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RichardKennaway comments on References & Resources for LessWrong - Less Wrong

90 Post author: XiXiDu 10 October 2010 02:54PM

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Comment author: RichardKennaway 13 October 2010 09:40:59AM 2 points [-]

[quantum suicide is] a proven memetic hazard with at least one recorded death to its credit.

I hadn't heard of this -- can you give more details?

Comment author: rwallace 13 October 2010 04:53:02PM 5 points [-]
Comment author: khafra 13 October 2010 07:10:23PM 3 points [-]

Not even the most optimistic interpretations of quantum immortality/quantum suicide think it can bring other people back from the dead. Does it count as a memetic hazard if only a very mistaken version of it is hazardous?

Comment author: XiXiDu 14 October 2010 01:37:29PM *  2 points [-]

Why not? If you kill yourself in any branch that lacks the structure that is your father, then the only copies of you that will be alive are those that don't care or those that live in the unlikely universes where your father is alive (even if it means life extension breakthroughs or that he applied for cryonics.)

ETA: I guess you don't need life extension. After all it is physical possible to grow 1000 years old, if unlikely. Have I misunderstood something here?

Comment author: khafra 14 October 2010 08:12:22PM *  1 point [-]

The way I understand quantum suicide, it's supposed to force your future survival into the relatively scarce branches where an event goes the way you want it by making it dependent on that event. Killing yourself after living in the branch where that event did not go the way you wanted at some time in the past is just ordinary suicide; although there's certainly room for a new category along the lines of "counterfactual quantum suicide," or something.

edit: Although, to the extent that counterfactual quantum suicide would only occur to someone who'd heard of traditional, orthodox quantum suicide, the latter would be a memetic hazard.

Comment author: XiXiDu 15 October 2010 08:43:06AM *  0 points [-]

What difference does it make if you kill yourself before event X, event X kills you or if you commit suicide after event X? In all cases the branches in which event X does not take place are selected for. That is, if agent Y always commits suicide if event X or is killed by event X then the only branches to include Y are those in which X does not happen.

Comment author: khafra 17 October 2010 03:00:52AM 1 point [-]

The difference, to me, is how you define the difference between quantum suicide and classical suicide. Everett's daughter killing herself in all universes where she outlived him only sounds like quantum suicide to me if her death was linked to his in a mechanical and immediate manner; otherwise, with her suffering in the non-preferred universe for a while, it just sounds like plain old suicide.

Comment author: wedrifid 17 October 2010 03:10:58AM -1 points [-]

The difference between quantum and classical seems to be distinct from that between painless and painful.

Comment author: DanielVarga 16 October 2010 05:24:05PM 0 points [-]

Why not? If you kill yourself in any branch that lacks the structure that is your father, then the only copies of you that will be alive are those that don't care or those that live in the unlikely universes where your father is alive (even if it means life extension breakthroughs or that he applied for cryonics.)

No, that's not what would happen. Rather, being faithful to your commitment, you would go on a practically infinite suicide spree (*) searching for your father. A long and melancholic story with a suprise happy ending.

(*) I googled it and was sad to see that the phrase "suicide spree" is already taken for a different concept.

Comment author: XiXiDu 16 October 2010 05:33:04PM 0 points [-]

I'm not sure where you think we disagree? Personally if I was going to take MWI and quantum suicide absolutely seriously I'd still make the best out of every branch. All you do by quantum suicide is to cancel out the copies you deem having unworthy experiences. But why would I do that if I do not change anything about the positive branches.

Comment author: DanielVarga 16 October 2010 06:20:51PM 0 points [-]

My reply wasn't meant to be taken seriously, and I don't take the idea of quantum suicide seriously. But to answer your question, here is the disagreement, or really, me nitpicking for the sake of comedic effect:

In your scenario, most of the copies will NOT be in universes with your father. Most of them will be in the process of committing suicide. This is because -- at least the way I interpreted your wording -- your scenario differs from the classic quantum lottery scenario in that here it is you who evaluates whether you are in the right universe or not.

Comment author: XiXiDu 16 October 2010 06:44:45PM 1 point [-]

Yes, we agree. So how serious do you take MWI? I'm not sure I understand how someone could take MWI seriously but not quantum suicide. I haven't read the sequence on it yet though.

Comment author: jimrandomh 16 October 2010 07:09:56PM 2 points [-]

Easy - if you believe in MWI, but your utility function assigns value to the amount of measure you exist in, then you don't believe in quantum suicide. This is the most rational position, IMO.

Comment author: DanielVarga 17 October 2010 01:52:40AM 1 point [-]

I am absolutely uninterested in the amount of measure I exist in, per se. (*) I am interested in the emotional pain a quantum suicide would inflict on measure 0.9999999 of my friends and relatives.

(*) If God builds a perfect copy of the whole universe, this will not increase my utility the slightest.

Comment author: timtyler 25 October 2010 05:05:31PM 1 point [-]

Surely actually performing quantum suicide would be very stupid.

Comment author: wedrifid 16 October 2010 07:13:35PM 1 point [-]

I get the impression that some people consider "take quantum suicide seriously" equivalent to "think doing it is a good idea". That makes not taking it seriously a good option.