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

From: Stathis Papaioannou (
Date: Tue Mar 03 2009 - 04:22:05 MST

2009/3/3 Matt Mahoney <>:
> --- 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?

This is like:

> 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.

Your objection that it isn't really what's going on and we should just
state the facts of the matter is like arguing that I shouldn't care
what happens to me tomorrow because that will just be some guy who
shares my memories and thinks he's me. Literally, this is true: there
is no objective sense in which I can claim to be the "same person" as
my tomorrow self, it's just that evolution has programmed me to think
that way. Nevertheless, the programming is important to me, and I
neither wish to overcome it nor am I able to overcome it, despite
being aware of it. So when I encounter these duplication thought
experiments my question is, How will this situation best fit in with
my (delusional, atavistic, insurmountable) belief that I am one and
only one person travelling through time in the forward direction?

Stathis Papaioannou

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Wed Jul 17 2013 - 04:01:04 MDT