-----Original Message-----
From: everything-list@googlegroups.com
[mailto:everything-l...@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of Charles
Sent: Monday, February 22, 2010 2:20 PM
To: Everything List
Subject: Re: Many-worlds vs. Many-Minds

On Feb 22, 8:12 pm, "rmiller" <rmil...@legis.com> wrote:
> From: everything-list@googlegroups.com
> [mailto:everything-l...@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of Jason Resch
> Sent: Sunday, February 21, 2010 11:38 PM
> To: everything-list@googlegroups.com
> Subject: Re: Many-worlds vs. Many-Minds
>

Huw Price suggests that our view of causality is strongly influenced
by the way we're embedded / oriented in space-time. He points out in
"Time's Arrow and Archimedes' Point" that the laws of physics are
almost entirely time-symmetric, with the result that (for example) you
can't tell which way up a Feynman diagram is - either time-orientation
is equally valid. 

Perhaps, but it seems to me that thermodynamics and entropy are the critical
factors.

If we accept what the laws of physics appear to say,
that nature is for the most part indifferent to the direction of time,
this implies that quite a few things are a lot less strange than we
think. Delayed-choice and ERP experiments become trivial to explain,
for example, once we stop thinking of the particles involved as
similar to macroscopic objects with a clear arrow of time, and assume
their state is equally constrained by past and future boundary
conditions (e.g. the emitter and detector). This view is similar to
Cramer's Transactional Interpretation and Wheeler-Feynman Absorber
Theory, but makes them both look unnecessarily complicated, since it
doesn't require any new physics, it merely suggests we take the
existing physics at face value (as Hugh Everett III once did, with
similarly interesting results).

Agree in part. It seems as though the same processes that result in the
"laws" of thermodynamics/entropy may operate similarly across MW.


Price's view allows us to focus on the real mystery of time, which is
not why it appears to "flow" in one "direction", but why the region of
space-time near the Big Bang was in a state of very low entropy. I
have a suspicion that the answer is something to do with the shape of
space-time (but I haven't yet been able to get my head around how this
connects with breaking eggs and melting ice...) Admittedly that only
pushes the "why" back a step but that is still progress: rather than
attempting to explain a non-existent preference for one time direction
that we thought was embedded somehow in the laws of physics, we now
need to explain why the universe has a particular boundary condition.
(Possibly Tegmark's MUH comes in here?)

Max Tegmark is one of the big names in this--for good reason. But the guys
who may have first opened the hatch were Univ. of Ariz astronomer Bill Tifft
<< http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_G._Tifft>> who discovered evidence
for redshift quantization, and Helsinki physicist Ari Lehto who first
proposed the concept of 3D time. I think we'll look back on their work as
seminal and as far-reaching as the Hunter College guy who (in 1972) first
proposed that Big Bang started from a vacuum fluctuation zero event. 



Helmut Schmidt's experiments appear to (purportedly) involve
psychokinesis; I have a feeling that I've read various attempts to
debunk these claims in the "Skeptical Enquirer" but unfortunately my
subscription lapsed some years ago, and I can't recall the details.

Schmidt took a lot of heat for his tendency to frame the experiment in the
worst possible terms. But unlike many others, his experiments can--and
have-- been replicated. Problem is, no one is sure what it means to
influence the outcome of an experiment after the fact. 

 It does sound like an extraordinary claim that requires extraordinary
evidence to back it up. The website I looked at was a mass of
statistics that I didn't really follow, unfortunately.

My own rules of thumb: 
1. Follow Fischer: if it's p<0.05 (chance of random is 1 in 20) then it's
good. And.
2. Avoid meta-analysis.    


> As for the role of consciousness in all of this, I believe some answers
have
> already been found-back in 1978 when Stanford Clinical Psychologist Ernest
> R. Hilgard discovered the Hidden Observer phenomenon.  Seems there's an
> "executive function" in each of us that comes to the fore only under
> extremely deep (60+) hypnosis.  His book on the subject, "Divided
> Consciousness" is fascinating reading.  Someone familiar with Many Worlds
> theory will come away with the impression that there evolved as a
mechanism
> to keep track of the local many-world space we inhabit.

This is a facinating idea, although Hidden Observer theory is still
contraversial (since the experiments involved deep hypnosis,
presumably the results may have been the result of suggestion by the
experimenters?).

There's always that possibility, but much of this apparently has been
double-blinded.
If you can find a Finnish translator, I suggest you look into the work by
the (rather obscure) psychologist Reima Kamppman. He pursued the Hidden
Observer with a vengeance, and came up with some weird and impressive
results.  Unfortunately, it's in only in Finnish.

 Apparently the Stoic philosopher Epictetus believed
that the hidden observer (or "Daemon") had foreknowledge of the
person's fate, an idea which if true would fit in well with
retrocausality (but tend to discredit the MWI, since the latter states
that the person has many fates!)

Good point, but among the many fates there is always the optimal path.
Perhaps evolution resulted in a mechanism able to visualize all of the
possible (MW) paths and choose the most advantageous one? There's certainly
enough evidence to suggest that in moments of crisis, some of us are
afforded advice from an "elevated" perspective. Maybe what some describe as
"guardian angels" are merely our hidden observers, directing us in a path
through the multiworlds?  Unfortunately, given the walls between physics,
philosophy and psychology--it's unlikely that we're going to see any
unifying theories any time soon.

RM


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