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How Much Is Infinity Plus One?

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  • Lynch, Mark
    I m about half way through FOR and have so far found some of the ideas very compelling. While sharing them with some friends, however, I find some of the
    Message 1 of 14 , Jun 30, 2000
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      I'm about half way through FOR and have so far found some of the ideas very
      compelling. While sharing them with some friends, however, I find some of
      the incredulity washing back at me hard to overlook. I wonder if my
      examples are perhaps too extreme. I wonder if they are really
      representative of what's presented in FOR.

      Here's my interpretation of the multiverse that gets me in trouble:

      There exists an entire universe exactly the same as this one in absolutely
      every way, *except* I am sitting two inches to the right. The same world
      events are taking place, the same stars are exploding and collapsing in the
      cosmos. All is identical, except for the displacement of my backside.

      There's yet another universe identical in every way to the one above, except
      this time I'm two inches to the left.

      In fact, there's an *infinite* number of universes that differ only in the
      placement of my backside.

      Am I missing something here?
    • David Deutsch
      ... You and your friends are going to have to decide whether you are going to rely on scientific and philosophical reasoning, or base your world view on
      Message 2 of 14 , Jul 11, 2000
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        Lynch, Mark <mlynch@...> wrote on 30/6/00 4:19 pm:

        > I'm about half way through FOR and have so far found some of the ideas very
        > compelling. While sharing them with some friends, however, I find some of
        > the incredulity washing back at me hard to overlook. I wonder if my
        > examples are perhaps too extreme. I wonder if they are really
        > representative of what's presented in FOR.

        You and your friends are going to have to decide whether you are going to
        rely on scientific and philosophical reasoning, or base your world view on
        incredulity. For a critique of the Argument from Incredulity see Richard
        Dawkins' *The Blind Watchmaker*.

        > Here's my interpretation of the multiverse that gets me in trouble:
        >
        > There exists an entire universe exactly the same as this one in absolutely
        > every way, *except* I am sitting two inches to the right. The same world
        > events are taking place, the same stars are exploding and collapsing in the
        > cosmos. All is identical, except for the displacement of my backside.
        >
        > There's yet another universe identical in every way to the one above, except
        > this time I'm two inches to the left.
        >
        > In fact, there's an *infinite* number of universes that differ only in the
        > placement of my backside.
        >
        > Am I missing something here?

        Most of the universes ... and the fact that the universes are part of a
        unified structure, the multiverse. But no, basically the thing you're
        incredulous of is indeed one of the assertions of FoR.

        -- David Deutsch
        http://www.qubit.org/people/david/David.html
      • Martin Thompson
        11:19:55 Fri, 30 Jun 2000 ... No. That s what infinity implies. There is also an infinite number of Universes that don t differ at all from ours. -- Martin
        Message 3 of 14 , Jul 11, 2000
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          11:19:55 Fri, 30 Jun 2000
          Lynch, Mark at Lynch, Mark <mlynch@...> writes:
          >In fact, there's an *infinite* number of universes that differ only in the
          >placement of my backside.
          >
          >Am I missing something here?
          >
          No. That's what infinity implies. There is also an infinite number of
          Universes that don't differ at all from ours.
          --
          Martin Thompson martin@...
          London, UK
          Home Page: http://www.tucana.demon.co.uk

          "Everything I do and say with anyone makes a difference." Gita Bellin
        • Lancelot R. Fletcher
          ... This comment sent me back to p. 46 of FOR, where David writes: A remark about terminology. The word universe has traditionally been used to mean the
          Message 4 of 14 , Jul 11, 2000
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            Responding to Mark Lynch, David Deutsch wrote:

            > > In fact, there's an *infinite* number of universes that
            > differ only in the
            > > placement of my backside.
            > >
            > > Am I missing something here?
            >
            > Most of the universes ... and the fact that the universes are
            > part of a
            > unified structure, the multiverse.

