Name Removed Comics By Nick Wolfe

Perfect Copy (causality)

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2009-04-17: Perfect Copy (causality)


Noel sure throws up a good straw man.

I do have a really elegant proof for the "perfect copy includes past experiences" side of the argument, but this news post is too small to contain it.

This comic is in the following storylines:

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Noel: Ha ha! I made a perfect duplicate of myself!!
Noel: Pretty much!

Rabid: That's impossible! You weren't BOTH at my birthday party, so you're not a perfect copy!!
Noel: Is that true?
Noel: Nah.

Noel: You probably think it doesn't matter if I cloned myself and copied my memories or if I used a more esoteric method.

[[ Diffraction: Twice as likely to only work half-way. ]]
[[ Copy box: Absurd energy requirements. ]]
[[ Cloning: Uses off-the-shelf components! ]]

Noel: And you'd be right! The technical underpinnings are mostly irrelevant!
Rabid: Oh... okay!

Noel: The universe is a giant configuration of particles, and what we think of as time is the sequential ordering of configurations. The evidence we have for something happening in the past is its observable effect in the present.

Noel: Things like your memories, photos from the party, the amount of food eaten, even flakes of skin left lying around! But the best we can do is assign a statistical likelihood to the plausibility of past events based on the evidence at hand... since it's possible, although tremendously unlikely, that in the moment prior to this one, the universe was fully disordered and random.

Noel: Your memory fo the party is encoded in your brain as a particular configuration of particles, and could be encoded several different ways...

Noel: And here is Noel! Herself a unique and highly specific configuration of particles!

Noel: The likelihood of your memory-configuration spontaneously arising without a causal precedent is significantly higher than an entire Noel doing so.

Noel: It's far more likely that you forgot which glass you dropped than a glass managed to put itself back together.

Rabid: ...

Rabid: Hang on, isn't it just as likely that one of YOU is mis-remembering?
Noel: Two against one!!

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