Re: UDA last question (was UDA step 9 10)

From: Jesse Mazer <>
Date: Mon, 02 Jul 2001 14:48:51 -0400

>From: "Joel Dobrzelewski"

>Hmm... I think I see the problem now. But I don't understand your proposed
>Do you want to 1) make predictions about the future based on past
>observations, or 2) make predictions about the future based on all possible
>histories, or 3) something else entirely.
>In the first case (1), I think I can see how this might be possible.
>For example, if every 9 out of 10 times you drink the coffee after making
>it, then you should be able to reasonably conclude that the next time you
>make coffee, you will most likely drink it.
>Similarly, if 99 out of 100 times an electron is deflected away from the
>nucleus of an atom, then we can be reasonably sure that the next time we
>fire one into the nucleus, it will be deflected.
>This seems to work in our current simulation because for the most part, our
>world appears to be mostly "predictable". But it will start to fail in
>worlds where there is little regularity. (e.g. making coffee and drinking
>coffee almost never happen)
>But in the second case (2) I can't see how we can make any meaningful
>predictions since the number of all possible histories is infinite.

That's part of the problem. What do you mean by "*our* current simulation?"
Within the Plenitude there are an infinite number of simulations that
resemble "this" one up to some moment and then suddenly change the laws in
crazy ways...if you agreed with the earlier thought-experiment about
duplication, in which there's some chance your "next moment" will be that of
any number of different duplicates, then how can you be sure your own next
moment will be one in a physics-conserving simulation? All those other
simulated Joels living in simulations that are regular up to a given moment
but then suddenly transform into whiterabbitland thought the same thing.
What basis do you have for thinking you're not one of "them?" Without some
kind of objective measure on the set of all possibilities (or at least all
possible 'next moments') we have no sound basis for predicting anything at
all. Don't drink that coffee--it might have suddenly turned into
hydrochloric acid! Or maybe you'll suddenly find the taste of coffee
absolutely revolting, or maybe drinking the coffee will cause you to
transform into a stegosaurus...anything's possible, really.

Check out this thread I started on the "measure problem" a while ago, which
got some interesting responses:
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Received on Mon Jul 02 2001 - 11:50:40 PDT

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