Re: RS and RSSA

From: Jacques Mallah <>
Date: Wed, 05 Jul 2000 19:51:54 EDT

>From: Russell Standish <>
>Jacques Mallah wrote:
> > With the ASSA, the reference class is just all observer-moments.
>(Weighted according to number, or measure. i.e. Fully identical twins
>(supposing that were possible) still have double the measure of one man.)
>Of course additional conditionals are added as appropriate for a particular
>question. (i.e. If I ask "What is the effective probability of seeing X
>given that I see Y", then you could say OMs that see Y is the reference
>class.) (Example: X="my age>50", Y="I am human". p(X|Y) = M(X and
> > Note: important point: the ASSA does not, in any way, shape or form,
>single out the notion of "a particular individual" as having any
>significance whatsoever. That is one advantage it has over the RSSA, and
>one I have harped on many a time, so it's surprising you don't know that.
>For many of us, this is a distinct disadvantage, as it is not clear
>that the reference class of all observer moments is all that well
>defined. I agree that it can be applied to the set of all human
>observer moments reasonably unambiguously. If you wish, we can do
>that, it doesn't change my critique one bit. However, I fail to see >what
>your issue is with the notion of an individual (tree of observer
>moments rooted at birth).

    Humans, as I said, was just an example. Stop confusing arbritrary
examples with fundamental distinctions. The only conditional that we can
not usually get rid of is the fact that we are asking the question in the
first place. That condition does seem to remove the need for any hard and
fast distinction between conscious and unconscious computations.
    Your critique? I must have missed that. All you did was make some
false statements about the ASSA which I corrected.
    "Individual" - my problem with this is that first, I have yet to see a
definition. Your "tree" metaphor does little to help as you failed to
define the nature and characteristics of the connections between
observer-moments that you imply. Second, I see no reason to assign any
fundamental role to such a concept.

> > >With RSSA,the reference class is the set of all future moments adjacent
>to a given observer moment. All of this assumes that a temporal partial
>ordering in fact exists between observer moments.
> >
> > I guess the RSSA assumes that. (ASSA doesn't, although I also
>believe in time.) Your above definition of RSSA is unclear.
>No, the ASSA doesn't need this, but for purposes of comparison, we
>need to work with time. I have stated my reasons before why I regard
>time as essential for observers (and consequently observer moments) to
>exist. Why is the above definition unclear? For discrete observer
>moments linked by temporal partial ordering, it is perfectly
>clear. Taking the continuum limit looks fairly unproblematic at this
>point in time.

    What does "adjacent" mean in this context? Why should one take such a
reference class??? By "moment", do you mean a moment in time, or an OM? If
the latter, how do you count identical twins (which may have a common
origin, e.g. copying)? How does your definition relate to previous
definitions of the RSSA which are different?

> > >With the ASSA, the measure attached to a particular observer moment is
>related to the complexity of that observer moment, ie how much history is
>contained within it.
> >
> > Not necessarily related to complexity, but with the AUH there is a
>relation. Definitely not related to the amount of history; that's just
>depth, not complexity. Grab a Li & Vitanyi if you don't know what I mean.
>I know exactly what you mean. However, at each "branching" event of
>the MWI, information/complexity is added to the history because of the
>stochastic outcomes. Only if the outcomes are fully deterministic is
>complexity not increased, but depth is.

    So? That doesn't justify your "ie". And it's an irrelevant factor,
because branching doesn't change the total measure summed over the branches.
  Thus it does not modify one's age expectation, for instance.

> > >It can also be computed by integrating the
> > >RSSA values from birth over the history that leads up to that observer
>moment. Several histories may need to be integrated over in the case of
>forgotten events.
> >
> > An interesting statement on your part. Here, you seem to be saying
>that the absolute measure does in fact exist.
>Up to a point. Given an initial condition to the universe (its big
>bang), then measure of outcomes (aka observer moment) from any history
>rooted in that initial condition is a well defined "absolute" measure.
>However, I doubt that an absolute measure exists over the whole

    Going back to the evolution thread, in that case with the AUH you
couldn't predict evolution is more likely for you to have as your origin.

> > >It would seem to me that when discussing expected self-observed age,
>the ASSA is the wrong reference class, here age is a relevant variable.
>However, the ASSA treats all observer moments of a given
individual throughout its lifetime as equivalent. Surely this is wrong.
> >
> > The only thing that's wrong is your understanding of the ASSA and of
>related matters.
>Unhelpful comment. Where, exactly, do you think my understanding is wrong?

    Where you think ASSA is a reference class, that absolute measure (ASSA)
is wrong to use to compute expected age, that ASSA singles out
"individuals", and all the other stuff I try to set you stariaght on.

                         - - - - - - -
               Jacques Mallah (
         Physicist / Many Worlder / Devil's Advocate
"I know what no one else knows" - 'Runaway Train', Soul Asylum
         My URL:

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Received on Wed Jul 05 2000 - 17:02:02 PDT

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