# Re: Is a Person One or Many?

From: Vladimir Nesov (robotact@gmail.com)
Date: Mon Mar 17 2008 - 07:29:37 MDT

On Mon, Mar 17, 2008 at 1:21 AM, Jeff L Jones <jeff@spoonless.net> wrote:
>
> So you agree with me in the case of conditionally destroying copies,
> but not in the case of conditionally creating copies? I don't
> understand how you could come to two different conclusions there.
> It's the same thing going on. The question is about what you will
> see, not about "what will happen". More specifically, I think the
> question is about what the best thing for you to anticipate seeing is.
>

I'll try to restate the problem to eliminate explicit mention of
observers from it, until after the solution is found. I assume your
main issue with it will revolve around what "anticipate" actually
means. If you still have problem with it, please explain what
anticipation is, why is it different from probability and what it is
for.

Say, there is a box with a sphere in it. We now will do one of two
possible things, with 50% chance of doing either:
- in first case, we toss a red cube in it;
- in second case, we toss in it a green cube and 99 spheres identical
to the one that is already in the box.

What is the probability of finding a green cube in a box, if I tell
you that in this particular outcome there is also at least one sphere
in it? The same as just finding a green cube, 50%. And I know that
there is at least one sphere in the box, thank you very much, there is
at least one in each case.

Now, in the second experiment, we start with the same original
setting, one sphere in the box, and with 50-50 chance we now do one of
two following things:
- in first case, we toss a red cube in it;
- in second case, we toss in it a green cube, and additionally with
90% probability we remove a sphere from the box.

What is the probability of finding a green cube in a box, if I tell
you that in this particular outcome there is also at least one sphere
in it? Now this information about the presence of sphere is useful,
because in some outcomes in second cases there isn't one, it gets
removed.
Probability of finding a green cube is 50%, and of these 50% only in
0.5*0.1=0.05 of cases have a sphere, of total 0.5+0.05 of cases having
a sphere, so probability of finding a green cube is 1/11.

And, by the way, you are a remotely controlled robot whose mind is
implemented by a computer running inside one of those spheres, I won't
tell you which one. Lucky you there was at least one sphere after the
experiment.

```--
Vladimir Nesov
robotact@gmail.com
```

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