It's James. And that's a difficult one: can our present have many pasts? My
feeling is yes, but QM seems to say no, as I understand it. However the
solution may be in realising that there is not neceserily ONE present: there
may be many identical presents, each with slightly different pasts, but
indistinguishable and hence the same ONE.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Christopher Maloney [SMTP:[EMAIL PROTECTED]]
> Sent: Thursday, June 10, 1999 10:52 PM
> To:   Higgo James
> Subject:      Worlds do fuse
> Thank you, James (or is it Higgo?) for this quote -- I 
> enjoyed it and agree with it almost completely.  I want
> to address the second to last sentence in it, though, and 
> I've changed the subject in order to start a new thread,
> perhaps this will be interesting.  Again, if you've 
> already discussed this, I apologize.  I still haven't 
> finished all of the archives.
> Higgo James wrote:
> > 
> > There is a very nice, and relevant, quote in Euan
> > Squires's 1986 'The mystery of the quantum world':
> > 
> > [snip]
> >
> > The many-worlds
> > interpretation gives an obvious explanation of this
> > psychological effect: my conscious mind has a
> > unique past, but many different futures.
> > Each time I
> > make an observtion my cnsciousness will split into
> > as many branches as there are possible results of
> > the observation."
> I don't think it can be true that my conscious mind has a 
> unique past.  I think the measure of the universes in the
> future which are compatible with my present self must be
> greater than the measure of those in the past, but it
> seems to me that, looking towards the past, there are
> still an infinite number of universes compatible with
> my present self.
> For example, imagine two universes which only differ in
> one miniscule detail in 1863 - like whether there was a
> fleck of dust on some confederate soldier's boot.  Both
> of those universes could easily evolve into the present
> universe.  That is, the present universe lies within the
> set of branching future possible universes of both of 
> those past universes.  So how could it be that you could
> say that the universes don't fuse?  I've only read this
> in one place -- the MWI FAQ, where Michael Clive Price 
> indicates that worlds *do not* fuse.  But I think I've
> read statements similar to the one in the quote above in
> other places, where the assumption is tacit that we have
> a unique past.
> If you follow the idea of the fleck of dust further, and
> think about a single electron at some point in the 
> distant past, it seems clear that this is right.  QM says
> that we *cannot* say exactly where it was (I mean, we 
> can't even say exactly where it is right now, even).
> Also that we can't even say with certainty that some 
> electron at a given position then is the same electron at 
> some other position now.
> -- 
> Chris Maloney
> "Knowledge is good"
> -- Emil Faber

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