I am not convinced that the MWI implies that quantum suicide should work. A
hidden assumption proponents of quantum suicide make is that once you are in
a certain branch all the other possible branches are off limits to you. You
will forever move on in that branch. I reject this. I could also survive
(with memory loss) in another branch in which I never performed the
experiment in the first place. Normally this assumption doesn't affect
probabilities, except in cases were the observer doesn't survive. I would
say that, in principle, a theory of everything would allow you to compute
the probability of experiencing a ''personal history'' x, by integrating
over all possible histories X of the multiverse that are consistent with x.
Within this framework there is no room for quantum suicide to work.


Tim May wrote:

> RSA Broken By The Russians?
> Kolmogorov Cryptography System Possibly Cracked
> 1 Apr 1994
>     MOSCOW (AP) -- At a press conference held minutes ago in a crowded
> hall,
>     Russian mathematicians announced that a breakthrough had been made
>     nearly a decade ago in the arcane branch of mathematics known as
>     "cryptography," the science of making messages that are unreadable to
>     others.
>     Leonid Vladwylski, Director of the prestigious Moscow Academy of
>     Sciences, called the press conference yesterday, after rumors began
>     circulating that noted Russian-American reporter John Markoff was in
>     Russia to interview academicians at the previously secret city of
>     Soviet cryptographers, Kryptogorodok.  The existence of
> Kryptogorodok,
>     sister city to Akademogorodok, Magnetogorsk, and to the rocket cities
>     of Kazhakstan, had been shrouded in secrecy since its establishment
> in
>     1954 by Chief of Secret Police L. Beria.  Its first scientific
>     director, A. Kolmogorov, developed in 1960 what is called in the West
>     "public key cryptography."  The existence of Kryptogorodok was
> unknown
>     to the West until 1991, when Stephen Wolfram disclosed its existence.
>     American cryptographers initially scoffed at the rumors that the
>     Russians had developed public-key cryptography as early as 1960, some
>     15 years prior to the first American discovery.  After interviews
> last
>     year at Kryptogorodok, noted American cryptographers Professor D.
>     Denning and D. Bowdark admitted that it did seem to be confirmed.
>     Professor Denning was quoted at the time saying that she did not
> think
>     this meant the Russians could actually break the Kolmogorov system,
>     known in the West as RSA, because she had spent more than a full
> weekend
>     trying to do this and had not succeeded.  "Believe me, RSA is still
>     unbreakable," she said in her evaluation report.
>     Russia's top mathematicians set out to break Kolmogorov's new coding
>     system.  This required them to determine that "P = NP" (see
> accompanying
>     article).  Details are to be published next month in the journal
>     "Doklady.Krypto," but a few details are emerging.
>     The Kolmogorov system is broken by computing the prime numbers which
>     form what is called the modulus.  This is done by randomly guessing
> the
>     constituent primes and then detonating all of the stockpiled nuclear
>     weapons in the former Soviet Union for each "wrong guess."  In the
> Many
>     Worlds Interpretation of quantum mechanics, invented in 1949 by Lev
>     Landau (and later, independently by Everett and Wheeler in the U.S.),
>     all possible outcomes of a quantum experiment are realized.
>     As Academician Leonid Vladwylski explained, "In all the universes in
>     which we guessed the wrong factors, we were destroyed completely.
> But
>     since we are obviously here, talking to you at this press
> conference, in
>     this universe we have an unbroken record of successfully factoring
> even
>     the largest of imaginable numbers.  Since we are so optimistic about
>     this method, we say the computation runs in 'Nondeterministic
> Pollyanna
>     Time.'  Allow me to demonstrate..."
>     [Press Conference will be continued if the experiment is a success.]
>     MOSCOW (AP), ITAR-Tass, 1 April 1994
> Appendix
> --------
> First, it was Stephen Wolfram's actual suggestion, a couple of years ago
> after the USSR imploded, that we try to recruit mathematicians and
> programmers from what he surmised must exist: a secret city of Soviet
> cryptographers.  It probably exists.  We did it at Los Alamos, they did
> it
> with their rocket scientists and others (Akademogorodok exists), so why
> not
> put their version of NSA a bit off the beaten track?  Note that our own
> is within a stone's throw of the Baltimore-Washington Parkway.  I
> wouldn't
> be surprised to learn that their experts were ensconced somewhere in the
> Urals.
> I tried to acknowledge Steve with my comments.  By the way, so far as I
> know, no word has come out on whether he was right in this speculation.
> (Maybe some of the Russians he does in fact have working at Wolfram are
> these folks?  Naw...)
> Second, Kolmogorov did basic work on information theory, probability,
> and
> statistics.  One has to assume he had ties to the Soviet cryptography
> effort (about which little has been written about, so far).  If anyone
> in
> Russia could have seen public key methods coming, he is a candidate.  No
> evidence that he or any other Russian did, though.
> Third, my references to Denning and Sternlight were perhaps not
> riotously
> funny (though I didn't aim for a riotously funny tone).  Especially in
> light of David Sternlight's excellent follow-up here... never let it be
> said that David lacks a sense of humor.  The Denning reference was to
> her
> own comments about spending a weekend or so trying (and failing, not
> surprisingly) to crack the Skipjack algorithm.  (Real ciphers often take
> years to break, as with the knapsack algorithm, recent crunching of DES,
> etc.).
> Fourth, the "Many Worlds" interpretation of quantum mechanics does
> exist,
> and leads to approaches such as I described.  It's also a hypothetical
> way
> to ensure one's wealth: simply bet everything you own at 1000-to-1 odds
> and
> then commit suicide in all universes in which you lose.  Not very
> convincing, I agree.  Hans Moravec writes about this in his "Mind
> Children," 1987.
> Finally, I used the headers and format of a real article in the ClariNet
> system, then made modifications.  Given that the Supreme Court has
> recently
> ruled in favor of "fair use" for satire, I hope my version of "2 Live
> Crew
> meets RSA" does not get my sued.  (I could just kill myself in all
> realities in which Brad sues me.)

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