RE: many worlds theory of immortality

From: Stathis Papaioannou <>
Date: Thu, 14 Apr 2005 23:39:21 +1000

>From: "Jesse Mazer" <>
>Subject: RE: many worlds theory of immortality
>Date: Thu, 14 Apr 2005 04:04:48 -0400
>>From: "Stathis Papaioannou" <>
>>Subject: RE: many worlds theory of immortality
>>Date: Thu, 14 Apr 2005 17:22:34 +1000
>>Jesse Mazer wrote:
>>>>You're right, alas. If QTI is correct, then each of us can expect to be
>>>>the last conscious being in some branch of the multiverse. On the
>>>>brighter side, we will have probably billions or trillions of years
>>>>during which even the most sociable amongst us may well tire of sentient
>>>What's your reasoning? If QTI is correct, I think each of us should more
>>>likely expect that civilization (a community of sentient beings) will
>>>last as long as allowed by the laws of physics, and any being finding
>>>himself approaching the physical limit (whether the limit is due to
>>>increasing entropy, a big crunch, or a big rip) is probably more likely
>>>to find that everything he's experienced up until then has really been a
>>>simulation in some larger meta-universe than he is to find himself
>>>lasting on thanks to an endless string of hugely unlikely quantum events
>>>or something like that.
>>The probability that my consciousness will survive in some branch of the
>>MW is exactly 1, if QTI is correct. The probability that my friend will
>>survive in the same branch as me may be close to 1 - for example, if we
>>are surgically joined, or if we are both implemented on the same chip -
>>but it must be less than 1, unless it is actually physically impossible
>>for only one of us to die. Therefore, over many branchings, my friend is
>>sure to die and I will be left on my own. From the symmetry of the
>>situation, my friend will in turn survive in some branch of the MW, but as
>>t->infinity the probability that I will be still alive in that branch
>>approaches zero.
>For any given friend, sure. I thought you meant "alone" in the sense of
>having no other sentient beings to talk to. Also, if you live in some sort
>of "Omega Point" scenario where the computing power available to
>civilization grows without bound (not necessarily in the specific way
>Tipler proposed), maybe it'd be possible to reconstruct lost friends by
>simulating all possible past histories of the universe up until a certain
>time, then looking at the subset of universes that produced a being with
>your exact mental state at that time, so you can find a past history that's
>consistent with your memories.

I think you can apply the same reasoning to show you will be not only the
only sentient being, but ultimately, the only *thing* in the universe (is
this the same as saying you will ultimately become the universe?). If QTI is
true, your consciousness will survive until the end of time in some branch
of the MW with Pr=1. The Pr that any subset of the current universe
(excluding you) will survive in the same branch as you is <1, so as eternity
approaches, the Pr that anything other than you survives approaches zero.
This is true even of the substructure sustaining you, since there is a
nonzero Pr that you will find some other means of sustenance in the future.
It is also true of your toys, that you might use to reconstruct happier
times. The *only* thing guaranteed to survive indefinitely is you bare

--Stathis Papioannou

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Received on Thu Apr 14 2005 - 09:45:06 PDT

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