            This comment sent me back to p. 46 of FOR, where David writes:

            "A remark about terminology. The word 'universe' has traditionally been
            used to mean 'the whole of physical reality'. In that sense there can
            be at most one universe. We could stick to that definition, and say that
            the entity we have been accustomed to calling 'the universe' -- namely,
            all the directly perceptible matter and energy around us, and the
            surrounding space -- is not the whole universe after all, but only a
            small portion of it. Then we should have to invent a new name for that
            small, tangible portion..."

            In reading this passage I was suddenly reminded very strongly of Spinoza
            and Leibniz -- especially Spinoza -- and I began to wonder if anybody
            has attempted to articulate the relationship between FOR and the ideas
            of either of those philosophers. The relevance of the Monadology is
            perhaps obvious, but since Spinoza's work is a little less well-known,
            let me say a word about that:

            According to Spinoza, nature is absolutely infinite substance consisting
            of an infinity of attributes each of which expresses eternal and
            infinite essence. From the necessity of nature there must follow
            infinitely many things in infinitely many modes. Since each attribute
            is understood to be what the intellect perceives of substance as
            constituting its essence, it follows that every mode (as a modification
            of substance) must necessarily occur in every attribute of substance.
            However (and here is the point that is relevant to FOR and the notion of
            'multiverse'), Spinoza says that, although every mode occurs under every
            attribute, for each finite mode only two attributes are immediately
            knowable, which, for the sake of convenience, we call extension and
            thinking, although it appears that your "extension" and "thinking" may
            be entirely different attributes from my "extension" and "thinking".

            Lancelot Fletcher, President
            The Free Lance Academy Foundation
            http://freelance-academy.org
            lance@...
          • Pawel Gburzynski
            ... Two things that are completely identical, i.e., in the same quantum state, and cannot be told apart even in principle, are the same one thing. Therefore, I
            Message 5 of 14 , Jul 11, 2000
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              Martin Thompson wrote:
              >
              > 11:19:55 Fri, 30 Jun 2000
              > Lynch, Mark at Lynch, Mark <mlynch@...> writes:
              > >In fact, there's an *infinite* number of universes that differ only in the
              > >placement of my backside.
              > >
              > >Am I missing something here?
              > >
              > No. That's what infinity implies. There is also an infinite number of
              > Universes that don't differ at all from ours.

              Two things that are completely identical, i.e., in the same quantum state,
              and cannot be told apart even in principle, are the same one thing.
              Therefore, I don't think it makes sense to say that there are infinitely
              many completely identical universes. All of them are different.

              Besides, the displacement of one's back can only take discrete values.
              Thus, the number of different universes that differ exclusively by the
              displacement of one's back is finite (although huge).

              Pawel Gburzynski (pawel@...)

              University of Alberta
            • wdeshleman@aol.com
              But placement of backsides are quantized, does that mean that if 2 inches is the quantum we will not find displacements of 1 or 3, etc? --Bill In a message
              Message 6 of 14 , Jul 11, 2000
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                But "placement of backsides" are quantized, does that mean
                that if 2 inches is the quantum we will not find displacements
                of 1 or 3, etc? --Bill

                In a message dated 7/11/00 4:01:41 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
                martin@... writes:

                > 11:19:55 Fri, 30 Jun 2000
                > Lynch, Mark at Lynch, Mark <mlynch@...> writes:
                > >In fact, there's an *infinite* number of universes that differ only in the
                > >placement of my backside.
                > >
                > >Am I missing something here?
                > >
                > No. That's what infinity implies. There is also an infinite number of
                > Universes that don't differ at all from ours.
                > --
                > Martin Thompson martin@...
                > London, UK
                > Home Page: http://www.tucana.demon.co.uk
                >
                > "Everything I do and say with anyone makes a difference." Gita Bellin
                >
              • ettinger@aol.com
                Message 7 of 14 , Jul 11, 2000
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                  << There exists an entire universe exactly the same as this one in absolutely
                  > every way, *except* I am sitting two inches to the right >>

                  Nobody likes a quibbler, but I can't resist pointing out that this is
                  wrong--or so it seems to me--even though Dr. Deutsch endorses it.

                  It's wrong because, even if every logically and physically possible universe
                  exists, each must be self-consistent. If your butt is in a different place,
                  then there must also be a whole lot of other implied differences resulting
                  from that, even if we think only about gravitational changes.

