Re: another puzzzle

From: Stathis Papaioannou <>
Date: Fri, 17 Jun 2005 23:12:41 +1000

Hi Jesse,

I was still trying to put some sort of reply together to your last post, but
I think your water analogy is making me more rather than less confused as to
your actual position on these issues, which is obviously something you have
thought deeply about. With the puzzle in this thread, I was hoping that it
would be clear that the subject in the room *has* to experience the light
changing colour every 10 minutes, and therefore can draw no conclusion about
which state is the high measure one. It seems that many on this list would
indeed say that running a mind in parallel increases its measure, and some
would say (eg. Saibal Mitra in recent discussions - I still have to get back
to you too, Saibal) that the subject would therefore find himself
continually cycling in the 10^100 group.

To summarise my position, it is this: the measure of an observer moment is
relevant when a given observer is contemplating what will happen next. If
there are 2N successor OM's where he will experience A and 3N successor OM's
where he will experience B, then he can assume Pr(A)=0.4 and Pr(B)=0.6. Only
the ratio matters. Moreover, the ratio/ relative measure can only be of
relevance at a particular time point, when considering the immediate future.
To say that an individual will not live to 5000 years even though there
exist OM's where he is this age, because his measure is much higher when he
is under 100 years of age, makes no sense to me.

Now, minimising acronym use, could you explain what your understanding is of
how measure changes with number of copies of an OM which are instantiated,
and if it doesn't, then how does it change, and when you use it in
calculating how someone's life will go from OM to OM. Also, you have talked
about memory loss, perhaps even complete memory loss, while still being you:
in what sense are you still you? Isn't that like saying I am the
reincarnation of Alexander the Great or something? You say we need a theory
of consciousness to understand these things, but don't you mean a theory of
personal identity? I can't see the former knocking on our door in the near
future, but I'm pretty confidant about the latter.

Thanks for the effort you are putting into explaining this stuff.

--Stathis Papaioannou

>Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
>>I agree you have given the correct answer to my puzzle: from a first
>>person perspective, identical mental states are the same mental state, and
>>at any point there is a 50-50 chance that you are either one of the 10^100
>>group or on your own. But not everyone on this list would agree, which is
>>why I made up this puzzle.
>Would you say that because you think running multiple identical copies of a
>given mind in parallel doesn't necessarily increase the absolute measure of
>those observer-moments (that would be my opinion), or because you don't
>believe the concept of absolute measure on observer-moments is meaningful
>at all, or for some other reason?

Sell your car for $9 on
Received on Fri Jun 17 2005 - 09:13:57 PDT

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