[extropy-chat] Probability of identity.

Lee Corbin lcorbin at rawbw.com
Wed Oct 11 08:18:55 UTC 2006

Russell put a nice twist into the usual run of thought experiments
and, from my point of view, shows an additional reason to 
reject any notion of "probability" having objective significance
as regards the anticipation paradox.

I mean to assert that probability is just not the right way to look
at identity or anticipation. Yes, you cannot but feel that "your odds"
are such-and-such in certain circumstances. But objectively, that's
not really the case, because (as someone who has been a "patternist"
longer than anyone else here, since 1966!), I claim that one must
simply integrate benefit over the runtime you get in the multiverse,
wherever and whenever you get it, and that negative or bad 
experience must be weighed against the good.

> But intuitively the threadist view seems correct here! There must
> be a 50% probability on the first copy that I'll go free.

Neat!  But as I've always maintained, illusory, because  there is a
100% chance that you will experience going free and a 100% chance
that you will experience not going free.  This is simply because you can
be in two places at the same time.

A detached, scientific examination of all the physical processes
actually occurring  forces the conclusion that there is a true version
of you executing in each place.

> How do we reconcile intuition with the patternist view?

It has to be just runtime (or as some people insist on calling it,
"observer moments"). Suppose that a person is duped into
believing that after his first fork, half of his total future measure
is safe, and that it is only the other half that gets further parceled
up.  A good way to refute that is to suppose that the bifurcations
take place so fast that they're all done inside one milli-second.

My apologies for not reading all the posts in this thread; after 40
years of this it's gotten old now, despite my having been obsessed
by it for a decade or two.

In the end, it matters whether one embraces most closely a higher
level concept of who you are (your values, your beliefs, your
memories) or the lower level aspects of who you are (your current
sensations, your current moods, and your current thoughts). 

Those of us who most strongly adhere to the former tend to be
patternists; those who can't help but identify with the latter, some
sole instance somewhere, are not.


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