Re: Platonic materialism

Anders Sandberg (
Wed, 12 Feb 1997 12:17:57 +0100 (MET)

On Wed, 12 Feb 1997, Mitchell Porter wrote:

> But how do you escape from the universe where you are now, into another?
> According to the scenario you describe, other universes already exist,
> you don't create them by starting to simulate them. So suppose you're
> Trans-Anders, stuck in a collapsing universe where a Tiplerian Omega Point
> won't happen, and you simulate a few timeslices from a Dyson universe in
> which Trans-Anders gets to expand boundlessly. At the end of the simulation,
> you remain where you were; and your Other Self exists regardless of
> whether you conduct your simulation or not.

A bit like what happens in _Permutation City_, but remember what Durham
did. If I was convinced of the validity of the "Egan gambit" (for example,
by trying out something like Durhams serial experiments during my life as
Trans-Anders) and platonic materialism, I would accept the "No Clone
Theorem" and say that as long as the emulation and I were identical, we
were the *same* (in an ontological sense) being (in addition, I have as
you already know a somewhat fluid view of 'self'), so terminating my
existence as Big Crunch-Anders in favor of an existence as Dyson-Anders
would not be a problem. Essentially this scenario mirrors the various
discussions about uploading and identity, and the answer depends on your
view of the relation between you and your identical copies.

> Of the various schemes for literal immortality that I've heard of,
> I'd rank the Linde scenario as the likeliest sounding, with Dyson
> a close second, Tipler third, and Moravec/Egan fourth.

IMHO we haven't any support yet for the Linde scenario except for the
black hole sensitivity; I would be more convinced about it if we knew baby
or basement universes did exist. Dyson is reasonable and much in
accordance to known physics, but requires a bit of an update to take
reversible computing into account. Tipler seems to be heading more for
metaphysics than physics, but his scenario may still be saved and
extended. Moravec/Egan is as yet untestable (except through the dynamite
headband method), but might become more reasonable once we are uploaded...

Anders Sandberg Towards Ascension!
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y