RE: Re: A calculus of personal identity

From: Stathis Papaioannou <>
Date: Mon, 3 Jul 2006 21:13:10 +1000

Bruno Marchal writes:
> > It could be, for example, that I have been brainwashed and my memories > > of the past are partly or completely false memories. > > > > There is no false 1-memories. Only an association between some 1-memory > and some 3-reality can be false. If someone succeeds in implementing > correctly (more than just coherently) false beliefs (like I am Napoleon > just after Waterloo), then I will believe correctly that I am Napoleon > and that I have just lose a battle, almost by definition. I will have > to go in an asylum, sure, but my> 1-memory of the past is correct given that they have been correctly > implemented.
This is just what I meant, though my terminology seems to differ from yours. As a result, I have a belief in a persisting 1st person through time, in this example the belief that I was and still am Napoleon. Now while I can't be wrong about having this memory/belief, I could be wrong in asserting that it reflects some 3rd person reality, such as that I am over 300 years old. In the same way, I think I am wrong in asserting that I believed I was Napoleon yesterday, and the day before, and the day before that, and so on, which is what a persisting 1st person through time is as commonly understood; it is true that I *believe* I believed that, but the best I could do to verify it would be to examine my current memory or other evidence, such as my diary. And while my assertion that my present body is over 300 years old could be verified in principle by some medical test, my assertion that I have continuously experienced the mental states of Napoleon during this time period runs up against the problem of other minds - even when the "other mind" is a past version of my own (putative) mind.
I'll respond to the rest of your post on the UDA at a later time, I need to read it more closely than I have time to do today...
--Stathis Papaioannou
> > I agree if you mean by "future" and "past" 3-future and 3-past. 1- > > past > > > > > and 1-future is not extrapolation thy are feelings continuously lived > > > > > in a lasting present. I can no more doubt of my feeling of past than I > > > > > can doubt of a headache (say). Even if time by itself does not exist at > > > > > > > all (which is the case with comp). The extrapolation would reside only > > > in some third person projection of that time, space, ... (I think we > > > agree, the problem could just be the term "illusion").> >> > I'm not sure if you're saying what I was saying above by > > distinguishing between 1-future/past and 3-future/past.> > > I think so.> > > > The relationship between different stages in a person's life - how > > far apart two different experiences can be and still belong to the > > same person - is complicated and necessarily vague. If we allow that > > in principle anyone can change into anyone else, how can you pin down > > this relationship with any rigour? > > > To understand the consequence of UDA, I try to no put more rigor than > needed. Eventually those relationship will appear in mathematical form > with the lobian interview. Self-reference through diagonalization will > do the work, but this is needed to extract physics from numbers, not to > understand we have to extract physics from numbers once we assume comp.> > > > > > > > > > > such as believing themselves to be moments in the life of a single > > > > individual, having memories or quasi-memories in common, and so on.> > > > > > If I split into two that presents no problem for the 3rd person POV > > > > > > (there are two instantiations of Stathis extant where before there wa > > s > > > > one) nor for the 1st person POV (each instantiation knows it is > > > > experiencing what it is experiencing as it is experiencing it).> > >> > >> > > OK.> > >> > >> > >> > > > > > A problem does arise when I anticipate the split (which one will I > > > > > > become?) or look back at the split (*I* was the original!); there is > > > > no correct answer in these cases because it is based on 3rd person > > > > > > extrapolation of the 1st person POV, which in addition to its other > > > > > > failings assumes only a single entity can be extant at any one time > > > > (only a single 1st person exists by definition, but multiple 3rd > > > > persons can exist at the one time).> > >> > >> > > This is a little weird. You say there is no correct answer, and then > > > you give the comp-correct answer.> > > The first person is indeed just NOT first person-duplicable (unless > > > > > some added artificial telepathic trick, but in general I talk only on > > > the usual simple teleportation or duplication).> >> > There is an unambiguous 3rd person descriptive answer, but no such > > unambiguous 1st person answer.> > > I think there is, once assuming comp.> > > > > We can still talk about 1st person expectations, which I agree is the > > important thing for the subject.> > > Yes, physics will arise from that.> > > > > > > > > > > This is not to say that my mind can or should overcome [Lee Corbin > > > > disagrees on the "should"] the deeply ingrained belief or illusion > > > > > > that I am a unique, one- > > track individual living my life from start to > > > > finish,> > >> > >> > > > > Here you really talk about the third person extrapolation, so I agree > > > > > with you. But the first person is not deceive by its feeling of living > > > > > uniquely in time and space. It could be dangerous to say so, because it > > > > > > > leads to (materialism) eliminativism which eventually conclude that the > > > > > > > whole first person thing is an illusion. This leads to a deeply wrong > > > > > sense of "human"- > > irresponsibility. Well, it is a negation of the first > > > person. I can be sure it is wrong, as I bet you can too.