Re: The Next Century's Great Discovery
Tue, 29 Jul 1997 14:27:54 -0400 (EDT)

Hal Finney wrote:

[Parallel universes]

> You could conceivably talk to dead relatives, you could see how your
> life might have been different if you had taken other choices, you could
> get the effects of quantum computing, access works of art by people who
> never succeeded in this universe. It would truly turn things upside down.
> (Larry Niven had a story in which such a discovery led to nihilism and
> depression, but I think the consequences would be more complex.)

Think about this...

If you wanted to see a universe where I didn't write this post, you would
have to change a few things:

-- Me wanting to send the post - All that behavioural stuff in my brain that
made me want to reply to your post, which would mean...

-- Changing my environment - To make me make a different decision you would
have to change my environment, including every person I have ever come in
contact with.

-- Changing their environment - You would have to change the environment of
every person I came into contact with, which would mean changing all the
people they have come into contact with...

[changing people, animals, plants and various sea life for a very long time]

-- Eventually you'd be back at the start of space/time, changing the very
first glimmer of movement.

Of course, that's if there is a start. If there is a start, then because
there could be no cause for any one effect, every possibility must have
happened. This gives you infinite universes, not one of which is remotely
similar to our own (Which IMO makes them far more interesting). As per
usual, I could be wrong.

-- Wax