Re: (Quantum) suicide not necessary?

From: Marchal <>
Date: Fri Feb 23 06:12:29 2001

Hello Meeker,

You wrote:

>On 21-Feb-01, Marchal wrote:
>> Saibal Mitra wrote:
>>> Instead of the previously discussed suicide experiments to test
>>> various versions of many-worlds theories, one might consider a
>>> different approach.
>>> By deleting certain sectors of one's memory one should be able to
>>> travel to different branches of the multiverse. Suppose you are
>>> diagnosed with a rare disease. You don't have complaints yet, but you
>>> will die within a year. If you could delete the information that you
>>> have this particular disease (and also the information that
>>> information has been deleted), branches in which you don't have the
>>> disease merge with the branches in which you do have the disease. So
>>> with very high probability you have travelled to a different branch.

>This seems completely confused to me. If thoughts (or observer moments)
>are the stuff of reality, then erasing some of them could have the
>effect you contemplate. But, if they are the stuff of reality it is
>impossible to 'erase' them or even to say what that would mean.

Saibal's proposal is without doubt both na´ve and subtil, very
near inconsistency. For advanced dreamers only :-)

It is quite possible I don't get it at all, also.
Perhaps you should ask Saibal.

At least, I can say what appears in my mind when reading Saibal.
It is captures by the following diagram:

                 I I
                 I I
                 I I
                 v v

>On the other hand if you take physics (QM etc) to represent reality,
>erasing memories in your brain will not undo the many interactions with
>the rest of reality which have changed the world wave function (or
>split the world in the MWI) and the erasure will not have any effect
>except leaving you with amnesia.
>This seems to me a common kind of error on this list. Someone starts
>off assuming reality is a computation, or thoughts, or an axiomatic
>system but they then slip off into drawing conclusions about the
>physical world without showing how the physical world derives from
>whatever they started with.

I show only that IF we are machine THEN the laws of physics must
be ultimately reductible to the laws of machine's psychology.
I don't say how, although my argument gives hints (hopefully!).

(I will define machine's psychology by all correct
self-referential discourse. Formally it is given by G, G* (very
useful for the "uncommunicable" (unprovable) truth, etc.)
With comp we are machine so "machine's psychology" subsumes the
correct part of human psychology (if there is any).

And, well, with G and G* we get a little more than a hint, for
your question "how" does the laws of physics emerges from
psychology. But I don't think I should begin with that. But
if you insist ...

In anu case we must find some common agreement basis. Let me
ask you two preliminary questions:

1) Do you agree that 2+2=4 cannot be put in doubt? (An important
point where Juergen and me agree!)
     (From this it is just a matter of time for common agrement
      on most of (third person) computer science).

2) Do you agree that you are conscious, and that people who are
reading this post exists and are conscious (perhaps distract or not
paying attention, but conscious)?

George's suggestion to follow Descartes is quite nice, but here
I propose a slight shortcut.

Received on Fri Feb 23 2001 - 06:12:29 PST

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