Re: another puzzzle

From: Stathis Papaioannou <>
Date: Fri, 17 Jun 2005 21:43:58 +1000

Le Jeudi 16 Juin 2005 23:31, Quentin Anciaux a écrit:

>Le Jeudi 16 Juin 2005 16:12, Stathis Papaioannou a écrit :
> > One state consists of you alone in your room. The other state
> > consists of 10^100 exact copies of you, their minds perfectly
> > with your mind, each copy isolated from all the others in a room just
> > yours. Whenever the light changes colour, it means that God is either
> > instantaneously creating (10^100 - 1) copies, or instantaneously
> > all but one randomly chosen copy.
> >
> > Your task is to guess which colour of the light corresponds with which
> > state and write it down. Then God will send you home.
> >
> > SNIP
> >
> > But just as you are about to write down your conclusion, the light
> > to green...
> >
> > What's wrong with the reasoning here?
>Hi Stathis,
>If I was in this position, I would not even try to guess, because you (or
>god :) are explaining me that it is possible to copy me (not only "me", but
>really all the behavior/feelings/mental state/indoor/outdoor state copying,
>copy as good as an original or a copy cannot say which is which and even a
>3rd person observer could not distinguish). If it is the case, this means
>that :
>1- I'm "clonable"
>2- I is not "real"
>3- A single "I" does not means anything
>So I ask you, if it's the case (real complete copy...), why should "I"
>anything ? Who is the "I" that must guess ?

You can only experience being one person at a time, no matter how faithful
and how numerous the copies are. A simpler example than the above to
demonstrate what this would be like is given by Bruno Marchal in step 3 of
his UDA. You get into a teleporter in Brussels, and it transmits the
information to build a copy of your body to Moscow and Washington. To a
third person observing this, he notes, as you have above, that after the
teleportation there is no longer a "toi", because you have become a "vous"
(and not because we're being polite). For you, the effect is that you find
yourself *either* in Moscow *or* Washington, each with probability 0.5.
Unless you meet the other Quentin, there is no way you can tell, however
many times you try this, that the machine operator hasn't flipped a coin to
decide which (one) city to send you. This is rather like the many worlds
interpretation of quantum mechanics, where all possibilities are realised,
so that it is a deterministic theory, but from the viewpoint of the
inhabitants of any of the worlds, it is indistinguishable from the
probabilistic Copenhagen interpretation.

--Stathis Papaioannou

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Received on Fri Jun 17 2005 - 07:47:48 PDT

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