Re: Craziness of a quantum suicidal

From: Jacques M Mallah <>
Date: Sat, 19 Jun 1999 18:40:24 -0400

> Jacques, you silver tongued devil, you. Don't sugar coat things, tell
> us how you really feel.

        Judging by the reaction to my sugar coating - which it WAS -
maybe that wouldn't be such a good idea.

>> But consider this: Is the branch in which you win the lottery not
>> already occupied? How will it profit this lottery winner if you, finding
>> yourself in another branch, kill yourself?

>You seem to be using the model where state reduction is a process of
>differentiation of pre-existing universes, rather than the actual forking
>of a single universe into multiple daughter universes. But neither
>approach is inherently superior to the other.
>Even in your model, where all (future) "branches" are already occupied,
>many branches are completely identical prior to differentiation. It is
>reasonable to consider your "identity" or "consciousness" as being common
>to all of these branches. You are not living in just one of them,
>you span all of the identical ones.

        I guess that depends on the definition of 'you'. It sure doesn't
seem reasonable that I'm living in a branch where I won the lotto. I
don't remember doing that. Some other guy did that who's almost like me.

>> Your belief that you will magically leap into the body of this
>> winner, at the same date and time as you die, is absurd. You guys take
>> one true fact - that the effective probability of finding yourself to be
>> that winning guy, given that you find the date and time to be such and
>> such, and that your name is such and such, etc. - is nearly one. But you
>> don't understand what it means and you sure as hell don't use it
>> correctly, and the result is this monstrous quantum cult of death.

> With the concept of identity I described, or the concept of a universe
> which branches at the time of state function collapse, there is no leap
> involved. It is a continuous process.

        Wrong. It makes no difference if you assume that worlds branch.
(Off topic note: When did the term 'collapse' start applying to the MWI?
Last I heard the MWI was the antithesis of that.)
        Think of it from the point of view of the guy who won the lottery.
If the other branches commit suicide, can he then say "I wouldn't be here
otherwise, I'd be in another branch"? Of course not. He would still have
been there and is totally unaffected by what goes on in the other
        As far as continuous, don't forget that it is not the selection of
the lottery numbers that kills you. It's what happens after that, after
the branching already occurred a macroscopic time ago. You know you
didn't win and that death is coming, but you still think you can leap to
the other distant branch. Not very continuous.

On Sat, 19 Jun 1999, Christopher Maloney wrote:
> last post I even invited you to "show me why I am stupid". But
> only when I decided to write something a little bit personal did
> you decide to respond in a scornful, derisive manner. Why is that?
> I won't respond to the technical issues, "the facts" that you
> listed in your post, because I would just be repeating the stuff
> I wrote in the above two posts. I still wish you'd respond to
> them.

        You just answered your own question. Responding to them would
just be repeating what I already wrote, including the technical side of
the last mail. Only when you wrote something new that hadn't been written
before did I respond. Your two technical posts were a rehash of the same
stupid view I keep pointing out the fallacies of.

> It's interesting, isn't it, how people can disagree so
> fundamentally sometimes?

        Yeah, interesting. That's one word for it.

> But I'm not stupid, and I don't believe you are either.

        Thanks, but I can't return the favor. I do believe you are
stupid. Not in all ways, no doubt, but in important ways.

> > I suspect
> > I will unsubscribe from this newsgroup before long. I'm a scientist, not
> > a suicide counselor.
> I didn't ask for any counseling.

        But if your wife dies or leaves you or whatever that could change
and I might be in a situation where your life or more depends on my
persuasiveness. Who needs that? Or it might not be you, it could be
anyone who thinks as you do. It could be worse too than just a suicide.
It's only a matter of time if this list continues to grow and you guys
keep thinking like this.

                         - - - - - - -
              Jacques Mallah (
       Graduate Student / Many Worlder / Devil's Advocate
"I know what no one else knows" - 'Runaway Train', Soul Asylum
            My URL:
Received on Sat Jun 19 1999 - 15:41:53 PDT

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