Re: quantum suicide = deadly dumb

From: Jacques M. Mallah <>
Date: Wed, 9 Dec 1998 20:12:38 -0500 (EST)

Wei Dai wrote:
> However the existing accepted decision theory is
> not compatible with the MWI or any version of the "everything"
> hypothesis, and no one has presented a new one. If you're not familiar
> with the idea of a decision theory, it's a set of rules on what an
> individual should do in any given situation (and typically also given
> the individual's goals).

        On the contrary, it's the same. That is easy to prove: suppose
the MWI was false but assume the universe is spacially infinite, so there
are other people like you in distant galaxies. Clearly they have no
bearing on what you do, so you should make the usual decisions, including
of course any suicide decisions. It is no different in the MWI; the only
difference is that the others are in different parts of wavefunction
configuration space, rather than regular space.
        Another issue, independent of the MWI, is whether it makes any
difference that your future self is or is not 'you'. This is really just
a matter of definition; only the measure distribution is well defined.
The point is that you future self is similar enough to you (e. g. a later
stage in the same computation) that what you would want for yourself is
what you would want for him: use the usual decisions.
        Quite generally, then, the MWI has no weird consequences regarding
decisions. It's not a religion.
        To those who still believe in quantum suicide, the most dangerous
crackpot idea I've seen in physics: how can you really understand nothing
about the simple concept of the measure of a conscious thought?

                         - - - - - - -
              Jacques Mallah (
       Graduate Student / Many Worlder / Devil's Advocate
"I know what no one else knows" - 'Runaway Train', Soul Asylum
            My URL:
Received on Wed Dec 09 1998 - 17:14:24 PST

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Feb 16 2018 - 13:20:06 PST