On 11/1/2011 1:07 PM, Nick Prince wrote:
I don't think I understand it any better than you do. But ISTM we need a
of consciousness in order to write eqns like (3) above. In the standard theory
that there is some experience of both system states at the same time. A change
changes the labelling of 1 and 2. In other words, if the brain is in a
then there is *a* conscious experience of *both* states. If you deny this and
that consciousness must be unique (i.e. classical), as we directly experience
it, then it
seems you have gotten back to the theory that consciousness collapses the wave
To me, decoherence offers a better explanation, i.e. that the off diagonal
terms in the
density matrix become practically zero already at the brain level; or more
the level of the detector of the particle that initiates breaking the vial.
explanation still has a problem though in that there must be some canonical
in which the off diagonal terms become zero. I think it may be possible to
pointer basis; but it hasn't been found yet.
This is where I am coming from:
I accept decoherence as the mechanism for suppressing interference
between universes and that this happens very quickly (no time for us
But would we notice if it were slow? What would it mean to notice a coherent
But the world of our perception is quasi-classical. The states have decohered *in our
basis* before we perceive them, even independent of whether we perceive them. But only in
a particular basis. Rotate the basis in Hilbert space and they are still mixed in that
basis. That's why I think realizing Everett's idea depends on a theory of consciousness
that selects a canonical basis.
So assuming the everett interpretation, there is no
collapse and there are two consciousnesses in equations like (3)
representing "my consciousness" in two separate [infinite] bundles of
universes). However they are no longer in a superposition (i.e. there
is no interference between them going on, or as you say, off diagonal
terms in the density matrix are virtually gone). So at each
differentiation me and my different consciousnesses diverge.
the same history (memories) but different futures.
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