Friday, June 2, 2017

The "Poor Man's" Multiverse

A thought exercise of sorts that I had concocted a few years ago while traveling to work.  Frankly, I've thought of this frequently.  Feel free to laugh, but I think there may be something to this at least in the form of an analogy.

When driving to work, my place of work being 35 miles away from my home, I'm traveling on I-15 South towards San Diego.  Usually it's approximately 2:20 PM so traffic is somewhat heavy but flowing without issue.

I'll use last Sunday as an example for this thought exercise.  Traveling south on the freeway, I'm surrounded by numerous vehicles as I-15 is 5 to 6 lanes in width.  I estimated that there were 20 to 30 cars ahead of me and the same in back of me.

We are traveling at different speeds [in this case velocity as there is a direction of travel].  I'm traveling at 65 mph.  Other vehicles are traveling at various speeds, that is they are either passing me, or I'm passing them, but we are traveling in the same direction south.

The occupants are oblivious to my personal presence.  Maybe a brief recognition of my vehicle, but nothing more.  I've no idea what is being said in the other vehicles or what is being listened to on the radios.  Basically I've no idea what they are thinking and neither can they say the same of me.

We are all in our own little world...our own universe with no interaction with the other.  We are separately engrossed in our own thoughts.  Any interaction from one would be from a random event...causing a potential catastrophic event in the form of an accident.

Is there a deterministic feature to this model? Yes, as we would all have a starting point and an end point, but those points can not be determined other than my own.  I must make an assumption concerning the other drivers.

Is there a free will component?  Yes, as we have the opportunity to freely change lanes and consciously attempt to drive in a safe manner as we are aware of the consequences of our actions.

Note to readers, my use of the term "free will" is a personal preference as modern day philosophy and psychology discourage the term, but circumvent this by substituting "choice" as way of defining the decisions we make when faced with numerous options or actions.

So there we have it.  My personal model of a crude version of the multiverse.  Numerous little universes existing side-by-side.

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