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02/05/2013

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Clayton

Well done! There should be an award for someone who discovers a new theory of free action at any point after, say, 1800. If I was awarding it, it would come in the form of a drink at the next APA I see you at.

Marcus Arvan

Ha! (and thanks!) I'll take you up on that offer, and award your award with a drink in return. ;)

Moti Mizrahi

Congratulations!

Marcus Arvan

Thanks, Moti!

Dan Dennis

Yes, congratulations. It is particularly an achievement to have a 68 page paper accepted - given journals always prefer shorter papers - and a paper that takes an original, imaginative, non-standard approach to an issue.

I don't really have time to read it: but I have started nonetheless... May I ask a couple of clarificatory questions?

1) What do you mean by "in much the same way that different songs written on the surface of an ordinary compact-disc are just a variety of different ordered series’ of digital information encoded upon the disc)." I thought there is one groove on a CD, coiled up (just like on an LP) - rather than there being parallel tracks; but I thought there was supposed to be here an analogy to lots of universes existing in tandem. Or am I misunderstanding something?

2) Is it correct that whereas ordinarily we would say 'I choose to raise my hand' then that means on your account that I am choosing to experience the universe in which my hand raises - rather than the universe in which my hand does not rise?

3) Is it correct that whereas ordinarily we would say 'Mary chooses to says hello' then your account would say that she is choosing that *I* (and she) experience that universe in which she says hello, rather than that universe in which she does not say hello.

Thanks for your help.

Dan

Chike Jeffers

Congratulations!

Marcus Arvan

Hi Dan: Thank you for your very kind comments, and for taking the time to read the paper. Here are some brief answers to your questions.

(1) Although a CD is a "coil" of information, each individual song is simply a different *part* of that coil. That's the relevant sense in which there are many "parallel songs" on a CD. The relevant sense of "parallel" is not spatial (though, incidentally, as the CD coil goes around, many songs really are "next" to each other, spatially). Instead, the sense of parallel is merely *informational*: it is simply there are many different (accessible) series' of information available to be played (such that one can skip from one series to another, thereby "changing songs" -- or, in the multiverse case, skip to a different physical universe within it). Does that clarify things?

(2) That's roughly correct. Your choice is to experience *some* universe in which your hand is raised (there are many such universes); the *particular* one that you actually end up experiencing also depends reciprocally on the choices of others (viz. if Mary "chooses to say hello", our choices *jointly* determine the particular multiverse part we end up in: namely, one in which I raise my hand *and* she says hello).

(3) That's also roughly correct, but see above. She is not (unilaterally) choosing that *I* end up in a particular universe. Rather, her choice narrows down the universes available to my experience (i.e. to ones in which she says hello), and my choice further narrows things, such that our choices *jointly* result in us experiencing a particular universe. (Of course, others' choices also figure in, as well).

If you'd like further clarification, feel free to ask!

Marcus Arvan

Thanks, Chike!

Dan Dennis

Hi Marcus

Thanks for your reply. Good, that’s how I understood it (I just didn’t put it so clearly).

Like a lot of good ideas, the basic idea is relatively straightforward once you get your head around it. I recommend others to take a look at the paper, you don’t need to read too much to get the hang of it, and it is well written so is quite an easy read.

I’ll think about it a bit more and then get back to you with another couple of questions.

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