Jason Resch writes:

The Absolute Self-Sampling Assumption (ASSA) holds that some existances
are more probable than others and therefore have a greater "measure".
The consequence being that it is probable our perspectives and the
universe around us are common, likely, and exist with a high level of
duplication.  I believe that ASSA might explain why we observe quantum
mechanics (assuming many-worlds), a universe which splits at an
exponential rate will have a measure that increases exponetially, as
will the observers that inhabit it.

However, if universes split in only one direction of time we should
expect to find ourselves in the last moments of the universe.  For
example, if the universe state branched into two copies each second,
the last two seconds of that universe will have twice the measure of
all prior branched states.  By many-worlds therefore, it should be very
surprising that we find ourselves in an apparently early phase of the
universe's life.  The only reconciliation I have come up with is that
the branching histories not only occur in one direction of time but
occur in both directions.  I am hoping others on this list could help
resolve this apparent conflict.

Even in a single world cosmology a similar problem occurs. An extremely small proportion of the world's population subscribe to this mailing list, so with overwhwelming probability I should find myself among the non-subscribers... but obviously, that isn't the case.

Consider your lot in life as a kind of lucky dip. If you are not yet born, or if you are in a godlike position outside the multiverse, then the ASSA applies: you are much more likely to end up a bacterium at the end of time than a human in the 21st century, because there are a lot more of the former in the barrel than of the latter. But here you are, through incredible luck, not only a human but a subscriber to the everything list. This makes the lucky dip barrel a lot smaller, because the only histories in the multiverse open to you are those consistent with your present mental state. That is, once you are a conscious entity, you will follow a constrained branching path through the multiverse giving the illusion of a single linear history. Measure is redefined at every branching point: the subjective probability of your next moment. Since the branches of the multiverse will never come to an abrupt stop, there will always be a "next moment" and your stream of consciousness will never end. This the quantum immortality idea, underpinned by what this list has called the relative self-sampling assumption (RSSA).

Stathis Papaioannou
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