Making sense of EPW

Jeff Bone jbone at
Tue Apr 29 10:39:45 PDT 2003

On Tuesday, Apr 29, 2003, at 09:21 US/Central, Jeff Bone wrote:

>> If they happen, then they happen with probability 1, and if they 
>> don't, then they happen with probability 0.

Actually, this is subtly, dangerously inaccurate, so perhaps a bit more 
explanation is in order.

> Take an arbitrary sample of size X, bitstring Y of size(Y) < X happens 
> an average number of times > the number of times bitstring Z of 
> size(Z) < X happens?  What conclusion do you draw, then?

Just to be clear --- the substrings are to be interpreted as "moments" 
in (static slices through) an arbitrarily large (or small) number of 
universes, and these moments occur more or less frequently within any 
given stretch of the infinite expansion.  The order of the moments in 
the infinite expansion does not necessarily have any particular 
meaning;  moments are "strung" together to create a given universe 
merely by virtue of their "structural congruence" (i.e., similarity).

Metaphorically, a bunch of loose pages of a book all out of order still 
encodes a narrative.  For any given page, there are an arbitrary number 
of workable "previous pages" and "next pages" that have been written 
and distributed in various places along and throughout the string.  And 
a given page can participate in an arbitrarily large number of 
build-your-own books made from other slices of the string.  So pages 
that participate in many such universes (i.e., have large numbers of 
workable previous and next pages)  as well as pages that recur with 
greater "frequency" along the expanse of the string, are in some sense 
more "probable" (and therefore more "real" --- i.e. more common to all 
possible universes) than others.

All we're really talking about, here, that differs from the typical 
view of MWQM is the structure and nature of the phase space and how it 
is intended to be interpreted.  This isn't some fundamentally, wildly 
new thing.  There's no particular reason to believe that this is any 
more radical, or leads to any more radical kinds of reality, than 
typical MWQM applied in-the-large.  (I.e., QM embraces the possibility 
that Dolly Parton appears wearing combat boots to kick me in the head;  
the probability of that happening is just very, very low.)


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