George Levy:


Jesse Mazer wrote:

Why, out of all possible experiences compatible with my existence, do I only observe the ones that don't violate the assumption that the laws of physics work the same way in all places and at all times?


There are two kinds of white rabbits: microscopic and macroscopic.

Microscopic white rabbits exist all around us. Particles popping in and out of the vacuum, particles being two places at the same time and so on.

In order to claim that these sorts of events are "white rabbits" you have to say they're due to a sort of first-person uncertainty about the laws of physics (because there are subjectively identical versions of you in universes with slightly different rules), but I don't see why that should be the case. The randomness at the quantum level follows very specific laws, unless you have a measure on different possible laws I don't see how you could derive the details of the statistical distributions from this first-person uncertainty. Remember, the evolution of the wavefunction is totally deterministic, it's only the mysterious measurement process that introduces any randomness, with the probability of different outcomes equal to the amplitude of the wavefunction squared. Why that probability distribution as opposed to any other?


Microscopic white rabbits obey statistical rules, distributions etc, which translate into very solid and reproducible macroscopic laws such as the second law of thermodynamics. Because of these solid macroscopic laws, macroscopic white rabbits are extremely rare.

The macroscopic laws of physics are the same everywhere because mathematics (statistics) is the same everywhere.

But aside from thermodynamics, I don't think many other macroscopic laws can be derived from statistics. How would you derive relativity from statistics, for example? How about the particular distribution of photons hitting the screen in the double-slit experiment--why aren't all possible distributions equally likely, like the distribution of gas molecules in a container at equilibrium?


Jesse

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