RE: mo' FIN

From: Jacques Mallah <>
Date: Sat, 01 Sep 2001 14:30:13 -0400

>From: Marchal <>
>I recall that I am still waiting for
>you showing a flaw in the UDA (the "Joel" version).

    Actually I am still waiting to see the full UDA argument! I don't think
you ever posted more than bits and pieces of it, without the precise
definitions that I requested, and you referred people to papers written in
French. But I'll check ...

>But here you betraye yourself:
> > ... since it's a nonsensical belief.
>You admit not having read the "reasons/explanations" we propose because
>you "know" at the start "it's a nonsensical belief"!!!

    No, I read everything that gets posted on the list, except perhaps for
parts of some long posts that are not in direct reply to me. I just haven't
seen any explanations that make any sense. I have seen only people
restating that they believe it.

>But I am still waiting *you* explain me how in the W M duplication, you
>can both still believe in comp and pretend the question of what I will
>feel is nonsense.

    I did explain my view, check the archive. But don't say that I believe
in what you call "comp". I never claimed to believe it, mainly because I
have yet to see a clear definition of it. I believe in computationalism,
meaning that computations (effectively) give rise to consciousness. The
word "survive" appears nowhere in any definition of computationalism I might

>Oh yes I remember, you don't see the difference between 1 and 3 person
>point of view ...

    More precisely, I don't see any 1st person view, other than as a
description of what an observer-moment experiences. But the set of all such
experiences is what the objective (which you might call 3rd person, but I
don't) view describes. The objective truth has all the information, which
we should guess as best we can.

>Indeed I see you say that words like "me" or "you" are mere definition.
>I believe the contrary, from the 1 person point of view, the word "me"
>is not even definissable.

    You say "me" (and thus, the 1st person concept) can't be defined. Maybe
you have some idea of what you mean by it, but if you can't define it,
there's no way you could ever convey that information to another person. In
that case, you might as well stop posting.

>That is what makes grandma psychology not really intuitive in the
>multiplication settings, but that is why I replace it eventually by the
>self-reference logics where the consistency of comp immortality (and so at
>least the sensicalness) is beyond doubt.

    I have little doubt that you pull some questionable tricks in reaching
that conclusion, but here we get into the technical part that you have never
fully explained on this list, I believe. No doubt it would take a lot of
time and effort to follow all the technical details. So I can't refute it
now, but neither will I take your word for granted on the matter.

>Of course I have infinite doubt about that immortality, but I have
>no doubt comp entails it logicaly/arithmeticaly.

     Perhaps it does, but if so the problem could well be in your very
definition of "comp". You have never given a precise definition, but you
always have the word "survive" in there, so maybe when you translate the
implications of "comp" into precise mathematics you in effect are
effectively assuming that conclusion from the start.

>About your saying you are sane, at first i take it for an attempt
>being comical. Your last answer to Hal Finney is really uncomical.
>Scientist always doubt ...

    It's not meant to be comical. Scientists always doubt that they really
have the complete right answer, but one the other hand, it is much more
certain to be able to identify a wrong answer. Newtonian mechanics is
certainly wrong, but our QM may not be the whole story. (Yet I have little
doubt that QM is basically right, for that matter.) FIN is certainly wrong.

>Also I (re)read you implementation paper where, as I said, you
>definitely and admittedly don't have solved the implementation problem,
>but then why do you injuriate us with seemingly certainties?

    Where do I say I definitely haven't solved it? It's just that I haven't
proven it's a solution, nor have I yet gained enough evidence to trust it.
On the other hand, it hasn't been falsified either, and I've tried although
not as much as I would like to try.

>I'm also less and less sure bayesian reasoning works in our
>mathematically infinite context ...

    Why? I will, for purposes of this argument, grant one concession
however. To compare FIN vs. non-FIN, it is not acceptable to make the two
categories of possible observations be something like A="I am younger than
N" and B="I am older than that", where N = some arbritrary age that may
(perhaps secretly) be based on my own such as twice my age. That would
obviously be cheating to reject the FIN. I do not cheat.
    On the other hand if a more objective standard is used, like
A = "I am younger than the 'thermodynamically unlikely' age for my species",
or even better like A ="I am young enough to calculate (and store) my own
age (perhaps normalized so that the typical lifetime of my species is set to
1)", and B= the opposite, then Bayesian reasoning is perfectly valid and
appropriate in this context.
    If the FIN were (cough) true, then people using this reasoning would
usually (100% of the time in fact) be older than that, so it would almost
always (100% in fact) work, except for a set of effective probability 0. If
the FIN is not true, it would usually work, but not quite 100%. So I am
erring on the side of letting very old people believe the FIN. Luckily I
have other arguments against it.

                         - - - - - - -
               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 Sat Sep 01 2001 - 11:31:29 PDT

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