Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Shrödinger's Day-Trader

You=Cat, "Investment"=Randomizer, Poison=Same
  [vote for,

Set up a machine that will kill you unless you get what you want. Set it up so that the probability of the machine malfunctioning is massively less than the probability of you actually getting what you want by chance. Then, activate the machine. In the universe you subsequently experience, you have what you want!

The many-worlds interpretation of quantum physics suggests that in the Shrödinger's Cat experiment, there are some future universes in which the cat lives and others in which the cat dies. If you (an observer, I presume) sat in the box instead of / with the cat, you could only observe outcomes in which you survive. With some minor changes, this suggests a way to get any outcome you want relatively quickly.

There are many variations on this: the randomizer could be the stock market, the lottery, etc. The lethal mechanism could be many disturbing things, such as a computer program to recommend you eat either some toxic sushi or some non-poisonous sushi, which you have placed in a revolving randomizing mechanism after telling the computer which is which (multiple levels of error- checking and backup systems would help ensure reliability, otherwise the least-unlikely survival scenario is that you screw up the lethal contraption and end up losing all your money and also eating the non-lethal sushi). You must remain the observer for this to work. (If you see someone else try this, or hire someone else to do this for you, they will have a much lower success rate, since you can observe outcomes in which they die.)

Once could argue that life is an example of this: each one of us will die unless we get rich enough to buy immortality. I find this thought reassuring, given my desire for both wealth and immortality.

sninctown, Jan 16 2013

Obligatory Wikipedia Link http://en.wikipedia...r%C3%B6dinger's_cat
If you haven't heard of Shrödinger's Cat and this sounds interesting, then you should read this. [sninctown, Jan 16 2013]

Use of cat to pick random shares for investment purposes http://www.guardian...ments-stock-picking
[pocmloc, Jan 16 2013]


       It's been a while since I've performed my 'Copenhagen School Rant'; would anyone like to hear it again?
Alterother, Jan 16 2013

       All rants must use the word "shit" once and "musket" twice... at least
Brian the Painter, Jan 16 2013

       Musket? Shit. Musket? Why does it always end this way?
UnaBubba, Jan 16 2013

       I'm not very smart
Brian the Painter, Jan 16 2013

       I agree, the original point of the Shrödinger's Cat example was to show that the situation was absured and therefore incomplete and/or wrong.   

       [Alterother], I agree that from a God perspective (outside of time), the Multiverse just exists, with no change. I also agree that from that God perspective, the Shrödinger's Day-Trader is connected to lots of different past states as well as lots of different future states. In some of these future states (and in a few weird past states), Shrödinger's Day-Trader is dead.   

       If we take the perspective of the consciousness of Shrödinger's Day-Trader, it seems clear that this consciousness can only take one of the available paths that go forward in time, in other words that Shrödinger's Day-Trader will experience unusually good luck and continue to live.   

       I would love to hear the rant. I hope it uses the words "musket" and "remotely-steered comet" or better yet "God's Holy Fire", but not the words "assault weapon" or the names of any political groups.   

       [Brian], what I have found is that if something doesn't make sense, it's probably not being explained clearly.   

       As a bonus, if you actually do this experiment you'll have a pretty good idea whether the Copenhagen or Many-Worlds Interpretation is correct. Unfortunately, the realization that the Copenhagen Interpretation is correct would be short-lived.
sninctown, Jan 16 2013

       I'm smarter now. Shitty thing is that my wife corrected me on the pronunciation of Schrodinger. (scrotumdinker) +
Brian the Painter, Jan 16 2013

       We like this idea, but we are not going to bun it until we see the Umlauts in their correct locations..
8th of 7, Jan 16 2013

       //Set up a machine that will kill you unless you get what you want.//
I laughed at this for about three minutes! Excellent.
calum, Jan 16 2013

       Cometh the Umlaut, cometh the Bun.
8th of 7, Jan 17 2013

       I think there should be an umlaut in umlaut.
UnaBubba, Jan 17 2013

       Currently, it is unlauted.
AusCan531, Jan 17 2013

       Everyone's a diacritic these days.
UnaBubba, Jan 17 2013


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