Re: zombie wives

From: Jacques M. Mallah <>
Date: Fri, 20 Aug 1999 21:00:14 -0400 (EDT)

From: Russell Standish <>
> [JM wrote]
>> 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
>> equal?
>The first question has no meaning, as one can't quantify conciousness,

        I suggest you ask BM to explain it to you (see below).

>and the latter question is an ethical question totally unrelated to
>what we're discussing. One can paraphrase it as saying "is it better
>to do one bad thing than two bad things" - to which the answer is of
>course yes.

        It's not at all unrelated. Your answer proves that you do think
consciousness can be quantified, no matter what you say to dispute it.

>> 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.
>You'd probably better enunciate what you mean by QS claim. Last I
>heard, QS was an idea (based on QTI and SSA) that one could engineer a
>preferred outcome by comitting suicide (or attempting it, from the
>suicider's point of view). What is its claim?

        I think you'd call it the relative SSA. Ask a fellow QSer to
explain it.

On 20 xxx -1, Marchal wrote:
> Jacques Mallah wrote:
> > 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
> >observations.
> This is correct with the ABSOLUTE SSA. Not with the RELATIVE one.

        WRONG, at least according to the standard definition of measure
which I have made clear is the one I use, and which you should use when
discussing any statements by me.
        If you want to know how to translate whatever you may believe into
language I can *understand*, here is the algorithm. In one column put
whatever you believe. In another column, put a situation *such that* IF
the absolute SSA *were* true, all statements about such things as
effective probability or morality are in exact correspondence with what
the first column would have us believe.
        Thus, in the above example, if you don't believe later times are
favored, then in my language you believe that measure is conserved. By
the same token, in my language, you believe that measure is conserved
during a QS, which I disagree with.
        The 'relative SSA' is then some kind of formula to predict what
will happen to the measure with various experiments.
        My definition of measure is the correct one, as well as the most

> > 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
> >measure.
> I agree, basically. So I guess it is the absolute/relative point which
> distinguish between us. The immortality distinction results.
> Nevertheless I don't understand you when you say:
> > Quantum events, then, just cause the implementations to
> >differentiate rather than creating new ones.
> I guess you disagree with Q19 of Michael Clive Price's FAQ at
> Q19 = "Do worlds differentiate or split?"

        Well, first, an implementation is not a 'world'. It involves a
map from physical states to formal states. The *physics* of the
computational wavefunction interpretation is just the usual wave equation,
just as Everrett used. The only thing I add is the computationalist
proceedure for relating math to mind.
        Second, Price is wrong on a good deal of the entire FAQ. Q19 is
apparently an attempt to dispel a naive misconception that the MWI is
similar to what would happen if several slightly different classical
worlds existed, combined with an attack on the 'many minds' idea as
proposed by David Albert. It is, of course, possible to concoct an
interpretation in which 'worlds' do differentiate rather than split, but
it wouldn't be the standard MWI physics.
        Other obvious examples of Price's errors are his 'derivation' of
the effective probabilities, and his example of how to experimentally
'disprove' "the Copenhagen interpretation". There are many more.

                         - - - - - - -
              Jacques Mallah (
       Graduate Student / Many Worlder / Devil's Advocate
"I know what no one else knows" - 'Runaway Train', Soul Asylum
            My URL:
Received on Fri Aug 20 1999 - 18:13:59 PDT

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