[ExI] any exact copy of you is you + universe is infinite = you are guaranteed immortality

Jef Allbright jef at jefallbright.net
Fri Jun 15 17:38:20 UTC 2007

On 6/15/07, Stathis Papaioannou <stathisp at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 15/06/07, Eliezer S. Yudkowsky <sentience at pobox.com> wrote:
> > I mention this to show that the question of what it feels like to have
> > a lot of copies of yourself - what kind of subjective outcome to
> > predict when you, yourself, run the experiment - is not at all
> > obvious.  And the difficulty of imagining an experiment that would
> > definitively settle the issue, especially if observed from the
> > outside, or what kind of state of reality could correspond to
> > different subjective experimental results, is such as to suggest that
> > I am just deeply confused about the whole issue.
> >
> Related conundrums:
> In a duplication experiment, one copy of you is created intact, while the
> other copy of you is brain damaged and has only 1% of your memories. Is the
> probability that you will find yourself the brain-damaged copy closer to 1/2
> or 1/100?

Doesn't this thought-experiment and similar "paradoxes" make it
blindingly obvious that it's silly to think that "you" exist as an
independent ontological entity?

Prior to duplication, there was a single biological agent recognized
as Stathis.  Post-duplication, there are two very dissimilar
biological agents with recognizably common ancestry.  One of these
would be recognized by anyone (including itself) as being Stathis.
The other would be recognized by anyone (including itself) as being
Stathis diminished.

Where's the paradox?  There is none, unless one holds to a belief in
an essential self.

> In the first stage of an experiment a million copies of you are created. In
> the second stage, after being given an hour to contemplate their situation,
> one randomly chosen copy out of the million is copied a trillion times, and
> all of these trillion copies are tortured.  At the start of the experiment
> can you expect that in an hour and a bit you will almost certainly find
> yourself being tortured or that you will almost certainly find yourself not
> being tortured? Does it make any difference if instead of an hour the
> interval between the two stages is a nanosecond?

I see no essential difference between this scenario and the previous
one above.   How can you possibly imagine that big numbers or small
durations could make a difference in principle?

While this topic is about as stale as one can be, I am curious about
how it can continue to fascinate certain individuals.

- Jef

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