                  Robert Ettinger
                • Richard Lubbock
                  ... Richard Lubbock remarks: I think this is where the legal expression mutatis mutandis comes in handy. That is, changing those things that have to be
                  Message 8 of 14 , Jul 11, 2000
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                    Robert Ettinger says:

                    >It's wrong because, even if every logically and physically possible universe
                    >exists, each must be self-consistent. If your butt is in a different place,
                    >then there must also be a whole lot of other implied differences resulting
                    >from that, even if we think only about gravitational changes.
                    -------------

                    Richard Lubbock remarks:

                    I think this is where the legal expression "mutatis mutandis" comes
                    in handy. That is, "changing those things that have to be changed ...
                    etc, etc .."

                    best wishes,
                    Richard Lubbock
                    http://www3.sympatico.ca/rlubbock/meditations/apex.html
                  • Louise Deveney
                    If you study set theory you will find that there are indeed more than one infinity. Cantor brought the concept of infinity up from the old version of an
                    Message 9 of 14 , Jul 11, 2000
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                      If you study set theory you will find that there are indeed more than
                      one infinity. Cantor brought the concept of infinity up from the old
                      version of an infinity that was out there where you can not reach it.
                      Cantor made the study of infinity precise. He discovered infinite
                      ordinals and he discovered the variety of infinite cardinals. This
                      work was done in the 1870's and 1880's. Nothing new!

                      Why does the position of a backside have to be discrete?

                      http://www.joethedragon.co.uk
                      ----- Original Message -----
                      From: "Lynch, Mark" <mlynch@...>
                      To: <Fabric-of-Reality@egroups.com>
                      Sent: Friday, June 30, 2000 4:19 PM
                      Subject: How Much Is Infinity Plus One?


                      > I'm about half way through FOR and have so far found some of the
                      ideas very
                      > compelling. While sharing them with some friends, however, I find
                      some of
                      > the incredulity washing back at me hard to overlook. I wonder if my
                      > examples are perhaps too extreme. I wonder if they are really
                      > representative of what's presented in FOR.
                      >
                      > Here's my interpretation of the multiverse that gets me in trouble:
                      >
                      > There exists an entire universe exactly the same as this one in
                      absolutely
                      > every way, *except* I am sitting two inches to the right. The same
                      world
                      > events are taking place, the same stars are exploding and collapsing
                      in the
                      > cosmos. All is identical, except for the displacement of my
                      backside.
                      >
                      > There's yet another universe identical in every way to the one
                      above, except
                      > this time I'm two inches to the left.
                      >
                      > In fact, there's an *infinite* number of universes that differ only
                      in the
                      > placement of my backside.
                      >
                      > Am I missing something here?
                      >
                      >
                      >
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                    • Pawel Gburzynski
                      ... As I understand it, the issue of cardinality of the Multiverse is irrelevant. Thinking in terms of an infinite number of identical universes is a
                      Message 10 of 14 , Jul 11, 2000
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                        Louise Deveney wrote:
                        >
                        > If you study set theory you will find that there are indeed more than
                        > one infinity. Cantor brought the concept of infinity up from the old
                        > version of an infinity that was out there where you can not reach it.
                        > Cantor made the study of infinity precise. He discovered infinite
                        > ordinals and he discovered the variety of infinite cardinals. This
                        > work was done in the 1870's and 1880's. Nothing new!

                        As I understand it, the issue of cardinality of the Multiverse is
                        irrelevant. Thinking in terms of an infinite number of identical
                        universes is a convenient vehicle for picturing situations like
                        quantum computations, where you start with a bunch of identical
                        universes that become different for a while and then become identical
                        again. But a bunch of identical universes is completely equivalent to
                        a single universe, so the question "How many identical universes are
                        there?" is meaningless. One may ask "How many different universes are
                        there?" and the answer is "countably many" (because QM is discrete) and
                        probably infinitely many (e.g., if the omega point theory is true). This
                        is a trivial answer from Cantor's point of view.

                        >
                        > Why does the position of a backside have to be discrete?

