# Re: Is a Person One or Many?

From: John K Clark (johnkclark@fastmail.fm)
Date: Tue Mar 11 2008 - 09:39:27 MDT

On Tue, 11 Mar 2008 21:14:49 +1100, "Stathis Papaioannou"
<stathisp@gmail.com> said:

> I don't see how you arrive at the 50% figure. Imagine
> that there are 101 identical copies of you carrying
> an apparently identical envelope. Inside one envelope
> is a note saying "torture" while inside the other
> 100 envelopes is a note saying "no torture". Each
> of the copies knows this information and has to
> guess what the note in his envelope says.
> Assuming getting it right is important, isn't it
> best to guess that it says "no torture"?

No, there is still a 50% chance I will be tortured. There are a 101
identical copies of me running and they are all me, eventually the
copies open their envelopes and one of them sees something the other 100
do not, it says torture. He is still me but now he’s different from the
other 100, he has diverged. So now there are 2 of me, the tortured copy
and the other identical 100.

> If the absolute number of all copies of me
> in the multiverse increased a millionfold
> it would make no difference to me.

Yes.

> But if the number of copies of me holding
> a winning lottery ticket increased a millionfold
> *relative* to all the other copies, that would
> make a difference.

No. If 6.02 *10^23 identical copies of you had a winning lottery ticket
and one did not then there is a 50% chance you have won.

John K Clark

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