Re: Quantum Immortality = no second law

2008-04-25 Thread Günther Greindl


 The focus of my paper is on theories in principle fully describing universes
 (or u-reality). The term 'logically possible' is intended to contrast with
 'physically possible' and refers to descriptions (theories) being internally
 non-contradictory (more in note 4 in my paper). 

OK

Classical logic is usually
 intended in these kinds of cases, and I can't actually see from what I know
 of other logics how they might relevantly extend the range of possible
 inhabitable universes beyond those describable by formal systems operating
 according to classical logic. (There is also the issue of their additional

Brent already mentioned paraconsistent logics, here a nice link:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impossible_world

(the article links to an article by Zalta, the one who is responsible 
for this

http://plato.stanford.edu/

wonderful resource.

Cheers,
Günther

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Re: Quantum Immortality = no second law

2008-04-22 Thread nichomachus



On Apr 19, 3:46 pm, Günther Greindl [EMAIL PROTECTED]
wrote:
 Dear Nichomachus,

  decision. If she measures the particle's spin as positive, she will
  elect to switch cases, and if she measures it with a negative spin she
  will keep the one she has. This is because she wants to be sure that,
  having gotten to this point in the game, there will be at least some
  branches of her existence where she experiences winning the grand
  prize. She is not convinced that, were she to decide what to do using
  only the processes available to her mind, she would guarantee that
  same result since it is just possible that all of the mutiple versions
  of herself confronted with the dilemma may make the same bad guess.

 I have also thought along these lines some time ago (to use a qubit to
 ensure that all outcomes are chosen, because one should not rely on
 one's mind decohering into all possible decisions).

 The essential question is this: what worlds exist? All possible worlds.
 But which worlds are possible? We have, on the one hand, physical
 possibility (this also includes other physical constants etc, but no
 totally unphysical scenarios).

 I have long adhered to this everything physically possible, but this
 does break down under closer scrutiny: first of all, physical relations
 are, when things come down to it, mathematical relations.

 So we could conclude with Max Tegmark: all possible mathematical
 structures exist; this is ill defined (but then, why should the
 Everything be well defined?)

 Alastair argues in his paper that everything logically possible exists
 (with his non arbitrariness principle) but, while initially appealing,
 it leads to the question: what is logically possible? In what logic?
 Classical/Intuitionist/Deviant logics etc etc...then we are back at
 Max's all possible structures.

 For all this, I am beginning very much to appreciate Bruno's position
 with the Sigma_1 sentences; but I still have to do more reading and
 catch up on some logic/recursion theory for a final verdict ;-))

 One objection comes to mind immediately (already written above): why
 should the Everything be well defined?

 To go back to your original question: to consider if both variants are
 chosen by the player of the game by herself (without qubit) seems to
 depend on which kind of Everything you choose. And that, I think, is the
 crux of the matter.

 Cheers,
 Günther

Thank you for your illuminating comments, Günther. And though
Tegmark's ensemble may be less than well-defined right now, there are
other ensembles that are. My understanding of the Universal Dovetailer
is that it will generate the output of every possible computer
program, which, assuming that our universe is computable, implies that
it contains ours and every other possible version of our universe. And
unless there are any mathematical entities or structures in Max
Tegmark's ensemble that are not computable, then Tegmark's enseble
should be a subset of Schmidhuber's. On this note I can't do any
better than Russell's discussion in section 3.2 of Theory of Nothing,
which says that Schmidhuber's plentitude should properly be considered
a subset of Tegmark's ensemble. Are there any Mathematical
Structures that are not computable? Surely any finite axiom system,
if consistent, would have a finite number of non-trivial theorems. It
is said that a program could be written to generate all theorems of
any consistent axiom system, so that would seem to imply
computability. (Although Goedel's theorem indicates that any system of
sufficient complexity cannot be both consistent and complete, so it
follows that consistent axiom systems of sufficient complexity will
allow for the existence of undecidable propositions. But what bearing
this has on the present discussion about the computability of these
systems is sort of unclear to me.) What would constitute an
uncomputable mathematical structure? I don't know, but I admit that my
ignorance on the subject doesn't demonstrate their non-existence.

And yes, Günther, I agree with your wholeheartedly that physical
relations are mathematical relations at their core. However, simply
because a mathematical expression may model a given physical process
or relationship leaves us in the dark as to the reason why this
equation models this particular phenomenon. Feynman gives as example
in his book The Charater of Physical Law of an equation used in
electrolysis that relates the current, the time exposed, and the
concentration of the solution to the amount of a metal that is
deposited. But the relationship so expressed is clearly seen to be a
result of physical processes and not to be a consequence of more
general principles. Saying that X is physically possible must be
equivalent to saying that X necessarily stands in an allowable
relationship to the fundamental physical process of the world.

For example: imagine a simplified physics, say like a cellular
automaton, that is able to support living things, yet 

Re: Quantum Immortality = no second law

2008-04-21 Thread Alastair Malcolm


- Original Message - 
From: Brent Meeker [EMAIL PROTECTED]
To: [EMAIL PROTECTED]
Sent: Monday, April 21, 2008 3:53 AM
Subject: Re: Quantum Immortality = no second law

Alastair Malcolm wrote:

 - Original Message - 
 From: Günther Greindl [EMAIL PROTECTED]
.
.
.
 Alastair argues in his paper that everything logically possible exists
 (with his non arbitrariness principle) but, while initially appealing,
 it leads to the question: what is logically possible? In what logic?
 Classical/Intuitionist/Deviant logics etc etc...then we are back at
 Max's all possible structures.


 The focus of my paper is on theories in principle fully describing
 universes
 (or u-reality). The term 'logically possible' is intended to contrast
 with
 'physically possible' and refers to descriptions (theories) being
 internally
 non-contradictory (more in note 4 in my paper). Classical logic is
 usually
 intended in these kinds of cases, and I can't actually see from what I
 know
 of other logics how they might relevantly extend the range of possible
 inhabitable universes beyond those describable by formal systems
 operating
 according to classical logic.

Have you considered para-consistent logics, c.f. Graham Priest In
Contradiction.

In terms of theories accurately representing worlds, I have more or less
discounted 'A AND NOT-A' approaches (this is not the same as superposition,
which should be able to be modelled within the local physics) - I have
assumed that a fundamental fact about a world cannot be both true and not
true. (For any other possible modes of application of paraconsistent logics
hopefully my comments at the start of section 4 of my paper apply.)

Alastair

Paper at: http://www.physica.freeserve.co.uk/pa01.htm

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Re: Quantum Immortality = no second law

2008-04-20 Thread Alastair Malcolm


- Original Message - 
From: Günther Greindl [EMAIL PROTECTED]
To: [EMAIL PROTECTED]
Sent: Saturday, April 19, 2008 9:46 PM
Subject: Re: Quantum Immortality = no second law

 Dear Nichomachus,

 decision. If she measures the particle's spin as positive, she will
 elect to switch cases, and if she measures it with a negative spin she
 will keep the one she has. This is because she wants to be sure that,
 having gotten to this point in the game, there will be at least some
 branches of her existence where she experiences winning the grand
 prize. She is not convinced that, were she to decide what to do using
 only the processes available to her mind, she would guarantee that
 same result since it is just possible that all of the mutiple versions
 of herself confronted with the dilemma may make the same bad guess.


 I have also thought along these lines some time ago (to use a qubit to
 ensure that all outcomes are chosen, because one should not rely on
 one's mind decohering into all possible decisions).

 The essential question is this: what worlds exist? All possible worlds.
 But which worlds are possible? We have, on the one hand, physical
 possibility (this also includes other physical constants etc, but no
 totally unphysical scenarios).

 I have long adhered to this everything physically possible, but this
 does break down under closer scrutiny: first of all, physical relations
 are, when things come down to it, mathematical relations.

 So we could conclude with Max Tegmark: all possible mathematical
 structures exist; this is ill defined (but then, why should the
 Everything be well defined?)

 Alastair argues in his paper that everything logically possible exists
 (with his non arbitrariness principle) but, while initially appealing,
 it leads to the question: what is logically possible? In what logic?
 Classical/Intuitionist/Deviant logics etc etc...then we are back at
 Max's all possible structures.


The focus of my paper is on theories in principle fully describing universes
(or u-reality). The term 'logically possible' is intended to contrast with
'physically possible' and refers to descriptions (theories) being internally
non-contradictory (more in note 4 in my paper). Classical logic is usually
intended in these kinds of cases, and I can't actually see from what I know
of other logics how they might relevantly extend the range of possible
inhabitable universes beyond those describable by formal systems operating
according to classical logic. (There is also the issue of their additional
complexity, if some are somehow incorporatable.) I do mention in general
terms possible alternatives to standard formal systems at the start of
section 4. For my purposes all I need is a plausible way around the White
Rabbit problem. In my view its deep philosophical basis and potential
explanation of our relative simplicity and lawfulness are points in favour
of the 'All Possible States' hypothesis, and the idea of not being able to
fully characterize it is pretty much to be expected given its universal
scope.

Alastair

Paper at: http://www.physica.freeserve.co.uk/pa01.htm

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Re: Quantum Immortality = no second law

2008-04-20 Thread Brent Meeker

Alastair Malcolm wrote:
 
 - Original Message - 
 From: Günther Greindl [EMAIL PROTECTED]
 To: [EMAIL PROTECTED]
 Sent: Saturday, April 19, 2008 9:46 PM
 Subject: Re: Quantum Immortality = no second law
 
 Dear Nichomachus,

 decision. If she measures the particle's spin as positive, she will
 elect to switch cases, and if she measures it with a negative spin she
 will keep the one she has. This is because she wants to be sure that,
 having gotten to this point in the game, there will be at least some
 branches of her existence where she experiences winning the grand
 prize. She is not convinced that, were she to decide what to do using
 only the processes available to her mind, she would guarantee that
 same result since it is just possible that all of the mutiple versions
 of herself confronted with the dilemma may make the same bad guess.

