RE: Worlds do fuse

From: Higgo James <>
Date: Fri, 11 Jun 1999 09:22:27 +0100

It's James. And that's a difficult one: can our present have many pasts? My
feeling is yes, but QM seems to say no, as I understand it. However the
solution may be in realising that there is not neceserily ONE present: there
may be many identical presents, each with slightly different pasts, but
indistinguishable and hence the same ONE.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Christopher Maloney []
> Sent: Thursday, June 10, 1999 10:52 PM
> To: Higgo James
> Subject: Worlds do fuse
> Thank you, James (or is it Higgo?) for this quote -- I
> enjoyed it and agree with it almost completely. I want
> to address the second to last sentence in it, though, and
> I've changed the subject in order to start a new thread,
> perhaps this will be interesting. Again, if you've
> already discussed this, I apologize. I still haven't
> finished all of the archives.
> Higgo James wrote:
> >
> > There is a very nice, and relevant, quote in Euan
> > Squires's 1986 'The mystery of the quantum world':
> >
> > [snip]
> >
> > The many-worlds
> > interpretation gives an obvious explanation of this
> > psychological effect: my conscious mind has a
> > unique past, but many different futures.
> > Each time I
> > make an observtion my cnsciousness will split into
> > as many branches as there are possible results of
> > the observation."
> I don't think it can be true that my conscious mind has a
> unique past. I think the measure of the universes in the
> future which are compatible with my present self must be
> greater than the measure of those in the past, but it
> seems to me that, looking towards the past, there are
> still an infinite number of universes compatible with
> my present self.
> For example, imagine two universes which only differ in
> one miniscule detail in 1863 - like whether there was a
> fleck of dust on some confederate soldier's boot. Both
> of those universes could easily evolve into the present
> universe. That is, the present universe lies within the
> set of branching future possible universes of both of
> those past universes. So how could it be that you could
> say that the universes don't fuse? I've only read this
> in one place -- the MWI FAQ, where Michael Clive Price
> indicates that worlds *do not* fuse. But I think I've
> read statements similar to the one in the quote above in
> other places, where the assumption is tacit that we have
> a unique past.
> If you follow the idea of the fleck of dust further, and
> think about a single electron at some point in the
> distant past, it seems clear that this is right. QM says
> that we *cannot* say exactly where it was (I mean, we
> can't even say exactly where it is right now, even).
> Also that we can't even say with certainty that some
> electron at a given position then is the same electron at
> some other position now.
> --
> Chris Maloney
> "Knowledge is good"
> -- Emil Faber
Received on Fri Jun 11 1999 - 01:19:43 PDT

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