People making decisions are not quantum events. When a photon could either end up in a detector or not, there are branches where it does and branches where it doesn't. But when you decide whether or not to do something good, this decision is being carried out by neurons, which are big enough that quantum events do not influence them much. This means that if you decide to do something good, you probably also decided to do the same good thing in the overwhelming majority of Everette branches that diverge from when you started considering the decision.

[anonymous]8y1

I have taken lots of decisions based on random bits from Fourmilab or random.org (especially before finding LessWrong -- nowadays I only do that when deciding which password to use and stuff like that).

2arundelo8yThis may be true, but I don't think anyone knows for sure, and it seems likely to me that the brain has the property of sensitivity to initial conditions [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaos_theory#Sensitivity_to_initial_conditions], meaning that it's likely to do different stuff in different Everett branches. Yvain recently asked about this on his blog [http://squid314.livejournal.com/314580.html] -- he tends to agree with you: More on-topic for the grandparent: Greg Egan's novellaOracle [http://gregegan.customer.netspace.net.au/MISC/ORACLE/Oracle.html]talks about the ethical issue of bad stuff happening in other Everett branches.

Stupid Questions Open Thread Round 3

by OpenThreadGuy 1 min read7th Jul 2012209 comments

8


From the last thread:

From Costanza's original thread (entire text):

"This is for anyone in the LessWrong community who has made at least some effort to read the sequences and follow along, but is still confused on some point, and is perhaps feeling a bit embarrassed. Here, newbies and not-so-newbies are free to ask very basic but still relevant questions with the understanding that the answers are probably somewhere in the sequences. Similarly, LessWrong tends to presume a rather high threshold for understanding science and technology. Relevant questions in those areas are welcome as well.  Anyone who chooses to respond should respectfully guide the questioner to a helpful resource, and questioners should be appropriately grateful. Good faith should be presumed on both sides, unless and until it is shown to be absent.  If a questioner is not sure whether a question is relevant, ask it, and also ask if it's relevant."

Meta:

  • How often should these be made? I think one every three months is the correct frequency.
  • Costanza made the original thread, but I am OpenThreadGuy. I am therefore not only entitled but required to post this in his stead. But I got his permission anyway.

Meta:

 

  • I still haven't figured out a satisfactory answer to the previous meta question, how often these should be made. It was requested that I make a new one, so I did.
  • I promise I won't quote the entire previous threads from now on. Blockquoting in articles only goes one level deep, anyway.