Re: another puzzzle

From: Eugen Leitl <>
Date: Fri, 24 Jun 2005 12:27:21 +0200

On Fri, Jun 24, 2005 at 11:23:33AM +1000, Eric Cavalcanti wrote:

> Furthermore, there is always some way to tell the difference between the
> copy and the original, in principle, even if that infomation is not
> epistemologically
> available to the subjects themselves. If the original flew to New York, then he

This isn't true for two systems in the same quantum state.</lunatic-fringe>

If you use two synchronized discrete systems, evolving along a trajectory in
their state space they can't both encode their location by making
measurements on their surroundings (due to synchronization constraint).

One or both of them must be blind to the surroundings. The information about
location must be encoded the environment around them, and be not accessible
to the systems themselves at the same time. The difference, dear Brutus, is
in the environment, not ourselves.

> would have interacted with the environment in a completely different way than if
> he stayed in the room, and that interaction deposits information about his
> trajectory in the environment in an irreversible manner.

What do we care about something we cannot measure?

> I believe that the solution is not 3-rd person communicable. I believe that if
> I press the button 100 times, I'll never experience leaving the room, but
> there will be 100 copies of me claiming otherwise. That is because I believe

You have diverged. Of course there are now many persons, suddenly. If you
haven't diverged, you're only one person, and you can't both experience
leaving the room and not leaving the room.

> that my 1-st person probability (in the sense of degree of belief) in this case
> is NOT equal to the fraction of functionally identical copies. I believe
> that my first person expectation is not measurable by 3rd parties.
> The only way I can be convinced otherwise is by doing the test. But then you
> would never know, because empirically (for 3rd parties) the result would be
> the same in either case.

Run a synchronized SHRDLU simulation in two places, and ask it questions. Trivial
experiment, and easy enough to do both in gedanken and in practice.

Adding a physical robot arm only adds complication to the experiment, but it's the
same in principle.

> I know that sounds somewhat solipsist in the end, but I can't believe
> that merely scanning me can affect my future. And I would like to
> be convinced otherwise, because I don't like solipsism.

Why don't we terminate this pointless thread, until we can actually make numerical
models of sufficiently complex animals and people, so the question completely
renders itself irrelevant?

Eugen* Leitl <a href="">leitl</a>
ICBM: 48.07100, 11.36820  
8B29F6BE: 099D 78BA 2FD3 B014 B08A  7779 75B0 2443 8B29 F6BE

Received on Fri Jun 24 2005 - 06:28:50 PDT

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