Re: QTI, SSI (fwd)

From: Russell Standish <>
Date: Tue, 18 May 1999 14:45:21 +1000 (EST)

> Please James, Russell, redefine the term SSA. I must have missed a critical
> exchange where this term was defined.

"Self-Sampling Assumption". It is a generalisation (or
specialisation?) of the totalitarian, or Copernican principle, in that
you are saying there is nothing special about you. For example, SSA is
often applied to birth order - that there are as many people born
before you as are born afterwards - implying some sort of population
crash in the near future.

If you look back through the emails in the archive, you'll find
references to papers and books where this term is introduced.

> In a message dated 99-05-17 16:32:43 EDT, James Higgo writes:
> << For anyone else, the sight of a billion-year-old man
> would not prove or disprove the Quantum Theory of
> Immortality.
> But for you, at age 1 billion, the probability that you
> would reach a billion, given QTI, is one. >>
> I am in full agreement with this.
> However, left unsaid is the impact of living one billion years or one
> trillion years on the perception of the self . More specifically, as long as
> the Self views the universe RATIONALLY, there must be ANTHROPIC reasons in
> his perceived universe for living that long. He must perceive the universe
> around him to be evolving to support his own longevity. And he must also
> perceives himself to be evolving since he must be conscious (have memory) of
> living that long. Kind of "growing up." Undoubtedly, the Self resulting after
> one billion years of anthropically supported evolution will be very different
> from the common human self. Will the Self then be the "same" as the Self now?
> Yes in the sense of being linked to the memories of his "youth" just like an
> old man remembers being a child. And of course, there will be branches in the
> MW where Selves loses their earlier memories. But we are not concerned about
> these Selves since, having lost their memories, they have also lost their
> link to their youth, their identity. To be of interest for the perception of
> survival, the thread of consciousness through the MW must keep the memory
> intact.
> George

This makes sense. Either we end up with large forgettories (which
doesn't preclude retaining memories of our earliest times), or we end
up being vastly evolved compared with our current existence. There is also
nothing ruling out the possibility that our immortality comes through
entirely mundane medical advances, rather than seeming miraculous. We
could also end up living in a world with many people of similar age.


Dr. Russell Standish Director
High Performance Computing Support Unit,
University of NSW Phone 9385 6967
Sydney 2052 Fax 9385 7123
Room 2075, Red Centre
Received on Mon May 17 1999 - 21:45:00 PDT

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