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rasthedestroyer comments on Preference For (Many) Future Worlds - Less Wrong

18 Post author: wedrifid 15 July 2011 11:31PM

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Comment author: rasthedestroyer 16 July 2011 12:21:01PM 0 points [-]

The fundamental flaw in this game is the separation of 'me' from the 'many possible worlds' that I may occupy. Abstracting the self from the world is done as a matter of convenience, but there are just as many possible "Me's" as there are possible future states in which 'I' exist. In Quantum Roullette, what if the new 'me' in the new state doesn't care about being rich, or what if inflation has devalued my wealth, or what if it's a possible world without the money-form?

Comment author: MoreOn 19 August 2011 02:34:21AM *  0 points [-]

Reality wouldn't be mean to you on purpose.

Of course there would be worlds where something would have gone horribly wrong if you won the lottery. But there's no reason for you to expect that you'd wake up in one of those worlds because you won the lottery. The difference between your "horribly wrong" worlds (don't care about money/ inflation / no money) and wedrifid's (lost the lottery and became crippled) is that waking up in wedrifid's is caused by one's participation in the lottery.

Comment author: DSimon 25 July 2011 11:33:03AM *  0 points [-]

I think there are a few problems with this reasoning:

  1. None of the events you listed make it any worse to have won the lottery than not, at most they just even it out. Assuming you support the basic premise of quantum suicide, then it doesn't really matter very much to trim out cases where you didn't win but it turns out that winning wouldn't have been that great anyways.

  2. We can even include some unlikely and wacky but still possible outcomes where winning is worse (i.e. a sudden widespread revolution made up of super-naive anti-capitalists who go around putting all people above a certain tax bracket through a meat grinder), but don't forget that there are also silly-rare-but-possible outcomes for heavily decreasing the utility of not winning the lottery (massive deflation, world where money is far far more important than it is now, super-naive capitalists who go around with a meat grinder, etc. etc.). You're still more likely to want to win the lottery than not.

  3. If you're still very concerned about these types of events, then you can pre-commit to suicide under any future where it turns out that winning the lottery sucks by more than a certain amount, or more aggressively, under any future where winning the lottery is less awesome than a certain threshold.