> >> > I would say that the 1st person experience is *not* an illusion in > > any sense of the word.> > > All right.> > > > > It is the very opposite, in a way: the most real thing, which cannot > > be doubted.> > > Yes.> > > > But extrapolating to other people or other selves in the past, future, > > coming out of the teleporter or whatever, that is another matter.> > > True, but then we can assume hypotheses and and we can reason, in a > pure third person way, that is doing (refutable and thus doubtable) > science. I guess this is what we are trying to do right now.> > > > > > > > OK but the fourth step of UDA is just asymmetrical duplication without > > > memory loss.> > > > > I don't count the destruction of the original+its personal diary as a > > > memory loss, giving that the memory is thoroughly conserved in the > > > reconstitution (by the hypothesis + default assumptions on the > > > > > rightness of the substitution level and the reliability of the doctor's > > > > > work, etc.)> > > What about that?> > > Oh. I see you answer this below ...> >> > What I meant was something like this. You are duplicated via > > destructive teleportation so that two copies are produced in separate > > locations. One copy has 40% of its pre-duplication memories missing, > > while the other has 30% of its pre-duplication memories missing and > > 30% of a stranger's memories implanted. What is your expectation of > > what is to happen to you as you enter the machine?> > > Well, I see that point, but this is precisely why I have not allowed > memory loss in the duplication and multiplication experiments occuring > in the UDA. I say yes to the doctor provided I have reason to bet that > the copy will be "numerically" identical, at the substitution level of > below.> This is Independent of the fact that it is highly probable such amnesy > can help to have an idea of the reason why comp histories can fuse, and > this helps to make already comparison between comp and the quantum > (erasure). For your experiment, I wish the candidate just say "no" to > the doctor.> I am not even sure it makes sense to talk on 40% of 1-memory, unless > you model the memory by sequence of W and M in iterated > self-duplication, so that in some particular simple case, we can begin > to analyze, but then this is not necessary to get the reversal.> > > > > > I should clarify, what I meant was not that I disagree with step 7, > > but that I find it difficult to understand. Going over everything you > > have said in this thread, I think the only thing I really disagree > > with is your insistence that we can have 1st person knowledge of our > > past. I don't know that it makes a big difference in the final > > analysis, but I think it is neater, simpler and still in keeping with > > all the facts to say that the 1st person is necessarily tied to the > > present.> > > Imagine you are drinking a cup of coffee, and just after I implement in > you a 3-false memory of "I have just drink tea". So your incorrigible > apprehension is that you have just drink tea. This is first person > knowledge and it cannot be false, or more precisely it can only be > 1-false and it has to be> 1-true. It can be 3-false.> If I insist that we can have 1st person knowledge of the 1-past, it is > perhaps due to the fact that I define (in first approximation) the > "consciousness-present" by a memory of some past (like a FINITE > sequence "W W W M W M W M M M W" in 11 repeated duplications: note that > this sequence is a pure first person uncommuncable one, the proposition > "Bruno is this one" admits 2^11 -1 counterexamples, and the proposition > "Bruno-WWWMWMWMMMW is this one" is (here) tautological.> I think I agree with you if you mean 3-past by past. But 1-past is just > the main ingredient for having any reasonable notion of 1-present. I > can not doubt present feelings, but I cannot dissociate them from a > quasi-infinities of "near-present-feelings" which are 1-person building > block of my 1-present.> > > > > > > > > > Perhaps you have not enough appreciate the importance of the invariance > > > > > > > of the first person experience when reconstitution delays are added. It > > > > > > > did help people to explicitly recall the delays in the drawing 5), 6) > > > 7) (and 8)).> > > > > Unless I am deadly missing something, it seems to me that what follows > > > > > "We are almost done ..." can easily (?) be deduced from the six first > > > > > steps. My experience with people who got problems in the seventh step > > > is that they don't have really appreciate step 5).> > > It would help me if you could tell precisely where is the problem at > > > the end of step 7; so let me quote it:> > >> > >> > > > > <<We are almost done. Indeed, let us try a simple “physical experiment” > > > > > like dropping a pen. With comp, when we are in the state of going to > > > drop the pen, we are in a Turing emulable state.>>> > >> > >> > > All right? This follows directly from the comp hyp.> >> > Yes, that part is fine.> > > > > > > <<Our more probable consistent extension is undetermined by the 1- > > comp > > > indeterminacy on all the “reconstitution” of that similar states > > > appearing in UD* (the infinite trace of the UD).> >> > Sorry, I don't understand this sentence.