Re: We-Copy-U-Quick

From: Chris Maloney and Sally Waters <>
Date: Tue, 25 May 1999 06:55:34 -0400

Marchal wrote:
> Very nice work by Christopher Malloney.


> It is a nice (re)discovery
> of what I'm used to call mechanist or computationnalist indeterminism.
> It is the fundamental first step of my "proof" that if we can survive
> with digital "bodies" then physics must be derived from (computationnal)
> psychology/theoretical computer science.

Is your proof written up anywhere?

> (See also The PE-omega experiment
> described in the list or in James Higgo Web Pages
> I agree with everything said by C. Malloney in his post.

Thanks! After I thought about it (after reading Max More's paper)
for a while, I found the conclusions inescapable!

> Nevertheless,
> with HE (the hypothesis that there is a running UD in our concrete
> universe (UD is a program which run all possible programs)), such an
> assumption is obviously false because in that case, there is an
> uncountable
> set of reconstitutions.

I don't understand this. What do your acronyms mean?

> (And with either Occam Razor or the Movie Grap Argument in my work,
> there is no need of the HE (Extravagant Hypothesis).
> Note also the use by Malloney in his Theseus' Ship argument
> of what I have called, following Nick Bostrom and Hal Finney in this
> list, in a
> preeceeding post: the RELATIVE Strong
> Self-Sampling Assumption. That is to say: the probabilities are defined
> only relatively to a (3-person defined) computationnal state.
> This appears in the "Theseus'
> Ship Argument" when Chistopher Malloney mentions that:

Is this list archived anywhere?

> "At the moment I press the button, the NEXT instant of my conscious
> awareness will be selected at random out of the ensemble of "NEXT states"
> in which I exist." (Emphasis are mine).

I'm very pleased! I must admit that I've been thirsting for
people who would take my article seriously. I sent it out to
most of my friends, and they either shook their heads, or were
entirely confused. You picked out the most important sentence
in the piece.

> This is important because it cuts at the root Jacques M Mallah's argument
> against comp-immortality: although there is some sense in believing that
> the measure of future selves decrease in *time*, this is no more true for
> the relative measure.

If I understand this correctly, I agree with it. All that matters
is that I, as I exist right now, exist in an infinite number of
"instances". This infinitude can come about in any number of
ways -- an infinite spacial or temporal universe (or both), MWI,
or "the Principle of Plenitude" (my favorite). Then the next
instant of our awareness will be selected among them. It would
make no difference that the relative measure of "me" decreases with
time. All that matters is *now*.

> The original Theseus' Ship argument appears, to my knowledge, in HUME,
> and is indeed well discussed by Nozick. An interesting work on personal
> identity, with metaphysical and ethical consideration, is PARFIT's
> Reasons and Persons. (detailled reference in my thesis : see the URL
> below).
> A nice book, which I discover recently, bearing on these questions, is
> "The METAphysics of Star Strek" by Richard Hanley, Basic Books, 1997.
> (Not to be confused with "the physics of star strek").
> Bruno
> Bruno MARCHAL Phone : +32 (0)2 6502711
> Universite Libre Fax : +32 (0)2 6502715
> de Bruxelles Prive : +32 (0)2 3439666
> Avenue F.D. Roosevelt, 50 IRIDIA, CP 194/6
> B-1050 BRUSSELS Email :
> Belgium URL :

Drat! I don't speak French. Is your thesis translated into English?
Received on Tue May 25 1999 - 04:12:15 PDT

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