re: a story by the wonderful David Deutsch

From: Damien Broderick (
Date: Thu Jul 20 2000 - 21:48:47 MDT

I mentioned that a short story by Deutsch was at:

and, by the way, please note that I *didn't* use the subject line `a
wonderful story by David Deutsch'; it's okay, but I thought it worth noting
because of what it seemed to suggest about movement across the `Many
Worlds'. This was actually misleading, I now learn. By a stroke of luck, I
found on the list dedicated to Deutsch's ideas the following recent
exchange in which David responds to someone's questions:


> On the internet at:
> there is a many-worlds FAQ.
> One of the answered questions is "Where are these other worlds?" The
answer is
> :"Non-relativistic quantum mechanics and quantum field theory are quite
> unambiguous: the other Everett-worlds occupy the same space and time as we
> do." I found this to be a little unnerving, though just about as
unnerving as
> MWI itself, which I happen to be partial to (but only in this world). I was
> wondering if this is a widely accepted conclusion for those subscribing to
> MWI.


> I mention it because Cristina mentioned the possibility of slipping from one
> world into another very similar world without ever knowing it. What sort of
> 'possible' this is I have no idea,

A fictional one.

> but it seems a little more possible considering that all these worlds share
> the same space and time as we do.

No, it doesn't.

> The other thing i'd like to mention is the short story on Deutsch's web page
> (if it is still there). It seemingly, though not explicitly, suggests the
> of thing that Cristina mentioned. In any case it is a good story.

It's fiction. As I said in a previous post:

[Moving between the universes] doesn't make sense at all. If you 'moved'
from one universe to another, even a perfectly identical one, you would
notice instantly, because there would be another copy of you there. (If the
copy was in the same location, you would 'move' into in the same position
and there would be a large bang.)

This sort of thing never happens. Moreover, it is forbidden by quantum
theory (except, as Ant said, in the presence of time travel devices).


Just thought I'd better clarify that.

Damien Broderick

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