Even though I believe in QI, I try not to be too blase with my life due to
the guilt I'd feel for all sorrow I'd cause my friends & family in the
worlds I died in.

I also think the mathematical laws underlying the universes we are in are
also subject to anthropic multiplicity; we don't just filter universes, but
metaphysics too. Ultimately, all possible laws are admissable, and I expect
the really interesting part is how much everything is 'equivalentisable' (to
make a word up). At root, I suspect we have two kinds of metaphysics;
generative (those that create law and structure ab initio), and holistic
(those that describe the shape of the entirity) -- and that they are both
correct and equivalent.

You'd think with a master's in mathematical logic I'd be able to do better
than that, but... :)


On 16/04/2008, nichomachus <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
> On Apr 16, 4:54 am, Bruno Marchal <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
> > Le 16-avr.-08, à 03:24, Russell Standish a écrit :
> > > On Wed, Apr 16, 2008 at 02:22:23AM +0200, Saibal Mitra wrote:
> >
> > >>> First off, how is it that the MWI does not imply
> > >>> quantum immortality?
> >
> > >> MWI is just quantum mechanics without the wavefunction collapse
> > >> postulate.
> > >> This then implies that after a measurement your wavefuntion will be
> > >> in a
> > >> superposition of the states corresponding to definite outcomes. But
> we
> > >> cannot just consider suicide experiments and then say that just
> > >> because
> > >> branches of the wavefuntion exist in which I survive, I'll find
> > >> myself there
> > >> with 100% probability. The fact that probabilities are conserved
> > >> follows
> > >> from unitary time evolution. If a state evolves into a linear
> > >> combination of
> > >> states in which I'm dead and alive then the probabilities of all
> these
> > >> states add up to 1. The probability of finding myself to be alive at
> > >> all
> > >> after the experiment is then less than the probability of me finding
> > >> myself
> > >> about to perform the suicide experiment.
> >
> > >> The probability of me finding myself to be alive after n suicide
> > >> experiments
> > >> decays exponentially with n. Therefore I should not expect to find
> > >> myself
> > >> having survived many suicide experiments. Note that contrary to what
> > >> you
> > >> often read in the popular accounts of the multiverse, the multiverse
> > >> does
> > >> not split when we make observations. The most natural state for the
> > >> entire
> > >> multiverse is just an eigenstate of the Hamiltonian. The energy can
> > >> be taken
> > >> to be zero, therefore the wavefunction of the multiverse satisfies
> the
> > >> equation:
> >
> > > One should also note that this is the ASSA position. The ASSA was
> > > introduced by Jacques Mallah in his argument against quantum
> > > immortality, and a number of participants in this list adhere to the
> > > ASSA position. Its counterpart if the RSSA, which does imply quantum
> > > immortality (provided that the no cul-de-sac conjecture holds), and
> > > other list participants adhere to the RSSA. To date, no argument has
> > > convincingly demonstrated which of the ASSA or RSSA should be
> > > preferred, so it has become somewhat a matter of taste. There is some
> > > discussion of this in my book "Theory of Nothing".
> >
> > Actually, I am not sure the ASSA makes sense once we take into account
> > the distinction between first and third person point of view. Comp
> > immortality is an almost trivial consequence that personal death cannot
> > be a first person experience at all. Quantum immortality is most
> > plausibly equivalent with comp immortality if the "quantum level"
> > describes our correct comp substitution level. But this does not mean
> > that we can know what shape the comp immortality can have, given that
> > comp forbids us to know which machine we are or which computations bear
> > us.
> Why is this the case? Whether Comp is true or not, it would seem that
> the direction of physical research and investigation is in the
> direction of discovering the presumed foundational TOE that accounts
> for everything we observe. Say, for example, that it were possible to
> create in a computer simulation an artificial universe that would
> evolve intelligent life forms by virtue of the "physics" of the
> artificial universe alone. Why, in principle, is it not possible for
> those intelligent beings to discover the fundamental rules that
> underlie their existence? They will not be able to discover any
> details of the architecture of the particular turing machine that is
> simulating their universe (even whether or not they are in fact being
> computed), but I don't see any a priori reason why they would not be
> able to discover their own basic physical laws.
> Max Tegmark has indicated that it may be possible to get some idea of
> which mathematical structure bears our own existence by approaching
> from the opposite direction. Though we may never know which one
> contains ourselves, it may be possible to derive a probability
> distribution describing the likelihood of our location in the
> ensemble.
> To go back to the comments you were making about the Prestige:
> If the subject of a quantum immortality experiment finds himself
> improbably alive, is he in some sense guilty of the murder of the
> other versions of himself? Or not, since those are merely third person
> experiences. What constitutes a first person experience? It seems that
> you are defining it as an uninterrupted consciousness since comp
> implies the  "almost trivial consequence that personal death cannot be
> a first person experience at all." I am confused by exactly what is
> meant by first and third person experiences.
> >

"They couldn't hit an elephant at this dist-"
Last words of Gen. John Sedgwick, spoken as he looked out over the parapet
at enemy lines during the Battle of Spotsylvania in 1864.

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