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pengvado comments on Bayesian Flame - Less Wrong

37 Post author: cousin_it 26 July 2009 04:49PM

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Comment author: pengvado 27 July 2009 07:39:49AM *  5 points [-]

The relevant property of the electron+beamsplitter(+everything else) system is that its wavefunction will be evenly split between the two Everett branches. No chance involved. 50% is how much I care about each branch.

And after performing the experiment but before looking at the result, I can continue using the same reasoning: "I have already decohered, but whatever deterministic decision algorithm I apply now will return the same answer in both branches, so I can and should optimize both outcomes at once." Or I can switch to indexical uncertainty: "I am uncertain about which instance I am, even though I know the state of the universe with certainty." These two methods should be equivalent.

If we ever do find some nondeterministic physical law, then you can have your probability as a fundamental property of particles. Maybe. I'm not sure how one would experimentally distinguish "one stochastic world" from "branch both ways" or from "secure pseudo-random number generator" in the absence of any interference pattern to have a precise theory of; but I'm not going to speculate here about what physicists can or can't learn.