Re: Quantum Immortality = deadly important

From: Wei Dai <>
Date: Wed, 9 Dec 1998 12:08:06 -0800

On Wed, Dec 09, 1998 at 10:06:23AM -0000, Higgo James wrote:
> The word 'should' is pretty loaded. What you 'should' do is live in the
> present and be happy. But if you're an economist you might think that you
> should invest for the greatest happiness of you in the greatest number of
> branches in the multiverse, which is what Deutsch implies. In all events,
> you should invest for universes where you are alive, rather than dead,
> unless you care about other people.

But if I should live in the present and be happy, then whether or not I'm
immortal doesn't really matter, does it? The "greatest happiness in the
greatest number of branches" idea might be a start, but then I don't think
you really get the immortality effect since you end up caring a lot about
the "branches" where you die because they reduce the number of "branches"
where you're happy. On the other hand, if what you mean is "greatest
happiness in the greatest percentage of branches where you're live" then
it seems everyone should commit suicide the moment they are unhappy in the

In any case, all you have said is what my goals should be, not how I
can reach them (which is really what decision theory is all about).
That's why an economist wouldn't talk about happiness, because he doesn't
know you want to be happy, and he doesn't care. He just tells you whatever
you want, just apply decision theory, and he guarantees that your effort
will be optimal.
Received on Wed Dec 09 1998 - 12:10:12 PST

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