Re: RSSA / ASSA / Single Mind Theory

From: Jason <>
Date: Fri, 20 Apr 2007 18:44:52 -0000

On Apr 20, 12:52 pm, Brent Meeker <> wrote:
> Jason wrote:
> > On Apr 19, 10:34 pm, "Stathis Papaioannou" <> wrote:
> >> Even if there is in a sense just one mind perceiving all OM's simultaneously
> >> (Platonia, the mind of God, the Universe), there is still the fact that the
> >> OM in Washington does not directly share the experiences of its counterpart
> >> in Moscow. If it did, then they would not be distinct OM's. From the third
> >> person perspective, there is no mystery in duplication: where previously
> >> there was one, now there are two. The paradoxes arise from the fact that we
> >> have the sort of minds which consider that one OM has a particular
> >> relationship to another OM, based partly, but not entirely, on memory. For
> >> example, if I am to be copied tomorrow and one of the copies tortured, I am
> >> worried, because I feel there is a 50% chance that I will be the one; but
> >> come tomorrow, and I am not tortured, I am relieved, and feel pity for my
> >> copy screaming in the next room. This doesn't really make sense: today I
> >> anticipate being both copies, and neither copy has greater claim to being
> >> "me" than the other, but tomorrow the situation is completely different. But
> >> the subjective view doesn't have to make sense. It's just the way we think,
> >> a contingent fact of evolution.
> > Do you agree that under ASSA, the fact that you find yourself as an
> > observer who was spared from torture should give you no relief, as
> > your next OM is equally likely to sample the tortured perspective as
> > it is to experience the spared perspective? Shouldn't you be equally
> > as worried if anyone in the world (your copy or not) was to be
> > tortured, as the next sampled OM could be that person's.
> This seems to rest on an implicit idea that the OMs are "out there" and that "you" are a person independent of them, a person to can sample them or experience them. This is contrary to the idea of OMs which is that OMs are atomic units of persons. You are a sequence of OMs. There is no extra-OM "you" who can sample them or experience them.

This seems to be a good definition for a person, but how does the
definition handle duplication thought experiments or the infinite
breadth of experiences across the multiverse which connects us all?
Personhood becomes fuzzy and a truly object treatment of conscious
experience might do well to abandon the idea of personal identity
altogether. I agree there is not an extra-OM that experiences OMs,
but that seems to be what sampling assumptions imply. I don't think
my views exactly fit into either ASSA or RSSA, but they are closer to

> > RSSA has never appealed to me because I see no logical reason to link
> > two observer moments from one time to another when those two observer
> > moments are not the same.
> I'm not sure about "logical reason" but the whole idea of OMs is that a person is constituted by a sequence of them. If there is nothing to link them then there is no sequence and no person; and the thing to be explained has vanished from the explanation.
> Brent Meeker
> >Intuitively it feels that each mind is on a
> > set track to only experience those OM's that follow from the birth of
> > an observer, but logically there are too many problems with this.
> > Possible problems with RSSA:
> > Quantum mechanics means each observer follows multiple paths, some of
> > which intersect with what might have been considered a different
> > observer previously, this forms a spectrum linking all observers
> > together.
> > Time by its nature implies change, an observer's brain state is in
> > different from one time to another, if the brains are different the
> > observers are different. By what rule set can two different observers
> > be said to be the same?
> The are never the same in the sense of identical. Two OMs may be part of the "same person" if there are in a sequence defined by some linkage, such as continuity of spatial viewpoint and memory reference. How or whether such a sequence can be said to exist was the subject of a long discussion between Stathis and me.
> Brent Meeker
> > Common intuition and experience play many tricks on us. It makes us
> > think that the current time (present) is special, because it is the
> > only thing point in time we are aware of. It makes us think that the
> > current laws of physics and universe we see around us is special,
> > because it is the only set of laws we are aware of. I propose the
> > same is true of personal identity, it makes us think that the self is
> > special, because it is the only observer's perspective we are aware
> > of. For those who believe in block time, the present is no more
> > special or real than any other time. To those on the Everything list,
> > the universe we perceive now is no more real than any other. Our
> > current OM remembering previous OM's experienced from the same
> > observer's viewpoint creates the illusion that said observer is
> > travelling into the future and bound to experience the next logical OM
> > for this observer, but I hold this is only an illusion.
> > ASSA is closer to a one mind/all perspectives experienced
> > simultanesouly view because it removes the notion of observers that
> > travel through time from one OM to the next and treats only observer
> > moments. Consider the infinite set of all OMs, by definition, the
> > existance of an OM necessitates its being experienced, but without a
> > multiplicity of observers who can say "who" is experiencing them?
> > There is no who, just the fact that each is being experienced. Since
> > this set exists in the plentitude (which is timeless) then it follows
> > that all perspectives are being experienced simultaneously.
> > The existance of a spectrum of related OM's means there is a choice in
> > interpretation of this infinite OM set. Either you can hold that each
> > OM constitues its own mind, or if you believe there is any
> > relationship between OM's (i.e. You experience now AND you will
> > experience 10 seconds from now) then you must conclude there is only
> > one mind. This is just my viewpoint on the issue and I invite others
> > to give their opinions on it and poke holes in it.
> > Jason

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Received on Fri Apr 20 2007 - 14:44:59 PDT

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