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From: Saibal Mitra <smitra.domain.name.hidden>

Date: Sat, 4 Jan 2003 00:48:03 +0100

I am not convinced that the MWI implies that quantum suicide should work. A

hidden assumption proponents of quantum suicide make is that once you are in

a certain branch all the other possible branches are off limits to you. You

will forever move on in that branch. I reject this. I could also survive

(with memory loss) in another branch in which I never performed the

experiment in the first place. Normally this assumption doesn't affect

probabilities, except in cases were the observer doesn't survive. I would

say that, in principle, a theory of everything would allow you to compute

the probability of experiencing a ''personal history'' x, by integrating

over all possible histories X of the multiverse that are consistent with x.

Within this framework there is no room for quantum suicide to work.

Saibal

Tim May wrote:

*> RSA Broken By The Russians?
*

*>
*

*> Kolmogorov Cryptography System Possibly Cracked
*

*> 1 Apr 1994
*

*>
*

*>
*

*> MOSCOW (AP) -- At a press conference held minutes ago in a crowded
*

*> hall,
*

*> Russian mathematicians announced that a breakthrough had been made
*

*> nearly a decade ago in the arcane branch of mathematics known as
*

*> "cryptography," the science of making messages that are unreadable to
*

*> others.
*

*>
*

*> Leonid Vladwylski, Director of the prestigious Moscow Academy of
*

*> Sciences, called the press conference yesterday, after rumors began
*

*> circulating that noted Russian-American reporter John Markoff was in
*

*> Russia to interview academicians at the previously secret city of
*

*> Soviet cryptographers, Kryptogorodok. The existence of
*

*> Kryptogorodok,
*

*> sister city to Akademogorodok, Magnetogorsk, and to the rocket cities
*

*> of Kazhakstan, had been shrouded in secrecy since its establishment
*

*> in
*

*> 1954 by Chief of Secret Police L. Beria. Its first scientific
*

*> director, A. Kolmogorov, developed in 1960 what is called in the West
*

*> "public key cryptography." The existence of Kryptogorodok was
*

*> unknown
*

*> to the West until 1991, when Stephen Wolfram disclosed its existence.
*

*>
*

*>
*

*> American cryptographers initially scoffed at the rumors that the
*

*> Russians had developed public-key cryptography as early as 1960, some
*

*> 15 years prior to the first American discovery. After interviews
*

*> last
*

*> year at Kryptogorodok, noted American cryptographers Professor D.
*

*> Denning and D. Bowdark admitted that it did seem to be confirmed.
*

*>
*

*> Professor Denning was quoted at the time saying that she did not
*

*> think
*

*> this meant the Russians could actually break the Kolmogorov system,
*

*> known in the West as RSA, because she had spent more than a full
*

*> weekend
*

*> trying to do this and had not succeeded. "Believe me, RSA is still
*

*> unbreakable," she said in her evaluation report.
*

*>
*

*> Russia's top mathematicians set out to break Kolmogorov's new coding
*

*> system. This required them to determine that "P = NP" (see
*

*> accompanying
*

*> article). Details are to be published next month in the journal
*

*> "Doklady.Krypto," but a few details are emerging.
*

*>
*

*> The Kolmogorov system is broken by computing the prime numbers which
*

*> form what is called the modulus. This is done by randomly guessing
*

*> the
*

*> constituent primes and then detonating all of the stockpiled nuclear
*

*> weapons in the former Soviet Union for each "wrong guess." In the
*

*> Many
*

*> Worlds Interpretation of quantum mechanics, invented in 1949 by Lev
*

*> Landau (and later, independently by Everett and Wheeler in the U.S.),
*

*> all possible outcomes of a quantum experiment are realized.
*

*>
*

*> As Academician Leonid Vladwylski explained, "In all the universes in
*

*> which we guessed the wrong factors, we were destroyed completely.
*

*> But
*

*> since we are obviously here, talking to you at this press
*

*> conference, in
*

*> this universe we have an unbroken record of successfully factoring
