On 1/28/07, Brent Meeker <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
> I don't think this is the way to look at it.  It's true that QM predicts
> an uncountably infinite number of branchings, even for an universe
> containing only a single unstable particle.  But these branchings don't
> produce different copies of Stathis.  As a big macroscopic object he is
> described by a reduced density matrix that has only extremely tiny
> off-diagonal terms. So he is a stable entity against these microscopic
> quantum events unless they are amplified so as to change his macroscopic
> state - as for example if he heard a geiger counter click.  The microscopic
> events just add a little fuzz to his reduced density matrix - and the same
> for all of the classical world.

Although microscopic quantum events don't immediatly produce macroscopic
changes, I think the butterfly effect implies that given sufficient
time, they certainly do.  Consider how brownian motion could effect
which sperm results in a pregnancy.  Considering this, I
think that
if you looked at two histories that branched a century ago, you would
find two Earths inhabited by entirely different sets of individuals.
 Even if Stathis's brain itself were
never effected directly by quantum events, the fact that he ends up in
branchings that produce different sensory input will no doubt produce
new distnguishable observer moments.

You might be interested in Greg Egan's excellent SF story "Singleton" which
> is available online:
> ttp://gregegan.customer.netspace.net.au/MISC/SINGLETON/Singleton.html
> Egan says "People who professed belief in the MWI never seemed to want to
> take it seriously, let alone personally."  So he wrote a story in which it
> is taken personally.

Thanks, that was an interesting read.  I find it surprising how many people
find MWI so disturbing, perhaps it is the pessimists always assuming the
worst is happening.  Instead of focusing on the good or bad, I look at the
variety it produces.  Many worlds leaves no rock unturned and no path
untread, it realizes every possibility and to me this is an amazing and
beautiful result.


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