I thought the following analogy might clarify the point I was trying to make in recent posts to the "Many Pasts? Not according to QM" thread, addressing one objection to QTI.

You are a player in the computer game called the Files of Life. In this game the computer generates consecutively numbered folders which each contain multiple text files, representing the multiple potential histories of the player at that time point. Each folder F_i contains N_i files. The first folder, F_0, contains N_0 files each describing possible events soon after your birth. You choose one of the files in this folder at random, and from this the computer generates the next folder, F_1, and places in it N files representing N possible continuations of the story. If you die going from F_0 to F_1, that file in F_1 corresponding to this event is blank, and blank files are deleted; so for the first folder N_0=N, but for the next one N_1<=N, allowing for deaths. The game then continues: you choose a file at random from F_1, from this file the computer generates the next folder F_2 containing N_2 files, then you choose a file at random from F_2, and so on.


It should be obvious that if the game is realistic, N_i should decrease with increasing i, due to death from accidents (fairly constant) + death from age related disease. The earlier folders will therefore on average contain many more files than the later folders. Now, it is argued that QTI is impossible because a randomly sampled observer moment from your life is very unlikely to be from a version of you who is 1000 years old, which has very low measure compared with a younger version. The equivalent argument for the Files of Life would be that since the earlier files are much more numerous than the later files, a randomly sampled file from your life (as created by playing the game) is very unlikely to represent a 1000 year old version of you, as compared with a younger version. This reasoning would be sound if the "random sampling" were done by mixing up all the files, or all the OM's, and pulling one out at random. But this is not how the game works and it is not how real life works. From the first person viewpoint, it doesn't matter how many files are in the folder because you only choose one at each step, spend the same time at each step, and are no more likely to find yourself at one step rather than another. As long as there is at least *one* file in the next folder, it is guaranteed that you will continue living. Similarly, as long as there is at least *one* OM in your future which represents a continuation from your present OM, you will continue living.

--Stathis Papaioannou

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