Re: Heed Clarification on MW

From: Russell Standish <>
Date: Wed, 15 Dec 1999 10:01:41 +1100 (EST)

Fritz Griffith wrote:

> I would imagine that we could theoretically learn every variable that
> affects our decisions, but our brains are so complex that I would imagine
> that there would be a lot more variables than we could ever expect. I would
> also imagine that our brain is a very chaotic system, so that a hardly
> significant difference of initial states would result in a totally different
> outcome. But if we were to learn every variable that controlled our
> decisions, and monitor those variables perfectly, then we should be able to
> give probabilities to our decisions.
> This leads to an interesting problem, though: if we knew the probability of
> our decisions, we should be able to act against those probabilities, and
> make a decision that is very unlikely. We could effectively choose to be in
> either a low measure world or a high measure world.

Precisely. This is why 3rd person predictions (which are based on well
defined probabilities) are of little help in predicting what you will
actually experience in the 1st person.

A little anecdote. When I was a child, I was able to influence the way
cards and dice fell in games to give me an edge in a game. More
recently, I used the same technique to ensure I had a healthy child
(check out his photos on the Web if you're interested). Now these
statements are 1st person experiences, and definitely unprovable
(scientifically uncummunicable in Bruno's terms). This is an instance
of chosing lower probability outcomes, however the lower probabilities
are certainly no less than a couple of orders of magnitude lower than
the most probable outcome. I'm sure anyone can do this in the right
frame of mind (child's suspension of disbelief perhaps?) To do real
magic require many many orders of magnitude difference in
probabilities (say 10 orders - that's the sort of difference often
used in SSA like arguments) - that would surely require a wizard of
great power :)


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 14 1999 - 15:36:48 PST

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Feb 16 2018 - 13:20:06 PST