Re: zombie wives

From: Jacques M. Mallah <>
Date: Thu, 19 Aug 1999 18:31:14 -0400 (EDT)

From: Russell Standish <>
[JM wrote]
>> No one ever suggested it might, so I don't know what you're
>> talking about. Measure is the amount of consciousness, and effective
>> probability is proportional to measure.
>This is all a bogus argument. One cannot quantify conciousness -
>either an entity is concious, or it is not.

        Then answer this: do two people have more consciousness than one
person? And is it not better to kill one person than two, all else being
        I have always maintained that each implementation of a conscious
computation has the same amount of measure as any other. You can call
that the SSA. The QS claim is inconsistent with that.

On 19 xxx -1, Marchal wrote:
> >> BM:
> >> The measure is defined on the set of computations and gives the
> >> relative probability of living such and such experiences.
> >> It has nothing to do with the intensity of each experience.
> >
> > JM:
> > No one ever suggested it might, ...
> You are suggesting exactly that in your first 'zombie wives' thread.
> you say:
> <<According to the flow of measure claim, each
> of these copies would have just one millionth of a normal human measure.
> So these women would practically be zombies>>
> If you agree that the measure has nothing to do with the intensity
> of the consciousness of the mutiplied people, then I really don't
> understand why the QTI (or comp-i) should entails existence of zombies.

        A creature physically identical to a human but with 0 measure
would be a zombie. With small measure it is a near zombie because it has
less consciousness than normal, albeit the same type of consciousness as

> >> BM: Nor does it work with Everett MWI. Your argument looks a little
> >> like the argument against MWI from which it follows that Energy is
> >> not conserved in the 'multiplication of worlds'.
> >
> > JM: Not at all. Obviously if there is no copying or killing (or
> >birthing), we all agree that the measure of observers stays the same in
> >the MWI (at least to a good approximation).
> What kind of many-worlder are you ? The number of relative observers
> grows super-exponentially in the MWI.
> If you take a quantum computer + an AI program, you can put the AI
> program in a superposition of having different inputs, different personal
> experience, different consciousness.
> Are you a bohmian 'many-worlder' (that would be coherent with a lot of
> your saying) ?

        No, I'm just a sane MWIer. I have explained my views on this on
previous occasions.
        According to the standard MWI, the measure of a human is
proprtional to the squared amplitude of the term in the wavefunction which
that human is in. As long as there is no killing, etc. total the measure
is therefore conserved as a function of time.
        If the measure was not conserved, but grew exponentially, then
later times would be very heavily favored, which is inconsistent with our
        My attempt to explain the situation is to take the measure to be
proportional to the number of implementations of conscious computations.
This first requires a definition of implementation, and that has been the
roadblock. The final step is to show that the number of implementations
is proportional to the squared amplitude.
        Quantum events, then, just cause the implementations to
differentiate rather than creating new ones. This is reasonable since
each implementation should have slightly different boundaries to mark off
where the formal states of the computation are in the space of
wavefunction configurations.
        Since the number of implementations is infinite and they are
parameterized by continuous parameters, only infinite groups of them have
any significance. This is analagous to coloring a surface. It does not
matter if one point on a surface is colored, what matters is the *area*
that is colored. Measure is analagous to such an area. It is
quantifiable because just as two people have twice as much consciousness
as one person, doubling the number of implementations would double the

                         - - - - - - -
              Jacques Mallah (
       Graduate Student / Many Worlder / Devil's Advocate
"I know what no one else knows" - 'Runaway Train', Soul Asylum
            My URL:
Received on Thu Aug 19 1999 - 15:46:00 PDT

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