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Re: First Persons and Third Persons

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  • Marchal
    ... I have no problem (at least not in this context) with the existence of an objective (third person) description. I am just indicating that in each group of
    Message 1 of 591 , Dec 31, 1969
      Lee Corbin wrote:

      >>BM:But you are using here a first person plural
      >>("[you and me] in the same branch") point of view.
      >Only for the ease of description. I could just as easily
      >have said "Well," says DD, "there exist an entire continuum
      >of results, in some of which it happened at 43 seconds, and
      >in some of which it happened at 42 seconds. ***This***
      >was a 42 second case."
      >Now is that *really* first person? I say no. Imagine looking
      >down on the multiverse from God's perspective and you see DD
      >say this. You see all the DD's say this, but some say 43
      >while others say 42. Each of them who says "***This***" is
      >clearly indicating one group of identical universes.
      >Therefore, I claim that the objective description exists,
      >and works out just fine.

      I have no problem (at least not in this context) with the
      existence of an objective (third person) description. I am
      just indicating that in each group of identical universes
      you and DD *are* illustrating the use of a first person
      term, like ***this***. In fact that use can be verified in
      an objective way! First and third person point of view are

      >>In the experience of self-duplication one person can be
      >>transformed into two persons, *from the 3-point of view. But
      >>from the 1-point of view one person remains one person. Which
      >>one? Even God cannot tell.
      >Of course, say DD and I: that's because it's a nonsense

      Suppose I, described by I_m (m = memory), decide to observe
      a cat in the superposition state "dead + alive". The SE
      just predicts I_m(dead + alive) =>

      I_death death + I_alive alive

      with I_x = I observe the cat in state x.
      I take it as a form of self-duplication (the reasoning is the
      same with self-differentiation instead).
      And my point is that the question about what I will observe
      is a sensefull question. (The question is asked before I
      observe the cat of course).
      If that question was a nonsense question, then *any* talk of
      (relative) probability would be a nonsense in the MWI.

      >>But *you* will be able to tell, to you, not by looking to
      >>a mirror but by looking through a window.
      >But each separate "me" (so called) says something differnent.
      >They're all equivalently me. It's EVEN TRUE that if you ask
      >Lee Corbin or DD, we'll (in formal conversation) even acknowledge
      >that "we" are in many universes, and that ***this*** one isn't
      >really special at all.

      Perhaps ***this*** one is not really special, but DD will
      aknowledge that decoherence will prevent you knowing what happens
      to all the ***other*** one, and that's enough for not identifying
      ***this*** one with any ***other*** one. You can only have some
      "intellectual" compassion for the other one. But I am sure
      you don't really care about that poor Lee Corbin living in
      Brussels under the name of Bruno Marchal, in some universe!

      >Yes, but DD and I still think that it's a lie to collect
      >on the bet, while claiming that the others don't exist.
      >Of course, we would still collect :-) or pay :-(
      >but we'd deny that there was anything special about it.
      >(True: under torture I would scream "don't to it to me,
      >do it to Lee Corbin in all those other fucking universes!!!)
      >But hey, that's just because I evolved unaware of the truth
      >about the multiverse.

      Do you mean that if you evolved aware of the truth about
      the multiverse you would accept to be tortured just because
      all Lee Corbins from those other universes will not be tortured.
      You remember me someone winning the lottery and still
      unhappy that the probability was so low!

      >> The frontier between first person plural and third
      >> person is perhaps arbitrary. Well, if we are turing
      >> emulable then arithmetic is enough for defining the
      >> relative "inside" first person (plural) point of views
      >> and explaining the stability of some projections the
      >> first person are doing.
      >(You mean "first persons" there, I hope. Sorry to be
      >picky about a grammatical point, but it's relevant.)

      Yes I mean "first personS" indeed. And y're correct it
      is relevant. Sorry.

      >If I'm trying to understand your position, I don't see
      >how the frontier between first person and third person
      >(in your system) is arbitrary.
      >In a sentence or two, explain (if it's possible) how
      >arithmetic (in the formal sense) defines a first person
      >point of view.

      Because arithmetical truth contains, in some sense, the
      set of all computational histories. Then I give an argument
      showing that consciousness (or first person like predicate)
      cannot be attached to any particular computational history,
      but can be linked sets of relative computational
      consistent extensions. Actually I prove the first person
      is NOT definissable in arithmetic, but that relevant
      approximation exists. See the everything list for
      more discussion.

