# Re: QS and gambling

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Brent Meeker writes:```
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I believe this assumes that your thinking is not a QM phenomena, i.e. that you have a soul or mind with 'free-will' independent of physics.
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Why do you say that? A similar experiment can be done without the need for any human decisions once it is underway:
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A computer generates random binary digits at one second intervals, so that Pr(1) = Pr(0) = 1/2. (The computer has to use a true random number generator, such as one based on an environmental variable, for this experiment to work.) Your role is to sit in front of the screen watching the digits whilst attached to a device that may deliver instant death with probability 1/x the moment a "0" is generated but does nothing if a "1" is generated. After n seconds the experiment stops and you tally up the 1's and 0's. The idea is that at each step, 1 in x of your copies in parallel branches of the multiverse who get a "0" on their computer screen will be eliminated, thereby leaving a slight excess of copies who get a "1". Given enough trials, statistical analysis of the results should be able to show up this anomaly, and thus provide you with evidence that those parallel worlds do in fact exist. Hopefully, with a large enough x, this result will be obtained with minimum risk that 3rd person observers will have to cope with finding your dead body, which is the main practical disadvantage of the Tegmark quantum suicide experiment.
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I have done some rough calculations to see what sort of values of x and n are needed to attain statistical significance. The experimental results follow a binomial distribution, which for large n can be approximated by a normal distribution with mean = np and standard deviation = (npp')^(1/2), where p = Pr(1) and p' = 1-p = Pr(0). With the suicide device on, p increases from 1/2 to 1/(2-1/x). Aiming for the mean number of 1s with the suicide device on to be 2 standard deviations higher than the mean without the device, assuming x = 1000, n is calculated as 1.6*10^7. This is terrible: you will almost certainly suffer 3rd person death in any given branch if you could sit through that many trials. Setting n = 1000, x is calculated as 8.9, which is also almost certain to result in 3rd person death.
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The above results are a bit disappointing, not really any improvement on the Tegmark experiment as far as saving your from 3rd person death goes. I'll try some other numbers... but I'm getting the feeling that nature means to make us pay before revealing her secrets in this case.
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Stathis Papaioannou

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```Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
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```Russell Standish writes:

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```I think I can rephrase Kim's suggestion as follows. Rewards usually
reflect risks, people performing death-defying acts tend to be paid
handsomely, young males performing risky acts earn the admiration of
females (the James Dean stereotype), suicide bombers getting to spend
time with heavenly virgins and so on. Therefore, given QTI gives us
some guarantee that we won't experience death, then doesn't this
encourage QTI followers to do risky things?

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The trouble with the notion of QTI suggesting we should all do risky things
```is much the same as the argument I give against quantum suicide as a
way of winning the lottery in my book. Most of the avenues of survival
from risky actions are in fact at considerable cost to health, social
standing etc. Only if these costs were outweighed by the benefits
accrued by the risky action is it worth doing. In fact the decision
procedure is not all that different to if QTI were not true - if
anything it make risky actions somewhat less favourable, since QTI
guarantees that you experience negative outcomes from some failed
action rather than having death as a way out.
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