPP (For All Practical Purposes).
>>And if the Universe are slightly different, what is the meaning of "copies
>>of yourself"? Should not anybody consider himself as a unique copy of a
>>single being, even if you share the same past with other beings (like
>>normal twins) ? You could consider that two Universes could be locally
>>identical but different outside some region, but it is not that obvious.
>>For example if the physical fields are analytical they must be either equal
>>everywhere or different in any neighborhood of any point....
>Perhaps but it is relevant with Wei Dai question only as an argument
>against either MWI, comp or everything-like realm or theory.

It is not against these theories. The many-worlds hypothesis + a
mathematical constraint such as analyticity of fields could lead to an
"everything possible" hypothesis that would imply that all possible worlds
are also different everywhere, so "clone free"...

>Let us look another illustration with a thought experiment.
>Suppose I give you the choice between the experiments A and B (and
>nothing else!):
>In both experiments you are destroyed after being "read" (your
>description is encoded on some disk) and then you are reconstituted in 1
>000 000 boxes which are put at some places. The boxes are, from inside,
>undistinguishable. There is a door in all the boxes.
>In experiment A, one box is put in *paradise* and 999 999 are put in
>In experiment B, one box is put in *hell* and 999 999 are put in
>(I suppose also that the different places in *hell* (resp. *paradise*)
>are distinctibles. Let us call that the DISTINCT hypothesis)
>What will you choose ?
>I would answer: if for some reason I know I will never open the door, I
> don't care and I can choose between A and B randomly. If I know I WILL
>open the door then I choose A.
>Put in another way: untill I open the door I can identify myself
> (*my-futur-self*) with all the copies FAPP, but once I open the door
>then I identify myself with one of those copies, and I don't know which
>one in advance. But I do have some "information" helping me in my choice.
>Do you agree ?

Not obviously, because it relies on the hypothesis that you think you will
really be , or "identify yourself to", one of your copy, which is
contestable, especially if you consider that no copy can be exact. You
could also think that you will die whatever, and choose Bjust by compassion
with other copies. You will probably consider your copies a little bit more
than twin brothers, but a little bit less than yourself. For example, just
modify a little bit your experiments: you won't be destroyed, but you will
be put in the unique "paradise" box in A and in the unique "hell" box in B.
The other 999999 copies will be placed in the hell or paradise boxes,
respectively. Unless you are a saint, and without misprint, won't you
choose "A"? It would mean that you care less about your copies than about

Received on Wed Apr 07 1999 - 23:48:39 PDT

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