• Rich
    3.2k
    Thank you for the mention of his "holographic view". I will check as soon as possibleboundless

    Thanks for your additional insights. In regards to quantum holographic research, I am most impressed by Erik Verlinde. There are several videos of his presentations available on YouTube. I thought this particular presentation most interesting.

    https://youtu.be/f_BRyS93ucg

    I am pretty convinced that research in this direction will yield many new insights into quantum theory in general.
  • apokrisis
    4.1k
    I am most impressed by Erik Verlinde.Rich

    Perhaps you could explain his entropic approach to gravity for our benefit? In your own words now, what is he saying?
  • Rich
    3.2k
    You're just a joke. Watch the video and enjoy it.
  • apokrisis
    4.1k
    I prefer to read the papers. Now in your own words...
  • Rich
    3.2k
    Great. Read the papers.
  • boundless
    79


    Yeah, I agree entropic gravity is a very interesting approach (even if I do not really understand it very well). In some sense it reminds the ideas of the later Bohm, IMO.

    Regarding the article about Bohm, thank you. I was familiar with the attempts to build a Bohmian version of QFT. However I did not know that there were so many attempts in doing so! As I said the Bohm approach is certainly very interesting even if I now prefer other interpretations. However as Feynman said theoretical physicists should know the greatest possible number of "formulations" of a given theory, in this case QM, QFT etc
  • Rich
    3.2k
    Yeah, I agree entropic gravity is a very interesting approach (even if I do not really understand it very well). In some sense it reminds the ideas of the later Bohm, IMO.boundless

    Ultimately all philosophical and scientific perspectives must merge because they are attempting to describe the same thing.

    There are two things that are interesting about the latest efforts to describe gravity using entropy (information):

    1) Yes, it follows some of Bohm's ideas that the universe can be considered holographic in nature. Notice it is a completely different conceptual view than space-time with major repercussions and allows for a new way of thinking of space and time, separately and distinct. I believe this will eventually merge with the Bergson/Stephen Robbins holographic view of the universe. In a way science and philosophy speech the problem differently, and in some ways the same, but ultimately the trajectory is toward a merge.

    2) It it's utilizing information as the fundamental concept of the universe. Information is nothing more than Bergson's Memory. Memory/information implies a Mind that understands and utilizes the information (it is impossible to escape this unless one adopts the "It just happens, by some Miracle" theory of how information is created and utilized. While tangential to the problem of consciousness, it is heading headlong into the problem and scientific understanding, but given the economic biases against Mind, it will take a long, long time to become acceptable in the scientific world. Still, this should not stop philosophers from moving ahead and developing theories around these concepts.
  • unenlightened
    2.5k
    I think you'll like this. Have a little philosophy with your science.
  • boundless
    79


    Interesting... you might like also the idea behind Digital Physics https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_physics (the rather questionable assumption is the computability of everything. But maybe the centrality of information in these (speculative) theories might be of your interest )

    Regarding your concept of Mind... Do you think that "Mind" is the ultimate reality?

    @Metaphysician Undercover
    I am rather curious to know your understanding of the concept of "time". What do you mean by time as the "0th" dimension?
  • Rich
    3.2k
    But maybe the centrality of information in these (speculative) theories might be of your interest )boundless

    Yes, there are many paths, so what I look for are central themes. There are always course directions.

    Thanks for the link? I'll check it out?
  • boundless
    79


    You are welcome! And thanks you for the links about Bohm and Verlinde!
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    4.2k
    am rather curious to know your understanding of the concept of "time". What do you mean by time as the "0th" dimension?boundless

    There are a number of different ways to look at it. First, we might consider that the passage of time is necessary for physical change to occur. But physical change is not necessary for time to be passing. It is just necessary for physical change to be occurring in order for us to measure time passing. This allows for the possibility that time could be passing with no change occurring. Are you comfortable with this possibility?

