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Thread: Why do we live in a regular world? (technical question)

  1. #11
    No Thank You Blorg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ACow View Post
    Spoiler: For Blorg's eyes only...
    I've deliberately not addressed your link in order to stop myself going off on a tangent, let me know if that's unacceptable

    (yes)

    To me, when we say something like 'everything that could happen is happening', I think zago is probably trying to grasp at something deeper that's not sufficiently communicated. The notion itself seems to imply there is SOME limit on the phenomenon able to be considered and there's conceptually things that can be conceived or spoken of which are not possible - that is to say, they fall into the category of 'could not happen'.
    Yeah, I think that most of this boils down to the lack of a shared definition of infinity. In a total version (which I inferred), logic imposes limits, so an infinite universe would have to contain worlds without logic or any other type of boundary, so all things that could happen in the most imaginative sense of the term would happen. I don't actually think it makes sense to define infinity in this way though, because obviously the universe is not infinite in every possible way: our particular world is defined by limits. Saying that the universe can be infinite (in the total sense) while parts of it are finite is like saying that an apple can be ripe while parts of it are rotten. I suppose it could be infinite in the sense of lacking outer boundaries, but science people are always talking about the universe expanding and it makes my head hurt to think that the universe could be both expanding and without outer boundaries.

  2. #12
    know nothing pensive_pilgrim's Avatar
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    Bizarre things are happening all the time! It's just your existence in particular that is boring and regular. If you had free will then you might be able to do something about it, but if there are infinite worlds existing simultaneously and you have free will then either the worlds are changing place with each other or you are changing your existence between worlds. But those are functionally identical and impossible because a world includes that particular existence of you.

    Unless the answer is something truly bizarre such as that there aren't infinite worlds, only this one which is finite.

  3. #13
    Member zago's Avatar
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    I don't have much time right now so these responses are going to be brief and kinda shoddy but I'll try to be more thorough later..

    Quote Originally Posted by Senseye View Post
    Say what now?

    For example, consider the entities known as the Kardashians. These are individuals who in a 'normal' world would have died from misadventure in whatever ghetto they were living in. Instead they are wealthy celebrities.

    Crazy shit happens often enough, just not all the time. So what I am saying, is that in an infinity of possible happenings, we get our share of the outlandish stuff.
    Not bizarre enough. David Deutsch uses the example of a teapot turning into a rabbit. He says that this can actually happen. I've had to go back and look at it a bunch of times and make sure I read it correctly, but yeah. This is stuff we never, ever actually see.

    Quote Originally Posted by ACow View Post
    We can take two distributions like this, and define them over an 'infinite domain'. Now just because they're defined over an infinite domain, this in no way makes them equivalent to each other. The normal distribution still has the relative probability of some outcomes being greater than others, and the uniform distribution says all outcomes are equally likely. Indeed, the infinite nature of the domain has no part to play in determining the relative probabilities of any two values in these instances.
    If that's so, I suppose it answers my question. I know there are different levels of infinity. Is that sort of what you are referring to? If not, I guess I'm still a bit hung up on one basic (edit: I think I mean countable, as opposed to uncountable) infinity being different from another basic infinity. There isn't more of one than there is of the other. They're both infinity. I'm looking forward to seeing what Deutsch says about this. There's a whole chapter on infinity.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ptah View Post
    No offense intended, but this whole thing seems to solve itself.

    You say you believe in something (QM Many Worlds) for which you are not observing the expected evidence (strange phenomena). Then why believe it?
    Deutsch's explanation of many worlds is very interesting. I'd say there is a lot more evidence for it than Copenhagen, for instance. We actually have no reason to believe in "collapse of the wavefunction", it seems. You could draw an analogy to evolution or paleontology here. To believe in Copenhagen is to believe something like "the dinosaur fossils only appear once we dig them up", or "the dinosaur fossils are an artifact of paleontologists' minds". Why do this? Because it's too hard to believe the implications of the theory, I suppose.

