RE: ASSA and Many-Worlds

From: Stathis Papaioannou <>
Date: Thu, 25 Jan 2007 22:46:44 +1100

Johnathan Corgan writes:

> Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
> > If some multiverse theory happens to be true then by your way of argument we
> > should all be extremely anxious all the time, because every moment terrible things
> > are definitely happening to some copy of us. For example, we should be constantly
> > be worrying that we will be struck by lightning, because we *will* be struck by lightning.
> If MWI is true, *and* there isn't a lowest quantum of
> probability/measure as Brent Meeker speculates, there is an interesting
> corollary to the quantum theory of immortality.
> While one branch always exists which continues our consciousness
> forward, indeed we are constantly "shedding" branches where the most
> brutal and horrific things happen to us and result in our death. Their
> measure is extremely small, so from a subjectively probability
> perspective, we don't worry about them.
> I'd speculate that there are far more logically possible ways to
> experience an agonizing, lingering death than to live. Some have a
> relatively high measure, like getting hit by a car, or getting lung
> cancer (if you're a smoker), so we take steps to avoid these (though
> they still happen in some branch.) Others, like having all our
> particles spontaneously quantum tunnel into the heart of a burning
> furnace, are so low in measure, we can blissfully ignore the
> possibility. Yet if MWI is true, there is some branch where this has
> just happened to us. (modulo Brent's probability quantum.)
> If there are many more ways to die than to live, even of low individual
> measure, I wonder how the "integral of the measure" across all of them
> comes out.

It's not death that is the problem (you always get out of that), it's suffering. Final death
would be better than a living hell, but QTI denies you final death. I take comfort in the
speculation that if I'm still alive in a few hundred years, most likely this will be as a result
of some advanced medical or cybernetic intervention, and if science understands the brain
well enough to do that, it would be a relatively simple matter by comparison to ensure that I
am content. I think the hellish routes to immortality would occur mostly by chance and would
be of much lower total measure than the deliberate, happy routes.

Stathis Papaioannou
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Received on Thu Jan 25 2007 - 06:46:56 PST

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