RE: valuable errors

From: Gilles HENRI <>
Date: Tue, 20 Apr 1999 14:29:02 +0200

>OK so you're highlighting practical problems. But (1) Tipler for example
>believes that infinite computing power is a practical possibility and (2) if
>it's not, so what? This is a gedankenexperiment and practical considerations
>are not important.

What I'd like to stress is that even if infinite computing is a "practical"
possibility (the word "practical" should be carefully defined in that
context), it would not realize a duplication of an individual being in the
same world, but rather a duplication of the entire Universe. So it is
conceptually different of the COMP hypothesis of Bruno, which applies to
the generation of "clones" of yourself, who could eventually replace you.
Rather it would imply a "meta Universe " where you could place your
super-computer, and this is already a strong hypothesis, which is not
directly obvious from what we know of our Universe. Such a computation
would act as a generation of another Universe, and the "identity" of your
copies would not be obvious at all to define. In fact it is very close to
MWI, who forbids also the simultaneous presence of two copies of you in the
same observable Universe (it may be different if closed time-like loops
exist,allowing travelling backwards in time).

In summary I think that:

You ----> (You 1 + you2 in the same Universe) is impossible (in my sense!).

You in Universe 0 ---> You 1 in Universe 1 + You 2 in Universe 2

is admittedly possible, but requires a careful definition of what allows to
consider "You1" and You2" as two copies of the same "You". In MWI it is
because "You1" and "You2" are both related to "You" by a spatio-temporal
continuity, which applies to all macroscopic (not only conscious!) objects
and which allows under some "classicity" conditions to order different
macroscopic Universes along a temporal order.

Do you agree?

Received on Tue Apr 20 1999 - 05:34:39 PDT

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