[ExI] The Anticipation Dilemma (Personal Identity Paradox)

Russell Wallace russell.wallace at gmail.com
Sun Jul 15 10:41:16 UTC 2007

On 7/15/07, Lee Corbin <lcorbin at rawbw.com> wrote:
> What we have reached is the uncomfortable conclusion that
> what happens to you (or happened to you) in the past is
> every bit as worthy of anticipation as events that are
> scheduled to happen in your future. This demolishes any
> rational or consistent use of *anticipation* that I have
> ever been able to formulate. This is most unfortunate,
> because feelings of anticipation are hardwired at a very
> fundamental level into our selves and our motivations.

Didn't we conclude last time we had this conversation that this is only true
in strange situations such as the one you describe? Anticipation is an
evolved heuristic that says "pay attention to those segments of spacetime
whose utility one can causally influence"; in most practical situations that
means your future self, or the future selves of people close to you, so it
remains rational to anticipate tonight's dinner but not last night's. The
heuristic isn't perfect in all conceivable situations of course, but then no
heuristic is.
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