Re: M. alors

From: Jacques Mallah <>
Date: Tue, 17 Apr 2001 11:45:52 -0400

>From: Marchal <>
>Jacques Mallah wrote:
> >I'm not sure what you mean by much of the above. e.g. 3rd person,

>Just take 3rd person as "objective" like in Everett thesis, and 1st
>person as Everett "subjective".

    Everett is discussed below; he does _not_ believe in your "1st person"
by another name "subjective".

> >>BM: Implementation must be some sort of relative computations.
> >I don't know what you mean by the above

>But what do *you* mean by implementation ?

    A relationship between a computation and another mathematical structure,
in which the properties of the latter are similar in the right ways
(presumably a mapping satisfying restrictions) to the former that for many
practical purposes (such as consciousness) we can regard the existance of
the latter as having the same effect as the existance of the former, in
addition to any other possible effects such as those due to considering more
than one implementation mapping. You know where to find my thoughts on how
to restrict the mappings.

>OK. What I was trying to say is that I take arithmetical truth as
>something independent of myself, although I am "in there" with all the

    Sounds like Platonism, but doesn't define existence.

> >It is not always obvious whether a given description is consistent or
>not, and one way discussion of such a question is often framed is in terms
>of whether the hypothetical structure that would be described 'exists'.
>(e.g. "Does a power series expansion for f(x) exist?")
>OK. What's the point?

    What does "exist" mean in the above? Does it suggest a weak form of
existence? That's the point.

>I don't take a word like Earth as granted in a metaphysical argument.
>But I agree that the ten thousand earth and their variants exists in
>Plato's heaven.

    Why is 10,000 such an important number for you? Surely 666 is the only
# that holds the key to existence. (Just kidding!)

>Except that U is undefined. All Universes are indeed in Plato's heaven, but
>none are material. They appears material to their inhabitant, that's all.

    Suppose instead they are all "material" by hypothetical logical
necessity. Tell me what would be different. (i.e. define "material".)

> >Unlike the classical position, this requires a unique and
> >inevitable *measure distribution* on the set of mathematical structures.
>No. measure are relevant for inhabitant relatively to their computational
>histories. And that need "trans-univers" reasoning. (A good thing, because
>without that there would be no hope for a computationalist explanation of
>quantum interferences).

    I guess by "relatively" you mean there is no objective measure
distribution. Sorry, that won't cut it. Without an objective measure
distribution you can say nothing about what a typical observer would see.
(For example, you can't explain Darwin.)

> > We would certainly like to be able to do that. Unfortunately, as I
>have argued in other posts, the AUH is not falsifiable, so even if we prove
>that F=ma is very unlikely for us to see with the AUH, we are still stuck
>with the AUH. But it would be very unsatisfactory, of course. We need to
>derive F=ma not to prove the AUH, but to make ourselves happy with it.
>The "All Computation + comp" *is* quasi-falsifiable. Mmmh...

    How? (I'm not sure what you mean by "comp" though, since you like to
talk about whether "you" survive substitutions but did not define "you".)

> > For me the key word is "appearances". I am sure Everett did NOT
>believe in any discontinuous or probabilistic elements in his
>First I agree with Bryce Dewitt that Everett did not propose an
>interpretation of QM. Everett proposes only a new formulation which is
>essentially SE+COMP.
>Then he explicitely derives the Wave reduction as a subjective process,
>from an analysis of the memories of normal (Gaussian) classical machines,
>embedded in a universal quantum computation. (I show the last is

    You are throwing out undefined terms left and right. Everett never
defined "machines", which is why his formulation leads to "paradoxes" like a
stationary state being able to be "conscious".

> > My interpretation of Everett is proved by his statement that "The
>behavior of these observers shall always be treated within the framework of
>wave mechanics."
>Exactly. Behavior is typically objective/third person. I agree with this
>reading of Everett.

    I do not mean just externally observable behavior, BTW.

> >This indicates that he did NOT intend to introduce any
> >"mind-like hidden variables"
> > - and thus, no "1st person" merde about
> >consciousness "flowing" from one observer-moment to another.
>The flowing of consciousness is part of the appearances.
>I still don't figure out why you want dismiss those appearances so much.
>Especially talking on Everett who cares so much about it.

