Re: "Last-minute" vs. "anticipatory" quantum immortality

From: Jesse Mazer <>
Date: Thu, 13 Nov 2003 00:30:10 -0500

Wei Dai wrote:

>On Wed, Nov 12, 2003 at 10:11:04PM -0500, Jesse Mazer wrote:
> > Of course not, no more than I would treat the copy who materialized in a
> > room with the portrait of the candidate who went on to lose the election
> > a zombie. From the point of view of myself about to be duplicated, it
> > certainly be much more probable that my next experience would be of
> > myself in the room with the portrait of the candidate who would go on to
> > (since after the election that copy would be duplicated 999 times while
> > other would not), but the probability of ending up in the room with the
> > losing candidate was not zero, and after the split it is certainly true
> > both copies are equally conscious.
>Suppose you get into an experiment where you're copied, then the original
>is certain to be killed. According to "anticipatory" quantum immortality,
>your probability of experiencing being the original after copying is
>complete is 0.

Not really, there is always the possibility (perhaps a certainty if you buy
the 'everything that can exist does exist' hypothesis) that an
observer-moment with the same memories up to the point he was killed will
arise somewhere else in the multiverse, even if it's by a random statistical
fluctuation or something. In any case, even if it was possible to have a
situation where the first-person probability of my becoming a particular
future observer-moment were zero, that wouldn't mean that observer-moment
does not experience himself as real, perhaps it would just suggest there was
zero chance that his own past included my current observer-moment.

The problem here is that you're acting as if first-person measure somehow
implies something about consciousness. I do think that complexity of
consciousness may be one of the factors that influences first-person
measure, so that I could be less likely to become a copy with large amounts
of brain damage, but if my interpretation of the two-presidential-candidates
though-experiment is right it obviously isn't the only factor, and therefore
you can't reason in reverse that less measure --> less consciousness, since
in that thought-experiment there's no reason to think either of the two
copies is less conscious even if one has only 1/999th the measure of the

Jesse Mazer

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Received on Thu Nov 13 2003 - 00:39:52 PST

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