Re: Measure, madness, and Max

From: Wei Dai <>
Date: Tue, 19 Jan 1999 00:58:56 -0800

On Mon, Jan 18, 1999 at 10:48:08PM -0800, wrote:
> I disagree with the reasoning of Jacques Mallah regarding quantum suicide.
> Jacques claims that in a Many-Worlds universe, someone has no reason
> to expect the results of a suicide attempt to be different from what
> they would be if there were just one world. I and many other people
> argue, instead, that in a MW universe, suicide would eliminate you from
> some successor "branches", but that you would go on living in others.
> Since you cannot experience your own nonexistence, those successor
> branches where you do not exist are irrelevant to you (just as are
> branches where all life is impossible). Your personal experience is
> that the suicide never works.

Let's call this the quantum suicide decision argument (as opposed to the
quantum suicide information argument, which is the argument that quantum
suicide can provide information about whether MWI is true). I think the
crucial problem with QSDA is that the successor branches where you do not
exist are not necessarily irrelevant to you. In fact because of natural
selection it must be relevant to most people. More generally, natural
selection will cause most people to act as if their utility function is
defined on global states of the entire MW universe, not just on their
subjective experiences.
Received on Tue Jan 19 1999 - 01:00:06 PST

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