Re: Need Clarification on MW

From: Russell Standish <>
Date: Wed, 8 Dec 1999 12:01:04 +1100 (EST)

> Fritz Griffith, <>, asks about the Doomsday
> argument. I suggest looking at,
> a whole web site on this topic, by Nick Bostrom. We have had some
> discussion here, and I think the result was that in an all-universe model
> the argument loses its strength because you are more likely to be in a
> universe which has an infinite future than one with a limited future,
> and this effect exactly counterbalances the reasons the Doomsday argument
> gave for believing in a limited future.
> > Second question: when people talk about the quantum suicide experiment, they
> > talk about it as though only one universe, or only the likely ones, are
> > real. For example, some people say that the only thing stopping them from
> > committing quantum suicide is that they'll be leaving behind loved ones in
> > the universe in which they did die. But if every universe is real, then it
> > doesn't matter, because that universe will exist whether they commit quantum
> > suicide or not. It sounds like they are assuming that only two worlds are
> > real: the one in which they leave behind loved ones, and the one in which
> > they still survive. What is the right way to look at this?
> In a MW or all-universe model, all your decisions can do is to change
> the percentage of people-like-you who do certain things, or equivalently
> the percentage of universes in which people-like-you have taken various
> actions.

I disagree with this statement strongly. The evolution of the MW model
is completely deterministic, and the ratios of measures of different
worlds is completely determined at the start.

What your free will does is affect the likelihood of what branch your
1st person experience will take. Free will is a 1st person phenomenon,
not a 3rd person phenomenon.

> If you adopt a policy of quantum suicide, you increase the percentage
> of universes in which you have killed yourself. This means that you
> increase the percentage of universes in which your loved ones are unhappy
> because they are separated from you. I think this is the problem which
> prevents some believers in QS from taking action.
> Hal

Dr. Russell Standish Director
High Performance Computing Support Unit,
University of NSW Phone 9385 6967
Sydney 2052 Fax 9385 6965
Room 2075, Red Centre
Received on Tue Dec 07 1999 - 16:58:23 PST

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