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entirelyuseless comments on The map of quantum (big world) immortality - Less Wrong

2 Post author: turchin 25 January 2016 10:21AM

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Comment author: entirelyuseless 28 February 2017 03:26:09AM 1 point [-]

I understand what you are saying. But I think you cannot reasonably speak of BBs in that way. I think BB is just a skeptical scenario, that is, a situation where everything we believe is false or might be false. And BB has the same problems that all situations like that have. Consider a different skeptical scenario: a brain in a vat.

Suppose you ask the person who is a brain in a vat, "Are you a brain in a vat?" He will say no, and he will be right. Because when he says "brain" he is referring to things in his simulated world, and when he says "vat," he is referring to things in his simulated world. And he is not a simulated brain in a simulated vat, even though those are the only kind he can talk about.

He is a brain in a vat only from an overarching viewpoint which he does not actually have: if you want to ask him about it, you should say, "Is it possible that you are something like a brain in something like a vat?" And then he will say, "Of course, anything is possible with such vague qualifications. But I am not the kind of brain I know about, in the kind of vat I know about." And he will be right.

The same thing is true about BBs. If you look at BBs in the world you are talking about, moments of them say things like "I will wake up tomorrow." And even though according to our viewpoint they are just moments that will cease to be, they are talking about the continuous series that you called a normal life. So they are right that they will wake up, just like the brain in the vat is right when it says "I am not a brain in a vat." So they say "We are not BBs", and they are right. They are BBs only from an overarching point of view that they do not have.

So what that means for us: we are definitely not BBs. But there could be some overarching metaphysical point of view, which we do not actually have, where we would be something like BBs (like the brain in the vat says it might be something like a brain in a vat.)

Comment author: turchin 01 March 2017 11:01:39AM 0 points [-]

Interesting thoughts, thanks. Surely we are not BBs in our model of the world, but on some meta level we could be them.