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Tree of life

  1. Nov 10, 2008 #1
    Say you map out the entire decision tree of an individuals life starting from birth.

    Each node has N branches, where N is very large, and delta t approaching zero. Lets keep it finite density because we want some results.

    Now you trace out the individuals realised path outcome amongst this vast set of possibilities. From the beginning to the The End.

    I want to be able to sort the wheat from the chaff: some kind of principal component analysis to see what the key decisions are - are they 'big' things like education, who you marry etc, or tiny stuff like I poured an extra spoonful of bran flakes, which made me 1 sec late, which meant the bus missed me by a whisker?. How would you get an answer?

    Also, how do you separate out the things you can control with things you cant. Which is more important?

    What happens if/because delta t is less then the Planck length?

    Have you seen any attempts to model such things?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 12, 2008 #2
    Does t mean time? If so, it seems odd that you are mixing such quantitative terms in with an entirely qualitative question like the "importance" of particular decisions.

    You might look into root cause analysis in quality engineering and Ishikawa "fishbone" diagrams.

    On a similar but entirely quantitative level, I've always thought that it might be an interesting thing to analyze the set of all the possible branching games of Monopoly you might play, to see what the characteristics are of a game play that lasts forever, which is theoretically possible. I suppose it would be easy to do nowadays if you automated a computerized Monopoly game.
  4. Nov 14, 2008 #3
    There is some strange physics emerging. What causal connection does 'finite density' have to a 'decision tree of life'?
  5. Nov 16, 2008 #4
    The tree of life might be impossibly large,
    1) Why didn't you step a half inch further or less (every single step over lifetime)
    2) Why did you breath in that direction (every breath and continous over
    a whole breath)
    3) Why move any limb or body member in any direction precisely by the amount you did, summed over
    all limb, finger, eye movements and continous (not just end result)
    4) I am not sure if it applies to the thoughts and dreams you had (free will to think
    what you like when you like)
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