In the original verision of Quantum Suicide (QS), as understood in this list, the experimenter sets up a suicide machine that kills him if the world does not conform to his wishes. Hence, in the branching many-worlds, his consciousness is erased in those worlds, and remains intact in the worlds that do satisfy him.

Is it possible to perform such a feat without suicide? What is the minimum "attrition" that is required and still get the effect of suicide?

Here is a thought experiment that illustrates that this may be possible. There is a cost - it is not death - just a tiny weeny lobotomy. :-)

All the experimenter has to do is set up his machine to erase the portion of his memory that stores the information dealing with the machine erasing from his mind the information about the machine erasing from his mind the information about the machine erasing from his mind the portion of his memory dealing with the experiment, (phew! I thought I was going into infinite regress!) and then have the machine erase (or destroy) itself without a trace (this is important to maintain consistency).

The outcome of the experiment in the many-world branches is as follows:

1) in some branches the experimenter's wishes are satisfied and he remembers the experiment. His world is consistent.

2) in the other branches the experimenter's wishes are not satisfied, and he does not recall performing the experiment. Whether he as done the experiment or not is not subjectively material to him. His world is consistent.

What can we deduce from this? I don't really know for sure but I 'd like to discuss it.

1) The erasing of the memory of the quantum suicide machine seems to be the "minimum" required in terms of information deletion. Why? What does the memory of the quantum suicide machine have to do with consciousness? Is the infinite regress relevent? - this infinite regress describing this machine erasing from his mind the information about the machine erasing from his mind the information about the machine erasing from his mind the information about the machine erasing from his mind the information about the machine... ?

2) The "other" worlds in which the experimenter's wishes are not satisfied are of two kinds.
A) those worlds where he did not perform the experiment, and of course have no memory of performing the experiment
B) those worlds where he did perform the experiment but does not remember performing the experiment because of the lobotomy.
In my opinion those worlds are equivalent because I believe in a subjective reality. But of course, many of you will disagree.

3) The lobotomy was a way to shift the experimenter subjective "frame of reference." How does the knowledge of the machine affect the frame of reference? What is the essence of the frame of reference?

George Levy








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