      >I have studied some computation theory,
      >and am very familiar with Turing machines, but I couldn't
      >quite grasp what was going on in your paper. Perhaps you
      >should start a new thread if you have time to explain?

      I will try to find the time. For waiting up, you
      can look at the everything list. For exemple the Universal
      Dovetailer Argument at
      I intend also to make some day precise the point where I
      do disagree with DD's FOR, especially Church thesis and
      the foundation of mathematics. But it is not easy without
      being somehow technical. It could be premature at this
      stage. I prefer to insist on the important points where
      I agree with DD.

      >Did the above help any? In a nutshell, (1) I am the same
      >person that I was yesterday.

      OK. (At least reasonable)

      > (2) I am the same person
      >even if you suddenly replace me by a perfect copy of me
      >but one that lacks a single hair on the back of my head.


      >(3) I am the same person as my exact duplicate in the
      >next room who is identical except for that hair

      From a third person point of view, intellectually and
      objectively you can say that. But you cannot be sure you are
      that person, you have not even a way to be sure it is a
      copy of you. You see one hair is lacking, perhaps the whole
      brain is lacking, or my brain has been put inside your
      copy skull. I told you that if you can give a meaning to
      your being two person at once then I can give a meaning
      to being Lee and Bruno at once. In that case distinction
      will be a matter of degree.

      >(4) I am really the same person as the duplicate in that
      >room even if he's got a couple of extra neurons and
      >is thinking infinitesimally more clearly than I am

      Suppose that after the copy is made you get a rapid brain
      disease so that the person in the other room is thinking
      much more clearly than you, would that other guy have
      more right to pretend to be the "real" Lee Corbin than you.
      Honestly I doubt that.

      >(5) I am the same person as my duplicate in another
      >room who is watching a different movie than I am,
      >because, for one reason, he's still more similar to
      >me than the "me" I will be tomorrow.

      You will be you tomorow but you are not him *today*, here
      and now. Not from a first person point of view.
      Your memory has been disconnected.
      You can say I am the same person as yesterday
      because you have a hippocampus which handle suitably the
      short term and long term memory. The duplication doubles the
      hyppocampus too. You cannot be the other guy, you can only
      accept it in the club of all Lee Corbin. And it is a fuzzy
      I have seen some Lee Corbin in comparison with which I am
      much more a Lee Corbin than you :-)
      Third person identification is always a matter of degree.

      >>BM: There is nothing "spooky" in the first person concept. Suppose you
      >>hang a nail with a friend, and you keep the hammer. And you strike
      >>a finger. The 1-3 distinction is the distinction between striking
      >>your finger and striking your friend's fingers.
      >>You can aknowledge the difference even if that friend is your
      >>double. Isn'it?
      >That's true. I don't deny that the first person concept
      >exists, just that it's useless for communicating anything,
      >and useless to use in any way in our concepts, although, of
      >course, as evolutionarily derived creatures of a certain
      >kind, often we cannot avoid it try as we might.

      So you *do* understand quite well the distinction (but this
      seems to me to contradict some statement you made above (being
      the Lee Corbin watching another movie). Now when you say
      we cannot avoid it as try we might, it seems that me and DD
      will tell you that this a criteria of reality. It is true
      that much of physics has made progress thanks to a
      methodological omission of that 1-3 distinction.
      But to dismiss it in some definitive way is, IMO, a way to
      put data under the rug. It is a way to put the whole mind
      body problem under the rug.

    • Kermit Rose
      ... ?? Here is the reason I think otherwise. If we cannot predict the consequences of our choices, we have no basis for making the choice. ... It does not
      Message 591 of 591 , Mar 11, 2011
        > I am not saying that the concepts are incompatible. What I meant was
        > "You can not have conscious choice in an hypothetical universe where
        > everything is causal/deterministic".

        ?? Here is the reason I think otherwise.

        If we cannot predict the consequences of our choices,
        we have no basis for making the choice.

        > In such universe, it might look like entities are making choices but
        > actually these are not genuine choices as there is no real
        > unpredictability. Everything would be predictable given enough
        > computing power and the knowledge of system dynamic equations/initial
        > conditions.

        It does not matter that making of choices is illusion.
        It is still a choice that we make when we consider making alternative
        actions and weigh the consequences of them.

        Kermit Rose
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