On 12/10/2012 2:47 AM, Bruno Marchal wrote:


On 10 Dec 2012, at 02:03, Jason Resch wrote:



On Sun, Dec 9, 2012 at 6:51 PM, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net <mailto:meeke...@verizon.net>> wrote:

    On 12/9/2012 4:37 PM, Jason Resch wrote:


    On Sun, Dec 9, 2012 at 5:40 PM, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net
    <mailto:meeke...@verizon.net>> wrote:

        On 12/9/2012 12:08 PM, Jason Resch wrote:

            And without a doubt the most popular interpretation of Quantum 
Mechanics
            among working physicists is SUAC (Shut Up And Calculate),


        That's not an interpretation at all.

        Well for a more philosophical statement of it see Omnes.  His view is 
that
        once you can explain the diagonalization of the the density matrix 
(either by
        eigenselection, dechoherence, or just assumed per Bohr) then you have
        predicted probabilities.  QM is a probabilistic theory - so predicting
        probabilities is all you can ask of it.


    Is science just about its applications or about understanding the world?  I 
would
    argue that science would not progress so far as it has if we thought 
finding the
    equation was the be all and end all of science.  The "shut up and calculate"
    mindset can be translated as "don't ask embarrassing questions", it is the
    antithesis of scientific thinking.

    Student in the 1500s: Does the earth move about the sun, or do the planets 
merely
    appear to move as if earth moved about the sun?
    Professor in the 1500s: We have all the formulas for predicting planetary 
motion,
    so shut up and calculate!

    Fortunately, Copernicus wasn't satisfied with that answer.

    So what's your objection to Omnes?  That the world just can't be 
probabilistic?  So
    instead there must be infinitely many inaccessible worlds - which happen to 
mimic a
    probabilistic world.


It is fine if QM is a probabilistic theory. Where I disagree with him is in his belief that we can never go beyond that in our understanding of it. I am not sure how accurate this statement is, since it is a secondary source, but http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roland_Omn%C3%A8s says: "We will never, Omn├Ęs believes, find a common sense interpretation of quantum law itself." To me, it almost seems as if he says it is not worth trying to find an answer. I lean more towards David Deutsch who says science is about finding good explanations.

Omnes is very special. His many books gives the best account and defense of the MWI, except that in the last paragraph, or chapter, he insist that we have to be irrational, in fine, and select one reality. This is really cosmo-solipsism, and makes QM indeed no more rational at all.

What's not rational about it? I think 'rational' just means 'being able to give coherent reasons'. There's a perfectly good coherent reason for 'selecting' one reality - we experience one reality.

Brent

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