RE: many worlds theory of immortality

From: Stathis Papaioannou <>
Date: Fri, 15 Apr 2005 11:38:14 +1000

Jesse Mazer writes:

>>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 consciousness.
>>--Stathis Papioannou
>One thing to take into account is that QTI doesn't say your experience of
>subjective time will match that of physical time--if there is a branch
>containing a version of you having a certain experience near the end of the
>universe, and there is some other branch where the exact same experience is
>taking place in a *simulation* of the end of the universe that's being run
>at a much earlier cosmological time, it is certainly possible that your
>next experience will be of the beings that ran this simulation removing you
>from it and showing you the "real" world. So, if you reach a point where
>the only thing that could sustain your consciousness would be a
>mind-bogglingly unlikely string of luck (the particles that make up your
>body constantly tunneling into configurations that keep you alive, in
>defiance of thermodynamics), then I'd expect there to be a lot more
>branches of the multiverse where your continued experience turns out to be
>due to the fact that you turned out to be living in a simulation being run
>well before the end of the universe (after all, a mind-bogglingly unlikely
>string of luck can only happen in a mind-bogglingly small fraction of all
>branches, while branches where life is able to run giant simulations of
>various kinds need not be so rare).
>Another posssibility, as I said before, is some type of Omega-Point-type
>scenario where the amount of computations civilization can do grows without
>bound, in which case the probability that everyone else around you will die
>might look like a decreasing geometric series such as
>1/8+1/16+1/32+1/64+1/128+..., so that the probability of your going on
>having experiences of seeing civilization around you survive for an
>infinite time would not go to zero.

No doubt, common implementations of your mind will predominate over more
bizarre ones at any given point in time. It is also possible to imagine some
scenarios where you survive indefinitely with all of your friends, for
example implemented in an Omega Point computer. But eternity is a very long
time. If it is possible that the Omega Point computer can break down, then,
as Murphy teaches, it certainly *will* break down - eventually. The only
thing guaranteed to survive in some universe which you also survive in is
you. Hence, while there will always be branches where your friends survive
along with you, the measure of these branches approaches zero as t
approaches infinity.

--Stathis Papaioannou

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Received on Thu Apr 14 2005 - 22:39:10 PDT

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