RE: Russell's book

From: Stathis Papaioannou <>
Date: Thu, 14 Sep 2006 19:36:56 +1000

Tom Caylor writes:

> After many life-expectancy-spans worth of narrow escapes, after
> thousands or millions of years, wouldn't the probability be pretty high
> for my personality/memory etc. to change so much that I wouldn't
> recognize myself, or that I could be more like another person than my
> original self, and so for all practical purposes wouldn't I be another
> person? How do I know this hasn't happened already? If it has, what
> difference does it make? Isn't it true that the only realities that
> matter are the ones that make any difference to my reality? (almost a
> tautology)

The only guarantee fom QTI is that you will experience a "next moment":
that there exists an observer moment in the universe which considers your
present moment to be its predecessor. This leads to difficulties with partial
memory loss, which are not unique to QTI but might actually occur in real life.
For example, if you are in a car crash and end up in a vegetative state, this
is usually taken as being effectively the same as ending up dead. If you wake
up after the accident mentally intact except you have forgotten what you had
for breakfast that morning then you have survived in much the same way you
would have if you had never had the accident. If you consider that the world
splits and there are only these two outcomes, or if you consider a teleportation
experiment in which you are reconstituted in these two states at separate
receiving stations, the conclusion seems straightforward enough: you will survive
the ordeal having lost only your memory of what you had for breakfast.

Now, consider a situation where there are 10 possible outcomes, or 10 possible
teleportation destinations, ranging from #1 vegetative state (or headless corpse)
to #10 intact except for memory of breakfast. In this scheme, #8 might be intact
except you have forgotten 10% of what you have done in the past year, while
#3 might be you have forgotten everything except what you learned before the
age of two years. What is your expectation of survival in this situation?

Stathis Papaioannou
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Received on Thu Sep 14 2006 - 05:37:54 PDT

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