Re: Fw: Quantum accident survivor

From: Hal Finney <>
Date: Sun, 9 Nov 2003 11:18:39 -0800

Eric Cavalcanti, <>, writes:
> Suppose I sit on this copy machine in New York, and the information of the
> position and velocities (within quantum uncertainty) of all particles in
> my body is copied. Suppose, for the sake of the argument, that the mere
> retrieval of this information should pose no problem to me. It should
> me harmless. This information then travels by wire from the reader to
> the reproducer. An almost perfect copy of me is made in Paris. Should
> I, in that moment, expect to have the first-person 50% probability of
> suddenly seeing the eiffel tower? I don't think anyone would support that.

I think your argument is valid, that this experiment is indeed the same
as stepping into a destructive duplication machine and having copies
made in two places.

The only place I think you're wrong is in the last sentence. In fact,
I think many people here would in fact "support that", i.e. they would
expect to face a 50% chance of being in the two places.

I have some subtle issues with this expectation which I will explain at
another time, but broadly speaking I would expect that if a copy were
made of me, and that copy were started up, I would in fact experience
a branching of my experience. If I were about to be copied and I knew
that the copy was going to be started up in Paris, I would expect to
experience the two futures equally.

Others who accept the destructive-double-copy experiment would presumably
agree with this basic analysis.

And for the record, my reservation is that it might be psychologically
different to have two different futures for certain than to have two
futures in two different branches of the multiverse. It seems to me that
this follows from the ASSA, which I provisionally accept at present.
It's hard to say what the perceptual difference will be, but it seems
like there ought to be one.

Received on Sun Nov 09 2003 - 14:22:12 PST

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