Re: Q Wars Episode 10^9: the Phantom Measure

From: Russell Standish <>
Date: Tue, 15 Jun 1999 14:45:35 +1000 (EST)

> Jacques may have a point that there may be cases where all branches terminate
> EVEN IF THE MW IS INFINITE. As an example, we could consider in the domain of
> mathematics Fermat's problem: There is no integer solution to the problem
> X**n + Y**n = Z**n for all n > 2. This results holds for the infinite set of
> integers X, Y Z and n. Similarly, this may implies that there exists in the
> MW some worlds which are closed to us. However as long as the REMAINING
> number of worlds is infinite we are still immortal. If the number of worlds
> that we have access to is finite then we end up in an universe that
> terminates or in an infinitely recurring universe which is as boring as a
> universe that terminates. My hope is that our number of options is infinite.
> I do not know the answer to this question.

Indeed, MWI does not IMHO rule out points in which all future branches
terminate. Its just that I can't think of any. It would be comforting
to know that there is at least the possibility of dieing.

> I haven't heard of any QS yet. There are several possibility for this
> situation:
> 1) Either no one is 100% convinced of QM immortality
> 2) Or those of us who are 100% convinced of QM immortality possess some form
> of ethics that prevents them from QS. (even though no one has yet formulated
> an explicit "morality" or "ethic" for a MW world)
> 3) Or those who are 100 convinced of QM immortality are happy to live a
> schizophrenic existence actually believing several contradictory things
> simultaneously, like Lewis Carrol said.

You are forgetting a fourth possibility. In order to successfully
implement QS, you must be absolutely sure that no negative
consequences occur because of your action. For instance, shooting
yourself with a gun is likely to leave you with a large hole in your
head for the reast of your eternal life (or worse - perhaps
paraplegic, or whatever). I would not attempt QS, because I cannot
ensure the outcomes will be what I want to achieve. Perhaps this will
change with better understanding, but that will be a long way off.

> My favorite possibility is #2. I think it is possible to formulate an ethic
> in the MW. I would like to counter the argument that says that since the MW
> is complete chaos, contains all the possibility and why bother with ethics
> since everything will happen anyway. My argument is that at a meta level, the
> MW does give rise to life and consciousness which are emergent properties of
> the MW and therefore we should have an ethic. Sometimes, after a close call
> on the road that did not result in any accident, I catch myself worrying
> about my wife and children in the other universes where I did not make it
> alive. How can I tell them that over here everything is fine and not to worry?
> Jacque Mallah wrote
> >>Note 4: George, you still owe me an apology re: Bayesian Boxes.>>
> Jacques, we had a good argument, and I bought Gilles' explanation. However, I
> am not sure if I am ready to give up my point of view yet. I think that it is
> possible to bridge the gap between the two points of views and explain one in
> terms of the other. Jacques there is no animosity on my part and I really
> enjoyed exchanging posts with you. I think the devil's advocate role that you
> play is invaluable.
> George

Dr. Russell Standish Director
High Performance Computing Support Unit,
University of NSW Phone 9385 6967
Sydney 2052 Fax 9385 7123
Room 2075, Red Centre
Received on Mon Jun 14 1999 - 21:45:03 PDT

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