[ExI] Free will was: Everett worlds

John Clark johnkclark at gmail.com
Sat Aug 29 22:24:15 UTC 2020

On Sat, Aug 29, 2020 at 11:53 AM Stuart LaForge via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

* > What you are saying is classically correct, but at a quantum level
> you have a mathematical object i.e. information,*

And that information says one observer will see the electron go left for no
apparent reason and another observer will see the electron go right for no
apparent reason. But in reality the reason is that everything that can
happen will happen.

*> Everett's theory, there is only ONE monolithic  wave function, a
> universal one.*

I know, that's why Everett's theory is a favorite among cosmologists, but
what I don't know is why you think the quantum Zeno effect Is evidence that
this is untrue.

> *> All actual computers that have been constructed thus far have
> been finite state machines approximating a Turing machines and not
> actual Turing machines which are purely abstract mathematical ideals that
> have infinite tape i.e. unlimited memory or hard drive space.*

That is incorrect. All Turing Machines that you see that are still working
on a problem have only used a finite amount of tape, and all Turing
Machines that have actually produced an answer have only used a finite
amount of tape to produce that answer. Turing Machines have unlimited
memory but that's not the same thing as infinite memory, it just means when
you start to run out of tape you need to add some more tape if you want any
hope of ever getting an answer. If you have to keep adding tape forever
then the function is uncomputable, the Busy Beaver function for example is
not computable. The first four Busy Beaver numbers have been computed, they
are 1, 6, 21, and 107, the fifth is suspected by some of being 47,176,870
but that has not been proven and may never be proven. It has been proven
that the 748'th Busy Beaver number, although well-defined and finite, is
not computable, if God exists even He doesn't know what the 748'th Busy
Beaver number is, He may not even know for sure what the fifth Busy Beaver
number is.

> * > Incidentally, the fact that an infinite-dimensional Hilbert space
> is necessary to describe the Universal Wave  Function also implies
> the ontological existence of infinity.*

Not necessarily, the wave equation is not a physical thing it's just a
calculating device, if you want you can forget about Schrodinger's wave
equation entirely and use Heisenberg's matrix mechanics instead, you get
the same answers although the calculations are usually more cumbersome. We
can't detect Schrodinger's wave directly, all we can detect is the square
of its absolute value, and even then we only get a probability.

> *Why do you think general relativity can't be true at Planck scales?*

Nobody thinks General Relativity can be true with the Planck scale, if you
try to calculate things at that scale you always get the same answers,
infinite energy, infinite density, infinite curvature, infinite momentum
,,,, that's useless. That's why we need a quantum theory of gravity.
Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity are our two best physical
theories, One does a good job explaining the weak and strong nuclear forces
and electromagnetism, and the other does a good job explaining gravity, but
they are incompatible, they don't play nice with each other.

> > Suppose an atom has a halflife of one second, the universe splits and
>> so > do I after one second.  In one universe the atom decays and in the
>> other it
>> > doesn't. In the universe where it didn't decay after another second the
>> > universe splits again, and again in one universe it decays but in the
>> other
>> > it has not, it survived for 2 full seconds. So there will be a version
>> of
>> > me that observes this atom with a one second half life surviving for 3
>> > seconds, and 4 seconds, and 5 years, and 6 centuries, and you name it.
>> >By utilizing a series of increasingly complex and difficult procedures
>> in the
>> > lab it is possible for the lab to be in the universe that contains
>> > observers that see the atom surviving for an arbitrary length of time.
>> But
>> > the longer the time and the more atoms involved the more difficult the
>> > procedures become and is soon ridiculously impractical.
> * > That is a really good explanation for how the Quantum Zeno Effect
> could operate in Everett's multiverse, but it also seems that it allows
> researchers to freely choose to be in the universe where the atom takes an
> arbritrarily long time to decay with effort.*

Yes but the longer the delay is the more difficult it is to set up the

> *> This demonstrates that to a certain extent that we can choose the
> Everett branch we find ourselves in. That sounds like free will to me,*

The scientists either chose to perform the experiment for a reason in which
case they're cuckoo clocks, or they decided to perform the experiment for
no reason in which case they are roulette wheels.

John K Clark
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