Comment by zortharg on More "Stupid" Questions · 2013-08-05T03:52:03.886Z · score: 0 (4 votes) · LW · GW

People are weird. I don't like music either. I mean, what's the point? For that matter, why do people like sex? Why do they LIKE to eat food, or get hungry for that matter, all things I have never experienced myself? More things that make absolutely no sense to me. I mean, obviously those serve a biological purpose, but I mean something deeper than a utilitarian reason. ALTHOUGH I do associate certain songs with things I like in a pavlovian sort of way, and so there actually is some music I like in a sense, but not for its own accord. For instance, certain video game music, just because I liked the video games that I was playing while I was hearing the music. But I would never, ever, ever derive any enjoyment from just listening to the music, I'd have to be playing the game. Though I may hum those songs while I'm running if it's a game with lots of running, like canabalt or doom. I don't know how many hundreds of miles I have run endlessly humming the canabalt song. Unfortunately humming it doesn't seem to give me the power to run 100+ mph :(.

Comment by zortharg on More "Stupid" Questions · 2013-08-05T03:32:45.073Z · score: 2 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Why can't I post an article I wrote? No matter what I do, it only appears under drafts. Under Submitted it always says "There doesn't seem to be anything here." and what I wrote is invisible unless I am logged in. I have tried clicking on all the buttons except for "unsave" which I dare not press. I click on the "CC" button on the bottom right which LOOKS the most promising because it says "post licensed under creative commons attribution 3.0 license" but that takes me to a page which describes what a creative commons license agreement is, and also has no "submit" buttons. How does ANYONE submit ANYTHING?

Comment by zortharg on False vacuum: the universe playing quantum suicide · 2013-07-21T21:00:36.690Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

The problem with the many worlds interpretation and in particular with the quantum suicide thought experiment is that all sorts of completely arbitrary ridiculous things can happen. There should be a me who spontaneously grows extra arms, or cat ears and a tail, or turns into a robot, or finds himself suddenly on Mars without a spacesuit, or .... and yet here I am, with nothing like that ever having happened to me. If my survival ever requires something extraordinarily unlikely to happen in order to keep me going, just like a bad bill in congress (all of them), it's inevitably going to be attached to something else which is not, shall we say, status quo preserving.

As it relates to this scenario, imagine an Earth about to be annihilated by the oncoming shockwave of the expanding bubble of vacuum decay. Whether it is destroyed a moment later or not isn't a binary decision. That shockwave is there, like it or not, and there won't be an alternate universe that splits off from one which is later destroyed, which is not later destroyed. That bubble isn't going away in any universe, it's there, and it's coming. The only way the quantum suicide thought experiment can work in the way you describe is if we always find ourselves in a universe where the bubble nucleation event never happened in the first place, whether it happened a billion light years away a billion years ago, or in an alien laboratory on alpha centauri 4.3 years ago. But if you apply this logic to ANY bad thing that happens, you can see that it clearly fails. One should expect one to always find oneself in a universe where nothing bad ever happens to oneself. I was hit by a car and got brain damage among other physical damage. No quantum kung fu thought experiment saved me from that. My identity CHANGED that moment. I have lost about 50 IQ points. When I changed, that other me died. If I were to die all the way, that would just be a change. That's all death ever is. A change. Simply a more drastic one than the usual bad things that happen to oneself. Where do you draw the line? Is something special about death, is that the threshold? This is why I say the quantum suicide thought experiment makes no sense to begin with. If that bubble of deeper vacuum is nucleated, our fate at that moment is SEALED, and no alternate universe splitting will save us. For your proposition to work, some force would have to stop bad things from ever BEGINNING to happen to us. And there is no such force at work. Believe me, I know from experience.

I guess I should say something though - there actually IS a tiny, tiny possibility for a massive nucleated bubble of deeper vacuum to just rearrange its energy distribution and just all go away, since anything which can happen in the forward direction can be undone, with an extraordinary amount of luck. So if you're a many-worlds purist, I guess I haven't really disproved it. But again, I would still expect to live on a much stranger world than the one that's here if I always lived on one of the universe branches that contrived itself to survive somehow. Just like, if you were to find ice spontaneously form in a pot of boiling water, it would more likely than not, not be an ice CUBE. And just like, if this were a poincare recurrence universe, there should be things observable in the universe which are not consistent with a universe that directly developed from a big bang, there should be weird things out of place.