    First, memory (which he deals with) is nothing like the kind of "flow"
QTI freaks talk about. Certainly "1st person probabilities" are in no way
created by the illusion that what you remember is being another thought than
you really are.

> >>In my thought experience (UDA and the like) I use *exactly* the
> >>Everett notion of subjective/objective. I call them first person and
>third person as in classical philosophy of mind.
> >
> > You just don't understand Everett, it appears. As far as I can tell,
>his beliefs were normal (as opposed to crackpot/1st person/mind-like hidden
>Everett derives the first person plural probability from the third
>person SE.

    He 'derived' objective effective probabilities, "3rd person" in your
strange language (and I don't mean French). ('' indicate his derivation
itself was flawed, but that's not important here.)

>Why do you mix hidden variable into that. You *know* I think that hidden
>variable *are* crackpot.

    You need to realize that the notion of "1st person" used on this list is
just an extra-crackpot version of mind-like hidden variables that has no
basis in objective reality:
    Consciousness does _not_ magically "flow" from one thought to any other
thoughts that could concievably take place in a future version of a computer
that could have given rise to the first thought. If a person is killed, the
total measure decreases; his "soul" (hidden variable) does not jump into his
    Remember, if we are given the state of the universe at a time after the
first guy was killed, we may never know he even existed. Therefore, only a
hidden variable could explain an alleged increase in the measure of the
twin. Remember also that determinism is maintained at all times even in
matters of consciousness.

> >there is an objective measure distribution, therefore no QTI or
> >other '1st person' nonsense.
>I agree there is an objective measure distribution on the possible
>relative consistent extension of my computational histories.

    That's not an objective measure distribution if it depends on you. I
said there is one unique objective measure distribution - if you don't
believe it you must believe in hidden variables and other crackpot nonsense.
  There is no other consistent possibility (except, you could believe in

> >> >If you say, prior to the duplication "I will either end up
> > It all really depends on the definition
> >of "me". At this point I can think of three reasonable ways to define
>it, but none of them would lead to that statement. The simplest definition
>is to define 'me' as a thought; then I exist only for a moment and never
>leave my home city.
>Ridiculous, I am not talking to a thought.

    For practical purposes, of course we identify a person with a body that
gives rise to many thoughts. But that's not fundamental and breaks down in
cases like the duplication experiment. Your reaction is itself ridiculous,
not the conservative definition of 'me' as a thought.

> > The closest to what you want would be to define 'me' as a particular
>implementation of a computation. I believe that in this case, some of 'us'
>would die, some of us would end up in Moscow, while the rest of 'us' would
>end up in Washington.
>With comp you cannot be a particular implementation of a computation.
>You can perhaps say that you are an infinity of similar computation all
>speculating apparently about the existence of some magical singularising
>"implementation". With comp, below our level of substitution, we live (or
>"we" supervene) on all possible implementations. That is why we "discover"
>parallel histories when we look "outside" or "inside" close enough.

    Sounds a bit like my third proposed definition, but since you reject
that below, I don't know what you mean.

> > Finally, I could define 'me' as the set of all such implementations.
>Then I should say "I will feel myself ending up in Washington and not in
>Moscow, _as well as_ in Moscow and not in Washington." (In different
>observer-moments, of course.)
>And this makes sense for the "panscient spectator", in a third person
>sense. Nothing really related to you.

    I don't see why it's any differently related to you than the past is.
It's all just definitions.

> > What does differentiate different people?
>Memories. Cosmological, genetical, individual memories. I would
>say. Most of the time there are organized into histories, so I could
>have said simply: Histories. Isn't it?

    Suppose my memory is a set of bits. A cosmic ray comes in and flips one
bit. Did the ray kill me and create a new person? If so, OK, but no QTI.
If not what if it keeps happening? I could end up with identical memories
to a completely different person. So, really, there is no distinction
between 2 people.

                         - - - - - - -
               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 Tue Apr 17 2001 - 09:09:11 PDT

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