Hi meekerdb 

There are a number of theories to explain the collapse of the quantum wave 
(see below). 

1) In subjective theories, the collapse is attributed
to consciousness (presumably of the intent or decision to make
a measurement). 

2) In objective or decoherence theories, some physical
event (such as using a probe to make a measurement) 
in itself causes decoherence of the wave function. To me,
this is the simplest and most sensible answer (Occam's Razor). 

3) There is also the many-worlds interpretation, in which collapse
of the wave is avoided by creating an entire universe.
This sounds like overkill to me.

So I vote for decoherence of the wave by a probe.

Roger Clough

Wave function collapse.


"The cluster of phenomena described by the expression wave function collapse 
is a fundamental problem in the interpretation of quantum mechanics, and is 
 as the measurement problem. The problem is not really confronted by the 
Interpretation, which postulates that this is a special characteristic of the 
"measurement" process.

 The Many-Worlds Interpretation deals with it by discarding the 
thus reformulating the relation between measurement apparatus and system in 
such a way that the linear laws of quantum mechanics are universally valid; 
that is, the only process according to which a quantum system evolves is 
by the Schr?inger equation or some relativistic equivalent. Often tied in with 
the Many-Worlds 
Interpretation, but not limited to it, is the physical process of decoherence, 
causes an apparent collapse. Decoherence is also important for the 
 based on Consistent Histories. 

A general description of the evolution of quantum mechanical systems is 
possible by 
using density operators and quantum operations. In this formalism (which is 
related to the C*-algebraic formalism) the collapse of the wave function 
to a non-unitary quantum operation. 

The significance ascribed to the wave function varies from interpretation to 
and varies even within an interpretation (such as the Copenhagen 
If the wave function merely encodes an observer's knowledge of the universe 
the wave function collapse corresponds to the receipt of new information. 
This is somewhat analogous to the situation in classical physics, except that 
the classical "wave function" does not necessarily obey a wave equation. 
If the wave function is physically real, in some sense and to some extent, 
then the collapse of the wave function is also seen as a real process, to the 
same extent."

Roger Clough, rclo...@verizon.net 
"Forever is a long time, especially near the end." -Woody Allen 

----- Receiving the following content ----- 
From: meekerdb 
Receiver: everything-list 
Time: 2012-10-22, 12:26:39 
Subject: Re: Continuous Game of Life 

On 10/22/2012 12:51 AM, Quentin Anciaux wrote: 

2012/10/22 Jason Resch 

On Sun, Oct 21, 2012 at 12:46 PM, John Clark wrote: 

On Sun, Oct 21, 2012 Bruno Marchal wrote: 

 >> I stopped reading after your proof of the existence of a new type of 
 >> indeterminacy never seen before because the proof was in error, so there 
 >> was no point in reading about things built on top of that 

> From your "error" you have been obliged to say that in the WM duplication, 
> you will live both at W and at W 


yet your agree that both copy will feel to live in only one place 


> so the error you have seen was dues to a confusion between first person and 
> third person. 

Somebody is certainly confused but it's not me. The fact is that if we are 
identical then my first person experience of looking at you is identical to 
your first person experience of looking at me, and both our actions are 
identical for a third person looking at both of us. As long as we're identical 
it's meaningless to talk about 2 conscious beings regardless of how many bodies 
or brains have been duplicated. 

Your confusion stems from saying "you have been duplicated" but then not 
thinking about what that really means, you haven't realized that a noun (like a 
brain) has been duplicated but a adjective (like Bruno Marchal) has not been as 
long as they are identical; you are treating adjectives as if they were nouns 
and that's bound to cause confusion. You are also confused by the fact that if 
2 identical things change in nonidentical ways, such as by forming different 
memories, then they are no longer identical. And finally you are confused by 
the fact that although they are not each other any more after those changes 
both still have a equal right to call themselves Bruno Marchal. After reading 
these multiple confusions in one step of your proof I saw no point in reading 
more, and I still don't. 


I think you are missing something. It is a problem that I noticed after 
watching the movie "The Prestige" and it eventually led me to join this list. 

Unless you consider yourself to be only a single momentary atom of thought, you 
probably believe there is some stream of thoughts/consciousness that you 
identify with. You further believe that these thoughts and consciousness are 
produced by some activity of your brain. Unlike Craig, you believe that 
whatever horrible injury you suffered, even if every atom in your body were 
separated from every other atom, in principle you could be put back together, 
and if the atoms are put back just right, you will be removed and alive and 
well, and conscious again. 

Further, you probably believe it doesn't matter if we even re-use the same 
atoms or not, since atoms of the same elements and isotopes are functionally 
equivalent. We could take apart your current atoms, then put you back together 
with atoms from a different pile and your consciousness would continue right 
where it left off (from before you were obliterated). It would be as if a 
simulation of your brain were running on a VM, we paused the VM, moved it to a 
different physical computer and then resumed it. From your perspective inside, 
there was no interruption, yet your physical incarnation and location has 

Assuming you are with me so far, an interesting question emerges: what happens 
to your consciousness when duplicated? Either an atom for atom replica of 
yourself is created in two places or your VM image which contains your brain 
emulation is copied to two different computers while paused, and then both are 
resumed. Initially, the sensory input to the two duplicates could be the same, 
and in a sense they are still the same mind, just with two instances, but then 
something interesting happens once different input is fed to the two instances: 
they split. You could say they split in the same sense as when someone opens 
the steel box to see whether the cat is alive or dead. All the splitting in 
quantum mechanics may be the result of our infinite instances 
discovering/learning different things about our infinite environments. 

I would add that what's interresting in the duplication is the what happens 
next probability (when the "two" copies diverge). If you're about to do an 
experience (for exemple opening a door and looking what is behind) and that 
just before opening the door, your are duplicated, the copy is put in the same 
position in front of an identical door, the fact that you were originally (just 
before duplication) in front of a door that opens on new york city, what is the 
probability that when you open it *it is* new york city... in case of a single 
universe (limited) where not duplications of state could appear the answer is 
straighforward, it is 100%, but in case of comp or MWI, the probability is not 
100%, you must take in account all duplications (now and then) and there 
relative measure. That is the "measure" problem. The "before" divergence is not 
interresting, that's the point where John stays stuck willingly. 


There is something puzzling here. Duplication at the lowest level, cloning the 
quantum state, is impossible. And even duplicates at a relatively high state, 
e.g. nuerons, must quickly diverge just because of interactions with the 
uncontrolled environment - and in fact if QM is correct it is the interaction 
with the environment that permits the "higher" classical level to exist. In 
this thought experiments, Bruno sweeps these problems aside by considering 
conscious states. Conscious states are very crude things. We're not aware of 
very much of the world. So Bruno notes that a given conscious state is 
consistent with a lot of different worlds - different computational states in 
different computational threads of a UD. Then he proposes that the physical 
world is just a kind of consistency class within all the consciousness threads 
(intersujective agreement). But each thread of computation that contributes to 
a given consciousness only does so in virtue of being consistent with the other 
threads (one is never literally of two minds). So it seems that consciousness, 
by this theory, is an epiphenomena on certain classes of computation (e.g. 
those that 'hang together' enough to be conscious "of" something). Then we're 
back to the same sort of question asked of materialism, but instead of "Why is 
this physical process conscious and not that one?" the question is "Why is this 
bundle of computational states conscious and not that one?" 


You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
"Everything List" group.
To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com.
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to 
For more options, visit this group at 

Reply via email to