    If we take this logical possibility as a hypothetical premise, then we need to turn to something other than spatial existence to describe the passing of time. This is why time becomes the 0th dimension, because it gets described in terms other than the terms of 3d spatial existence. Further, the passing of time becomes the necessary condition for spatial existence. Philosophers have been discussing immaterial (non-spatial) reality for thousands of years and these ideas are compatible with the concept of time being the 0th dimension.
  • bahman
    530

    Yes. And more, time is fundamental. There exist not a theory which can describe the creation of time or emergence of time.
  • boundless
    79

    Thank you. You might be interested in reading https://phys.org/news/2012-04-physicists-abolish-fourth-dimension-space.html and Smolin's thoughts (he wrote a book called "Time Reborn").

    Yes I think that time is not like the spatial dimension. However I have some difficulty accepting that time passes without "any change". But I find it a respectable view. I will think about it in the following days.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    4.2k
    Thank you. You might be interested in reading https://phys.org/news/2012-04-physicists-abolish-fourth-dimension-space.html and Smolin's thoughts (he wrote a book called "Time Reborn").boundless

    I've read that book by Smolin. It's very interesting in the sense that it exposes the problems with the approach to time of physics, but lacking in the sense that he doesn't really get to the point of any serious speculations about the real nature of time.

    However I have some difficulty accepting that time passes without "any change".boundless

    Here's a way to imagine time without physical change. Imagine that we can divide time into shorter and shorter lengths of duration. Each length would be defined by some physical activity, a motion or some other activity. The physical activity which serves to measure the period of time must be "observable" in order that it can serve to measure the period of time. At some point we get to a period of time which is so short that there is no longer any observable physical activity in this short period of time, this is commonly supposed to be at the Planck time. However, we can still imagine a shorter period of time. In this shorter period of time, we cannot say that any physical activity occurs, yet time must still be passing. This is evident in the uncertainty principle which is exposed by the Fourier transform. The shorter the time period, the more uncertain the information, until the uncertainty approaches an infinite magnitude at an extremely short period of time.
  • boundless
    79


    Mmm interesting... I try to give you a rapid answer (hope it makes some sense X-) ):

    Yeah to give some "support" to your view, maybe the Planck time is a limit for our "ability" to measure duration, i.e. it is the smallest observable duration. But again, even if it is so short to be unobservable, maybe we can still imagine that the same can be said for physical changes. I mean we can imagine some phenomena might have a duration which is inacessible to our measurements.

    The reasoning is somewhat similar to the idea behind the "hidden variables". According to these theories we do not observe "reality as it is" but we can still understand quantum phenomena as the "result" of unobservable phenomena (i.e. the movement of the particles etc). In the same way even when we will (possibly) arrive to a quantum theory of gravity, IMO we can still think that there is a "subquantum" world.

    By the way the problem of your hypothesis (at a scientific level) is that such a time would be a sort of "unnecessry" since it is a sort of "stage" where phenomena happen. So it is not to say that it is wrong, but for a scientific POV it is "unnecessary".

    Regarding a metaphysical level, I think that time IS the "flow of change". This does not mean that it is "reducible" to the "events" themeselves. It simply means that as there is no flow in a river without water, there is no "time passing" without change. However the "flow" does not of course coincide without water.

    IMO if time is not the "flow of change" then it "exists" as a sort of indipendent "process". But if that is the case, how can exist such a process?

    Scientifically speaking, however, I do not think that a "time apart of change" can be really useful. But science is NOT metaphysics and therefore if we do not adhere to scientism it is not a problem ;)
  • boundless
    79
    Another idea: if "time" flows indipendently, then is it not correct to say that in fact that time passes is itself a "change"? In fact if we try to "imagine" it, we think that it passes, i.e. there is some activity.
  • Rich
    3.2k
    Planck time is a limit for our "ability" to measure durationboundless

    Real time, the time of life experience, cannot be measured. It is a feeling.