 I have also thought along these lines some time ago (to use a qubit to
 ensure that all outcomes are chosen, because one should not rely on
 one's mind decohering into all possible decisions).

 The essential question is this: what worlds exist? All possible worlds.
 But which worlds are possible? We have, on the one hand, physical
 possibility (this also includes other physical constants etc, but no
 totally unphysical scenarios).

 I have long adhered to this everything physically possible, but this
 does break down under closer scrutiny: first of all, physical relations
 are, when things come down to it, mathematical relations.

 So we could conclude with Max Tegmark: all possible mathematical
 structures exist; this is ill defined (but then, why should the
 Everything be well defined?)

 Alastair argues in his paper that everything logically possible exists
 (with his non arbitrariness principle) but, while initially appealing,
 it leads to the question: what is logically possible? In what logic?
 Classical/Intuitionist/Deviant logics etc etc...then we are back at
 Max's all possible structures.

 
 The focus of my paper is on theories in principle fully describing universes
 (or u-reality). The term 'logically possible' is intended to contrast with
 'physically possible' and refers to descriptions (theories) being internally
 non-contradictory (more in note 4 in my paper). Classical logic is usually
 intended in these kinds of cases, and I can't actually see from what I know
 of other logics how they might relevantly extend the range of possible
 inhabitable universes beyond those describable by formal systems operating
 according to classical logic. 

Have you considered para-consistent logics, c.f. Graham Priest In 
Contradiction.

Brent Meeker

(There is also the issue of their additional
 complexity, if some are somehow incorporatable.) I do mention in general
 terms possible alternatives to standard formal systems at the start of
 section 4. For my purposes all I need is a plausible way around the White
 Rabbit problem. In my view its deep philosophical basis and potential
 explanation of our relative simplicity and lawfulness are points in favour
 of the 'All Possible States' hypothesis, and the idea of not being able to
 fully characterize it is pretty much to be expected given its universal
 scope.
 
 Alastair
 
 Paper at: http://www.physica.freeserve.co.uk/pa01.htm
 
  
 


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Re: Quantum Immortality = no second law

2008-04-19 Thread Brent Meeker

nichomachus wrote:
 
 
 On Apr 17, 1:21 pm, Brent Meeker [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
 Telmo Menezes wrote:
 On Thu, Apr 17, 2008 at 2:37 PM, Bruno Marchal [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
  Are you saying that the second law is verified in each of all
  branches of the (quantum) multiverse?
 I'm not saying that.
 I would say the second law is
  statistical, and is verified in most branches. In the MWI applied to
  quantum field it seems to me that there can be branches with an
  arbitrarily high number of photon creation without annihilation, and
  this for each period of time.
 I'm not sure what source of photon creation you have in mind, but QFT
 doesn't allow violation of energy conservation.
 
 Maybe it was vacuum energy Bruno was referring to, or else perhaps the
 creation of virtual particle pairs? Stephen Hawking (who by the way
 apparently regards Everett's theory as trivally true, in other words,
 instrumentalistic and without physical significance) used virtual
 particles to explain how black holes may evaporate. But I don't want
 to put words in anyone's mouth, and plus, I am not knowledgeable
 enough on these matters to discuss them.
 
 But if I may raise one possibility, it seems to me that despite the
 existence of fluke branches in which the second law is not inviolate,
 there are no possible branches that experience the outcome of a double
 slit experiment that does not result in an interference pattern.
 
 This is according to my understanding that the interference actually
 takes place across branches, as each path of the photon interferers
 constructively and destructively with itself.

But that interference is of the wave-function with itself.  It's squared 
modulus only determines a probability.  So, thru a fluke of probability, 
the photons could strike the screen in a pattern that is arbitrarily close 
to the naive no-interference pattern.  I say arbitrarily close since in 
principle no photon could land where the probability was zero. But the zero 
probability region is a line of measure zero.

It's not very clear to me how MWI accounts for the pattern.  Is it supposed 
that there is a separate world for every point each photon could land; the 
separate worlds having a certain probability weight.  Or are there multiple 
worlds for each spot in order that the probability be proportional to the 
number of worlds?  And what if the probability is an irrational number?

Brent Meeker


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Re: Quantum Immortality = no second law

2008-04-19 Thread Telmo Menezes

  Those branches exist even if the experiment is not set
  up. This follows necessarily from the MWI. Pick any date in history
  that you like. There must exist fluke branches that have experienced
  unlikely histories since that time. The example I mentioned previously
  was no atomic decay since January 1, 1900.

Yes I agree. The second law is just a statistical property, is it not?
I believe it is possible to observe cases where the second law does
not hold, even for a long time. But it's extremely unlikely. That
being said, I would argue that it would be nice if we could come to
the conclusion that the quantum suicider experiment can work even
without the need to resort to an highly unlikely stacking of quantum
choices.

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Re: Quantum Immortality = no second law

2008-04-19 Thread nichomachus

On Apr 19, 11:51 am, Telmo Menezes [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
   Those branches exist even if the experiment is not set
   up. This follows necessarily from the MWI. Pick any date in history
   that you like. There must exist fluke branches that have experienced
   unlikely histories since that time. The example I mentioned previously
   was no atomic decay since January 1, 1900.

 Yes I agree. The second law is just a statistical property, is it not?
 I believe it is possible to observe cases where the second law does
 not hold, even for a long time. But it's extremely unlikely. That
 being said, I would argue that it would be nice if we could come to
 the conclusion that the quantum suicider experiment can work even
 without the need to resort to an highly unlikely stacking of quantum
 choices.

How would it work? The point of the suicider experiement is that the
suicider is able to prove to himself the reality of MWI by forcing
himself to experience only an absurdly low probability set of events.
Thus, he demonstrates to the few versions of himself who remain the
existence of fluke branches, and by extension the truth of the MWI.

Right, I agree that a universe in which entropy decreases
monotonically would be unlikely since it would only happen in those
exceedingly rare fluke branches. However, the point of the quantum
suicide experiment is to prove to the suicider the reality of the MWI
by verifying the existence of fluke branches, and by extension, all of
the other, more likely worlds as well. The suicider steps in for the
cat in the schrodinger experiment. The QTI suicide experiment simply
asks what its like for the cat, instead of the observers who open the
box. You can stay in that box for any length of time, and if MWI is
true, which implies the QTI, you won't die. this only works because we
are eliminating the consciousness of the observer in a great many more
branches.

But it isn't a healthy way to prove MWI in practice. Don't try this
at home.  :)
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Re: Quantum Immortality = no second law

2008-04-19 Thread Telmo Menezes

  How would it work? The point of the suicider experiement is that the
  suicider is able to prove to himself the reality of MWI by forcing
  himself to experience only an absurdly low probability set of events.
  Thus, he demonstrates to the few versions of himself who remain the
  existence of fluke branches, and by extension the truth of the MWI.

  Right, I agree that a universe in which entropy decreases
  monotonically would be unlikely since it would only happen in those
  exceedingly rare fluke branches. However, the point of the quantum
  suicide experiment is to prove to the suicider the reality of the MWI
  by verifying the existence of fluke branches, and by extension, all of
  the other, more likely worlds as well. The suicider steps in for the
  cat in the schrodinger experiment. The QTI suicide experiment simply
  asks what its like for the cat, instead of the observers who open the
  box. You can stay in that box for any length of time, and if MWI is
  true, which implies the QTI, you won't die. this only works because we
  are eliminating the consciousness of the observer in a great many more
  branches.

  But it isn't a healthy way to prove MWI in practice. Don't try this
  at home.  :)

I believe this thread started with an attempt do disprove MWI by
stating that the quantum suicider would violate the second law of
thermodynamics. Although I do believe that the MWI logically leads to
universes where the second law is violated and am fine with that, I'm
just proposing that in the case of the quantum suicider no violation
is observed at the macroscopic level. The macroscopic level is where
the second law makes sense anyway, because of its statistical nature.
I am prepared to agree that this is a pointless exercise because MWI
leads to second law violations anyway. :)

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Re: Quantum Immortality = no second law

2008-04-19 Thread Günther Greindl

Dear Nichomachus,

 decision. If she measures the particle's spin as positive, she will
 elect to switch cases, and if she measures it with a negative spin she
 will keep the one she has. This is because she wants to be sure that,
 having gotten to this point in the game, there will be at least some
 branches of her existence where she experiences winning the grand
 prize. She is not convinced that, were she to decide what to do using
 only the processes available to her mind, she would guarantee that
 same result since it is just possible that all of the mutiple versions
 of herself confronted with the dilemma may make the same bad guess.


I have also thought along these lines some time ago (to use a qubit to 
ensure that all outcomes are chosen, because one should not rely on 
one's mind decohering into all possible decisions).

The essential question is this: what worlds exist? All possible worlds. 
But which worlds are possible? We have, on the one hand, physical 
possibility (this also includes other physical constants etc, but no 
totally unphysical scenarios).

I have long adhered to this everything physically possible, but this 
does break down under closer scrutiny: first of all, physical relations 
are, when things come down to it, mathematical relations.

So we could conclude with Max Tegmark: all possible mathematical 
structures exist; this is ill defined (but then, why should the 
Everything be well defined?)

Alastair argues in his paper that everything logically possible exists 
(with his non arbitrariness principle) but, while initially appealing, 
it leads to the question: what is logically possible? In what logic? 
Classical/Intuitionist/Deviant logics etc etc...then we are back at 
Max's all possible structures.

