Re: Infinite universe

From: Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Date: Tue Apr 29 2003 - 20:00:13 MDT

Psy-Kosh wrote:
> Me making choice A or B simply means _being_ the branch of the
> multiverse corresponding to my making that decision. There is of
> course another "I" that makes the other choice.

Not at all! If your computation produces A, then a computation that
produces B may be so distant as to be essentially impossible. Think of
saying "two plus two equals four". There may be versions of you that say
"three", but they're as unlikely as versions of you that teleport through
the nearest wall - or scarcely less so.

> The state of the multiverse is independent of which choice I made

It is correlated with the result that your computation produces.

> becuase in the context of U, the concept is meaningless. Only when
> one is not working with the entirety of U does it become meaningful.
> ie, U containes the "I" that made choice A, but it _also_ contains
> the "I" that made choice B. However, From the perspective of the "I"
> that made choice A, the other branch has been "cut off", so from
> I(A)'s perspective, the universe has changed in the way corresponding
> to action A. However, from I(B)'s perspective, the branch
> corresponding to A has been pruned off. Thus, from I(B)'s
> perspective, the universe has been changed in the way coresponding to
> action B.

But B has immensely tinier measure because of your choice. B might as
well be assembled from quantum fluctuations. B exists, perhaps, but you
and any other sentient have only an infinitesimal probability of meeting him.

> I was not in any way arguing against that. What I was simply saying
> is that no matter what choice I make, another "I" will make the other
> choice, and the future corrsponding to that will also be.

But with infinitesimal measure. If, depending on your choice, one person
died or a million people died, you'd choose so that only one person died,
right? You wouldn't say: "Well, the death event exists either way."

> Actually, I think of free will as the experiancing of specific
> branches. The me that choses A is the me that is the branch
> corresponding to be choosing A, and similar for B.

One of the branches has almost no measure because it is the result of
atoms in your brain leaping around in an improbable and unphysical way.

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky                
Research Fellow, Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence

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