superposition of worlds

From: Christopher Maloney <>
Date: Sat, 05 Jun 1999 07:58:34 -0400

In Tegmarks paper, section 3-B-2 discusses how this theory would
produce predictions that would, in principle, differ from the
predictions of any category 1b ontology. The key point is that
in order to determine the probability of any event, we must sum
over all of the possible mathematical structures we are in. That
is, we must take into account the fact that we aren't sure which
structure we are actually in.

He kept referring to us as existing firmly inside one
mathematical structure, and just not being sure which one that
is. But isn't it true that if multiple structures admit a
substructure identical to us, that we really exist in all of
those? How could we possibly say that we exist in one and not
the other? Further, couldn't our conscious selves "float" freely
from one structure to another, as we change over time? I'm not
sure if this consideration changes the probability equations
given by Tegmark.

In fact, I suspect that there are two isomorphic ways of
describing the situation. For example, in Quantum Mechanics, our
"structure" consists of the universal wave function, which admits
an infinite number of "worlds", in each of which events are
non-deterministic. But mightn't it be possible to describe the
same thing as a set of worlds, each of which has a definite
mathematical structure, and that our consciousness exists in
multiple worlds simultaneously, freely floating from one to

Chris Maloney
"Knowledge is good"
-- Emil Faber
Received on Sat Jun 05 1999 - 05:27:06 PDT

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