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So yeah. the gold standard is. of course. scientific prediction. My idea is very far away from such a thing! I actually do have some background in quantum mechanics (I have a physics minor :P) and at one point actually did have some understanding of Hamiltonian Operators and eigenstates and bra-ket notation. However that's a far cry from the sort of needed mathematics to really understand the implications of what I'm talking about (this is why they say a little knowledge is a dangerous thing)! What I do have is enough knowledge to tentatively pose that my idea doesn't contradict what we've actually seen in experiments (so I don't think it's trivially wrong).

I'm not too worried about proposing a possible explanation first then asking what it can explain. That may seem like a backwards way of doing things, but it might be a way to approach problems from a different angle. My guess is (having not read much scientific biography it's hard to say) there were probably some scientists who developed the key ideas of their breakthroughs prior to completing formal training in their field. Besides, it's a lot more effort for me to learn all this stuff then to just ask the question on on Internet forum!

I'm also not worried about becoming that Mensan. That dude put too much emotional stakes into being right about that. He is completely emotionally invested in the correctness of his idea and his own brilliance over Einstein. I'm keenly aware of the fact that I'm just some dude throwing some half-baked idea onto an Internet forum. I'm not at all worried if people think it's crazy or wrong. And I'm not worried if it is wrong! What worries me more is if people don't think it's worth the time of day or is completely uninteresting. That would make me sad but not hugely sad, just kinda sorta sad. My contention is merely the idea is interesting enough to take somewhat seriously.

I'm confused here: You seem to be analyzing a troubleshooting process. How exactly did the troubleshooting process fail? I can see that there's some criticisms of what was done. But I don't see how this troubleshooting process resulted in disaster.

These are some very good links. I'm still digesting them. Thank you!

I've at least gave them all a once over (with the exception of Permutation City which awesome as it looks suffers from my general failure to incorporate fiction into my life) but definitely need to dig deeper. There's so much cool stuff out there that I'm still scratching the surface on.

Hans Moravec's Mind Children, I think comes closest to my argument. but stops short of stating that quantum suicide type scenarios might skew our understanding of physical law.

Anyways I'm just curious as to what else you've seen in a similar vein.

I get the sort of unrestrained woolly thinking that comes from a diet of too much insight porn and an overtrusting one's own ideas. Let me assure you that I don't particularly trust my suspicion here. My aim is to see if it is a good idea or not and if it is a good idea see how far it goes. I figure if someone can provide an extremely compelling argument as to why it's not true then that itself would probably be pretty interesting!

On the subject of quantum mechanics my intent is not to explain a mystery with another mystery fill it with secret sauce and revel in the mysticism. I detest such a thing. Since my idea rests on a specific properties of the "true" interpretation of quantum mechanics (one where our experience of time branches) I sort of view partaking in that fight as a necessary endeavour.

My imediate aim is much more focused. I'm specifically referring to the counterintuitive nature of probability in situations like Bell's theorem. There is a strong link in mathematical structure between Bell's and conditional probability which has its own famous counterintuitive probability puzzle (The Monty Hall Porblem). I believe the possibility of universe destroying events can exhibit the same sort counterintuitive subjective experiences. However I have yet to really flesh it out in a more rigorous way.

I apologize if that last paragraph comes off a bit as word salad. Part of why it's hard to explain is because probability in a branching-time scenario is sort of an illusion. In MWI a quantum coin flip both heads and tails are actually observed. The perception of a 50/50 chance is "merely" a subjective experience. Which means you have to be very deliberate about what you're talking about; it gets tricky to talk clearly about it.

Anyways what excites me more is when you said "please don't go this way" you sort of imply that there's another way that you find to be better. I'd really like to know your thoughts as to where you'd like to see it go. I fully expect to go down paths where completely reasonable people will ask "what the hell is that dude thinking? and I fully expect to sometimes ask myself later "what the hell was I thinking?"

"Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others." - Groucho Marx

This is exactly the suspicion I have. The "real" physical laws could be quite different from the "experienced" physical laws. If this idea is correct physicists are only getting a small piece of the story of how the universe really operates.

