I'm perhaps missing something here. In a no-collapse interpretation of QM, doesn't "everything double" every moment? So, if only one of the doubled versions of a person is annihilated, doesn't this mean the probability of survival is 1?


Although the plenitude is timeless, containing all possible states, we self-aware substructures certainly experience the illusion (if you prefer, the emergent phenomenon) of time. When I consider which parts of the plenitude are of selfish interest to me, I need only consider those parts which I perceive to be in my unique present or in my pluripotent future. More narrowly, I need only consider those parts which I perceive to be in my immediate future - my next conscious moment - since it is only through this process, a moment at a time, that potential future experiences become actual present experiences, rather than irrelevant side-branches, such as the version of me who migrated to New Zealand when I was 5 years old. What this means is that when I consider the subjective probability of what will happen to me in the next moment, I don't have to think about those versions of me which are in the past, in the far future, have turned into George Bush or are dead. I could put this differently: as a matter of fact, it is not incorrect to say that I will suddenly become 5 years old again, or turn into Geoge Bush, since all these states exist timelessly in the plenitude and there is no absolute sense in which it can be said that one state "becomes" another state. However, from my selfish point of view, when I consider the next moment, all those other states are irrelevant. The only relevant states are those which count as my "next moment", as normally understood by humans. Where there are multiple candidate "next moments", the probability that I will experience one of them depends on the relative measure of each in the plenitude. If there is no candidate "next moments" at all, then I will die.

Stathis Papaioannou



Saibal Mitra writes:

I still think that if you double everything and then annihilate only the
doubled person, the probability will be 1. This is simply a consequence of
using the absolute measure. The idea is that the future is ''already out
there''. So, the correct picture is not that suddenly the plenitude is made
larger because a copy of the person plus (part of) his universe is appended
to the plenitude. The plenitude itself is a timeless entity, containing all
possible states. If someone wants to carry out a duplication experiment then
the results of that are ''already'' present in the plenitude.

When death can be ignored then the apparent time evolution can be described
by a relative measure which is given as the ratio of absolute measures taken
before and after an experiment (as pointed out by George Levy in a previous
reply). Note that the locality of the laws of physics imply that you can
never directly experience the past. So, if you measure the z-component of a
spin polarized in the x-direction, you will find yourself in a state where
you have measured, say, spin up, while you have a memory of how you
prepaired the spin of the particle, some time before you made the
measurement. One thus has to distinguish between the three states:

S1: the experimenter prepaires the spin of the particle

S2: the experimenter finds spin up while having the memory of being in S1

S3: the experimenter finds spin down while having the memory of being in S1

These three states are ''timeless'' elements of the plenitude. They have
their own intrinsic measures. I challenge people on this list to explain why
this is not the case. If you have a plenitude you have everything. So, S1,
S2 and S3 are just ''out there''. The measure of S2 and S3 are half that of S1. The probability of being in either S2 or S3 is thus the same as being in
S1. But if measuring spin down leads to instant death, then the probability
of being alive after the experiment is half that of being alive before the
experiment.

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