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Notes and Reflections on Books and Media

by Hannah Leitheiser

Suicide

Our Mathematical Universe: My Quest for the Ultimate Nature of Reality

Max Tegmark

2014

2019-04-05

So we're probably all familiar with Schrödinger's cat. In the Copenhagen interpretation, you will measure the cat as either dead or alive. In the many-worlds interpretation, you split forming a you where the cat is dead and one with a living cat, and whichever one you happen to be will determine what you see.

Then, of course, someone asks, what if I take the place of the cat? In the many-worlds point of view, just as there is always a world with a living cat, there will always be a world where you are still alive. So if you repeat the experiment, you find, however improbable, you always survive.

And so, before bed I got to thinking, a great deal is possible in quantum physics. You can't rule out, then, as time goes on, I will continue to survive, no matter how improbable. Even if I try to die, some unlikely thing will prevent it. There's no requirement that I'm happy or healthy, just conscious, which could make a kind of inescapable hell, at least until I could only survive with a violation of the laws of quantum physics.

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