Re: Quantum accident survivor

From: Hal Finney <>
Date: Fri, 31 Oct 2003 10:46:32 -0800

Joao Leao, <>, writes:
> You are quite right in one point, Hal: "...probably a lot of
> things!". But you should have written: "Certainly
> a lot of things, each one with high probability". If you pick
> photons rather than, say, flying massive debris, you should
> in all honesty, include photons along all the spectrum
> including, of course, gamma rays, which will kill you not
> just now, but keep on killing softly you forever by blasting the
> nuclear structure of your atoms and persuading them to
> decay. You would conclude that if you survive the blast,
> you would, with the help of QM be able to calculate precisely
> how dead you already are!

I'm not sure if you are joking here; do you agree that even gamma
ray photons may happen to miss your body due to the quantum randomness
in their emission and absorption events?

> So there is a branching event for you: if you survive a nuclear
> blast, how sure could you be that you really survived?

Which brings up another possibility, which is that your body could
spontaneously re-assemble from atoms in the environment even if it were
temporarily destroyed. In that case you might have genuine uncertainty
as to whether you really survived, depending on your views of personal
identity and survival.

Received on Fri Oct 31 2003 - 14:11:57 PST

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