Re: adult vs. child

From: Stathis Papaioannou <>
Date: Tue, 10 Feb 2009 20:55:59 +1100

2009/2/10 Jack Mallah <>:

> This sort of talk about "random sampling" and "luck" is misleading and is exactly why I broke down the roles of effective probability into the four categories I did in the paper.
> If you are considering future versions of yourself, in the MWI sense, there is no randomness involved. Depending on how you define "you", "you" will either be all of them, or "you" are just an observer-moment and can consider them to be "other people". Regardless of definitions, this case calls for the use of Caring Measure for decision making.

It seems that the disagreement may be one about personal identity. It
is not clear to me from your paper whether you accept what Derek
Parfit calls the "reductionist" theory of personal identity. Consider
the following experiment:

There are two consecutive periods of consciousness, A and B, in which
you are an observer in a virtual reality program. A is your
experiences between 5:00 PM and 5:01 PM while B is your experiences
between 5:01 PM and 5:02 PM, subjective time. A is being implemented
in parallel on two computers MA1 and MA2, so that there are actually
two qualitatively identical streams of consciousness which we can call
A1 and A2. At the end of the subjective minute, data is saved to disk
and both MA1 and MA2 are switched off. An external operator picks up a
copy of the saved data, walks over to a third computer MB, loads the
data and starts up the program. After another subjective minute MB is
switched off and the experiment ends.

As the observer you know all this information, and you look at the
clock and see that it is 5:00 PM. What can you conclude from this and
what should you expect? To me, it seems that you must conclude that
you are currently either A1 or A2, and that in one minute you will be
B, with 100% certainty. Would you say something else?

Stathis Papaioannou
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Received on Tue Feb 10 2009 - 04:56:15 PST

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