Re: More MWI implications: Altruism and the 'Quantum Insurance Policy'

From: Marc Geddes (
Date: Sun Dec 12 2004 - 19:48:13 MST

 --- Russell Wallace <>
> On Sun, 12 Dec 2004 18:24:01 +1300 (NZDT), Marc
> Geddes
> <> wrote:
> > Here's how to safeguard some of the alternative
> > versions of yourself: simply base some of your
> > decisions on quantum random events.
> You're already doing that. Suppose we grant the
> brain is purely
> classical (which it isn't), the weather still makes
> a difference to
> your actions, at least insofar as it makes you cross
> a road 10 seconds
> earlier or later (enough to determine whether you
> get run over by a
> bus or not). The weather depends on microscopic
> events, in accordance
> with chaos theory; if you project for a few months,
> it goes down to
> the atomic level, so whether you get delayed by a
> storm is already
> influenced by quantum mechanics.
> - Russell

I'm not convinced that quantum indeterminacy really
causes much divergence on the macroscopic scale.
Although it's true that the brain may not be totally
classical, the decisions we make are almost certainly
mostly understandable in terms of classical physics.

For the weather example, I read that it takes over a
year for quantum events to cause significant
divergence on a macroscopic scale and even the
divergence which occurred would not be affecting human
behavior that much most of the time.

Yes, quantum events will gradually cause divergence on
the macroscopic scale, but most of the time it would
take years for such divergence to become significant.

You could still get much greater divergence by linking
some of your decisions to quantum random numbers.


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