Re: Objective Anticipation

From: Stathis Papaioannou (
Date: Sun Mar 16 2008 - 06:56:56 MDT

On 16/03/2008, Jeff L Jones <> wrote:

> One further comment: most of my intuitions on this come from thinking
> about the Many Worlds Interpretation, something I've believed in for a
> number of years. And there is is just crystal clear that you *must*
> interpret anticipation in this way. Because nature is always making
> copies of you, and they are always fanning out and developing into
> different people. If you don't adhere to the objective anticipation
> criterion that I have outlined, then you will fail to behave like a
> Bayesian would in a quantum world. Furthermore, adopting Clark's
> point of view would lead to the absurd conclusion that observers would
> behave very different in the Many Worlds Interpretation than they
> would in the Copenhagen Interpretation, which is obviously
> incorrect... as they are both just different descriptions of the same
> *physical* theory. It's just a matter of interpretation, therefore
> there cannot be any difference in behavior.

It's not surprising that our intuitions about personal identity,
anticipation and probability are consistent with the MWI of QM, since
that is the world our brains evolved in. Problems arise when we
consider situations which are different to what would be encountered
naturally, such as copies meeting each other. The usual tendency is to
try to interpret these situations in terms of the naturally evolved
notions (eg. that there can only be a single version of me persisting
through time), and an apparent paradox is sometimes seen to occur when
this does not square with objective reality.

Stathis Papaioannou

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