RE: Decision theory

From: Higgo James <>
Date: Wed, 6 Jan 1999 13:40:26 -0000

I don't see why MWI should cause you to behave any differently to a 'normal'
person who expects a single universe to change with time according to
various probabilistic laws. You jus want there to be more 'good' universes
thatn 'bad' ones. You ride your bicycle with care because you want there to
be a higher proportion of universes in which you have not been run over or
dorpped your shopping.

The idea that one of the 'you-like beings is really you' does not make
sense. What are you? You are a collection of components which identifies
itself by a set of memories - i.e. a sequence of relationships with 'past'
universes. All you-like beings share between 0% and 100% of these
characteristics; those (very, very many) which share 100% cannot be said to
be other than 'you'.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Wei Dai []
> Sent: 31 December 1998 16:19
> To: Jacques M Mallah;
> Subject: Re: Decision theory
> On Wed, Dec 30, 1998 at 04:41:47PM -0500, Jacques M Mallah wrote:
> > Certainly any theory with no free parameters will predict many
> > cases in which a being like you will be faced with that decision, and in
> > some of them he will make one decision, in the rest he will make the
> > other. You can find out which of those cases you are in by making the
> > decision, and you can make the decision because the theory predicts the
> > results for both cases. Of course there must then be a small chance
> that
> > a 'random factor' might cause you to make the 'wrong' decision; QM
> > certainly predicts that there is such a chance, ditto a theory with 'all
> > possible structures'.
> I think you're suggesting that we think of decisions as selecting which of
> the you-like beings is really you, instead of as changing the universe
> somehow. This seems like a promising approach, and I've tried it too, but
> I haven't figured out how it can be formalized. It may require a
> different formal framework from "classical" decison theory.
Received on Wed Jan 06 1999 - 05:44:48 PST

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