Posted: Mar 13, 2011 2:28 pm
by Paul Almond
John P. M. wrote:-Since I'm a huge success in other dimensions, I guess I can afford to be a slacker in this one. *aaaaahh.... puts feet on table*

Unfortunately, there is an idea known as evidential decision theory that could cause problems for you.
When you make a choice, that "choice" is really determined by your brain - but the other versions of you will tend to have similar brains. They should be expected, all else being equal, to make the sorts of choices that you make.
If you are the sort of person who thinks it is a good idea to take it easy and let people very similar to him do all the work of being successful, it follows that it is likely that the other versions of you will think likewise: in other words, this very attitude probably means that you are not successful in other dimensions.
I know it may seem strange, because this suggests that you get to "choose" on behalf of all of you: of course all the others will have the same feeling.
There is one scenario for evidential decision theory that I like to give and it is this:
Suppose some scanner/cloning device is used to make an identical copy of you - right down to brain details. The original and the clone will both wake up in separate white rooms - and after this point they can diverge. One minute after you have been woken, someone offers you some money to kill the other version of you - and the other version of you is being told exactly the same thing. Ignoring ethics, should you take the money? There is a problem here - if you decide to take the money, the other version of you was indentical one minute ago, and has only had one minute to diverge - this suggests that it will be quite likely that it will think the same way. Conversely, rejecting the offer would seem to make it more likely that the other version of you does likewise. Strangely, there is no causal link between the two of you, but the statistical link should be apparent still.

If that sounds unconvincing, imagine an absolutely identical copy of you - then an almost identical copy.

So don't slack off. You are letting all of you down.

Isn't it strange how these threads about silly things always seem to get into deeper things?