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Kaj_Sotala comments on Timeless Identity - Less Wrong

23 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 03 June 2008 08:16AM

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Comment author: Kaj_Sotala 03 June 2008 12:46:01PM 2 points [-]

Frank, it's not logically necessary but it seems highly likely to be true - the spread in worlds including "you" seems like it ought to include worlds where each combination of lottery balls turns up. Possibly even worlds where your friend screams and runs out of the room, though that might be a vanishingly small fraction unless predisposed.


I have to ask now, because this is a topic that's been bothering me for months, and occasionally been making it real hard for me to take pleasure in anything.

How strongly does MWI imply that worlds will show up where I even do things that I consider immensly undesirable - for instance, stab somebody I love with a knife, and then when they lay there dying and look at me, I honestly can't tell them or myself why I did it - because what happened was caused by a very-low probability event that momentarily caused my brain to give my arm that command? (I know I'm not using anywhere near the correct QM terminology, but you know what I mean.) Or that my brain would spontaneously reconfigure parts of itself so that I ended up coldly abandoning somebody who had trusted me and who I'd promised to always be with, etc.

The thought of I - and yes, since there are no originals or copies, the very I writing this - having a guaranteed certainty of ending up doing that causes me so much anguish that I can't help but thinking that if true, humanity should be destroyed in order to minimize the amount of branches where people end up in such situations. I find little comfort in the prospect of the "betrayal branches" being vanishingly few in frequency - in absolute numbers, their amount is still unimaginably large, and more are born every moment.