RE: Russell's book

From: Stathis Papaioannou <>
Date: Thu, 14 Sep 2006 18:39:59 +1000

Johnathan Corgan writes:

> David Nyman wrote:
> [re: QTI]
> > This has obvious
> > implications for retirement planning in general and avoidance of the
> > more egregious cul-de-sac situations. On the other hand, short of
> > outright lunacy vis-a-vis personal safety, it also seems to imply that
> > from the 1st-person pov we are likely to come through (albeit possibly
> > in less-than-perfect shape) even apparently minimally survivable
> > situations. This struck me particularly forcibly while watching the
> > 9/11 re-runs on TV last night.
> It's the cul-de-sac situations that interest me. Are there truly any?
> Are there moments of consciousness which have no logically possible
> continuation (while remaining conscious?)
> It seems the canonical example is surviving a nearby nuclear detonation.
> One logical possibility is that all your constituent particles
> quantum-tunnel away from the blast in time.

Don't forget the Omega Point possibility, which sees you vapourised today
but resurrected in simulation in the far future. Or perhaps at the moment of
detonation it will be revealed to you that you are already living in a simulation,
and the disaster is averted at the last moment by the programmers. It doesn't
matter whether you are currently in the simulation or in the real world since the
only thing that matters is where your *next moment* comes from. Your stream
of consciousness would be the same if all the separate moments of your life
were completely disconnected and mixed up in time, space or across separate
real and simulated universes.
> This would be of extremely low measure in absolute terms, but what about
 an aside, it wasn't always so. Apparently, in the early years of Christianity > the proportion of continuations that contain you as a conscious entity?
> This also touches on a recent thread about "how being of low measure
> feels." If QTI is true, and I'm subject to a nuclear detonation, does it
> matter if my possible continuations are of such a low relative measure?
> Once I'm "in" them, would I feel any different and should I care?
> These questions may reduce to something like, "Is there a lower limit to
> the amplitude of the SWE?"
> If measure is infinitely divisible, then is there any natural scale to
> its absolute value?
> I raised a similar question on the list a few months ago when Tookie
> Wiliams was in the headlines and was eventually executed by the State of
> California. What possible continuations exist in this situation?
> > In effect, we are being presented with a kind of 'yes doctor' in
> > everyday life. Do you find that these considerations affect your own
> > behaviour in any way?
> A very interesting question.
> If my expectation is that QTI is true and I'll be living for a very long
> time, I may adjust my financial planning accordingly. But QTI only
> applies to my own first-person view; I'll be constantly "shedding"
> branches where I did indeed die. If I have any financial dependents, do
> I provide for their welfare, even if they'll only exist forever outside
> my ability to interact with?

Don't discount force of habit and social conditioning. Christians believe that
when they die they will go to heaven, so logically they should be pleased, or
at least only minimally upset, at the prospect of an asteroid instantly and painlessly
wiping out all life on Earth. However, all but the craziest Christians would hope
that such a thing does not happen, and essentially live their lives as if death is a
bad thing for them and the people they care about. Maybe it's just a question of faith,
as the September 11 terrorists did not have such qualms.

Stathis Papaioannou

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Received on Thu Sep 14 2006 - 04:40:58 PDT

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