    You say I've never observed "many worlds". Well, you've never observed a dinosaur (just the alleged bones). Deutsch explains that there are very many things in our scientific theories we don't observe. We also have never been to the inside of a star, or the Earth for that matter. Yet our theories have a pretty good idea of what's going on in there. The exact same thing is true of many worlds. The story and all its implications are all there in quantum mechanics. Adding "collapse", which you sort of have to do to not believe in many worlds but still believe in QM (Deutsch calls Bohm "many worlds in disguise", fyi), is the extra, baseless assumption.

    Either way, even if MW isn't true, isn't the universe still infinite in time and space?

    Quote Originally Posted by Blorg View Post
    This only makes sense if you think that it isn't a contradiction for an infinite universe to have a finite set of mathematical laws based on what we already know. Since the op said that everything that could happen is happening (for example, 1+1 equalling 3 on Tuesdays in some worlds, and every other imaginable possibility plus more), your explanation doesn't match his definition.

    If ethos would help: https://www.askamathematician.com/20...pen-somewhere/
    I'm not even sure why it would require other laws.. I mean the laws could still be like the ones we observe locally, and bizarre enough things could be happening with low probability. Taken out to infinity though, they must happen infinitely even if the laws are the same everywhere. Unless I have some misunderstanding.

    Quote Originally Posted by scarydoor View Post
    'everything that could happen is happening' because of infinity. I hate analogies. But I think one fits alright here:

    imagine an infinite series of numbers. Therefore any possible sequence of numbers you think of will occur? Not necessarily. Maybe the sequence has some rules.
    I'm not sure why what I said still doesn't cover this. I didn't say "everything conceivable is happening", I said "everything that could be happening is happening".

    Then again, if a teapot can turn into a rabbit, I'm not sure what is conceivable that couldn't be happening.

    Quote Originally Posted by pensive_pilgrim View Post
    Bizarre things are happening all the time! It's just your existence in particular that is boring and regular. If you had free will then you might be able to do something about it, but if there are infinite worlds existing simultaneously and you have free will then either the worlds are changing place with each other or you are changing your existence between worlds. But those are functionally identical and impossible because a world includes that particular existence of you.

    Unless the answer is something truly bizarre such as that there aren't infinite worlds, only this one which is finite.
    See above.
    Last edited by zago; 01-22-2019 at 06:16 PM. Reason: typos and such

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by zago View Post
    I'm not sure why what I said still doesn't cover this. I didn't say "everything conceivable is happening", I said "everything that could be happening is happening".

    Then again, if a teapot can turn into a rabbit, I'm not sure what is conceivable that couldn't be happening.
    Oh yeah.

    Well, evidently our universe has rules. There is also some randomness, so that we can't predict what will happen within those rules. But this makes certain outcomes more likely than others, and, through something similar to evolution, different structures evolve to be the more dominant ones.

    In your original example, you said something about randomly becoming a dictator, and why that hasn't happened. Well, it's very unlikely, based on the rules that have evolved to dictate how our society works. I think you can essentially trace those rules back down to the fundamental ones. So it's very unlikely that it would happen.

    Also, how infinite is our universe anyway? There's only been a finite amount of time up until now. The state that the universe currently is in, is changing or whatever. Time/existence as we know it won't continue to infinity, but time will, I guess.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by scarydoor View Post
    Oh yeah.

    Well, evidently our universe has rules. There is also some randomness, so that we can't predict what will happen within those rules. But this makes certain outcomes more likely than others, and, through something similar to evolution, different structures evolve to be the more dominant ones.

    In your original example, you said something about randomly becoming a dictator, and why that hasn't happened. Well, it's very unlikely, based on the rules that have evolved to dictate how our society works. I think you can essentially trace those rules back down to the fundamental ones. So it's very unlikely that it would happen.

    Also, how infinite is our universe anyway? There's only been a finite amount of time up until now. The state that the universe currently is in, is changing or whatever. Time/existence as we know it won't continue to infinity, but time will, I guess.
    If the universe is infinite and there is *any* chance of me going out and starting a crowd that grows until I am world dictator, then this is happening infinitely many times, just like the normal state of affairs is. Infinity = infinity. Unless we are talking about uncountable infinities and such, which I have yet to verify.

