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Consider the following scenario:

  1. You are a military truck driver tasked with delivering supplies.
  2. The destination is close to enemy territory.
  3. To not be predictable, each truck randomizes the route they take (among N possible routes).
  4. Deadly ambushes have occurred, but many trucks do arrive safely (0 < probability of ambush < 1).
  5. You do not know which route(s) will or will not be ambushed.
  6. You have a choice of picking the random route using a random number generator (RNG).
  7. The quantum RNG will select the route number based on a series of real-time quantum measurements.
  8. The classical RNG will use a coin toss pseudorandom RNG (seeded by the current time).
  9. Both RNGs can be shown to be cryptographically secure

Question: Should one prefer to use a quantum RNG over a classical RNG to decide on the travel route, given that some of the routes may be deadly?

Clarification: As mentioned by user causative, under MWI, quantum RNG introduces extra worlds and potentially alters decision calculus:

whether it is better to possibly lose the truck in all possible worlds, and possibly save the truck in all possible worlds (this is the outcome of using a PRNG), or whether it is better to definitely lose the truck in some possible worlds and definitely save it in some others (this is the outcome of using a quantum RNG under the many-worlds assumption)

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  • If causative's interpretation of your question in the comments below is correct please indicate this clearly in the question, because it's very unclear what you are getting to. I thought you wanted to know which method of picking a route gives higher odds of survival (with the information given, none does. You might as well select by throwing a dart at a calender or by your mom's maiden's name first letter)
    – armand
    May 15 at 1:14
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    @armand yes, causative’s comments clarify the question, I updated the question description - let me know if this version is more clear
    – Justas
    May 15 at 11:55
  • To be honest I don't really understand why anyone would care about what happen in the other possible worlds (assuming MW hypothesis is correct). It's not like the driven will be less dead in his world or will in any way benefit from the success of his counterparts in the other worlds.
    – armand
    May 15 at 14:57
  • @armand agreed. If all OP cares about is a personal survival, it makes no difference
    – J Kusin
    May 15 at 18:16
  • @JKusin I could understand prioritizing duty over survival odds, like "1000 of my comrades on the front line will die if I don't deliver the supplies". But worrying about those many worlds we don't know if they exist and don't will never get to know about... It's like worrying about heaven and hell (except it's a heaven we never get to go to anyway)
    – armand
    May 15 at 21:58

1 Answer 1

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There is no difference.

All randomness is inherently quantum. The parameters of a coin toss are randomized by the probabilistic inaccuracy in the neural system and the muscles of the person tossing the coin.

Pseudorandomness might improve your odds of survival. As a pseudorandom selection of route is actually a deliberate choice, there is a non-zero possibility that you have some useful knowledge about the ambushes, that might affect your choice.

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    This might be true for a coin toss, it's hard to say how much quantum randomness can affect the outcome. I think the OP should have used a pseudo-random RNG seeded on the current time, instead of a coin toss, to remove this ambiguity.
    – causative
    May 14 at 21:00
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    There can be classical randomness from sensitivity to initial conditions - three interacting large blackholes for instance would require precision below the Planck scale to predict. Most software involves pseydorandomness, which relies on initial conditions, & I suspect the questioner intended. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Randomness#Generation
    – CriglCragl
    May 14 at 21:13
  • @causative I updated bullet #8 in the question with ur suggestion
    – Justas
    May 14 at 21:29
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    @user4894 I believe the point of the question has to do with whether it is better to possibly lose the truck in all possible worlds, and possibly save the truck in all possible worlds (this is the outcome of using a PRNG), or whether it is better to definitely lose the truck in some possible worlds and definitely save it in some others (this is the outcome of using a quantum RNG under the many-worlds assumption).
    – causative
    May 14 at 23:05
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    @armand a good question. Obviously the driver could not observe themselves in a world where they had died, and so however remote the possibility that they might survive, even if there were only a single world where they made it, they could only observe themselves in that one world. The same would apply to other soldiers, although the driver could observe themselves in a world where others perished.
    – Frog
    May 18 at 10:57

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