Re: [sl4] Re: Uploads coming first would be good, right?

From: Matt Mahoney (
Date: Mon Mar 02 2009 - 13:28:37 MST

--- On Mon, 3/2/09, Stathis Papaioannou <> wrote:

> Subjectively you have a 1/2 chance of suffering when faced
> non-destructive teleportation with painful killing of the
> original.

No you don't. This question was already asked before in another form. The question (from Eliezer) was, if you flip a quantum coin and are duplicated 10 times if it comes up heads, then what is your subjective expectation of the outcome?

The answer is that probability is a mathematical model of belief, not reality. Your subjective expectation that a radioactive atom will decay within a period of one half life is 1/2. If probability were a property of physics, then it would be the same at the beginning of this period as at the end.

Your "1/2 chance of being tortured to death" is an expectation that you computed, not a real property of anything. If I told you the probability was 0 (or 1), you would compute a different number depending on the extent to which you believed me.

The human brain computes probabilities roughly as follows: if you do an experiment n times and a certain outcome occurs r times, then the probability of that outcome in the future is about r/n. If you teleport 100 times, then your subjective probability of being crushed to death is going to be very small. That number may go up or down depending on what you believe about consciousness, continuity of identity, and magical incantations. But beliefs and probabilities have nothing to do with reality.

All you can say for certain is that you will be copied at a remote location and that the copy at the original location will be crushed to death. There is nothing more you can argue about this.

-- Matt Mahoney,

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