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

Lee Corbin lcorbin at rawbw.com
Sun Jun 17 23:28:01 UTC 2007

John Clark writes

> Eliezer  wrote
>> the Python program checks whether the ticket won.  If not, I'm woken up.
>> If the ticket did win, the Python program creates one trillion copies of
>> me [.] I expect that a trillion copies of me will be informed that they 
>> won the lottery, whereas only a hundred million copies will be informed
>> that they lost the lottery.... Thus I should expect overwhelmingly to win
>> the lottery.
> I don't understand this thought experiment. Unless you're talking about Many
> Worlds you will almost certainly NOT win the lottery and not winning is what
> you should expect.

You and Eliezer are possibly using slightly different meanings of the
word "expect".  In case that's true, let's try to find some usages 
relevant to the present situation that we all would agree on.

1) if the odds against winning the California lottery are 10^6 to 1
    then you should expect not to win (and you will be very surprised
    if you do win)
2) if a million duplicates of you are made at the seashore a minute
    from now, then you should pick up your swimming trunks, and
    the one of you who finds himself not at the seashore should be
    plenty surprised

> How many copies of you that you briefly make in the
> extremely unlikely event that you do win just doesn't enter into it.

But what if the copies are not "briefly made", but endure? Specifically,
suppose that though the odds are a million to one against winning the
lottery, but in the case that you do win, a trillion copies of you are
made (somewhere).  In that case, which of these two experiences
is more "surprising"?

Case 1:  I did not win.  I'm still home, and broke.
Case 2:  I did win, but there are a trillion of me, and I am even more broke.

Although I strongly affirm that such anticipations, surprises, dreads, 
apprehensions and so on cannot be firmly placed on a logical basis,
it may be possible to claim that one of the two cases is more
"surprising" than the other.  Neither answer would surprise me
very much at this point, though it will be fun to think about.


> Making copies of yourself would certainly lead to odd situations but only
> because it's novel, up to now we just haven't run across things like that;
> but I can find absolutely nothing paradoxical about it.

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