Re: Quantum accident survivor

From: Eric Cavalcanti <>
Date: Wed, 5 Nov 2003 17:41:22 -0200

----- Original Message -----
From: "Hal Finney" <>

> Eric Cavalcanti, <>, writes:
> > In the case of non-destructive-copy experiment, the copy is
> > made in a distinct place/time from the original. They could as well be
> > 100,000 years in the future and in the Andromeda galaxy, and you should
> > as well expect to have the subjective experience of being that copy with
> > the same probability as being the smooth continuation of yourself on
> Yes, that makes sense.
> > But in the multiverse, there are certainly infinite other perfect copies
> > yourself which are not smooth continuations. We can imagine thousands of
> > ways how these copies could be made. In computer simulations, in a
> > "Earth" in the Tegmark plenitude, or elsewhere.
> Yes, but keep in mind that there are also infinitely other copies which
> *are* smooth continuations. And these probably outnumber the ones which
> are discontinuous (assuming that terms like "outnumber" can be generalized
> to infinite sets, or else that the sets involved are merely large and not
> infinite).

I don't think so. Suppose you have at least one other perfect copy of
such that you could expect that your next experience be one of that copies'
with the same probability as the smooth continuation. A moment dt from now
the original 'you' will have branched into a number N of possible future
Since the copy is perfectly equal, the copy will also evolve to a number of
states that is of the same order of magnitude of N. According to your view,
each of these states is a continuation of yourself with equal probability,
that you should expect to have about 50% probability of being your copy.
But, if the Plenitude deserves the name, then we should expect to have
at least a Huge number of copies at any moment.
Therefore, either there are no other copies - i.e. the plenitude is not
real, and
there are no simulations of yourself anywhere in the multiverse, etc. - or
cannot experience being one of your copies, and QTI is not real. One of
these has to go.

> > But suppose you just stepped outside the Paris duplicator. Unaware of
> > experiment that is being made, your last memory is sitting in front of
> > computer, reading this email. Suddenly, you see the Eiffel Tower. That
> > would surely be a psychological experience that we don't have too often.
> > And since there are infinite copies of yourself at any given moment, if
> > should expect to be any of them at the next moment, you shouldn't expect
> > to ever feel the continuous experience you do.
> Rather, you should expect to feel both, with some probability. And I
> think that the multiverse holds a greater proportion of continuations
> that are continuous than that are discontinuous. Fundamentally this
> is because the conditions that promote consciousness and therefore the
> formation of brains like mine will tend to involve continuous chains
> of experience. Only in a relatively few universes will I be subject to
> unknowing duplications. Therefore I think it is highly unlikely but not
> impossible that I will suddenly experience a discontinuity.

I have argued above about the proportion of smooth/discontinuous states.

> Let us suppose, though, that our society evolves to a state where such
> duplications are routine. Anyone may have their brain scanned at any
> time, without their knowledge, and new copies of them created. Suppose I
> am such a copy, in fact, I am a 10th generation copy; that is, 10 times
> in my life I have found myself having an experience similar to what you
> described, a discontinuity where I was just walking along or sitting
> there, and suddenly found myself stepping out of a duplicating machine
> because someone copied me.
> I think you will agree that my memories are reasonable; that is, that
> anyone who has gone through such an experierence as I describe will in
> fact remember these discontinuities.
> Given my history, wouldn't it be reasonable for me to expect, at any
> future moment, to possibly face another such discontinuity? It has
> happened many times before, both to me and to other people that I know;
> it is an often-discussed phenomenon of the world, in this scenario.
> Just like anything else that happens occasionally to everyone, it would
> be perfectly reasonable and rational to have an expectation that it
> might happen to you.

It would be perfectly normal, in such a society, to expect to BE a clone,
if you have some reason to believe you are, such as a long-forgot
discontinuity of experience.
But one should not expect to ever BECOME a clone, for the reasons
I argued above.

Received on Tue Nov 11 2003 - 07:01:10 PST

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