    When we are asleep, we dream. There is no space, but there are images. We feel the duration of these images. It may feel long or it may feel short. There is no way to fix such a feeling to a clock. Similarly when we are awake. Time flows. Sometimes it feels fast and sometimes slow. Regardless whether there are any clocks around, the feeling of time/duration permeates our very existence. Personal time of life, the feeling of duration, cannot be separated, because it is life.

    Duration is a feeling of continuity. Being continuous, it cannot be restated symbolically by clock time that cuts it up. It is a flow. This is the flow one feels in deep meditative Tai Chi which allows one to feel the wave within the wave.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    4.2k
    Yeah to give some "support" to your view, maybe the Planck time is a limit for our "ability" to measure duration, i.e. it is the smallest observable duration. But again, even if it is so short to be unobservable, maybe we can still imagine that the same can be said for physical changes. I mean we can imagine some phenomena might have a duration which is inacessible to our measurements.boundless

    The Planck time is the limit which is imposed by the accepted physical theories. It is the boundary between observable and unobservable which is the manifestation of the theories in use. The point to consider is that the real boundary between observable and unobservable is produced by the physical disposition of the observer. We extend this boundary through theories, down to the Planck time, but this is an artificial boundary, created by the practical application of the theories. So it isn't a real boundary between observable and unobservable at all, it is a theoretical projection.

    As an example, imagine if we make a complete description of what is occurring right now, then use logic and theories, to deduce what must have been occurring five, ten, or twenty years ago. We cannot say that these past occurrences are actually observable. We do this with geology, various morphologies, to project way back in time, and with cosmology we go right back to the big bang. We know that we do not actually observe the big bang, it is a product of the theories. But for some reason, when we take theories in the other direction, to look at shorter and shorter periods of time, instead of longer and longer periods, we tend to fall for the illusion that we are actually observing these short periods of time.

    So there is a need to distinguish physical existence as it is actually observable, and verified by the senses of the human being, and physical existence which is not observable, but is demonstrated to be real by the validity of theories. The question is, at what point do we say that the object in question, is no longer a sensible (material) object, observable by the senses, and is really an intelligible (immaterial) object, apprehended only by the mind?

    The reasoning is somewhat similar to the idea behind the "hidden variables". According to these theories we do not observe "reality as it is" but we can still understand quantum phenomena as the "result" of unobservable phenomena (i.e. the movement of the particles etc). In the same way even when we will (possibly) arrive to a quantum theory of gravity, IMO we can still think that there is a "subquantum" world.boundless

    In my mind "unobservable phenomena" is a self-contradictory statement. If we observe physical activity, and apply logic, to conclude that it is necessary to assume that there is something unobservable going on to account for this activity, then we cannot refer to this as phenomena because that implies something perceivable by the senses. If we allow that "phenomena" refers to things apprehended by the mind, as well as by the senses, then we would need to adopt some other principles to distinguish between what has real material existence, and what is a product of the mind.

    By the way the problem of your hypothesis (at a scientific level) is that such a time would be a sort of "unnecessry" since it is a sort of "stage" where phenomena happen. So it is not to say that it is wrong, but for a scientific POV it is "unnecessary".boundless

    If the goal is to understand, then we cannot say that this is "unnecessary". Since the goal of scientists is often to predict, rather than to understand, then so long as the mathematical equations are set so as to adequately predict, understanding is "unnecessary". But as we found out with the discovery of the heliocentricity of the solar system, real understanding opens up vast new opportunities which cannot be accessed by mere mathematical predictions.

    Regarding a metaphysical level, I think that time IS the "flow of change". This does not mean that it is "reducible" to the "events" themeselves. It simply means that as there is no flow in a river without water, there is no "time passing" without change. However the "flow" does not of course coincide without water.boundless

    The flow of the river is not explained by the water. The water is one element, there is also gravity, and the form of the solid ground. So if change is related to time, like flow is related to the water in the river, we still have the background existence (the riverbed), and the cause of change (gravity) to identify. The cause of change, is more properly associated with time, than change itself, just like gravity is more properly associated with the flow than the water itself.
  • boundless
    79


    Yeah I agree... If you accept that "ultimate reality" is the "Mind", then the "real" time is the "percieved/experienced" time. There is no distinction between the two. In this framework "life" and the flow of experiences (i.e. the "flow of time") are the same (except the fact that maybe the "Mind" is a "center of awareness", but I do not really know much about Tai Chi, so it is only a guess...). It seems interesting.