For all this, I am beginning very much to appreciate Bruno's position 
with the Sigma_1 sentences; but I still have to do more reading and 
catch up on some logic/recursion theory for a final verdict ;-))

One objection comes to mind immediately (already written above): why 
should the Everything be well defined?

To go back to your original question: to consider if both variants are 
chosen by the player of the game by herself (without qubit) seems to 
depend on which kind of Everything you choose. And that, I think, is the 
crux of the matter.

Cheers,
Günther

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Re: Quantum Immortality = no second law

2008-04-19 Thread Brent Meeker

nichomachus wrote:
 
 
 On Apr 19, 2:17 am, Brent Meeker [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
 nichomachus wrote:

 On Apr 17, 1:21 pm, Brent Meeker [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
 Telmo Menezes wrote:
 On Thu, Apr 17, 2008 at 2:37 PM, Bruno Marchal [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
  Are you saying that the second law is verified in each of all
  branches of the (quantum) multiverse?
 I'm not saying that.
 I would say the second law is
  statistical, and is verified in most branches. In the MWI applied to
  quantum field it seems to me that there can be branches with an
  arbitrarily high number of photon creation without annihilation, and
  this for each period of time.
 I'm not sure what source of photon creation you have in mind, but QFT
 doesn't allow violation of energy conservation.
 Maybe it was vacuum energy Bruno was referring to, or else perhaps the
 creation of virtual particle pairs? Stephen Hawking (who by the way
 apparently regards Everett's theory as trivally true, in other words,
 instrumentalistic and without physical significance) used virtual
 particles to explain how black holes may evaporate. But I don't want
 to put words in anyone's mouth, and plus, I am not knowledgeable
 enough on these matters to discuss them.
 But if I may raise one possibility, it seems to me that despite the
 existence of fluke branches in which the second law is not inviolate,
 there are no possible branches that experience the outcome of a double
 slit experiment that does not result in an interference pattern.
 This is according to my understanding that the interference actually
 takes place across branches, as each path of the photon interferers
 constructively and destructively with itself.
 But that interference is of the wave-function with itself.  It's squared
 modulus only determines a probability.  So, thru a fluke of probability,
 the photons could strike the screen in a pattern that is arbitrarily close
 to the naive no-interference pattern.  I say arbitrarily close since in
 principle no photon could land where the probability was zero. But the zero
 probability region is a line of measure zero.

 It's not very clear to me how MWI accounts for the pattern.  Is it supposed
 that there is a separate world for every point each photon could land; the
 separate worlds having a certain probability weight.  Or are there multiple
 worlds for each spot in order that the probability be proportional to the
 number of worlds?  And what if the probability is an irrational number?
 
 Mutiple worlds for each spot on the screen, according to my
 understanding of Feynman's explanation of the experiment. However, I
 think it is important to distinguish between the probability function
 that describes the interference pattern registering on the screen/
 photodetector array, and the probability function that results from
 the square of the psi modulus. IIRC, Feynman said that the
 interference pattern from the double slit experiment (or equivalently,
 the emergent probability function that is the same across branches)
 results from the fact that for any point on the screen where a photon
 may fall from the slits there are multiple paths that one photon may
 take to get to that point. The next step is to say that there are
 other branches (due to MWI), each of which describes another possible
 path taken by that same photon, and that, depending on the relative
 difference in path lengths to the point in question, summing over all
 possible paths taken by a photon to that point results in a value
 somewhere between completely desctructive interference and completely
 constructive. I take this scenario to mean that the total interference
 pattern is a probability function describing how likely it is to
 measure a single photon at any point on the screen, and that this
 probability function is an emergent property of light particles
 interfering with parallel versions of themselves across branches.
 Since they are summed across the branches, so to speak, the
 interference pattern resulting from the double slit experiement is one
 example of getting a deterministic result from probabilistic
 interactions, and is in fact the same pattern across all branches
 representing outcomes of the experiment. So the psi function may be
 thought of as being proportional to the number of universes, but the
 probability function representing the distribution of photons on the
 screen is not.

But psi*|psi is the probability function.  And the some pattern does not 
occur across all branches.  The patterns are only the same in the 
statistical sense of having the same limit as the number of particles goes 
to infinity; which is to say in theory, since in practice the number is 
always finite.  Feynman's multiple-path formulation is mathematically 
identical to the Schroedinger equation for and Heisenberg matrix form - 
there is nothing new in it except the mental image evoked.

 
 This is what I was thinking when I first mentioned the experiment,
 although I 

Re: Quantum Immortality = no second law

2008-04-19 Thread Brent Meeker

Günther Greindl wrote:
 Dear Nichomachus,
 
 decision. If she measures the particle's spin as positive, she will
 elect to switch cases, and if she measures it with a negative spin she
 will keep the one she has. This is because she wants to be sure that,
 having gotten to this point in the game, there will be at least some
 branches of her existence where she experiences winning the grand
 prize. She is not convinced that, were she to decide what to do using
 only the processes available to her mind, she would guarantee that
 same result since it is just possible that all of the mutiple versions
 of herself confronted with the dilemma may make the same bad guess.
 
 
 I have also thought along these lines some time ago (to use a qubit to 
 ensure that all outcomes are chosen, because one should not rely on 
 one's mind decohering into all possible decisions).
 
 The essential question is this: what worlds exist? All possible worlds. 
 But which worlds are possible? We have, on the one hand, physical 
 possibility (this also includes other physical constants etc, but no 
 totally unphysical scenarios).
 
 I have long adhered to this everything physically possible, but this 
 does break down under closer scrutiny: first of all, physical relations 
 are, when things come down to it, mathematical relations.
 
 So we could conclude with Max Tegmark: all possible mathematical 
 structures exist; this is ill defined (but then, why should the 
 Everything be well defined?)

There's no compelling reason the everything, or The Everything, should be 
well defined.  In fact all our theories to date have contingent aspects, 
usually in the form of boundary conditions, that are not defined by the 
theory.  But mathematical structures are different, they don't have 
contingent parts.  So if a mathematical set is not well defined then we 
don't know what we're talking about when we discuss it.

Brent Meeker

 
 Alastair argues in his paper that everything logically possible exists 
 (with his non arbitrariness principle) but, while initially appealing, 
 it leads to the question: what is logically possible? In what logic? 
 Classical/Intuitionist/Deviant logics etc etc...then we are back at 
 Max's all possible structures.
 
 For all this, I am beginning very much to appreciate Bruno's position 
 with the Sigma_1 sentences; but I still have to do more reading and 
 catch up on some logic/recursion theory for a final verdict ;-))
 
 One objection comes to mind immediately (already written above): why 
 should the Everything be well defined?
 
 To go back to your original question: to consider if both variants are 
 chosen by the player of the game by herself (without qubit) seems to 
 depend on which kind of Everything you choose. And that, I think, is the 
 crux of the matter.
 
 Cheers,
 Günther
 
  
 


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Re: Quantum Immortality = no second law

2008-04-19 Thread nichomachus



On Apr 19, 4:26 pm, Brent Meeker [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
 nichomachus wrote:
  On Apr 19, 11:51 am, Telmo Menezes [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
   Those branches exist even if the experiment is not set
   up. This follows necessarily from the MWI. Pick any date in history
   that you like. There must exist fluke branches that have experienced
   unlikely histories since that time. The example I mentioned previously
   was no atomic decay since January 1, 1900.
  Yes I agree. The second law is just a statistical property, is it not?
  I believe it is possible to observe cases where the second law does
  not hold, even for a long time. But it's extremely unlikely. That
  being said, I would argue that it would be nice if we could come to
  the conclusion that the quantum suicider experiment can work even
  without the need to resort to an highly unlikely stacking of quantum
  choices.

  How would it work? The point of the suicider experiement is that the
  suicider is able to prove to himself the reality of MWI by forcing
  himself to experience only an absurdly low probability set of events.
  Thus, he demonstrates to the few versions of himself who remain the
  existence of fluke branches, and by extension the truth of the MWI.

  Right, I agree that a universe in which entropy decreases
  monotonically would be unlikely since it would only happen in those
  exceedingly rare fluke branches.

 If it were also expanding in spacetime it would be exactly like our universe.

I read recently that entropy is increasing, but a measure called
entropy density is decreasing due to inflation. This is how it was
supposed that a universe tending toward maximum entropy could avoid
heat death, as the theoretical entropy max grows along with the
universe.
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Re: Quantum Immortality = no second law

2008-04-19 Thread Brent Meeker

nichomachus wrote:

 On Apr 19, 4:26 pm, Brent Meeker [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
   
 nichomachus wrote:
 
 On Apr 19, 11:51 am, Telmo Menezes [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
   
  Those branches exist even if the experiment is not set
  up. This follows necessarily from the MWI. Pick any date in history
  that you like. There must exist fluke branches that have experienced
  unlikely histories since that time. The example I mentioned previously
  was no atomic decay since January 1, 1900.
   
 Yes I agree. The second law is just a statistical property, is it not?
 I believe it is possible to observe cases where the second law does
 not hold, even for a long time. But it's extremely unlikely. That
 being said, I would argue that it would be nice if we could come to
 the conclusion that the quantum suicider experiment can work even
 without the need to resort to an highly unlikely stacking of quantum
 choices.
 
 How would it work? The point of the suicider experiement is that the
 suicider is able to prove to himself the reality of MWI by forcing
 himself to experience only an absurdly low probability set of events.
 Thus, he demonstrates to the few versions of himself who remain the
 existence of fluke branches, and by extension the truth of the MWI.
   
