RE: Many Pasts? Not according to QM...

From: Lee Corbin <>
Date: Wed, 1 Jun 2005 23:48:52 -0700

Stathis writes

> I understand [Saibal's] point, but I think you are making an invalid assumption
> about the relationship between a random sampling of all the OM's available
> to an individual and that individual's experience of living his life.
> Suppose a trillion trillion copies of my mind are made today on a computer
> and run in lockstep with my biologically implemented mind for the next six
> months, at which point the computer is shut down.

Yes, and I note that these are *precisely* identical instantiations.

> This means that most of my
> measure is now in the latter half of 2005, in the sense that if you pick an
> observer moment at random out of all the observer moments which identify
> themselves as being me, it is much more likely to be one of the copies on
> the computer.

What? And I thought that I had understood how the term "Observer
Moment" is used on this list! :-(

Is the following true, or isn't it: identical OMs are identified.
That is, N identical instances (say, running on N identical mainframes)
are thought of as *one* observer moment, because they are (1st person)
indistinguishable. At least that is how *I* have been using the term.
(They're also 3rd person indistinguishable, of course.)

Bruno wrote, incidentally, "With comp the relative measure from one OM
is based on all comp histories going through [those] states. We should
not measure the OM by its finite description...", and so it's possible
that he is agreeing with my usage of the term "Observer Moment"."

Thanks for any clarification.

> But what does this mean for my experience of life? Does it
> mean that I am unlikely to experience 2006, being somehow
> suspended in 2005?

I would say "no". I would say that *you* must experience 2006
in your experiment, and in fact, in any universe where you
live through 2006.

If we say that there are 2006 AD versions of Stathis running
anywhere in the multiverse, then it is by definition true that
you get runtime in 2006 (or that you experience 2006). What a
number of us have tried to do, perhaps mainly so that our ideas
conform with our daily values of trying to stay alive, is to
regard the *benefit* one receives from a certain amount of
runtime as the measure of the OM.

Hal has very satisfactorily described the idea that you get superior
benefit if your pleasant, even-numbered-days are given twice the
measure of your odd, unpleasant days.

> More generally, if a person has N OM's available to him at time t1 and kN at
> time t2, does this mean he is k times as likely to find himself experiencing
> t2 as t1?

To me "to find oneself at X,t" in spacetime means to make an
observation that one is at position X at time t, or perhaps
better, that one is alive at X,t, a very 1st person description.
But then, that would tend to distinguish the experience at t2
from the experience at t1, and that is contrary to your hypothesis.

By the definition I thought was in vogue here, "from inside"
there is just one OM, even though it's manifested at a number
of spacetime locations (the entity doesn't know the difference).

On a 3rd person objective bird's-eye view the greater number of
instances do have, of course, a greater measure than does a
single instance. So how does this translate to 1st person?
I'd suggest that one's 1st person experience---though not
memorably different---is "richer" and "fuller", and of more
benefit to one! :-) Admittedly, this sounds like nonsense
if one believes that one's memories capture all of one's

> I suggest that this is not the right way to look at it. A person
> only experiences one OM at a time, so if he has "passed through"
> t1 and t2 it will appear to him that he has spent just as much
> time in either interval...

Yes, but appearances can be deceiving! And it won't be the first
time that a patient is incorrect about which of two time intervals
actually provided him the greater benefit.

> The only significance of the fact that there are "more" OM's at
> t2 [and I take it to mean that, using the terms as I do, the
> OM at t2 has greater measure than the OM at t1] is that the
> person can expect a greater variety of possible experiences at
> t2 if the OM's are all distinct.

Again, to me, if the experiences are distinct, then it's not the
same OM.

Received on Thu Jun 02 2005 - 02:54:35 PDT

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