RE: Q Wars Episode 10^9: the Phantom Measure

From: Higgo James <>
Date: Tue, 8 Jun 1999 09:58:36 +0100

Well said, but I'm not sure your definition of 'I' holds. There are
infinitely many 'Chris Maloneys' born in a hospital of the same name of
parents of the same name... etc etc etc who are in no way connected with
you. Besides, these identifiers are all social naming conventions. And
perhaps you'll change your name tomorrow.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Christopher Maloney []
> Sent: Tuesday, June 08, 1999 2:28 AM
> To: everything-list
> Subject: Re: Q Wars Episode 10^9: the Phantom Measure
> As I've mentioned, I've been reading the archives, and it seems as
> though everyone's been beating up on Jacques since at least January
> about the QTI. From reading some of this thread, it seems that
> little has changed. May I enter the fray on the side of the
> Immortal ones?
> Jacques M Mallah wrote:
> >
> > On Sun, 23 May 1999 wrote:
> > > Jacques M Mallah, <>, writes:
> > > > It is surely true that in the MWI, old copies of you-like beings
> > > > will exist. It is also true that they will be of very small
> measure, and
> > > > that the effective probability of being one of those copies is very
> tiny.
> > >
> > > We would agree that "someone" is going to be those people. One way to
> > > ask the question at hand is, would that "someone" be "you". This then
> > > depends on the definition of identity.
> > >
> > > If you define all beings who follow from your present state by the
> laws
> > > of physics as "you", then that "someone" will be "you". In that case,
> > > "you" will eventually find yourself to be very old.
> >
> > Things that are consequences of such a definition:
> > "You" would have multiple futures. In some worlds "you" will
> > become physically identical to a being such as "I" currently am. "You"
> > (IIRC) will die and be reborn many times. "Your" measure would decrease
> > with time. In some worlds there will be many of "you" that reproduce by
> > dividing like ameobas.
> > Things that are NOT consequences of such a definition:
> > Immortality, since you can't manufacture measure with word
> games.
> In reading the archives, I got the distinct impression that you
> think that because the "measure" of a person decreases with time,
> that that person could expect to die at some time in the future.
> Is that correct?
> I think some of the problem may be in inadequate notation and
> terminology. In Tegmark's paper, he labels all observer moments
> by three indeces: one for the mathematical structure, one for
> which SAS, and one for subjective time. I think this is inadequate;
> let me propose a similar one, but better (IMO). First of all, let
> me simplify by only considering MWI, and assuming that we are all
> in just one "mathematical structure". I don't think that affects
> the argument for QTI. Second, let me just consider myself, not
> any other conscious being.
> Let C refer to Chris Maloney, any SAS with my exact genetic makeup,
> born 7/13/1962, at 11:36PM EDT in Providence Hospital in Washington
> D.C., whose parents are .... I.e., let C be me. Note that C does
> not refer to "me-here-now", but to all "me's" in the branching
> twisting web of MWI. "My" observer-moments can be denoted C(t, B),
> labelled with two indeces. t is the subjective (proper) time, and
> B is an abstract thing that denotes which branch the observer-
> moment is on. Here's some ASCII art (view w/ fixed width font):
> C(0,{})
> / \
> / \
> C(1,{1}) C(1,{2})
> / | \____
> / | \
> C(2,{1,1}) C(2,{2,1}) C(2,{2,2})
> / | \____ (etc.)
> / | \
> C(3,{1,1,1}) C(3,{1,1,2}) C(3,{1,1,3})
> Now, for any C(t,B), there exist an infinite number of
> C(t+delta, {B,n}) observer-moments, which are valid "continuations"
> of the observer moment C(t,B). This is true because in MWI,
> anything with a non-zero probability must be realized. There
> are an infinite number of ways that anyone could survive any
> catastrophe, including discovering all of a sudden that he's
> a disembodied brain floating in a tank.
> Now, what am "I", and what am I "going to experience". I am a
> thread through this tree (as George points out, and I agree with,
> it's really a net, but why complicate?). As far as what I'm
> going to experience in the future, at time, say, t+s, all I can
> do is predict probabilities, since I don't know a priori which
> branches I'll traverse.
> When you say "measure decreases with time", I would translate that
> to say that at any moment, I have a non-zero probability of dying.
> Is that right? I think that would have the affect, in the above
> scheme, of decreasing the "measure" of the index n in
> C(t+delta, {B,n}) (I'm not sure that's the correct use of the
> word measure). But why should that matter? All that matters is
> that there is _at least one_ observer moment which is a
> continuation of my present one, at each moment, so that my
> "thread" has some place to go. I argue for this in a recent
> thing I wrote about transporter booths and copy booths at
> I contend that I'll survive any moment as long as there is at
> least one moment which qualifies as a continuation. And every
> moment has an infinite number, therefore, by induction, I'll
> survive every moment. Quod erat demonstrandum.
> --
> Chris Maloney
> "Knowledge is good"
> -- Emil Faber
Received on Tue Jun 08 1999 - 01:55:52 PDT

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