 Right, I agree that a universe in which entropy decreases
 monotonically would be unlikely since it would only happen in those
 exceedingly rare fluke branches.
   
 If it were also expanding in spacetime it would be exactly like our universe.
 

 I read recently that entropy is increasing, but a measure called
 entropy density is decreasing due to inflation. This is how it was
 supposed that a universe tending toward maximum entropy could avoid
 heat death, as the theoretical entropy max grows along with the
 universe.
   
Right.  That is how the universe could have started in a state of 
maximum entropy (e.g. 1bit in a Planck volume) and evolved always 
increasing entropy and yet be in a state far from equilibrium now.  It 
doesn't exactly avoid death though.  That phrase was used to describe 
a universe that came to equilibrium - all the same temperature - so that 
there would be no free energy to support life.   But it now appears that 
the universe will expand indefinitely and will suffer cold death.  The 
available free energy will still go to zero, not because the universe is 
in equilibrium, but because its temperature approaches zero.

Brent Meeker

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Re: Quantum Immortality = no second law

2008-04-18 Thread Bruno Marchal

Hi John,


Le 17-avr.-08, à 16:48, John Mikes a écrit :

 Bruno, ashamed, because I decided many times not to barge into topics 
 I do not understand and now I misuse your (and the list's) patience 
 again:

 you use statistical. - verified in MOST branches.
  I think my view is not too far away: statistical in my dictionary 
 means a choice-set of cases selected for observation and in such 
 selection we COUNT the matching and non-matching occurrences. The 
 conclusions are strictly group-restricted.
  Choose different boundaries (maybe include domains we don't even know 
 of) and the 'statistical' result may be different.


Yes. Actually this is what the comp suicide (and the quantum suicide) 
is all about. By preventing your continuation in some branch, you 
change your boundaries.



 Accordingly I would not say
      Those branches do violate the second law...
  I would rather say the II law is not valid (identified?) in those 
 branches.

OK.



 For that period of time? I consider the MWI a one-plane extract of MW


As I said often, but without success (:-)), I believe (like deWitt, 
Everett's editor) that Everett has never proposed a new interpretation 
of QM, but has just given a new *formulation* of QM. Well, this is 
obvious (for a logician or metamathematician). Everett theory is 
really given by the Copenhagen axioms minus the collapse axiom. Then 
the interpretations are derived from the talk of the normal and 
correct physicists as being described (correctly by definition) by the 
SWE. The interpretation of the SWE are given by the average discourse 
of the physicists described by the SWE.




  and in my 'narrative' (i don't use 'theory' for unsubstantiatable 
 ideas, even if certain math can justify it) the multitude of universes 
 is not in any qualitative bound.

?
(I am using theories only for unsubstantiable ideas (and 
unjustifiable). Ah ok ... I think you mean unpalatable or something 
like that.


 Diversity exceeds our human (scientific?) fantasy.

I am not sure how you could know that, unless you are just saying that 
our theology exceeds our science. The lobian scientific theology 
just says that. It is the beauty of the incompleteness phenomenon: 
Machines can know that they know almost nothing. The wise and knowing 
machine know she has to be modest. For ever.


  Time, however, is a coordinate of THIS universe and I have no idea 
 what kind of and what at all time may reign in other, totally 
 different universes. Our physics
 is just our physics.

Yes. And with comp physics can only be defined and recover correctly 
from that idea. And then, again with comp (or weakenings), the correct 
physics has to be derived by our physics with our physics = the 
physics of us, and us = the lobian machine/entity.
Put in another way: physics has to be the science of the border of our 
ignorance, and our ignorance get a precise mathematical structure, 
once we assume our lobian mechanicalness.
About time, I am not sure there is any physical third person time. I do 
believe in the subjective duration, and I am willing to bet that local 
physical time is a first person plural construct.


 I honor Everett as a pioneer and allow pioneers to be overstepped.

 (Another of my heresy: * probability * I consider as starting 
 similarly to the above statistical formulation of mine, with an added 
 superstition that the next (not necessarily the following one) will 
 be adjusted to the 'statistically found'  and chosen variant.).


No problem.



 I like your phrasing: ...**IF** comp is true.


This is of the upmost importance. That is why I insist so much on that 
if, and of the fact that a comp practice (like saying yes to the 
doctor) is a religious (if not funeral-like) act. It is a belief in a 
form of reincarnation, and it transforms computer science, as applied 
to us, into an authentic theology.
I know it seems paradoxical, but no machine can ever know she is a 
machine: she can only hope (or fear) that she is a machine. I could 
even say (but don't always dare to say) that the first person I of 
the machine is 100% correct when she says I am not a machine. It is 
here that the gap between first person and third person is maximal.
It is also here that we are on the verge of a contradiction, but our 
topic lives there.
If your doctor pretends (scientifically) that you are a machine, you 
have to run away ...
You can say yes to the doctor (yes for an artificial digital brain 
substitution) only when your doctor says something like  let us bet 
you are a machine at this or that third person level of description. 
And then you can... pray.

Have a good day,

Bruno




 On Thu, Apr 17, 2008 at 9:37 AM, Bruno Marchal [EMAIL PROTECTED] 
 wrote:

  Are you saying that the second law is verified in each of all
  branches of the (quantum) multiverse? I would say the second law is
  statistical, and is verified in most branches. In the MWI applied to
  quantum field it seems to me that there can be 

Re: Quantum Immortality = no second law

2008-04-18 Thread Bruno Marchal


Le 17-avr.-08, à 19:45, Telmo Menezes a écrit :


 On Thu, Apr 17, 2008 at 2:37 PM, Bruno Marchal [EMAIL PROTECTED] 
 wrote:

  Are you saying that the second law is verified in each of all
  branches of the (quantum) multiverse?

 I'm not saying that.

OK. Sorry.



 I would say the second law is
  statistical, and is verified in most branches. In the MWI applied to
  quantum field it seems to me that there can be branches with an
  arbitrarily high number of photon creation without annihilation, and
  this for each period of time.

 Yes, I would tend to agree with that, although I can't say I'm 100%
 convinced. Anyway I'm a relative newcomer to this list so I don't feel
 I have an informed opinion yet. Need to catch up with all the
 arguments. Also have a thesis to finish, which tends to get in the way
 :)


I can understand. Academy is like Democracy, as described by Churchill. 
The worst except for the rest. I wish you good luck (or shit, as in the 
french tradition).





 I'm just arguing that the experiment with the rifle and the geiger
 counter does not imply any second law anomaly. Yes, you are forcing
 your consciousness to move to states where the atom never decays,
 but if you consider the larger system,


which one? the quantum one.



 entropy is increasing as normal
 because of the preparation and maintenance of the apparatus needed for
 the experiment.

 Do you think this makes sense?


I am not sure I understand. I do agree with Brent Meker's comment 
though. If you agree with him, take his answer as mine (hope Brent does 
not mind).

Best,

bruno


http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/


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Re: Quantum Immortality = no second law

2008-04-18 Thread Bruno Marchal


Le 17-avr.-08, à 18:21, Günther Greindl a écrit :

 David Deutsch argues in Fabric of Reality that only the Multiverse
 conserves quantity (not single branches). The rest is probabilistic
 stuff (see Bruno's post)

Yes. And I think Deutsch has the most correct interpretation of 
Everett's theory (and Wallace, by the way, in a paper in the british 
journal of philosophy that I have just discover recently has the most 
correct interpretation of Deutsch).

But they seems not be aware that by making their move, they have to 
take the 1-person indeterminacy a bit more seriously, something which 
Wallace *explicitly* does not. This motivates me a bit to submit a 
paper btw.

Because, such indeterminacy forces us to consider that the SWE has to 
be also probabilistic. A bit like if comp makes us live in a 
multi-multiverse. But this is an analogy which can be misleading in 
some way...

bruno

http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/


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Re: Quantum Immortality = no second law

2008-04-18 Thread Telmo Menezes

   entropy is increasing as normal
   because of the preparation and maintenance of the apparatus needed for
   the experiment.
  
   Do you think this makes sense?


  I am not sure I understand. I do agree with Brent Meker's comment
  though. If you agree with him, take his answer as mine (hope Brent does
  not mind).

I don't think I was clear enough, but Russell's rephrasing a few mails
ago was excellent.

Have a great weekend,
Telmo Menezes.

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Re: Quantum Immortality = no second law

2008-04-18 Thread nichomachus



On Apr 16, 11:16 am, Quentin Anciaux [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
 HI,

 2008/4/16, nichomachus [EMAIL PROTECTED]:







   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.

 Because from the 1st person pov you cannot tell which computation
 (there are an infinities) support you hence the RSSA because the
 probability of your next states are relative to the current state you
 are. With the no cul de sac (means there exists no universe state
 which does not have a next state) comp predict comp immortality...

Hi, Quentin,

I am not sure what exactly is meant by cul-de-sac since it seems that,
unless we are speaking about observer-moments, there can be no cul-de-
sac. (A series of observer moments would seem to me to end with the
death of the observer, or else the moment before death, but I am new
and so am not familiar with the history of the debates here. I am not
sure if that is agreed upon by those reading this list.) How can any
state of the universe fail to have a successor? The MWI states that
there must be many successors (branches), or, equivalently, merely one
-- a continuously evolving universal wave equation. Further, I have
heard it claimed that it could be that 

Re: Quantum Immortality = no second law

2008-04-18 Thread nichomachus

On first blush, it would seem to be irrelevant to the fact that there
are possible histories in which the second law is not found to hold.
All the atom and rifle apparatus does is eliminate the living subject
in those branches where the decay occurs, leaving the subject alive in
only the unlikely fluke branches where no decay is detected. It must
be the case that the the question of whether or not the decay takes
place is independent of the scientist making his quietus.

