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From: Wei Dai <weidai.domain.name.hidden>

Date: Wed, 26 Sep 2007 05:39:51 -0700

I promised to summarize why I moved away from the philosophical position

that Hal Finney calls UD+ASSA. Here's part 1, where I argue against ASSA.

Part 2 will cover UD.

Consider the following thought experiment. Suppose your brain has been

destructively scanned and uploaded into a computer by a mad scientist. Thus

you find yourself imprisoned in a computer simulation. The mad scientist

tells you that you have no hope of escaping, but he will financially support

your survivors (spouse and children) if you win a certain game, which works

as follows. He will throw a fair 10-sided die with sides labeled 0 to 9. You

are to guess whether the die landed with the 0 side up or not. But here's a

twist, if it does land with "0" up, he'll immediately make 90 duplicate

copies of you before you get a chance to answer, and the copies will all run

in parallel. All of the simulations are identical and deterministic, so all

91 copies (as well as the 9 copies in the other universes) must give the

same answer.

ASSA implies that just before you answer, you should think that you have

0.91 probability of being in the universe with "0" up. Does that mean you

should guess "yes"? Well, I wouldn't. If I was in that situation, I'd think

"If I answer 'no' my survivors are financially supported in 9 times as many

universes as if I answer 'yes', so I should answer 'no'." How many copies of

me exist in each universe doesn't matter, since it doesn't affect the

outcome that I'm interested in.

Notice that in this thought experiment my reasoning mentions nothing about

probabilities. I'm not interested in "my" measure, but in the measures

of the outcomes that I care about. I think ASSA holds intuitive appeal to

us, because historically, copying of minds isn't possible, so the measure of

one's observer-moment and the measures of the outcomes that are causally

related to one's decisions are strictly proportional. In that situation, it

makes sense to continue to think in terms of subjective probabilities

defined as ratios of measures of observer-moments. But in the more general

case, ASSA doesn't hold up.

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Received on Wed Sep 26 2007 - 08:41:17 PDT

Date: Wed, 26 Sep 2007 05:39:51 -0700

I promised to summarize why I moved away from the philosophical position

that Hal Finney calls UD+ASSA. Here's part 1, where I argue against ASSA.

Part 2 will cover UD.

Consider the following thought experiment. Suppose your brain has been

destructively scanned and uploaded into a computer by a mad scientist. Thus

you find yourself imprisoned in a computer simulation. The mad scientist

tells you that you have no hope of escaping, but he will financially support

your survivors (spouse and children) if you win a certain game, which works

as follows. He will throw a fair 10-sided die with sides labeled 0 to 9. You

are to guess whether the die landed with the 0 side up or not. But here's a

twist, if it does land with "0" up, he'll immediately make 90 duplicate

copies of you before you get a chance to answer, and the copies will all run

in parallel. All of the simulations are identical and deterministic, so all

91 copies (as well as the 9 copies in the other universes) must give the

same answer.

ASSA implies that just before you answer, you should think that you have

0.91 probability of being in the universe with "0" up. Does that mean you

should guess "yes"? Well, I wouldn't. If I was in that situation, I'd think

"If I answer 'no' my survivors are financially supported in 9 times as many

universes as if I answer 'yes', so I should answer 'no'." How many copies of

me exist in each universe doesn't matter, since it doesn't affect the

outcome that I'm interested in.

Notice that in this thought experiment my reasoning mentions nothing about

probabilities. I'm not interested in "my" measure, but in the measures

of the outcomes that I care about. I think ASSA holds intuitive appeal to

us, because historically, copying of minds isn't possible, so the measure of

one's observer-moment and the measures of the outcomes that are causally

related to one's decisions are strictly proportional. In that situation, it

makes sense to continue to think in terms of subjective probabilities

defined as ratios of measures of observer-moments. But in the more general

case, ASSA doesn't hold up.

--~--~---------~--~----~------------~-------~--~----~

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To post to this group, send email to everything-list.domain.name.hidden

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Received on Wed Sep 26 2007 - 08:41:17 PDT

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