X-Message-Number: 17983
Date: Tue, 20 Nov 2001 10:28:12 EST
Subject: briefs

My disagreements with Shipman are relatively minor. I don't claim that my 
"self circuit," or standing wave binding space and time, constitute anything 
more than a hint, scarcely more than kibitzing, although I do think these 
hints could help the experimentalists in their designs. They can also help 
clear the way to eliminating the impression, still held by many, that 
subjective experience is beyond the reach of objective science. 

Mike Perry says that even if phenomenological quantons, such as phonons, 
could be used for quantum computing, that would not militate against MWI. I 
think it would, because it would increase the likelihood that all quantons 
are phenomenological. After all, even MWI people do not appear to dispute the 
possibility of a finer-grained reality such as strings underlying the 
particles previously regarded as ultimate.

As for infinities of "you" in MWI, and "identity of indiscernibles"--

First, I'm pretty sure Deutsch does say there are infinitely many identical 
copies of you in the multiverse--although the precise meaning of this needs a 
long explication. As for identity of indiscernibles, I don't want to rehash 
that at any great length, but this "identity" is said to apply, for example, 
to electrons--and yet no one claims there is only one electron. They differ 
in many ways, including location, and at a fine-grained level probably in 
other ways that result from differences in location.

I don't think Mike can have it both ways--claiming on the one hand that you 
and your (identical or close) copies are the "same" and on the other hand 
that there aren't infinitely many copies or near-copies of you having 
infinitely varied experiences, most of which are bound to be miserable. (Yes, 
I have read Mike's valuable book, but that still leaves possible 

As for choices making a difference, see e.g. Barbour's THE END OF TIME. He is 
more or less in the Deutsch camp, yet he thinks the succession of events or 
"passage" of time is an illusion, other times being only special instances of 
other universes, and Deutsch (sometimes) seems to agree. On the level of 
consciousness, of course we do have free will, and choices do matter, but 
from an Olympian point of view everything already exists, eternal and 
unchangeable--here and there, now and then, everything. (In a way, this would 
also answer Dave Pizer's question about something arising from nothing. There 
is no "arising" in the temporal sense.)

Anyway, the future--if there is such a thing--seems to offer lots of 
opportunity for fun, for every taste.

Robert Ettinger
Cryonics Institute
Immortalist Society

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