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Viliam_Bur comments on Timeless Identity - Less Wrong

23 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 03 June 2008 08:16AM

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Comment author: Viliam_Bur 25 October 2012 07:33:25AM *  0 points [-]

So, let's suppose there is a universe A which exists only once, and a universe B which exactly repeats forever. Those universes are different, but a situation of "me, now" can happen in both of them. (Both universes happen to contain the same configuration of particles in a limited space at some time.) Then, I should expect to be in the universe B, because that is infinitely more probable.

Unfortunately, I don't know whether I just wrote a nonsensical sequence of words, or whether there is some real meaning in them.

Comment author: Baughn 26 October 2012 11:34:17PM *  0 points [-]

No, it sounds pretty meaningful to me.

I'm modeling this as if we have an (unbounded) computer executing all possible programs, some of which involve intelligences.. usually embedded in a universe. The usual dovetailer model, that is.

In the case you described, there would be two programs involved. One computes my life once, and then halts. The second runs the same program as the first, but in an infinite loop. And yes, in this case I would expect to find myself in program B in most samples. (Although, as I wrote that, there's no way to tell the difference.. make the obvious correction to fix that.)

I described it as all possible programs, though, which would certainly include things such as boltzmann brains. The reason I don't see that as a problem is.. the computational density of (my?) mind, strictly speaking, is what matters; not just the total number of instantiations, which over an infinite runtime is a nonsensical thing to ask about. Certainly there would be an infinite number of boltzmann brains, but they're rare; much rarer than, say, a cyclic universe.

Well. That said, the apparent scarcity of life in this universe, as opposed to computation-hungry but boring things like stars, seems to be a decent counterargument. I'm not sure how it'd work out, really. :O