On Apr 18, 11:10 am, Telmo Menezes [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
    entropy is increasing as normal
    because of the preparation and maintenance of the apparatus needed for
    the experiment.

    Do you think this makes sense?

   I am not sure I understand. I do agree with Brent Meker's comment
   though. If you agree with him, take his answer as mine (hope Brent does
   not mind).

 I don't think I was clear enough, but Russell's rephrasing a few mails
 ago was excellent.

 Have a great weekend,
 Telmo Menezes.
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Re: Quantum Immortality = no second law

2008-04-18 Thread nichomachus



On Apr 17, 1:21 pm, Brent Meeker [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
 Telmo Menezes wrote:
  On Thu, Apr 17, 2008 at 2:37 PM, Bruno Marchal [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:

   Are you saying that the second law is verified in each of all
   branches of the (quantum) multiverse?

  I'm not saying that.

  I would say the second law is
   statistical, and is verified in most branches. In the MWI applied to
   quantum field it seems to me that there can be branches with an
   arbitrarily high number of photon creation without annihilation, and
   this for each period of time.

 I'm not sure what source of photon creation you have in mind, but QFT
 doesn't allow violation of energy conservation.

Maybe it was vacuum energy Bruno was referring to, or else perhaps the
creation of virtual particle pairs? Stephen Hawking (who by the way
apparently regards Everett's theory as trivally true, in other words,
instrumentalistic and without physical significance) used virtual
particles to explain how black holes may evaporate. But I don't want
to put words in anyone's mouth, and plus, I am not knowledgeable
enough on these matters to discuss them.

But if I may raise one possibility, it seems to me that despite the
existence of fluke branches in which the second law is not inviolate,
there are no possible branches that experience the outcome of a double
slit experiment that does not result in an interference pattern.

This is according to my understanding that the interference actually
takes place across branches, as each path of the photon interferers
constructively and destructively with itself.

The upshot of this is simply a recognition that not every outcome is
possible, and there remain situations that are not realized in any
extant universe.

  Yes, I would tend to agree with that, although I can't say I'm 100%
  convinced. Anyway I'm a relative newcomer to this list so I don't feel
  I have an informed opinion yet. Need to catch up with all the
  arguments. Also have a thesis to finish, which tends to get in the way
  :)

  I'm just arguing that the experiment with the rifle and the geiger
  counter does not imply any second law anomaly. Yes, you are forcing
  your consciousness to move to states where the atom never decays,
  but if you consider the larger system, entropy is increasing as normal
  because of the preparation and maintenance of the apparatus needed for
  the experiment.

  Do you think this makes sense?

  Telmo Menezes.

 The idea of the multiverse derives from quantum mechanics, e.g. the
 Everett no-collapse interpretation.  But in that model the (microscopic)
 entropy never increases (or decreases), because QM evolution is unitary.
   It is only the coarse-grained entropy, i.e. restricted to this branch,
 that increases.  Certainly within this branch you are correct that the
 entropy increase due to firing a gun is very much greater than the
 decrease due to an atom not decaying.

But the gun would only fire if the atom did in fact decay. It would
not fire in the branches where no decay was detected.


 Brent Meeker- Hide quoted text -

 - Show quoted text -- Hide quoted text -

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Re: Quantum Immortality = no second law

2008-04-17 Thread Stathis Papaioannou

On 17/04/2008, Quentin Anciaux [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:

 You cannot experience death if you define death by the absolute end of
  your conscious experience. Since you can't be conscious if you're dead
  nor knowing it (which would require consciousness) by definition,
  death is not a first person experience (either if comp is true or not,
  this holds true for this definition of death).

Another way to look at it is that you are dead almost everywhere in
the multiverse: dead at the centre of the Earth, dead in the Andromeda
Galaxy, dead in 5000 BC, etc. etc. However, you don't experience this
being dead. You only experience those extremely rare parts of the
multiverse where you are alive.





-- 
Stathis Papaioannou

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Re: Quantum Immortality = no second law

2008-04-17 Thread Telmo Menezes

I would like to argue that in setting this experiment, energy is being
expended to prevent the increase in entropy, albeit not in an obvious
way.

It is a trivial observation that systems may be devised that prevent
increases in entropy by paying energy costs. One example is an ice
cube in the freezer.

In the case of this experiment, and assuming MWI, we are creating a
scenario where the atomic decay is not possible from the
experimenter's perspective. However, the experimenter is setting a
system that includes the rifle and the geiger counter. Both these
devices need energy to operate. Maybe it's just a convoluted version
of the ice cube in the freezer?

Best regards,
Telmo Menezes.

On Tue, Apr 15, 2008 at 12:18 AM, nichomachus
[EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:

  In the description of the quantum immortality gedanken experiment, a
  physicist rigs an automatic rifle to a geiger counter to fire into him
  upon the detection of an atomic decay event from a bit of radioactive
  material. If the many worlds hypothesis is true, the self-awareness of
  the physicist will continue to find himself alive after any length of
  time in front of his gun, since there exist parallel worlds where the
  decay does not occur.

  On a microscopic scale this is analogous to the observing a reality in
  which the second law of thermodynamics does not hold. for example,
  since there is a non-zero probability that molecular interactions will
  result in a decrease in entropy in a particular sealed volume under
  observation, there exist histories in which this must be observed.

  This is never observed. Therefore the MWI is shown to be false.
  


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Re: Quantum Immortality = no second law

2008-04-17 Thread Michael Rosefield
It's not so much the input of energy, it's the production of more entropy
where the energy is taken from.

On 17/04/2008, Telmo Menezes [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:


 I would like to argue that in setting this experiment, energy is being
 expended to prevent the increase in entropy, albeit not in an obvious
 way.

 It is a trivial observation that systems may be devised that prevent
 increases in entropy by paying energy costs. One example is an ice
 cube in the freezer.

 In the case of this experiment, and assuming MWI, we are creating a
 scenario where the atomic decay is not possible from the
 experimenter's perspective. However, the experimenter is setting a
 system that includes the rifle and the geiger counter. Both these
 devices need energy to operate. Maybe it's just a convoluted version
 of the ice cube in the freezer?

 Best regards,
 Telmo Menezes.

 On Tue, Apr 15, 2008 at 12:18 AM, nichomachus

 [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
 

   In the description of the quantum immortality gedanken experiment, a
   physicist rigs an automatic rifle to a geiger counter to fire into him
   upon the detection of an atomic decay event from a bit of radioactive
   material. If the many worlds hypothesis is true, the self-awareness of
   the physicist will continue to find himself alive after any length of
   time in front of his gun, since there exist parallel worlds where the
   decay does not occur.
 
   On a microscopic scale this is analogous to the observing a reality in
   which the second law of thermodynamics does not hold. for example,
   since there is a non-zero probability that molecular interactions will
   result in a decrease in entropy in a particular sealed volume under
   observation, there exist histories in which this must be observed.
 
   This is never observed. Therefore the MWI is shown to be false.
   
 

 



-- 
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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Re: Quantum Immortality = no second law

2008-04-17 Thread Telmo Menezes

Yes, you're right. Still I think my argument holds. The production of
the rifle, bullet and geiger counter system plus the geiger counter
operation should produce more than enough entropy to compensate for
the atom not decaying.

On Thu, Apr 17, 2008 at 1:45 PM, Michael Rosefield
[EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
 It's not so much the input of energy, it's the production of more entropy
 where the energy is taken from.



 On 17/04/2008, Telmo Menezes [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
 
  I would like to argue that in setting this experiment, energy is being
  expended to prevent the increase in entropy, albeit not in an obvious
  way.
 
  It is a trivial observation that systems may be devised that prevent
  increases in entropy by paying energy costs. One example is an ice
  cube in the freezer.
 
  In the case of this experiment, and assuming MWI, we are creating a
  scenario where the atomic decay is not possible from the
  experimenter's perspective. However, the experimenter is setting a
  system that includes the rifle and the geiger counter. Both these
  devices need energy to operate. Maybe it's just a convoluted version
  of the ice cube in the freezer?
 
  Best regards,
  Telmo Menezes.
 
  On Tue, Apr 15, 2008 at 12:18 AM, nichomachus
 
  [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
  
 
In the description of the quantum immortality gedanken experiment, a
physicist rigs an automatic rifle to a geiger counter to fire into him
upon the detection of an atomic decay event from a bit of radioactive
material. If the many worlds hypothesis is true, the self-awareness of
the physicist will continue to find himself alive after any length of
time in front of his gun, since there exist parallel worlds where the
decay does not occur.
  
On a microscopic scale this is analogous to the observing a reality in
which the second law of thermodynamics does not hold. for example,
since there is a non-zero probability that molecular interactions will
result in a decrease in entropy in a particular sealed volume under
observation, there exist histories in which this must be observed.
  
This is never observed. Therefore the MWI is shown to be false.

  
 
 
   
 


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Re: Quantum Immortality = no second law

2008-04-17 Thread Bruno Marchal

Are you saying that the second law is verified in each of all 
branches of the (quantum) multiverse? I would say the second law is 
statistical, and is verified in most branches. In the MWI applied to 
quantum field it seems to me that there can be branches with an 
arbitrarily high number of photon creation without annihilation, and 
this for each period of time. Those branches do violate the second law 
for that period of time, although in most of branches, such violation 
are quite ephemera. The probability to find ourself in such branch, a 
priori, is very little, but the probability to *remain* in such a 
branch is exponentially more negligible, if I can say. And that is what 
counts, if you accept the RSSA.
(Then if comp is true, my point is that even schroedinger equation 
itself has to come from a statistical phenomenon, albeit pertaining on 
number (or abstract machines) relations: Everett is correct but don't 
push his methodology sufficiently far). Isn't it?

