X-Message-Number: 11093
Date: Wed, 13 Jan 1999 16:39:25 -0500
From: Brook Norton <>
Subject: Quantum Mechanics, Turing Machines, Identity

To Mike Perry, It seems on the one hand you argue that an extremely
unlikely event should be discounted, and on the other hand that an
extremely unlikely event must be considered.... consider the two following

The first passage is in regards to QM effects on using a knife to spread
butter or kill one's self. >> Don't forget that events don't just happen
one-at-a-time, but many, many events are happening in parallel, each of
which have their own probabilities of going one way or another. So in some
(maybe only a relative few) of the parallel universes some extraordinarly
coincidences could lead to strikingly different outcomes. A normally
non-suicidal person could experience the right, short progression of brain
events that would make suicide seem attractive, etc. >>  

and the second passage in regards to the Turing Test. >> It's very, very
unlikely that a "random letter generator" could just spit 

out text that would seem to be coming from an intelligent person who
understands what you are saying and is responding in turn. So unlikely you
can discount this possibility, like water freezing in the summer heat,
which is possible by quantum mechanics, but not likely to be observed in
billions of years. >>  

Perhaps it could be said that while a random-letter generator would very,

very, rarely spit out an intelligent conversation, it would in fact do so

in a very low percentage of the universes.  Therefore the Turing Test is
proven to give false results in a very few universes.  But if the Turing
Test is proven wrong in any universe, it is therefore wrong in principle
in all universes.  

If you and Bob Ettinger continue to refuse to publish your books I may
soon be forced to go to another universe where they have been published! 

Perhaps in that same universe, 21st Century Medicine will have made a
stock offering as well...  

Looking forward to all these events,  

Brook Norton  

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