Re: Amoeba croaks -

From: Wei Dai <>
Date: Tue, 12 Jan 1999 15:53:26 -0800

On Tue, Jan 12, 1999 at 12:11:33PM +0100, Marchal wrote:
> I still agree, but here it is necessary to be cautious. Suppose that my
> goal is to prove Goldbach conjecture (or any unproved big mathematical
> conjecture). I am not very gifted in mathematics, so I decide to proceed
> in the following way. I use a big array of quantum particles, let us say
> 2^32 particles. Each one is prepared in a superposition like 1/sqr(2)(O +
> 1). Then I read (measure) each particle following the order given by the
> array, and I decode the result in the computer-keyboard-base. In case I
> understand what I read as a proof of Goldbach conjecture : I am done. If
> not, then I kill myself with a gun (let us say).

Wouldn't it be better to just try really hard to prove the Goldbach
conjecture? In some worlds your brain will reorganize into one which knows
either a proof or disproof the Goldbach conjecture, and I think the
measure of such worlds would be greater than with the above method. Surely
there is a greater chance for someone, even someone with limited
mathematical abilities, to prove the Goldbach conjecture than for it to be
generated by a completely random process. Then if not having proven the
Goldbach conjecture makes you life unbearable, you can still commit
suicide after trying unsuccessfully to prove it for say one hour.

What is better of course depends on what you want/care about. But I expect
you to care about the total measure of your future continutations, since
if you didn't I wouldn't be talking to you (i.e., you would have commited
suicide a long time ago).
Received on Tue Jan 12 1999 - 16:04:14 PST

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