Re: We-Copy-U-Quick

From: Marchal <>
Date: Tue May 25 07:48:50 1999

Hello Chris Maloney (and Sally Waters ?),

Sorry for having misspelled your name, Chris.

>Is your proof written up anywhere?
> [...]
>Drat! I don't speak French. Is your thesis translated into English?

Not yet. James Higgo has begun a translation. As soon as I find the time
I will write an english paper.

>Is this list archived anywhere?


Very nice archive indeed. You can follow the posts by threads or by
dates. You can search the whole discussion, etc.

>> 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?

UD = Universal Dovetailer. It is a program which dovetails on the
of all possible programs. This makes sense thanks to the mathematical
(even arithmetical) existence of a universal Turing machine.
It is similar to Wei Dai or James Higgo counting algorithm, or
great programmer (look in the list).
HE = Hypothese extravagante (extravagant hypothesis). It is the
hypothesis that there is a concrete universe and a concrete UD in it,
operating without ever stopping. It is an eliminable hypothesis and can
be seen as a concrete computationnal variant of your "Principle of

>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.

I'm glad to hear that. I have had (and still have!) similar experiences.
If you read and/or participate to the list, you will realize how much
important questions remain to be settled or clarified...

>> 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*.

Ontologicaly you are right, but if you take seriously (and make precise)
kind of "plenitude principle" it remains to justify precisely why things
appears as they seem to appear.
For exemple if someone proves that the computationalist plenitude
entails that
there is more *you* with pathological futur subjective histories (with
pigs, ...), then such a computationnalist plenitude principle would be
refuted. Ultimately, from an epistemological point of view, you must
explain the apparent determinismic laws from the very big indeterminism
you have discover.
In the finite case of your post, I agree with your uniform probability
distribution (put on the set of reconstitutions), but with an infinite
principle the problem of finding the *right measure* is (of course) less
That is not a defect of your (mine, ...) idea. Quite the contrary!
Because once you find this measure, then either you disprove the
computationalism (which would be a non trivial result), or you solve the
mind-body problem and the problem of the (mathematical) origin of the
physical laws (which would be a non trivial result too, to say the
In any case, such an approach gives light on these problems (including
the problem of interpreting Quantum Mechanics).

Received on Tue May 25 1999 - 07:48:50 PDT

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