- Contemporary messages sorted: [ by date ] [ by thread ] [ by subject ] [ by author ] [ by messages with attachments ]

From: Joao Leao <jleao.domain.name.hidden>

Date: Wed, 05 Nov 2003 17:57:54 -0500

Hal,

Waht about a definition of Observer-Moment?

That would surely help me...

Thanks,

-Joao

Hal Finney wrote:

*> Jesse Mazer writes:
*

*> > In your definition of the ASSA, why do you define it in terms of your next
*

*> > observer moment?
*

*>
*

*> The ASSA and the RSSA were historically defined as competing views.
*

*> I am not 100% sure that I have the ASSA right, in that it doesn't seem
*

*> too different from the SSSA. (BTW I have kept the definitions at the end
*

*> of this email.) (BTW, BTW means By The Way.) But I am pretty sure about
*

*> the RSSA being in terms of the "next" moment, so I defined the ASSA the
*

*> same way, to better illustrate its complementary relationship to the RSSA.
*

*>
*

*> The real difference between these views was not addressed in my
*

*> glossary, which is that the RSSA is supposed to justify the QTI, the
*

*> quantum theory of immortality, while the ASSA is supposed to refute it.
*

*> That is, if you only experience universes where your identity continues,
*

*> as the RSSA implies, then it would seem that you will never die. But if
*

*> your life-moments are ruled by statistics based on physical law as the
*

*> ASSA says, then the chance that you will ever experience being extremely
*

*> old is infinitesimal.
*

*>
*

*> Personally I think the ASSA as I have it is somewhat incoherent, speaking
*

*> of a "next" observer moment in a framework where there really isn't any
*

*> such notion. But as I said it has been considered as the alternative
*

*> to the RSSA. I invite suggestions for improved wording.
*

*>
*

*> > Wouldn't it be possible to have a version of the SSA where
*

*> > you consider your *current* observer moment to be randomly sampled from the
*

*> > set of all observer-moments, but you use something like the RSSA to guess
*

*> > what your next observer moment is likely to be like?
*

*>
*

*> That seems contradictory. You have one distribution for the current
*

*> observer-moment (sampled from all of them), and another distribution for
*

*> the next observer-moment (sampled from those that are continuous with
*

*> the same identity). But the current observer-moment is also a "next"
*

*> observer-moment (relative to the previous observer-moment). So you can't
*

*> use the ASSA for current OM's and the RSSA for next OM's, because every
*

*> next is a current, and vice versa. (By OM I mean observer-moment.)
*

*>
*

*> > Also, what about a weighted version of the ASSA? I believe other animals are
*

*> > conscious and thus would qualify as observers/observer-moments, which would
*

*> > suggest I am extraordinarily lucky to find myself as an observer-moment of
*

*> > what seems like the most intelligent species on the planet...but could there
*

*> > be an element of the anthropic principle here? Perhaps some kind of theory
*

*> > of consciousness would assign something like a "mental complexity" to
*

*> > different observer-moments, and the self-sampling assumption could be biased
*

*> > in favor of more complex minds.
*

*>
*

*> Yes, I think the possibility of weighting OM's is implicit in these
*

*> definitions. We often use the term "measure" to indicate that some
*

*> OM's carry more weight and more probability than others. For example,
*

*> one theory is that OM's which take a larger program to output would
*

*> have lower measure than ones which are described by a short program.
*

*> By this definition we might think that less complex minds would have
*

*> more measure, the opposite of your idea.
*

*>
*

*> I haven't heard of anyone suggesting that complex minds would inherently
*

*> have higher measure. Instead, it seems that most people use a somewhat
*

*> arbitrary cutoff for complexity which is necessary to qualify as an
*

*> observer. In the anthropic literature this general issue is discussed
*

*> as the problem of the reference class. I'm not that familiar with all
*

*> the ideas which have been proposed.
*

*>
*

*> Your idea, and my alternative about less complex minds having more
*

*> measure, have the problem that it seems that much more and less complex
*

*> minds should exist in the multiverse, and as you note we obviously have
*

*> evidence of less-complex minds existing in abundance right here on Earth.
*

*> So if more complexity is better, why aren't we super-intelligent aliens?
*

*>
*

*> > Likewise, one might use a graded version of the RSSA to deal with "degrees
*

*> > of similarity", instead of having it be a simple either-or whether a future
*

*> > observer-moment "belongs to the same observer" or not as you suggest in your
*

*> > definition. There could be some small probability that my next
*

*> > observer-moment will be of a completely different person, but in most cases
*

*> > it would be more likely that my next observer-moment would be basically
*

*> > similar to my current one. But one might also have to take into account the
*

*> > absolute measure on all-observer moments that I suggest above, so that if
*

*> > there is a very low absolute probability of a brain that can suggest a
*

*> > future observer-moment which is very similar to my current one (because,
*

*> > say, I am standing at ground zero of a nuclear explosion) then the relative
*

*> > probability of my next observer-moment being completely different would be
*

*> > higher. Again, one would need something like a theory of consciousness to
*

*> > quantify stuff like "degrees of similarity" and the details of how the
*

*> > tradeoff between relative probability and absolute probability would work.
*

*>
*

*> This seems hard to motivate because it fails to satisfy the desire of
*

*> RSSA proponents to get quantum immortality, while still introducing
*

*> the problematic notions of identity which the ASSA was supposed to free
*

*> us from. Also, you would need to come up with some rules for how big the
*

*> threshold has to be in order to kick you out of your current identity-line
*

*> and into someone else's. It looks problematic to me.
*

*>
*

*> Hal
*

*>
*

*> : SSA - The Self-Sampling Assumption, which says that you should consider
*

*> : yourself as a randomly sampled observer from among all observers in the
*

*> : multiverse.
*

*> :
*

*> : SSSA - The Strong Self-Sampling Assumption, which says that you should
*

*> : consider this particular observer-moment you are experiencing as being
*

*> : randomly sampled from among all observer-moments in the universe.
*

*> :
*

*> : ASSA - The Absolute Self-Sampling Assumption, which says that you should
*

*> : consider your next observer-moment to be randomly sampled from among all
*

*> : observer-moments in the universe.
*

*> :
*

*> : RSSA - The Relative Self-Sampling Assumption, which says that you should
*

*> : consider your next observer-moment to be randomly sampled from among all
*

*> : observer-moments which come immediately after your current observer-moment
*

*> : and belong to the same observer.
*

Date: Wed, 05 Nov 2003 17:57:54 -0500

Hal,

Waht about a definition of Observer-Moment?

That would surely help me...

Thanks,

-Joao

Hal Finney wrote:

-- Joao Pedro Leao ::: jleao.domain.name.hidden Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics 1815 Massachussetts Av. , Cambridge MA 02140 Work Phone: (617)-496-7990 extension 124 Cell-Phone: (617)-817-1800 ---------------------------------------------- "All generalizations are abusive (specially this one!)" -------------------------------------------------------Received on Wed Nov 05 2003 - 18:00:56 PST

*
This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0
: Fri Feb 16 2018 - 13:20:08 PST
*