[ExI] Repeated Experience (was Affecting Past Experience)

Lee Corbin lcorbin at rawbw.com
Thu Jul 26 22:40:10 UTC 2007

Vladimir writes

> Wednesday, July 25, 2007, Lee Corbin wrote:
> LC>    Now actually, the pointer (*this) in my opinion must refer equally
> LC>    to this point in both runs. But to me, I am faced with the prospect
> LC>    of  my runtime suddenly getting cut in half.  This is exactly how the
> LC>    MWI devotee feels regarding a sudden fifty-fifty chance of 
> LC>    imminent death:   in half the universes he's okay....
> Problem is probably anthropomorphisation of indifferent
> principle. Question is "should I worry or not?", where "worry" and
> "should" are not well-defined.

Naturally, I should not worry if I know that the Earth is going
to be thoroughly cooked by a gamma burst 15 minutes from now:
I can't do anything about it. Still, I would consider it an event
worth taking note of, and it definitely would affect my priorities.

In order to make this a real choice, we have to introduce the
possibility that through strenuous effort (say, for example, 
praying very hard to the OS) you can avert the midlife termination
of the 2nd run.  This, then, brings it back into the normal or usual
range of "worry" (not that it's especially rational).  One would,
for example, worry that one had not done quite enough praying.

> Objective many worlds perspective is equivalent
> to subjective reformulation of mind operation in the following terms.
> Mind is an algorithm that selects an
> action of an agent, or equivalently mind anticipates an action of an
> agent, and anticipated action is performed.

This is very hard to follow, sorry.  For one thing, I understand
that "mind" has no equivalent in German.  (That's probably a
very good thing, German metaphysics are already unendureable,
so thank God they never stumbled upon "Mind".  I'm sure you
know how philosophers have spent so much time and killed so
many trees over the Mind/Body problem!)  At any rate, it's
a sign that perhaps the term is not needed, and can be replaced
with other phraseology.

> Mind also anticipates performance of universe (grounded to senses,
> whatever). It doesn't know with certainty what will happen, but it

by 'it' I guess you me you, me, or someone

> must select a single action for an agent, so it holds a measure over
> possible states of the universe, selecting an action of agent with
> greatest measure.

Is this measure over the many-worlds, or over some state-space
in our possibly infinite physical universe?

> So as always selection between subjective and objective
> viewpoints don't affect actions.
> Now, having 50% chance of death in either case shouldn't cause any
> 'worry' to rational agent, if its actions can't affect that chance.

Addressed above.

> MWI trick is that performing a quantum suicide experiment is
> expected under some circumstances to be selected by a rational
> mind [person?] over not performing an experiment.

I really don't recall debating with anyone recently who held
that quantum suicide is a good idea;  that is, were the options
truly available (and I guess they are) then I don't know anyone
who'd do it.  Hmm.  Of course!  I guess it's not surprising that
I don't know someone like that.

> In subjective interpretation of MWI it corresponds to agent
> having a theory of its mind's operation, so that agent can
> manipulate decision making procedure of its mind, allowing
> otherwise irrational decisions.

Although we may have trouble understanding each other here,
I don't usually find "subjective" accounts to be very valuable,
although there are exceptions. It's a lot easier, anyway, to
concentrate on the objective, I think.   

I can't imagine the distinctions you are making between "agent",
"mind" and some person.  :-)  Anyway, if it's worthwhile, could
you try rephrasing all that with entirely different language?


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