On Thu, May 14, 2009 at 6:18 PM, Colin Hales
<c.ha...@pgrad.unimelb.edu.au> wrote:
>
> 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.

Aren't people who are good at math already pretty much in this
position?  Engineering, phsyics, chemistry, finance, etc., all require
some aptitude with math.

If you have significant mathematical ability, then you should be in a
very good position in the modern world, all other things being equal.

Whether reality IS math, or is just described by math...being good at
math is a major bonus either way.  If reality IS math...I'm not sure
how much extra this really buys you over reality just being
describable by math.

So I think your "god complex" explanation is off.


> Yet we have religious zeal surrounding (1b)

What is the difference between "religious zeal" and just "regular
zeal"?  How do you tell the difference?  Is any sign of zeal
automatically tagged as "religious"?  Or only certain kinds of zeal?


> 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.

I think you overestimate people's devotion to MWI.  I myself only
occasionally pray to it.





On Thu, May 14, 2009 at 6:18 PM, Colin Hales
<c.ha...@pgrad.unimelb.edu.au> 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.
>
> 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).
>
> 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
>
>
>
>
> >
>

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