                        Because quantum mechanics is discrete. Everything falls into slots,
                        including space and time.

                        Pawel

                        Pawel Gburzynski, Department of Computing Science,
                        University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, CANADA
                      • Russell Standish
                        ... Not true. According to standard QM, phase space is discretised - around each point (x,p) in phase space, is an area (shaped like a convex diamond) that is
                        Message 11 of 14 , Jul 11, 2000
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                          Pawel Gburzynski wrote:
                          >
                          > >
                          > > Why does the position of a backside have to be discrete?
                          >
                          > Because quantum mechanics is discrete. Everything falls into slots,
                          > including space and time.
                          >
                          > Pawel

                          Not true. According to standard QM, phase space is discretised -
                          around each point (x,p) in phase space, is an area (shaped like a
                          convex diamond) that is indistinguishable experimentally by virtue of
                          the uncertainty principle. However, each of the individual values for
                          x and p lie on a continuum.

                          That space-time is discrete is a different, non-standard
                          assumption. QM can be defined over a lattice, but this is not the
                          standard picture. I have my reasons for doubting the validity of
                          lattice QM, but that discussion is for another time and place.

                          Cheers, Rus.


                          >
                          > Pawel Gburzynski, Department of Computing Science,
                          > University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, CANADA
                          >
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                          High Performance Computing Support Unit, Phone 9385 6967
                          UNSW SYDNEY 2052 Fax 9385 6965
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                        • Martin Thompson
                          13:30:34 Tue, 11 Jul 2000 ... Could each universe have its own quantum number? -- Martin Thompson martin@tucana.demon.co.uk London, UK Home Page:
                          Message 12 of 14 , Jul 12, 2000
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                            13:30:34 Tue, 11 Jul 2000
                            Pawel Gburzynski at Pawel Gburzynski <pawel@...> writes:
                            >> No. That's what infinity implies. There is also an infinite number of
                            >> Universes that don't differ at all from ours.
                            >
                            >Two things that are completely identical, i.e., in the same quantum state,
                            >and cannot be told apart even in principle, are the same one thing.
                            >Therefore, I don't think it makes sense to say that there are infinitely
                            >many completely identical universes. All of them are different.

                            Could each universe have its own quantum number?
                            --
                            Martin Thompson martin@...
                            London, UK
                            Home Page: http://www.tucana.demon.co.uk

                            "Everything I do and say with anyone makes a difference." Gita Bellin
                          • wriker@mocha.memphis.edu
                            ... Anything s possible. Sorry, couldn t resist. I always interpreted the idea to mean that with every decision that is ever made, or with everything that
                            Message 13 of 14 , Jul 17, 2000
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                              >Am I missing something here?

                              Anything's possible. Sorry, couldn't resist.

                              I always interpreted the idea to mean that with every decision that is ever
                              made, or with everything that happens that could've happened another way
                              (or three billion different ways-and what has happened that couldn't be
                              described that way?), other universes "branch off", universes in which
                              those other possibilities hold true.

                              Erik
                            • Cristina
                              ... Hi Erik: This is also how I see it too. If quanta behaves as a wave unless it is observed and then becomes a particle in the possible world of the
                              Message 14 of 14 , Jul 17, 2000
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                                At 05:38 PM 7/17/00 -0500, you wrote:
                                >
                                >>Am I missing something here?
                                >
                                >Anything's possible. Sorry, couldn't resist.
                                >
                                >I always interpreted the idea to mean that with every decision that is ever
                                >made, or with everything that happens that could've happened another way
                                >(or three billion different ways-and what has happened that couldn't be
                                >described that way?), other universes "branch off", universes in which
                                >those other possibilities hold true.
                                >
                                >Erik
                                >

                                Hi Erik:

                                This is also how I see it too.

                                If quanta behaves as a wave unless it is observed and then becomes a
                                particle in the possible world of the observer, the other possibilities
                                may have been observed from another angle of the hologram from someome from
                                another possible universe and manifested there. All possible expressions of
                                the wave of possibility could be expressed if this is so.

                                I like to see it this way.
                                Cristina
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