Re: Consciousness and free will

From: M.A. <>
Date: Sun, 7 Dec 2008 21:36:49 -0500

I don't know about Bruno, but I'm just referring to the ordinary person's attempts to improve his life in such categories as: love, health, creative fulfillment, prosperity, wisdom and so forth. m.a.

  ----- Original Message -----
  From: John Mikes
  Sent: Saturday, December 06, 2008 9:30 AM
  Subject: Re: Consciousness and free will

  m.a. and Bruno:

  better for whom? better than what?
  Judging human?


  On Sat, Dec 6, 2008 at 8:45 AM, Bruno Marchal <> wrote:

    Le 05-déc.-08, à 14:26, M.A. a écrit :

> Bruno,
> Is it possible that as all my copies strive towards better
> outcomes, the entire group advances?

    Yes (assuming QM), thanks to the notion of normality made possible by
    the QM statistics. Hopefully so with the comp hyp, but strictly
    speaking this is not yet proved.

> If the worst are always proportionately opposite to the best, and the
> best keep improving themselves, don't they pull the worst up with
> them? Just a hopeful thought.

    But with that notion of normality, the worst should not be
    proportionately opposite to the best. If you decide to improve
    yourself, all your "you" will improve, except the unlucky one who will
    get some "white rabbits" on their way.

    Here, both comp and QM, is like classical statistic, and roughly
    speaking you can expect all outcomes to be possible, but with *highly*
    different proportion. If you decide to do a cup of coffee, in almost
    all histories you will drink coffee, they will be just a "little
    infinity" or little measure of worlds where the coffee will taste like
    tea, or where the boiling water will freeze.

    I tend to think that the ethics behind QM and comp are the same usual
    ethics of the non eliminativist materialist, except that with comp,
    such ethics can be grounded on a sort of general "modesty" principle.
    (They will be opportunity to come back on that modesty issue).

    A priori, the comp theory of Good/Bad is NOT like in Plotinus theory.
    Plotinus believed that if someone do something BAD, the same amount of
    BAD will occur to him, soon or later. He gives a curious example which
    is no doubt a bit shocking to our ears: he says that if a man rapes a
    woman then ... he will be reincarnated into a woman and be raped by a
    man! I think there is something true in that comment, but not if taken
    literally. With comp, I can speculate on common laws for heat, love and
    money: they could obey to similar global conservation principle
    together with local creation rule. But frankly this *is* speculation,
    and the main ethics will remain "respect the others and yourself" or
    things like that.


>> ----- Original Message -----
>> From: Bruno Marchal
>> To:
>> Sent: Friday, December 05, 2008 3:44 AM
>> Subject: Re: Consciousness and free will
>> On 04 Dec 2008, at 00:29, M.A. wrote:
>>> Hi Bruno,
>>> I'm quoting your response to an older post because I
>>> have a residual question. If "I" improve my ability to select the
>>> best future outcomes, don't "I" also choose the worst ones according
>>> to MWI and the rule of sum-over-histories? I seem to be competing
>>> against myself. M.A.
>> Assuming just Everett QM, there is a notion of normality and
>> classicality which can be derived from the quantum evolution. This is
>> expalined by david Deutsch, but also the "decoherence theory". So,
>> when you take a (classical) decision you will act accordingly in the
>> vast majority of your histories, and very few version of you will
>> accidentally be doing the opposite.
>> Taking into account the comp. Hyp. such "decoherence" has to be
>> refined a priori, and this leads to a gallery of open problems.
>> Both with QM without collapse, and with comp, such normality is hard
>> to justified from the first person views when we are "near death".
>> This leads to even more complex questions. I can only say that I
>> don't know what happens, but I do expect, some probable "jump",
>> guided by some theoretical computer science intuition. Some
>> backtracking of experience, and renormalization of probabilities
>> could also occur.
>> Many-histories is not "all histories", or it is "all histories" but
>> with different relative weight. We can't use MW for escaping our
>> "responsibilities", I think.
>> Bruno
>>>>>>> At some point I could "defined" consciousness as the state of
>>>>>>> (instinctively at first) betting on a history. This will speed
>>>>>>> up yourself relatively to your current stories, and make greater
>>>>>>> the set of your possible continuation. As an exemple you become
>>>>>>> aware an asteroïd is coming nearby make it possible for you to
>>>>>>> envisage a set of possible decisions, which can themselves
>>>>>>> augment your probability of survival.
>>>>>>> -
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Received on Sun Dec 07 2008 - 21:37:04 PST

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