ASSA vs. RSSA and the no cul-de-sac conjecture was (AB continuity)

From: Johnathan Corgan <>
Date: Wed, 11 Feb 2009 15:09:43 -0800

While I wasn't around for the original ASSA vs. RSSA arguments on the
list here, and I'm sure I'm risking a rehash of things back then, the
recent traffic over "adult vs. child" and "AB continuity" seems to
revolve around this anyway.

It seems intuitively obvious to me that from a 1st-person perspective, I
have to treat successor observer moments with a /conditional/
probability. My next observer moment I face would be selected from
among only those where a), I am conscious, and b) those with memories of
this one, or more generally, with a causal thread of continuity with
this one (unitary evolution of SW). So my subjective expectation would
then be the absolute probability of those occurring conditioned on, or
given, that the one I'm in now has already occurred.

It is an open question (to me at least) whether there are any observer
moments without successors, i.e., where the amplitude of the SW goes to
zero. If it does not, then this implies that the always branching tree
of observer moments has no leaf nodes--rather, it becomes an ever finer
filigree of lines, but any particular point will always have a
downstream set of forks. This is the essence of the no cul-de-sac
conjecture, and the crux of the quantum theory of immortality.

If the above is true, then the absolute measure of an observer moment
becomes irrelevant; it's clear that as one traces through a particular
branch it would always be dramatically decreasing anyway. But the
relative measure of my next observer moment to this one becomes the
thing that drives my expectations of what I am "likely" to experience.
Indeed, some version of me experiences all of them, but each split copy
of me can only say to himself, "what I am experiencing now was likely
(or unlikely) given where I was a moment ago."

Johnathan Corgan

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Received on Wed Feb 11 2009 - 18:09:53 PST

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