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starship-design: Infinite Schizophrenia

  Isaac writes:

>>Ahhh - but once you start thinking in terms of multiple universes, you 
>>the idea of probability.  What does it mean to have one universe that is
>>less probable than another?  If a universe exists its probability is one;

>If a universe exists, its probability of existing is indeed 1.  So?
>If we can never access that universe, what difference does that make?

Maybe this is the source of the confusion.  I AM talking about jumping from 
one universe to another.  We got on this thread talking about possible time 
travel theories, one of which was jumping into alternate universes as a way 
of avoiding various paradoxes.

Sounds to me like you're just talking about an infinite number of possible 
universes, not universes that actually exist.  (Either that or you're just 
playing devil's advocate?) I completely agree with you that there are 
infinitely many possiblilities that the universe Could evolve into.  What I 
don't believe is that there ARE an infinite number of different universes, 
and my consciousness is continually splitting up into an infinite number of 
different "selves", and this particular "self" I find myself in is just a 
matter of chance. I think there are some strong philisophical arguments to 
support this claim, even if the number of universes involved is infinite.  
Occam's razor comes to mind.

>BTW, out current understanding doesn't just involve 1 or two or a
>million million million simultaneous possibilities--it involves an
>infinite continuum of possibilities.  It's not even a countable

When you say "our current understanding" what exactly are you invoking?  
The sum-over-all-possible-universes theory says that this universe is the 
sum of all possibilities, but that there is still only one universe.  Other 
theories treat the universe as a "block" that does not evolve in time but 
rather was created with all quantum events already determined.  We're well 
beyond established facts here; more in the realm of philosophy than 
physics, probably.  

Of course, if we're dropping the FTL threads, I suppose we can drop the 
time travel and alternate universe stuff as well.  Giant relativistic 
flywheels, anyone?