#91 Quantum Immortality

#91 Quantum Immortality

Yay, comic!

So you’ve probably noticed things have changed a bit. This is because the site got hacked and turned into a Paypal Phishing site and a bunch of stuff got messed up. So, I had to redo a lot of things, and in the process I decided it was time to upgrade some things as well. All of the old content is still here (comics, comments, etc), the layout is just a bit different. I’ll still be doing some tweaking, but for the most part the layout is pretty much as it will be for a while.

Also, I’ve decided to set a fixed schedule for updating comics. The whole “posting comics at random” thing obviously hasn’t been working too well lately. So to keep me focused on keeping the comic active, I am hereby committing to a schedule of updating at least every Monday and Thursday. I may also throw bonus comics in on occasion, but at the very least you can now expect two comics a week.

And just in case you were wondering, David Lewis really did have a super awesome beard.

Enjoy, and see you Thursday!

Discussion (10)¬

  1. William T says:

    All I ask for is excellent comics, and you really dish ’em out. Thanks. Posting ’em often would rock, but I don’t want to seem greedy.

    This one is really interesting, though.

    My first thought on reading it was “surely you’re kidding, Mr. Lewis.” Scanning through Wikipedia tells me that he’s probably serious, although I’m not sure that he cares about quantum theory (does he?); his multiverse seems to be purely logical in derivation (that is, he believes in a multiverse because he uses it to reason, not because of some specific physical origin such as quantum theory).

    In other words, in a world where the many-worlds interpretation of quantum theory had been completely disproven, Dr. Lewis would still believe in alternate worlds.

    Am I right, or does he limit his multiverse to the Everett multiverse? If so, that implies severe limitations on his theory’s explanatory power: a quantum multiverse doesn’t contain all logically possible states, unlike a logical ensemble. For example, the counterfactual “if gravity were stronger than magnetism, stars would never form” cannot be realized by quantum fluctuations alone, yet obviously I can state and reason about it.

  2. chaospet says:

    Thanks for the kind words!

    You’re right that Lewis does a lot of multiple-worlds talk that just has to do with logical possibilities and nothing to do with physics. A good question is whether he believes all logically possible worlds actually exist, or whether he just uses them as a sort of heuristic device. Personally I was never very clear on that.

    But Lewis did also write some stuff specifically on Quantum Mechanics and the implications of the Everettian interpretation for personal immortality. His position (if I remember right) is that Everett’s many worlds interpretation would indeed imply a horrific sort of immortality, and so we really ought to hope that Everett is wrong!

  3. […] Carnival. I especially liked the cartoon critique of Everett’s MWI of QM as implying a horrific kind of immortality. A critique of transhumanism was interesting […]

  4. John says:

    Please check out these references which point out that “quantum immortality” is a fact and that until we do wake up to our Real immortal indestructible condition, everything is filled with suffering, and the suffering goes on life-time after life-time, until we wake up..

    And that all of our searches (and philosophfying are an attempt to deal with the nagging question of death—-the seeming sense of presumed separation

    1. http://www.dabase.org/broken.htm

    2. htp://www.easydeathbook.om

    3. http://www.mummerybook.org

    4. http://www.dabase.org/christmc2.htm

  5. […] | user-saved public links | iLinkShare 2 votes#91 Quantum Immortality>> saved by mistral1147 1 days ago3 votesClinical Immortality>> saved by Kasper8516 6 days ago1 […]

  6. Summus says:

    um ok this is pretty crazy

  7. dawss says:

    You’re pretty crazy

  8. Superemo says:

    Oh. My. (Lack of) God.
    I’ve had this exact idea. Before I even heard of this. Not just this comic, this theory of Quantum Immortality. I’ve wondered often how I’ve been able to survive such insane things happening all of the time (two rollover car wrecks, nearly getting hit by insane drivers constantly, etc.). This explains it so neatly.

  9. Saabimeister says:

    Well, I wouldn’t worry about it … Being immortal but progressively decaying into old age seems bad, until you take into account that in some future you end up in they will eventually discover regenerative medicine.

  10. Wm Tanksley says:

    Saabimeister, I mainly don’t worry about it because I don’t buy that interpretation of quantum theory.

    But the usefulness of your theory will depend on how probable regenerative medicine actually is.

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