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Baughn comments on Timeless Identity - Less Wrong

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

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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