Sent: Monday, May 09, 2011 12:31 AM
Subject: Re: Against the Doomsday hypothesis
On 5/8/2011 9:19 PM, Stephen Paul King wrote:
> Hi Brent,
> No, the Newtonian case would be such that the logical
> non-contradiction requirement would be trivial as the number of
> physical alternatives that could occur next per state is one, this
> generates a one to one to one to one to one ... type of sequencing.
> There is no “choice” in the Newtonian case.
And hence no measure problem.
I agree. But the universe we experience is not Newtonian...
> On the other hand, in QM we have a clear example of irreducible and
> non-trivial alternatives that could occur next per state. IN QM,
> observables are defined in terms of complex valued amplitudes which do
> not have a well ordering as Real numbered valuations do.
No, observables are defined by Hermitean operators which have real
eigenvalues. The Hamiltonian generates time evolution.
I am sorry but you are wrong. The Hamiltonian generation of time evolution
is only known for the non-relativistic version of QM, simple cases of
relativistic particle dynamics and quantum ﬁeld theory as currently defined.
These use the absolute time of Newton. It is well known that the Newtonian
version of time is disallowed by General Relativity. Chris Isham discuses this
“The problem of time in quantum gravity is deeply connected with the special
signed to temporal concepts in standard theories of physics. In particular, in
physics, time—the parameter with respect to which change is manifest—is
the system itself. This is reﬂected in the special status of time in
The Hermitean operators only requires that the observed “pointer bases” are
Real numbers. In other words, the Hermiticity requirement only applies to the
outcomes of measurements, it does not pre-order the measurements. Thus it does
not lend itself to a well ordering that can be attributed to a dimension of
time in the sense of a unique map to the Positive Reals. I am truly surprised
that this is not well known!
> Because of this fact we cannot assume that OMs exist with an a priori
> well ordering. Time exists because everything cannot occur all at once.
It takes more than that though; time implies an ordering. I don't know
what an "observer moment" is, so I don't know whether one can overlap
another or not. What's an operational definition of an OM?
Time is not just an ordering. It is the ordering of events and the
transitions between events. I am trying to use the definition of OMs that is
used in this List. For example:
“An observer-moment is really all we have as our primary experience of
the world. The world around us may be fake; we may be in the Matrix or
a brain in a vat. Even our memories may be fake. But the fact that we
are having particular experiences at a particular moment cannot be faked.”
This definition speaks to the notion that you, we, have something that is
like having an experience of being in the world complete with being in a place,
colors, textures, sounds, etc.
Russell posited that the OM could be defined as the “state of a machine” in
> My argument is that the traditional notion of a measure does not
> apply because we cannot assume the simultaneous co-reliability of OMs,
> thus the DA is an artifact of misapplied statistics.
I don't understand that.
The Doomsday argument discusses the statistics of an ensemble of possible
“The Doomsday argument (DA) is a probabilistic argument that claims to predict
the number of future members of the human species given only an estimate of the
total number of humans born so far. Simply put, it says that supposing the
humans alive today are in a random place in the whole human history timeline,
chances are we are about halfway through it.”
My point is that “the whole human history timeline” assumes the Newtonian
(Laplacean Demon) idea that all events are observable by some hypothetical
entity that is exterior to the universe (aka God). Do I need to knock that
rubbish pile over for you?
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