Re: what happens to the wave function of the universe as systems Spike

From: Mitchell Porter (
Date: Sat Aug 03 2002 - 02:39:22 MDT

>The Fermi Paradox as an exponentiating trap:

[i.e. could the migration of superintelligences into baby universes
somehow quantum-mechanically suppress the probability of future

>Any quantum mechanics on the list who might comment?

This is a pretty interesting question, because of the number of
things it brings together, but I think the answer is No, you would
not expect it to do so, without special additional assumptions.

The basic reason is that quantum interference (in a many-worlds
model) relates events in this universe with events in the universe
next door, but not with events elsewhere in this universe. When
you conduct a double-slit experiment, what matters is the ensemble
of almost-identical experiments being conducted in otherwise-identical
universes, not the double-slit experiments conducted yesterday or
tomorrow in this universe. Yesterday's and tomorrow's experiments
will be correlated with similar ensembles in the immediate multiversal
neighborhood, but yesterday's, today's and tomorrow's ensembles are
all distinct and uncorrelated.

Now, consider a Singularity that happens somewhere. First of all,
for quantum interference to be in any way relevant to its development,
it needs to rely on quantum processes. If it just involves classical
computing and macroscopic warping of space-time, what goes on next door
in the multiverse will not matter. But let's assume the super-AIs are
quantum computers, or that they need giant quark nuggets to make their
baby universes. Okay, now quantum effects matter, but even so, they
are only correlated with their local ensemble of worlds. Events in the
next galaxy or the next galactic year should be completely independent
of how their Singularity turns out, except for matters that are quite
classical, such as whether they used up all the local eganite.

So, just to recap, quantum interference (according to many worlds...)
involves interaction between universes. The Fermi Paradox is an
apparent improbability that appears in data from just *one* universe.
It's fair to ask whether that improbability might be due to multiversal
effects, but the mere Transcendence and Separation of previous
civilizations within this universe shouldn't have any effect on the
a-priori chances of success of later civilizations, at least not by
way of quantum effects. This would be an effect more like Sheldrake's
morphic resonance. There *are* quantum phenomena in which events in
the same universe are super-correlated or super-anti-correlated, such
as bose condensation, but to make Technological Singularities behave
like bosons you'd have to introduce some of those 'special additional
assumptions' I mentioned.

Incidentally, I've said nothing about what happens if one member of
a multiversal quantum ensemble migrates from its home universe into
a baby universe. I think it would remain correlated with the rest
of its ensemble until novelty from its new environment caused its
state to pass beyond the boundaries of its ensemble. Example: suppose
you had a quantum computer buried in a meteorite, i.e. (in many-worlds
terms) suppose you had a coherent multiversal ensemble of them. And
suppose that in some fraction of those worlds, the meteorite ends up
falling into a baby universe just as it becomes causally separate
from the parent universe. There's no real reason to think that that
part of the ensemble would suddenly decohere from the rest. Instead
you'd expect a gradual differentiation of the two sub-ensembles of
meteorites, due to the different average environmental conditions
they faced, leading to eventual decoherence.

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