> > > Informally, a consistent extension is a next possible (and living) > observer-moment. I mean, not a culd-sac "world". Now, when you drop > the pen in front of a concrete working and never stopping UD, to > compute correctly with comp your next OM, you need to consider all > computational histories generated by the UD which going through your > "present computational states" (which exists by comp). This gives the > uncertainty space on which you have to isolate a (relative) measure of > uncertainty (possibility, plasuibility, credibility, probability, ...). > And then compute. Of course this is impractical, like quantum field > theory (for such pen dropping problem). But this explain why physics, > once comp is assumed, should be reductible to computer science. Physics > have too emerge from a sort of sum on (infinite) computations.> > > > > > > > All right? This follows from the definition of the UD. And the UD > > > exists once we assume Church Thesis, and UD* (the trace of the UD) > > > exists thanks to Arithmetical realsim. Rememeber I defiune comp by > > > mainly CT and AR (+ the "yes doctor").> >> > I think I understand this, but not the sentence to which it is > > referring. Am I right in thinking that the UD is just a way > > to generate all the computable functions (in view of the fact that > > they are not enumerable)?> > > Almost correct. It is ... "in view of the fact that they are not > *recursively* or *computably* enumerable".> Also, less ambiguously, the UD generates the computations of the (total > and partial) computable functions. This will be perhaps clearer after I > answer Tom and George in the "puzzle thread".> (Hopefully next week!)> > > > > > This follows from 6, and the invariance of the uncertainty measure, > > > notably for the arbitrary delay---including the null one, and the > > > > > infinite set of states appearing with a arbitrarily large delay in the > > > running of the UD[14]. This gives a huge set. >>> >> > This I understand.> > > > > All right? You almost just said exactly this in your today's > > > (29/june/2006) message to Brent Meeker.> > > And from this you can already conclude that comp entails a reversal > > > > > between physics and computer science/ > > number theory. The next sentences > > > are there just for making easier the interface with the mathematical > > > > > interview of the lobian machine, which is needed only to make explicit > > > the manner we have to follow for extracting physics from computer > > > science.> >> > The reversal between physics and number theory is something you have > > mentioned many times. Informally, I can see and accept that the > > universe may be Turing-emulable (if this is what you mean)> > > OK, I think you miss something here. Which explains perhaps my problem > with your use of "past" and "future".> Let me oversimplify my "comp-position". What the UDA is supposed to > show, is that the "real and correct" law of physics emerges from a sum > over infinities of infinite computations. From this it is not even > clear if any notion of 3-universe remains relevant. But more can be > said: whatever such universe could be, it CANNOT be turing emulable. To > emulate it "correctly" not only you would have to emulate in finite > time the whole infinite work of the UD, but you should be able to > collect your first person "appearances" in the UD, which is completely > impossible.> Only the first person themselves are confronted with such an > uncomputable thing, because they are not aware of the delays, and they > does not know in which computations they appear. They in fact > distributed in many of them, and the physics emerge from that > 1-distribution.> > > > but I don't really see how the computational hypothesis about minds > > leads to this result formally.> > > What I show, is that if "I" am a machine, then my 1-neighborhood cannot > be described by a computation. It is the point of the 1-indeterminacy. > Physics is reduced to the computing of that 1-indeterminacy which > relies by comp on computer science/number theory, exclusively. All comp > 3-histories are embedded in arithmetical truth (even in a "tiny" part > of it). The 1-histories emerges in a non computable way.> > Another consequence: the observable universe cannot be a quantum > computer. Why? because a quantum computer is turing emulable, and a > priori with comp, the 3-universe cannot be turing emulable.> > This does not mean the quantum theory is wrong (a (sub)quantum UD, > generated by the UD, could somehow win the "measure" battle; but then > it will not describe a physical world but an entire "multiverse" > (collection of interfering histories). In that case 1-indeterminacy > would resume into its quantum counterpart. And it is still an open > problem to define what a quantum multiverse really consist in. With > comp, the quantum would just describe the probability of the available > relative computational paths in our neighborhood derivable from our > observations, but that would be 1 person (plural) constructs. Number's > *shareable* (and "parallel") dreams.> > I hope this helps. I feel you are close to the reversal. I'm aware it > is tricky.> > I must go, so I have not the time to add spelling mistakes :)> > Bruno> > > >> > > _________________________________________________________________
Be one of the first to try Windows Live Mail.

You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Everything List" group.
To post to this group, send email to
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to
For more options, visit this group at
Received on Mon Jul 03 2006 - 07:14:12 PDT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Feb 16 2018 - 13:20:11 PST