Bruno



Le 17-avr.-08, à 15:02, Telmo Menezes a écrit :


 Yes, you're right. Still I think my argument holds. The production of
 the rifle, bullet and geiger counter system plus the geiger counter
 operation should produce more than enough entropy to compensate for
 the atom not decaying.

 On Thu, Apr 17, 2008 at 1:45 PM, Michael Rosefield
 [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
 It's not so much the input of energy, it's the production of more 
 entropy
 where the energy is taken from.



 On 17/04/2008, Telmo Menezes [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:

 I would like to argue that in setting this experiment, energy is 
 being
 expended to prevent the increase in entropy, albeit not in an obvious
 way.

 It is a trivial observation that systems may be devised that prevent
 increases in entropy by paying energy costs. One example is an ice
 cube in the freezer.

 In the case of this experiment, and assuming MWI, we are creating a
 scenario where the atomic decay is not possible from the
 experimenter's perspective. However, the experimenter is setting a
 system that includes the rifle and the geiger counter. Both these
 devices need energy to operate. Maybe it's just a convoluted version
 of the ice cube in the freezer?

 Best regards,
 Telmo Menezes.

 On Tue, Apr 15, 2008 at 12:18 AM, nichomachus

 [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:


  In the description of the quantum immortality gedanken experiment, 
 a
  physicist rigs an automatic rifle to a geiger counter to fire into 
 him
  upon the detection of an atomic decay event from a bit of 
 radioactive
  material. If the many worlds hypothesis is true, the 
 self-awareness of
  the physicist will continue to find himself alive after any length 
 of
  time in front of his gun, since there exist parallel worlds where 
 the
  decay does not occur.

  On a microscopic scale this is analogous to the observing a 
 reality in
  which the second law of thermodynamics does not hold. for example,
  since there is a non-zero probability that molecular interactions 
 will
  result in a decrease in entropy in a particular sealed volume under
  observation, there exist histories in which this must be observed.

  This is never observed. Therefore the MWI is shown to be false.








 

http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/


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Re: Quantum Immortality = no second law

2008-04-17 Thread John Mikes
Bruno, ashamed, because I decided many times not to barge into topics I do
not understand and now I misuse your (and the list's) patience again:

you use statistical. - verified in MOST branches.
I think my view is not too far away: statistical in my dictionary means a
choice-set of cases selected for observation and in such selection we COUNT
the matching and non-matching occurrences. The conclusions are strictly
group-restricted.
Choose different boundaries (maybe include domains we don't even know of)
and the 'statistical' result may be different.
Accordingly I would not say
 Those branches do violate the second law...
I would rather say the II law is not valid (identified?) in those
branches.

For that period of time? I consider the MWI a one-plane extract of MW and
in my 'narrative' (i don't use 'theory' for unsubstantiatable ideas, even if
certain math can justify it) the multitude of universes is not in any
qualitative bound. Diversity exceeds our human (scientific?) fantasy.
Time, however, is a coordinate of THIS universe and I have no idea what kind
of and what at all time may reign in other, totally different universes.
Our physics
is just our physics.

I honor Everett as a pioneer and allow pioneers to be overstepped.

(Another of my heresy: * probability * I consider as starting similarly to
the above statistical formulation of mine, with an added superstition that
the next (not necessarily the following one) will be adjusted to the
'statistically found'  and chosen variant.).

I like your phrasing: ...**IF** comp is true.

Best regards

John Mikes


On Thu, Apr 17, 2008 at 9:37 AM, Bruno Marchal [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:


 Are you saying that the second law is verified in each of all
 branches of the (quantum) multiverse? I would say the second law is
 statistical, and is verified in most branches. In the MWI applied to
 quantum field it seems to me that there can be branches with an
 arbitrarily high number of photon creation without annihilation, and
 this for each period of time. Those branches do violate the second law
 for that period of time, although in most of branches, such violation
 are quite ephemera. The probability to find ourself in such branch, a
 priori, is very little, but the probability to *remain* in such a
 branch is exponentially more negligible, if I can say. And that is what
 counts, if you accept the RSSA.
 (Then if comp is true, my point is that even schroedinger equation
 itself has to come from a statistical phenomenon, albeit pertaining on
 number (or abstract machines) relations: Everett is correct but don't
 push his methodology sufficiently far). Isn't it?

 Bruno



 Le 17-avr.-08, à 15:02, Telmo Menezes a écrit :

 
  Yes, you're right. Still I think my argument holds. The production of
  the rifle, bullet and geiger counter system plus the geiger counter
  operation should produce more than enough entropy to compensate for
  the atom not decaying.
 
  On Thu, Apr 17, 2008 at 1:45 PM, Michael Rosefield
  [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
  It's not so much the input of energy, it's the production of more
  entropy
  where the energy is taken from.
 
 
 
  On 17/04/2008, Telmo Menezes [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
 
  I would like to argue that in setting this experiment, energy is
  being
  expended to prevent the increase in entropy, albeit not in an obvious
  way.
 
  It is a trivial observation that systems may be devised that prevent
  increases in entropy by paying energy costs. One example is an ice
  cube in the freezer.
 
  In the case of this experiment, and assuming MWI, we are creating a
  scenario where the atomic decay is not possible from the
  experimenter's perspective. However, the experimenter is setting a
  system that includes the rifle and the geiger counter. Both these
  devices need energy to operate. Maybe it's just a convoluted version
  of the ice cube in the freezer?
 
  Best regards,
  Telmo Menezes.
 
  On Tue, Apr 15, 2008 at 12:18 AM, nichomachus
 
  [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
 
 
   In the description of the quantum immortality gedanken experiment,
  a
   physicist rigs an automatic rifle to a geiger counter to fire into
  him
   upon the detection of an atomic decay event from a bit of
  radioactive
   material. If the many worlds hypothesis is true, the
  self-awareness of
   the physicist will continue to find himself alive after any length
  of
   time in front of his gun, since there exist parallel worlds where
  the
   decay does not occur.
 
   On a microscopic scale this is analogous to the observing a
  reality in
   which the second law of thermodynamics does not hold. for example,
   since there is a non-zero probability that molecular interactions
  will
   result in a decrease in entropy in a particular sealed volume under
   observation, there exist histories in which this must be observed.
 
   This is never observed. Therefore the MWI is shown to be false.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  
 
 http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/ 

Re: Quantum Immortality = no second law

2008-04-17 Thread Günther Greindl

Hi,

David Deutsch argues in Fabric of Reality that only the Multiverse 
conserves quantity (not single branches). The rest is probabilistic 
stuff (see Bruno's post)

Cheers,
Günther

Telmo Menezes wrote:
 Yes, you're right. Still I think my argument holds. The production of
 the rifle, bullet and geiger counter system plus the geiger counter
 operation should produce more than enough entropy to compensate for
 the atom not decaying.
 
 On Thu, Apr 17, 2008 at 1:45 PM, Michael Rosefield
 [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
 It's not so much the input of energy, it's the production of more entropy
 where the energy is taken from.



 On 17/04/2008, Telmo Menezes [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
 I would like to argue that in setting this experiment, energy is being
 expended to prevent the increase in entropy, albeit not in an obvious
 way.

 It is a trivial observation that systems may be devised that prevent
 increases in entropy by paying energy costs. One example is an ice
 cube in the freezer.

 In the case of this experiment, and assuming MWI, we are creating a
 scenario where the atomic decay is not possible from the
 experimenter's perspective. However, the experimenter is setting a
 system that includes the rifle and the geiger counter. Both these
 devices need energy to operate. Maybe it's just a convoluted version
 of the ice cube in the freezer?

 Best regards,
 Telmo Menezes.

 On Tue, Apr 15, 2008 at 12:18 AM, nichomachus

 [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
  In the description of the quantum immortality gedanken experiment, a
  physicist rigs an automatic rifle to a geiger counter to fire into him
  upon the detection of an atomic decay event from a bit of radioactive
  material. If the many worlds hypothesis is true, the self-awareness of
  the physicist will continue to find himself alive after any length of
  time in front of his gun, since there exist parallel worlds where the
  decay does not occur.

  On a microscopic scale this is analogous to the observing a reality in
  which the second law of thermodynamics does not hold. for example,
  since there is a non-zero probability that molecular interactions will
  result in a decrease in entropy in a particular sealed volume under
  observation, there exist histories in which this must be observed.

  This is never observed. Therefore the MWI is shown to be false.
  


 
  
 

-- 
Günther Greindl
Department of Philosophy of Science
University of Vienna
[EMAIL PROTECTED]
http://www.univie.ac.at/Wissenschaftstheorie/

Blog: http://dao.complexitystudies.org/
Site: http://www.complexitystudies.org

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Re: Quantum Immortality = no second law

2008-04-17 Thread Telmo Menezes

On Thu, Apr 17, 2008 at 2:37 PM, Bruno Marchal [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:

  Are you saying that the second law is verified in each of all
  branches of the (quantum) multiverse?

I'm not saying that.

 I would say the second law is
  statistical, and is verified in most branches. In the MWI applied to
  quantum field it seems to me that there can be branches with an
  arbitrarily high number of photon creation without annihilation, and
  this for each period of time.

