Colin Hales wrote: > Hi, > When I read quantum mechanics and listen to those invested in the many > places the mathematics leads, What strikes me is the extent to which the > starting point is mathematics. That is, the entire discussion is couched > as if the mathematics is defining what there is, rather than a mere > describing what is there. I can see that the form of the mathematics > projects a multitude of possibilities. But those invested in the > business seem to operate under the assumption - an extra belief - about > the relationship of the mathematics to reality. It imbues the > discussion. At least that is how it appears to me. Consider the > pragmatics of it. I, scientist X, am in a position of adopting 2 > possible mindsets: > > Position 1 > 1a) The mathematics of quantum mechanics is very accurately predictive > of observed phenomena > 1b) Reality literally IS the mathematics of quantum mechanics (and by > extension all the multitudinous alternative realities actually exist). > Therefor to discuss mathematical constructs is to speak literally of > reality. My ability to mentally manipulate mathematics therefore makes > me a powerful lord of reality and puts me in a position of great > authority and clarity.
I don't know many physicist who takes this position. I guess Max Tegmark would be one. But most physicists seem to take the math as descriptive. It is more often mathematicians who are Platonists; not I think because of ego, but because mathematics seems to be "discovered" rather than "invented". > > Position 2 > 2a) The mathematics of quantum mechanics is very accurately predictive > of observed phenomena > 2b) Reality is not the mathematics of (a). Reality is constructed of > something that merely appears/behaves quantum-mechanically to an > observer made of whatever it is, within a universe made of it. The > mathematics of this "something" is not the mathematics of kind (a). What about the mathematics is as complete a description as we have of whatever underlying reality there may be. So we might as well, provisionally, identify it with the real. Brent > > Note > 1a) = 2a) > 1b) and 2b) they are totally different. > > The (a) is completely consistent with either (b). > Yet we have religious zeal surrounding (1b) > > I hope that you can see the subtlety of the distinction between position > 1 and position 2. As a thinking person in the logical position of > wondering what position to adopt, position 1 is *completely > unjustified*. The parsimonious position is one in which the universe is > made of something other than 1b maths, and then to find a method of > describing ways in which position 1 might seem apparent to an observer > made of whatever the universe is actually made of.. The nice thing about > position 2 is that I have room for *doubt* in 2b which does not exist in > 1b. In position 2 I have: > > (i) laws of nature that are the describing system (predictive of > phenomena in the usual ways) > (ii) behaviours of a doubtable 'stuff' relating in doubtable ways to > produce an observer able to to (i) > > In position 1 there is no doubt of kind (ii). That doubt is replaced by > religious adherence to an unfounded implicit belief which imbues the > discourse. At the same time position 1 completely fails to explain an > observer of the kind able to do 1a. > > In my ponderings on this I am coming to the conclusion that the very > nature of the discourse and training self-selects for people who's > mental skills in abstract symbol manipulation make Position 1 a > dominating tendency. Aggregates of position 1 thinkers - such as the > everything list and 'fabric of reality' act like small cults. There is > some kind of psychological payback involved in position 1 which selects > for people susceptible to religiosity of kind 1b. Once you have a couple > of generations of these folk who are so disconnected from the reality of > themselves as embedded, situated agents/observers... that position 2, > which involves an admission of permanent ignorance of some kind, and > thereby demoting the physicist from the prime source of authority over > reality, is marginalised and eventually more or less invisible. > > It is not that MWI is true/false.... it's that confinement to the > discourse of MWI alone is justified only on religious grounds of the > kind I have delineated. You can be quite predictive and at the same time > not actually be discussing reality at all - and you'll never realise it. > I.E. Position 2 could be right and all the MWI predictions can still be > right. Yet position 1 behaviour stops you from finding position 2 ... > and problems unsolved because they are only solvable by position 2 > remain unsolved merely because of 1b religiosity. > > Can anyone else here see this cultural schism operating? > > regards > > Colin Hales > > > > > > Jason Resch wrote: >> The following link shows convincingly that what one gains by accepting >> MWI is far greater than what one loses (an answer to the born >> probabilities) >> >> http://www.overcomingbias.com/2008/05/if-many-worlds.html >> >> "The only law in all of quantum mechanics that is non-linear, >> non-unitary, non-differentiable and discontinuous. It would prevent >> physics from evolving locally, with each piece only looking at its >> immediate neighbors. Your 'collapse' would be the only fundamental >> phenomenon in all of physics with a preferred basis and a preferred >> space of simultaneity. Collapse would be the only phenomenon in all >> of physics that violates CPT symmetry, Liouville's Theorem, and >> Special Relativity. In your original version, collapse would also >> have been the only phenomenon in all of physics that was inherently >> mental. Have I left anything out?" >> >> Jason >> >> >> On Thu, May 14, 2009 at 7:06 AM, ronaldheld <ronaldh...@gmail.com> wrote: >> >>> read Aixiv.org:0905.0624v1 (quant-ph) and see if you agree with it >>> Ronald >>> >> >> >> > > > --~--~---------~--~----~------------~-------~--~----~ You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Everything List" group. To post to this group, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org To unsubscribe from this group, send email to everything-list+unsubscr...@googlegroups.com For more options, visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---