Re: zombie wives

From: Russell Standish <>
Date: Fri, 27 Aug 1999 11:03:39 +1000 (EST)

> I use the terms SSA, ASSA, RSSA only because others on the list
> insist on using them. In my opinion the 'ASSA' is a tautology and not
> an assumption, while the 'RSSA' is an error.

ASSA <!=> SSA. ASSA makes explicit the sample set over which SSA is
applied. So does RSSA (the sample set being different to the ASSA
case). A third possibility is SSA of birth rank, as used in Leslie
Carter's arguments.

> On Mon, 23 Aug 1999, Russell Standish wrote:
> > Now this implies that an individual's measure decreases the older that
> > individual gets. This is the basis of Jacques' argument against
> > QTI. In absolute SSA, an individual concious being is a sample from
> > the set of all observer moments. There is no time, one just is. Under
> > this picture, one could never expect to be all that old.
> Ok so far.
> > Under relative SSA, there is time. Each observer moment is connected
> > to a range (presumably infinite) of future observer moments. The
> Here's where the position of the QS camp appears to diverge from
> other positions of QSers, notably Higgo James, who of course endorses both
> seemingly contradictory positions.

Sorry - what are the seemingly contradictory position? Whether one
assumes ASSA or RSSA? (these are contradictory positions, and
give rise to different predictions about QTI)

> > relative SSA predicts that the observer will see at the next instant
> > of time an observer moment with the greatest measure, subject to its
> > lying in the future of the current observer moment. That measure may
> > be fantastically small (eg just prior to a fatal crash) - it just has
> > to be the largest from that set.
> No. If every observer sees all future moments, then the amount of

Whoa there! Noone said anything about every observer seeing all future
moments. Where did this piece of nonsense come from?

> consciousness does not decrease with time, and thus the measure stays
> constant over time. This has the consequence that, for a given observer,
> over most of his lifetime he will find himself to be very old. It may
> seem that I am mixing in the ASSA when I say that, therefore, the fact
> that we do not find ourselves old is evidence against the RSSA. The truth
> is I can not avoid this way of thinking any more than I could believe that
> 1+1=3.
> - - - - - - -
> Jacques Mallah (
> Graduate Student / Many Worlder / Devil's Advocate
> "I know what no one else knows" - 'Runaway Train', Soul Asylum
> My URL:

I have an algorithm for dealing with any of Jacques' statements that I
find surprising. I try to deconstruct his argument to see where he
assumes ASSA. I then replace the assumption of ASSA with RSSA, and
reproduce the argument. To date, I have always come up with the
opposite conclusion, one that seems in accord with my views. I have
yet to find a disagreement that doesn't ultimately boil down to our
disagreement over whether ASSA or RSSA is applicable.


Dr. Russell Standish Director
High Performance Computing Support Unit,
University of NSW Phone 9385 6967
Sydney 2052 Fax 9385 6965
Room 2075, Red Centre
Received on Thu Aug 26 1999 - 18:06:30 PDT

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