*

*> even
*

*> the largest of imaginable numbers. Since we are so optimistic about
*

*> this method, we say the computation runs in 'Nondeterministic
*

*> Pollyanna
*

*> Time.' Allow me to demonstrate..."
*

*>
*

*> [Press Conference will be continued if the experiment is a success.]
*

*>
*

*> MOSCOW (AP), ITAR-Tass, 1 April 1994
*

*>
*

*>
*

*> Appendix
*

*> --------
*

*> First, it was Stephen Wolfram's actual suggestion, a couple of years ago
*

*> after the USSR imploded, that we try to recruit mathematicians and
*

*> programmers from what he surmised must exist: a secret city of Soviet
*

*> cryptographers. It probably exists. We did it at Los Alamos, they did
*

*> it
*

*> with their rocket scientists and others (Akademogorodok exists), so why
*

*> not
*

*> put their version of NSA a bit off the beaten track? Note that our own
*

*> NSA
*

*> is within a stone's throw of the Baltimore-Washington Parkway. I
*

*> wouldn't
*

*> be surprised to learn that their experts were ensconced somewhere in the
*

*> Urals.
*

*>
*

*> I tried to acknowledge Steve with my comments. By the way, so far as I
*

*> know, no word has come out on whether he was right in this speculation.
*

*> (Maybe some of the Russians he does in fact have working at Wolfram are
*

*> these folks? Naw...)
*

*>
*

*> Second, Kolmogorov did basic work on information theory, probability,
*

*> and
*

*> statistics. One has to assume he had ties to the Soviet cryptography
*

*> effort (about which little has been written about, so far). If anyone
*

*> in
*

*> Russia could have seen public key methods coming, he is a candidate. No
*

*> evidence that he or any other Russian did, though.
*

*>
*

*> Third, my references to Denning and Sternlight were perhaps not
*

*> riotously
*

*> funny (though I didn't aim for a riotously funny tone). Especially in
*

*> light of David Sternlight's excellent follow-up here... never let it be
*

*> said that David lacks a sense of humor. The Denning reference was to
*

*> her
*

*> own comments about spending a weekend or so trying (and failing, not
*

*> surprisingly) to crack the Skipjack algorithm. (Real ciphers often take
*

*> years to break, as with the knapsack algorithm, recent crunching of DES,
*

*> etc.).
*

*>
*

*> Fourth, the "Many Worlds" interpretation of quantum mechanics does
*

*> exist,
*

*> and leads to approaches such as I described. It's also a hypothetical
*

*> way
*

*> to ensure one's wealth: simply bet everything you own at 1000-to-1 odds
*

*> and
*

*> then commit suicide in all universes in which you lose. Not very
*

*> convincing, I agree. Hans Moravec writes about this in his "Mind
*

*> Children," 1987.
*

*>
*

*> Finally, I used the headers and format of a real article in the ClariNet
*

*> system, then made modifications. Given that the Supreme Court has
*

*> recently
*

*> ruled in favor of "fair use" for satire, I hope my version of "2 Live
*

*> Crew
*

*> meets RSA" does not get my sued. (I could just kill myself in all
*

*> realities in which Brad sues me.)
*

*>
*

Received on Fri Jan 03 2003 - 18:54:24 PST

Date: Sat, 4 Jan 2003 00:48:03 +0100

I am not convinced that the MWI implies that quantum suicide should work. A

hidden assumption proponents of quantum suicide make is that once you are in

a certain branch all the other possible branches are off limits to you. You

will forever move on in that branch. I reject this. I could also survive

(with memory loss) in another branch in which I never performed the

experiment in the first place. Normally this assumption doesn't affect

probabilities, except in cases were the observer doesn't survive. I would

say that, in principle, a theory of everything would allow you to compute

the probability of experiencing a ''personal history'' x, by integrating

over all possible histories X of the multiverse that are consistent with x.

Within this framework there is no room for quantum suicide to work.

Saibal

Tim May wrote:

Received on Fri Jan 03 2003 - 18:54:24 PST

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