Yes, I would tend to agree with that, although I can't say I'm 100%
convinced. Anyway I'm a relative newcomer to this list so I don't feel
I have an informed opinion yet. Need to catch up with all the
arguments. Also have a thesis to finish, which tends to get in the way
:)

I'm just arguing that the experiment with the rifle and the geiger
counter does not imply any second law anomaly. Yes, you are forcing
your consciousness to move to states where the atom never decays,
but if you consider the larger system, entropy is increasing as normal
because of the preparation and maintenance of the apparatus needed for
the experiment.

Do you think this makes sense?

Telmo Menezes.

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Re: Quantum Immortality = no second law

2008-04-17 Thread Brent Meeker

Telmo Menezes wrote:
 On Thu, Apr 17, 2008 at 2:37 PM, Bruno Marchal [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
   
  Are you saying that the second law is verified in each of all
  branches of the (quantum) multiverse?
 

 I'm not saying that.

   
 I would say the second law is
  statistical, and is verified in most branches. In the MWI applied to
  quantum field it seems to me that there can be branches with an
  arbitrarily high number of photon creation without annihilation, and
  this for each period of time.
 

I'm not sure what source of photon creation you have in mind, but QFT 
doesn't allow violation of energy conservation.

 Yes, I would tend to agree with that, although I can't say I'm 100%
 convinced. Anyway I'm a relative newcomer to this list so I don't feel
 I have an informed opinion yet. Need to catch up with all the
 arguments. Also have a thesis to finish, which tends to get in the way
 :)

 I'm just arguing that the experiment with the rifle and the geiger
 counter does not imply any second law anomaly. Yes, you are forcing
 your consciousness to move to states where the atom never decays,
 but if you consider the larger system, entropy is increasing as normal
 because of the preparation and maintenance of the apparatus needed for
 the experiment.

 Do you think this makes sense?

 Telmo Menezes.
   
The idea of the multiverse derives from quantum mechanics, e.g. the 
Everett no-collapse interpretation.  But in that model the (microscopic) 
entropy never increases (or decreases), because QM evolution is unitary. 
  It is only the coarse-grained entropy, i.e. restricted to this branch, 
that increases.  Certainly within this branch you are correct that the 
entropy increase due to firing a gun is very much greater than the 
decrease due to an atom not decaying.

Brent Meeker

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Re: Quantum Immortality = no second law

2008-04-17 Thread Michael Rosefield
To pull a fatuous idea from where the sun doth not shine, what if energy is
merely moving 'between universes'; it is conserved just because of
statistical balance.

On 17/04/2008, Brent Meeker [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:


 I'm not sure what source of photon creation you have in mind, but QFT
 doesn't allow violation of energy conservation.


-- 
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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Re: Quantum Immortality = no second law

2008-04-17 Thread Brent Meeker

It's conserved because we require that the Hamiltonian not be explicitly 
time dependent (we want our laws to apply equally at all times); that 
and Noether's theorem imply conservation of 4-momentum.

Brent Meeker

Michael Rosefield wrote:
 To pull a fatuous idea from where the sun doth not shine, what if 
 energy is merely moving 'between universes'; it is conserved just 
 because of statistical balance.

 On 17/04/2008, *Brent Meeker* [EMAIL PROTECTED] 
 mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:


 I'm not sure what source of photon creation you have in mind, but QFT
 doesn't allow violation of energy conservation.


 -- 
 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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Re: Quantum Immortality = no second law

2008-04-17 Thread Russell Standish

On Thu, Apr 17, 2008 at 06:45:59PM +0100, Telmo Menezes wrote:
 
 I'm just arguing that the experiment with the rifle and the geiger
 counter does not imply any second law anomaly. Yes, you are forcing
 your consciousness to move to states where the atom never decays,
 but if you consider the larger system, entropy is increasing as normal
 because of the preparation and maintenance of the apparatus needed for
 the experiment.
 
 Do you think this makes sense?
 
 Telmo Menezes.
 

I think this is an intriguing idea, but I can't say yet whether it is
right. Let me paraphrase, as some of the discussion on this thread has
been barking up the wrong trees.

Whilst the second law holds in a first person statistical sense (as
pointed out by a number of people), entropy is in fact conserved in a
third person sense (conservation of probability, unitarity of
evolution etc.)

What Telmo is suggesting is a little different. He is saying that the
quantum suicider will still see entropy increasing in er universe, as
the atom and rifle is not an isolated system, and the thermodynamic
costs of maintaining the experimental aparatus cause entropy to be
raised elsewhere in the suicider's universe. This strikes me as
similar to Slizard's analysis of the Maxwell daemon, and could
probably be handled the same way. Unfortunately I don't have the time
now to refresh my memory of how these arguments work - but perhaps
Brent can do the analysis?

Cheers

-- 


A/Prof Russell Standish  Phone 0425 253119 (mobile)
Mathematics  
UNSW SYDNEY 2052 [EMAIL PROTECTED]
Australiahttp://www.hpcoders.com.au


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Re: Quantum Immortality = no second law

2008-04-16 Thread Bruno Marchal


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. We have not yet answered the question of how many first persons 
are. If it is one, amoeba duplication already entails immortality, 
although not necessarily a reassuring (or frightening) one like some of 
those suggested by some religion or popular beliefs. We are mainly 
ignorant of those matters, and necessarily so, in case comp (or its 
transfinitely many weakenings) is (are) correct.
But we can make inferences, i.e. theories, and *define* matter by the 
explicit addition of the no-cul-de-sac principle, by adding Dt to Bp, 
going from the primary hypostases to the secondary one: this gives a 
quantum propositional theory of matter but this (lobian) theory is 
still in lack of a good tensor product capable of extracting a non 
trivial first person *plural* notion. Strictly speaking, it remains 
amazing we can interact ...

Bruno


http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/


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Re: Quantum Immortality = no second law

2008-04-16 Thread nichomachus

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.


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Re: Quantum Immortality = no second law

2008-04-16 Thread Quentin Anciaux

HI,

2008/4/16, nichomachus [EMAIL PROTECTED]:

  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.

Because from the 1st person pov you cannot tell which computation
(there are an infinities) support you hence the RSSA because the
probability of your next states are relative to the current state you
are. With the no cul de sac (means there exists no universe state
which does not have a next state) comp predict comp immortality...

  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.

That means the universe is not one mathematical structure nor the
multiverse is, but the infinite set of functionnaly equivalent
computation... well from a certain point of view these universes
aren't differentiated...  So it is difficult to say that at any moment
we are in such or such computation, we're in all of them (that support
us).

  To go back to the comments you were making about the Prestige:

  If the subject of a quantum immortality experiment finds 

Re: Quantum Immortality = no second law

2008-04-16 Thread Michael Rosefield
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... :)

Michael

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 

Re: Quantum Immortality = no second law

2008-04-15 Thread Russell Standish

On Mon, Apr 14, 2008 at 10:24:12PM -0700, nichomachus wrote:
 Hi, Russell,
 
 Surely the framework of the Many Worlds interpretation would say that
 the likelyhood of measuring a quantum observable in state A rather
 than B reflects the number of histories in which the observable is
 measured as being in state A divided by number of histories in which
 either is seen. Molecules in a gas chamber may not be the best
 example, as I am personally unclear as to whether the macroscopic
 behavior of the aggregate is reduceable to probabilistic quantum
 events. But the point remains that it is impossible to adhere to the
 MWI without also affirming not only the existence of histories in
 which unlikely events happen, but also ones in which *only* unlikely
 events happen.

Absolutely - there are histories in which entropy decreases
continuously. This doesn't contradict the second law, because the
second law is probabilistic. Many, many more histories exist with
increasing entropy than decreasing entropy. The chance of an observer
observing continuous decrease in entropy is negligible, but small
exceptions to the second law can be observed in our world. IIRC, some guys
at ANU showed this a few years back, which got a bit of press,
although its not surprising when you understand what the second law
really is - I think it was Ken Baldwin's group, but you can try Google
for details.

 This includes universes where the cat never dies,
 uranium never decays, and (perhaps) the second law does not hold. Is
 it right to think that this is unproblematic? 

Yes.

 Or perhaps we should
 regard the Many Worlds formalism as merely an instrumentalistic
 interpretation, similar to how Bohr and Heisenberg regarded their
 Copenhagen interpretation, rather than granting full ontological
 significance to alternate possible histories.
 

I take the Many Worlds as ontologically significant, unlike Bohr or Heisenberg.

 
  In any case, QTI does not change the observed outcome of likely versus
  unlikely events, it just changes the set of possible outcome on which
  to apply the second law.
 
 What does QTI stand for?
 

Quantum Theory of Immortality. What you are talking about with
Tegmark's suicide experiment.

 So our suicidal physicist would have enabled himself to observe the
 extremely scenario of seeing radioactive elements never decay, by
 killing himself in all histories where decay ocurred and thereby
 selecting only the ones where it did not take place to continue his
 awareness in.Of course, those branches of his identity would still
 have observed the same outcomes even if the gun was unloaded, so he
 doesn't really have to kill himself in nearly all universes in order
 to get to see it.
 
 But if I accept the above as true, then I must also accept that there
 are histories that have been experienced in which no atom of an
 unstable element has decayed since Jan. 1, 1900. (or any date you
 prefer)
 

Yes.

 When Thomas Young performed his double slit experiment, were there any
 versions of himself that did not observe an interference pattern?
 

Probably. There were others where his apparatus blew up, or a cat peed
on a vital component and so on. 

 Why not?
 
 I appreciate the replies as I am more questions than answers at this
 point on these topics.
 

-- 


A/Prof Russell Standish  Phone 0425 253119 (mobile)
Mathematics  
UNSW SYDNEY 2052 [EMAIL PROTECTED]
Australiahttp://www.hpcoders.com.au


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Re: Quantum Immortality = no second law

2008-04-15 Thread Russell Standish

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.

