Re: Changing the past by forgetting

From: A. Wolf <>
Date: Sun, 15 Mar 2009 17:19:11 -0400

> Thanks! This is like undoing historical events. If you forget about the
> fact that dinosaurs ever lived on Earth and there is an alternative
> history
> that led to your existence in the multiverse, and you do the memory
> erasure
> also in sectors were dinosaurs never lived, you have some nonzero
> probability of finding yourself on an Earth were the dinosaurs never
> lived.

The problem I'm having with this line of reasoning is that "memory" isn't a
fixed physical object. Memory is reconstructive, and depends upon emotional
triggers both at the time when the memory was encoded and at the time when
it re-examined in the conscious mind. No memories are particularly

Most of the time, I'm not aware that dinosaurs existed because I'm not
thinking about it, or any other part of Earth's history, for that
matter...but I don't seem to have the experience that my environment is
impoverished of history altogether just because I hadn't been thinking hard
enough about it. As another example, people who have false recovered
memories through psychotherapy invariably end up unable to confirm them when
they look for facts to back up their new memories, and that happens in my
universe even though I personally don't have any information to confirm or
deny their memories.

In other words, I don't see why forgetting something is any more likely to
change events than simply being wrong about having the memory in the first
place, the latter of which happens constantly. If you want to argue about
what nonzero probability implies, you'd have a hard time showing that
anything non-contradictory at all has a nonzero probability of being true.

> Because of the entanglement, I don't think you can, in general, reverse
> the spin
> state of the particle without reversing what is known about it by "the
> rest of
> the world".

The rest of the world? What's that?


You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Everything List" group.
To post to this group, send email to
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to
For more options, visit this group at
Received on Sun Mar 15 2009 - 17:19:34 PDT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Feb 16 2018 - 13:20:15 PST