Thursday, February 17, 2005

Scientists Say Pay Attention

"Tom, did you know that AT&T Wireless got bought out by Cingular? I just noticed it on my phone bill."
"That happened a long time ago."
"Why would AT&T sell to anybody? They're huge."
"I don't know. Maybe they suck. By the way, did you know we're fighting a war in this country called Iraq?"
"That's why I don't read the news. Nothing but bad stuff." - The Dialog Blog
Philosophical Implications of Inflationary Cosmology (PDF file)
by Joshua Knobe, Ken D. Olum and Alexander Vilenkin
Recent developments in cosmology indicate that every history having a nonzero probability is realized in infinitely many distinct regions of spacetime. Thus, it appears that the universe contains infinitely many civilizations exactly like our own, as well as infinitely many civilizations that differ from our own in any way permitted by physical laws. We explore the implications of this conclusion for ethical theory and for the doomsday argument. In the infinite universe, we find that the doomsday argument applies only to effects which change the average lifetime of all civilizations, and not those which affect our civilization alone.

Catalytic: They ask the question, if there are multiple universes do we need to worry about this one ending? Or can we just trash this one since there is always another one?

Their answer: We had better pay attention to this one.

Quite the entertaining read.


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