It seems to me that this sort of behavior could (with sufficient refinement) provide an account for some of the more bizarre aspects of physical law. An obvious target is the counterintuitive statistics that make quantum mechanics so spooky.

It would also be place where physicsists could stuff their physics - extra degrees of freedom to explain the regularities we observe in nature. Perhaps instead of tiny curled dimensions of string theory we can stuff some of that physics into the details of a sort of subatomic brinksmanship.

(sometimes I wonder [not too seriously] if this could explain why certain things aren't - why we don't see dark matter, or where there are no free quarks or magnetic monopoles - maybe when they crop up the world as we know it ceases to be)

A pernicious difficulty is tying our experience of probability to what is actually going on. Ultimately some sort of self-selection accounting must occur. This is where we come up against sleeping beauty type problems and need to question some strongly held intuitions.

And that's where I start getting confused (not that there aren't other confusing aspects to this)!

I generally take that confusion to be a good sign. If there wasn't some dangerous conceptual waters everyone would wade in. What I don't see any real no go as to why the universe couldn't be this way.

Median expected behavior is simple which makes it easy to calculate.

As an electrical engineer when I design circuits I start off by assuming that all my parts behave exactly as rated. If a resistor says it's 220+10% Ohms then I use 220 for my initial calculations. Assuming median behavior works wonderfully in telling me what my circuit probably will do.

In fact that's good enough info for me to base my design decision on for a lot of purposes (given a quick verification of functionality, of course).

But what about that 10%? What if it might matter? One thing I do is called worst case analysis

This is the exact opposite of what you're proposing! I look for the cases where everything is off by the greatest amount possible and in the way that combines to form the worst possible outcome. If my circuit has 2 220+10% ohm resistors I'll consider the cases where both are 242ohms, both are 198ohms and even the bizarre cases where one is 198ohms and the other 242ohms. I do that because if I know my circuit will function under those circumstances, then only when the resistors are out of tolerance (and I can blame someone else) there's a problem.

In my view, average expected utility is the true metric. But there are circumstances where it's easier and cheaper to ignore the utility of anything other than the median case, and there are circumstances where it's easier and cheaper to ignore the utility of anything other than the worst cases.

I'll dig a little deeper but let me first ask these questions:

What do you define as a coincidence?

Where can I find an explanation of the N 2^{-(K + C)} weighting?

I'm digging into this a little bit, but I'm not following your reasoning. UDT from what I see doesn't mandate the procedure you outline. (perhaps you can show an article where it does) I also don't see how which decision theory is best should play a strong role here.

But anyways I think the heart of your objection seems to be "Fragile universes will be strongly discounted in the expected utility because of the amount of coincidences required to create them". So I'll free admit to not understanding how this discounting process works, but I will note that current theoretical structures (standard model inflation cosmology/string theory) have a large amount of constants that are considered coincidences and also produce a large amount of universes like ours in terms of physical law but different in terms of outcome. I would also note that fragile universe "coincidences" don't seem to me to be more coincidental in character than the fact we happen to live on a planet suitable for life.

Lastly I would also note that at this point we don't have a good H1 or H2.

A few brainstormy ideas:

Survival/Sustenance - Food/Water/Shelter/Safety

Humor - Jokes/Comedy

Intimacy - Feeling emotionally connected/Physical Affection/Proximity

Validation - Positive Feedback on emotions/feeling understood/feeling that one is good and one matters

I'm not quite grasping what you're trying to get it here. Please do elaborate and clarify!

When you say "It's irrelevant" and "it doesn't provide any useful information or anything that should guide your behavior" what are you referring to?

Choosing to go for chemo and jumping off a bridge should have different results, The difference between the two results would be the basis for the decision. I don't see how fragile universe hypothesis or MWI should undermine that.

As for the relevance of other timelines, I have four answers:

  1. MWI allows for quantum interactions with other timelines which means they're directly relevant

  2. MWI provides for multiple future timelines for me, despite the fact these future mes will not have a "me-ness" relationship with each other. All future versions of me are relevant to current me.

  3. Exploring this concept may result in theoretical predictions that are testable and eventually provide pragmatic benefits

  4. I would like to understand what exists and why. I would like the Truth regardless of pragmatic benefits associated with it,

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