  6. #16
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    The set of numbers between 1 and 2 is infinite (1.1,1.11,1.111, 1.1112 etc), does the integer 3 ever occur in this infinite sequence?

    Infinity is a fickle thing.

  7. #17
    Meae Musae Servus Hephaestus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zago View Post
    If that's so, I suppose it answers my question. I know there are different levels of infinity. Is that sort of what you are referring to? If not, I guess I'm still a bit hung up on one basic (edit: I think I mean countable, as opposed to uncountable) infinity being different from another basic infinity. There isn't more of one than there is of the other. They're both infinity. I'm looking forward to seeing what Deutsch says about this. There's a whole chapter on infinity.
    Uncountable infinite sets:

    There are an infinite number of numbers between 2.0 and 3.0. There are also an infinite number of numbers between 1.0 and 4.0. However, the second infinite set contains all of the first infinite set, and has infinitely more values at either end. Therefore we can comfortably argue that the second infinite set is larger than the first.


    Countable infinite sets:

    There are an infinite number of whole numbers from 0 to infinity. There are an infinite number of odd numbers in the same span, but clearly, the former has twice as many values because it includes both odd and even numbers.

    Infinities are tricky.


    Either way, even if MW isn't true, isn't the universe still infinite in time and space?
    Is it?
    People think they understand their own mortality, even when that understanding has just changed.

    --Meditations on Uncertainty Vol ξ(x)

  8. #18
    Member zago's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hephaestus View Post
    Uncountable infinite sets:

    There are an infinite number of numbers between 2.0 and 3.0. There are also an infinite number of numbers between 1.0 and 4.0. However, the second infinite set contains all of the first infinite set, and has infinitely more values at either end. Therefore we can comfortably argue that the second infinite set is larger than the first.


    Countable infinite sets:

    There are an infinite number of whole numbers from 0 to infinity. There are an infinite number of odd numbers in the same span, but clearly, the former has twice as many values because it includes both odd and even numbers.

    Infinities are tricky.

    Is it?
    I have to think so. But I'd really like it not to be. I despise the idea that everything that could be happening is happening.

  9. #19
    Amen P-O's Avatar
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    Many world hypothesis is hocus-pocus bs.
    As a friend of mine once said with an apparently serious face and tone: "If you believe in many worlds, you should prove it by killing yourself"

    To believe in Copenhagen is to believe something like "the dinosaur fossils only appear once we dig them up"
    A lot of people have this idea, but that's not what it's saying imo. Copenhagen just says that the wavefunction does not refer to a physical reality in itself... it just represents the probability associated with outcomes of a measurement. It's not saying that the dinosaur bones don't exist before you dig them up, it's saying that the conceptual scope of quantum mechanics does not include them.
    Wave function collapse is not a physical event per se, but is rather a statement about how our knowledge of the system has changed.
    Violence is never the right answer, unless used against heathens and monsters.

  10. #20
    Member zago's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by P-O View Post
    Many world hypothesis is hocus-pocus bs.
    As a friend of mine once said with an apparently serious face and tone: "If you believe in many worlds, you should prove it by killing yourself"

    A lot of people have this idea, but that's not what it's saying imo. Copenhagen just says that the wavefunction does not refer to a physical reality in itself... it just represents the probability associated with outcomes of a measurement. It's not saying that the dinosaur bones don't exist before you dig them up, it's saying that the conceptual scope of quantum mechanics does not include them.
    Wave function collapse is not a physical event per se, but is rather a statement about how our knowledge of the system has changed.
    If it just represents the probability associated with outcomes of a measurement, what does it even explain? What reality do these measurements even describe? That's the problem. It still has you believing in the bones without the dinosaurs. Dots in the sky instead of stars. Etc. Observation without theory. What Deutsch calls "bad explanations". The weirdness we observe in quantum experiments isn't just a probabilistic construct with no reality behind it--that's what is magical nonsense. Interference of different "worlds" is an actual explanation that comes from the observations and theory.

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