Colin Hales wrote:
> 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
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.
> 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?
> 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
>> "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?"
>> 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
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