Cheers

-- 


A/Prof Russell Standish  Phone 0425 253119 (mobile)
Mathematics  
UNSW SYDNEY 2052 [EMAIL PROTECTED]
Australiahttp://www.hpcoders.com.au


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Re: Quantum Immortality = no second law

2008-04-14 Thread Saibal Mitra

Citeren nichomachus [EMAIL PROTECTED]:


 In the description of the quantum immortality gedanken experiment, a
 physicist rigs an automatic rifle to a geiger counter to fire into him
 upon the detection of an atomic decay event from a bit of radioactive
 material. If the many worlds hypothesis is true, the self-awareness of
 the physicist will continue to find himself alive after any length of
 time in front of his gun, since there exist parallel worlds where the
 decay does not occur.

This has never been rigorously proven. I can give you some argumetns 
why the MWI does not imply Quantum Immortality.


 On a microscopic scale this is analogous to the observing a reality in
 which the second law of thermodynamics does not hold. for example,
 since there is a non-zero probability that molecular interactions will
 result in a decrease in entropy in a particular sealed volume under
 observation, there exist histories in which this must be observed.

 This is never observed. Therefore the MWI is shown to be false.

This is also not a correct conclusion (if you replace MWI by quantum 
immortality).


 




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Re: Quantum Immortality = no second law

2008-04-14 Thread Saibal Mitra

Citeren nichomachus [EMAIL PROTECTED]:


 In the description of the quantum immortality gedanken experiment, a
 physicist rigs an automatic rifle to a geiger counter to fire into him
 upon the detection of an atomic decay event from a bit of radioactive
 material. If the many worlds hypothesis is true, the self-awareness of
 the physicist will continue to find himself alive after any length of
 time in front of his gun, since there exist parallel worlds where the
 decay does not occur.

This has never been rigorously proven. I can give you some argumetns 
why the MWI does not imply Quantum Immortality.


 On a microscopic scale this is analogous to the observing a reality in
 which the second law of thermodynamics does not hold. for example,
 since there is a non-zero probability that molecular interactions will
 result in a decrease in entropy in a particular sealed volume under
 observation, there exist histories in which this must be observed.

 This is never observed. Therefore the MWI is shown to be false.

This is also not a correct conclusion (if you replace MWI by quantum 
immortality).


 




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Re: Quantum Immortality = no second law

2008-04-14 Thread Michael Rosefield
No, it just means no-one's put enough stress on the 2nd Law yet :)

Besides, it's not so much a law as a guideline. Well, a strong statistical
tendency

On 15/04/2008, nichomachus [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:


 In the description of the quantum immortality gedanken experiment, a
 physicist rigs an automatic rifle to a geiger counter to fire into him
 upon the detection of an atomic decay event from a bit of radioactive
 material. If the many worlds hypothesis is true, the self-awareness of
 the physicist will continue to find himself alive after any length of
 time in front of his gun, since there exist parallel worlds where the
 decay does not occur.

 On a microscopic scale this is analogous to the observing a reality in
 which the second law of thermodynamics does not hold. for example,
 since there is a non-zero probability that molecular interactions will
 result in a decrease in entropy in a particular sealed volume under
 observation, there exist histories in which this must be observed.

 This is never observed. Therefore the MWI is shown to be false.
 



-- 
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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Re: Quantum Immortality = no second law

2008-04-14 Thread Stathis Papaioannou

On 15/04/2008, Michael Rosefield [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
 No, it just means no-one's put enough stress on the 2nd Law yet :)

 Besides, it's not so much a law as a guideline. Well, a strong statistical
 tendency

As Michael pointed out, the 2nd law is a statistical law, which says
that a decrease in entropy is unlikely, not impossible.. QTI predicts
that you will survive the most probable way possible. This means it is
unlikely that you will find yourself in a world where you choose to
attempt quantum suicide experiments in the first place, but if you do
the least improbable way of surviving is very improbable in absolute
terms, but not impossible.



-- 
Stathis Papaioannou

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Re: Quantum Immortality = no second law

2008-04-14 Thread Russell Standish

Further to this, to say that the 2nd law is falsified, we'd have to
have circumstances where the less likely outcome ocurred more
frequently than the more often. (ie entropy decreases more often than
it increases). But this begs the question of what we mean by
likelihood of outcome, if not related to frequency of occurrence. 

In any case, QTI does not change the observed outcome of likely versus
unlikely events, it just changes the set of possible outcome on which
to apply the second law.

On Tue, Apr 15, 2008 at 11:30:05AM +1000, Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
 
 On 15/04/2008, Michael Rosefield [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
  No, it just means no-one's put enough stress on the 2nd Law yet :)
 
  Besides, it's not so much a law as a guideline. Well, a strong statistical
  tendency
 
 As Michael pointed out, the 2nd law is a statistical law, which says
 that a decrease in entropy is unlikely, not impossible.. QTI predicts
 that you will survive the most probable way possible. This means it is
 unlikely that you will find yourself in a world where you choose to
 attempt quantum suicide experiments in the first place, but if you do
 the least improbable way of surviving is very improbable in absolute
 terms, but not impossible.
 
 
 
 -- 
 Stathis Papaioannou
 
 
-- 


A/Prof Russell Standish  Phone 0425 253119 (mobile)
Mathematics  
UNSW SYDNEY 2052 [EMAIL PROTECTED]
Australiahttp://www.hpcoders.com.au


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Re: Quantum Immortality = no second law

2008-04-14 Thread nichomachus



On Apr 14, 9:21 pm, Russell Standish [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
 Further to this, to say that the 2nd law is falsified, we'd have to
 have circumstances where the less likely outcome ocurred more
 frequently than the more often. (ie entropy decreases more often than
 it increases). But this begs the question of what we mean by
 likelihood of outcome, if not related to frequency of occurrence.

Hi, Russell,

Surely the framework of the Many Worlds interpretation would say that
the likelyhood of measuring a quantum observable in state A rather
than B reflects the number of histories in which the observable is
measured as being in state A divided by number of histories in which
either is seen. Molecules in a gas chamber may not be the best
example, as I am personally unclear as to whether the macroscopic
behavior of the aggregate is reduceable to probabilistic quantum
events. But the point remains that it is impossible to adhere to the
MWI without also affirming not only the existence of histories in
which unlikely events happen, but also ones in which *only* unlikely
events happen. This includes universes where the cat never dies,
uranium never decays, and (perhaps) the second law does not hold. Is
it right to think that this is unproblematic? Or perhaps we should
regard the Many Worlds formalism as merely an instrumentalistic
interpretation, similar to how Bohr and Heisenberg regarded their
Copenhagen interpretation, rather than granting full ontological
significance to alternate possible histories.


 In any case, QTI does not change the observed outcome of likely versus
 unlikely events, it just changes the set of possible outcome on which
 to apply the second law.

What does QTI stand for?

So our suicidal physicist would have enabled himself to observe the
extremely scenario of seeing radioactive elements never decay, by
killing himself in all histories where decay ocurred and thereby
selecting only the ones where it did not take place to continue his
awareness in.Of course, those branches of his identity would still
have observed the same outcomes even if the gun was unloaded, so he
doesn't really have to kill himself in nearly all universes in order
to get to see it.

But if I accept the above as true, then I must also accept that there
are histories that have been experienced in which no atom of an
unstable element has decayed since Jan. 1, 1900. (or any date you
prefer)

When Thomas Young performed his double slit experiment, were there any
versions of himself that did not observe an interference pattern?

Why not?

I appreciate the replies as I am more questions than answers at this
point on these topics.


 On Tue, Apr 15, 2008 at 11:30:05AM +1000, Stathis Papaioannou wrote:

  On 15/04/2008, Michael Rosefield [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
   No, it just means no-one's put enough stress on the 2nd Law yet :)

   Besides, it's not so much a law as a guideline. Well, a strong statistical
   tendency

  As Michael pointed out, the 2nd law is a statistical law, which says
  that a decrease in entropy is unlikely, not impossible.. QTI predicts
  that you will survive the most probable way possible. This means it is
  unlikely that you will find yourself in a world where you choose to
  attempt quantum suicide experiments in the first place, but if you do
  the least improbable way of surviving is very improbable in absolute
  terms, but not impossible.

  --
  Stathis Papaioannou

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Re: Quantum Immortality = no second law

2008-04-14 Thread nichomachus



On Apr 14, 6:26 pm, Saibal Mitra [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
 Citeren nichomachus [EMAIL PROTECTED]:



  In the description of the quantum immortality gedanken experiment, a
  physicist rigs an automatic rifle to a geiger counter to fire into him
  upon the detection of an atomic decay event from a bit of radioactive
  material. If the many worlds hypothesis is true, the self-awareness of
  the physicist will continue to find himself alive after any length of
  time in front of his gun, since there exist parallel worlds where the
  decay does not occur.

 This has never been rigorously proven. I can give you some argumetns
 why the MWI does not imply Quantum Immortality.

Ok. I would like to hear them.



  On a microscopic scale this is analogous to the observing a reality in
  which the second law of thermodynamics does not hold. for example,
  since there is a non-zero probability that molecular interactions will
  result in a decrease in entropy in a particular sealed volume under
  observation, there exist histories in which this must be observed.

  This is never observed. Therefore the MWI is shown to be false.

 This is also not a correct conclusion (if you replace MWI by quantum
 immortality).

I agree. I don't believe the argument truly works whether we are
talking about WMI or quantum immortality. But what I am interested in
is why not. That is why I posed the argument. If it is flawed, it will
help me understand everything better if you could tell me how you
think it is flawed. First off, how is it that the MWI does not imply
quamtum immortality?
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