Re: On begin very old

From: Russell Standish <>
Date: Mon, 18 Oct 1999 13:38:15 +1000 (EST)

> I just had a few thoughts about this, and I want to get them
> down before I forget.
> Jacques says that the ASSA predicts that we'll never be "very
> old", because the measure of observer moments goes down with
> subjective time. I'm not so sure about this.
> I do think that it probably predicts that we should never find
> ourselves to be extraordinary - I believe he called this the
> "Copernican Anthropic Principle", CAP. When I said that, no
> matter how old you are, you could always argue that you're not
> "very old", he replied:
> > We have been over this *many* times. A) "Old" is when your finite
> > brain is too old to even know how old it is.
> If we, while alive, are continually growing and assimilating more
> information and more capacity for information, then this state
> will never be reached.
> > B) In any case, "old" is
> > much older than the age that would be expected if QTI is false:
> This statement begs the question.
> > In QTI
> > one should expect one's age *relative to* the other people you see to be
> > large, certainly *****not***** less than or of order 1! If you were
> > 10,000 and everyone else was <100 at least you would have reason to supect
> > the rules might be different for you than for third parties.
> Here's the crux of the bisquit: the CAP.
> Now, it is possible to live forever and not violate the CAP. It is even
> possible that the measure of observer moments throughout an infinite
> lifetime never decreases substantially. By "substantially", let me throw
> out the possibility that it may be true that it decreases by some function
> less than exponential.
> For example, we live at a time where it may be possible, in the near
> future (whatever *that* means) to increase human longevity to the point
> where we are "practically" immortal (in the common use of the word).
> Then the things that would decrease our measure would be common household
> accidents and the like. If the probability of our death by accident were
> to remain constant, then our measure would still be decreasing exponentially
> (albeit with a much longer time constant than now). But that's not likely.
> As we learn and grow, our safety precautions will become more sophisticated
> (as they are becoming now), and we should expect the probability of
> accidents to continue to decrease. Hence our measure will decrease by "less
> than exponential".
> So I'm still not convinced that computational continuations of me at age
> 1000 are necessarily of a measure so low that I would not expect to find
> myself at that age.

This is quite true, however QTI does not depend on it.

> --
> Chris Maloney
> "Donuts are so sweet and tasty."
> -- Homer Simpson

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 Sun Oct 17 1999 - 20:55:08 PDT

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