Re: Heed Clarification on MW

From: Russell Standish <>
Date: Mon, 13 Dec 1999 17:02:59 +1100 (EST)

> On Wed, 8 Dec 1999, Russell Standish wrote:
> > > 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.
> I discussed this one, decision theory in the MWI, with Wei Dai
> pretty thoroughly a while ago; look it up.
> Basically, your decisions *do* still determine the outcome, just
> like in a single-universe deterministic model. Which is the same as
> saying that the laws of physics + initial conditions determine the
> outcome; just another way of talking about the same thing, as you are not
> something outside of physics.

According to your following paragraph, we don't have free will, so
therefore there are no decisions we can make to affect the evolution
of the state function. You contradict yourself!

> > 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.
> There is no free will; in fact, as I say above, realizing that
> solves the problem. As for "1st person" you will not be surprised that I
> see no basis for such distinctions.

This is rubbish. There is free will. For example I can choose to look
at a photon using a left circularly polarised filter or a right
circularly polarised filter. The physics fills in what I see from some
probability distribution based on the state function.

Now however you choose to explain this, it is a phenomenon of free

How I chose to explain this is that free will is a 1st person
phenomenon, and doesn't exist at all in the 3rd person world. An
analogy here is that centrifugal force exists in a rotating frame of
reference, but not a static one. It is a mistake to say that
centrifugal force therefore does not exist (as I've heard certain high
school teacher assert).

> - - - - - - -
> Jacques Mallah (
> Graduate Student / Many Worlder / Devil's Advocate
> "I know what no one else knows" - 'Runaway Train', Soul Asylum
> My URL:

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 Sun Dec 12 1999 - 22:01:42 PST

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