RE: ASSA and Many-Worlds

From: Stathis Papaioannou <>
Date: Sun, 28 Jan 2007 00:59:08 +1100

William Vandenberghe writes:[SP]>Suppose for simplicity that there is only one world: you live your life
from birth to death and that's it. God reveals to you that you will
live to be 100, but on your 50th birthday he will create a zillion
copies of you which will all run in parallel for one minute and then
all but one of the copies will be instantly destroyed. This means that
almost all of your measure will be contained in that one minute on your
50th birthday. You can add variations to this thought experiment: God
planned this before you were born; God will not decide to do this until
you are 45; God will wait until the eve of your 50th birthday and toss
a coin to decide whether he will make the copies or not; God does not
tell you of his decision and you have to come up with a method to test
whether he makes the copies or not. I claim that it will be impossible
to notice anything unusual happening at any point in your life as a
result of God's action or inaction. The first minute of your 50th
birthday will last exactly one minute and will feel exactly the same as
the preceding and the following minute. What do you think the ASSA
predicts you will experience? Can you design a test to see what God is
up to if he doesn't tell you? [WV]> ASSA predicts you are most likely to be thinking that you are 50, and > if any random consciousness thinks he is 50 years of age, he will be > correct in zillion/(zillion+99) cases, but there is no way to actually > know to know this no ... The real question is what happens if an > infinite number of copies are created, then ASSA states you will > actually be thinking you are 50 for sure, and RSSA may avoid this > paradox in this case ... That is the paradox I was referring to and > there are similar paradoxes which are not avoided by the above > definition RSSA sampling your birth moment.You're 45 and God suddenly decides to make the copies when you turn 50. Will you suddenly find yourself turning 50 or will you live through the years 45-49 first? Once you get to 50 how fast will your clock run? What will you experience as the end of the minute approaches - will you loop back to the start of the minute or somehow stay suspended at the end? Will you get a funny feeling in your head as the minute of zillionfold copying starts and ends? If God decides to make 2 zillion copies at age 51 will you be twice as likely to find yourself aged 51 as 50, and if so what testable consequences might this have? If it has no testable consequences then in what sense is it meaningful? According to the RSSA, *nothing* happens from your POV when you turn 50. Given that you are already alive, you are going to experience the moments of your life in order and each one will last the same amount of time, however many copies of you are extant. The significance of measure is that if in the next moment there will be n copies of you who will have experience x and 2n copies which will have experience y, then you will have twice as much chance of experiencing y as of experiencing x. The value of n cannot make any difference; if it did, then an empirical test would be possible demonstrating your absolute measure at each stage of life.Stathis Papaioannou
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Received on Sat Jan 27 2007 - 09:01:03 PST

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