[ExI] a doubt concerning the h+ future

Stathis Papaioannou stathisp at gmail.com
Sun Jun 3 04:02:34 UTC 2007

On 03/06/07, John K Clark <jonkc at att.net> wrote:

> The multiverse idea on its own would seem to imply the possibility of
> > eternal torture, because it isn't possible to die.
> Yes.
> > you have a 1/2 chance of finding yourself seriously injured
> I don't believe that's quite correct. When you reach a branching point
> like
> that there is a 100% chance you will find yourself to be seriously injured
> and a 100% chance you will find yourself not be. Both yous would be quite
> different from each other but both would have an equal right to be called
> you.

Yes, but the effect from any given observer's point of view is that there is
a 1/2 chance of being injured. It is exactly the same as a single world
situation where you have a 1/2 chance of being injured. That is why the
multiverse idea is debated at all: there is no way for an observer embedded
within the multiverse to tell that it is in fact a multiverse, because the
subjective probabilities work out the same.

> since the probability that you will survive n accidents unharmed is 1/2^n
> > and approaches zero as n approaches infinity.
> If you're dealing in infinite sets then standard probability theories
> aren't
> much use. If there are an infinite number of universes and for each one
> where you will live in bliss there are a million billion trillion where
> you
> will be tortured then there is an equal number of both types of universe.

So what would we actually experience in an infinite multiverse? An analogous
situation occurs in an infinite single universe. There are vastly fewer
copies of me typing in which the keyboard turns into a teapot than there are
copies of me typing in which the keyboard stays a keyboard, but the set of
each kind of copy has the same cardinality. Nevertheless, I am not just as
likely to find myself in a universe where the keyboard turns into a teapot.
It is still possible to define a measure and calculate probabilities on the
subsets of infinite sets.

Stathis Papaioannou
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