    Do you know if there are some online resources about it? May you please give some links - if there are any?



    Interesting! Regarding the first part I think I agree. I see it as follows: we "map" reality according to certain assumptions. The "validity" of the map, however depends on the map itself, its properties. So a-priori even the smallest "observable" scale depends on the particular "way" we "map" reality (however being a theoretical physics student I believe that it is the "best" map, until contrary evidence). This however raises as you say the question: how we a-priori distinguish the two "realities", i.e. the sensible and the "intelligible" ? Actually if by sensible we include also what can be "observed" by the instruments (i.e. the definition of "observable" in physics) of the lab Heisenberg and other Copenaghists would say that there is no difference. Others, like the Bohmians disagree.

    As an example, imagine if we make a complete description of what is occurring right now, then use logic and theories, to deduce what must have been occurring five, ten, or twenty years ago. We cannot say that these past occurrences are actually observable. We do this with geology, various morphologies, to project way back in time, and with cosmology we go right back to the big bang. We know that we do not actually observe the big bang, it is a product of the theories. But for some reason, when we take theories in the other direction, to look at shorter and shorter periods of time, instead of longer and longer periods, we tend to fall for the illusion that we are actually observing these short periods of time.Metaphysician Undercover

    Mmm, interesting view (I hope to have understand what you mean...). Ok, it seems a strict empiricism. In this case, however all our scientific pictures do not refer to observation but to a "construct" of it (apart of course theories that predict only perceivable results by our senses).

    Let me ask a question. Suppose you have an atomic clock. Why do you think that they do not "observe" such small durations (femtoseconds for instance)?

    In my mind "unobservable phenomena" is a self-contradictory statement. If we observe physical activity, and apply logic, to conclude that it is necessary to assume that there is something unobservable going on to account for this activity, then we cannot refer to this as phenomena because that implies something perceivable by the senses. If we allow that "phenomena" refers to things apprehended by the mind, as well as by the senses, then we would need to adopt some other principles to distinguish between what has real material existence, and what is a product of the mind.Metaphysician Undercover

    Ok, I see. What about "happenings"? :) Well I speculated a lot about the issue wether it is even possible to think that something can exist, but it is impossible to percieve in any possible way. My "hypothesis" is that the answer is "yes", but we cannot know anything about such "things". We can only "guess" or "speculate", without any hope to really know. Therefore even the existence of "matter" is a convenient "guess": we cannot prove its existence in any way. Outside direct experience and inference about direct experience we cannot have any "certain", so to speak, knowledge. We can however IMO make some reasonable "guesses". For example I have not find any "proof" against solipsism, however it is not clearly true. But the fact that it is extremely difficult - if impossible - to reject shows something interesting: outside the "direct experience" we cannot have certain knowledge. So in a sense we estabilish the existence of a reality "behind the phenomena" as a reasonable "leap of faith", so to speak. Do you agree? Therefore the only principle that I can (at least for now) propose is the "causal" argument: the "external reality" is somehow the cause of our experience (to avoid solipsism). However we can only make reasonable assumptions and inferences about it (and even for its existence). Note that since the Copenaghen interpretation became the "standard" one, physics now is seen as dealing with what is "observable" by physical instruments (and therefore claims about what "there is behind it" are seen as either speculations or fictions).

    If the goal is to understand, then we cannot say that this is "unnecessary". Since the goal of scientists is often to predict, rather than to understand, then so long as the mathematical equations are set so as to adequately predict, understanding is "unnecessary". But as we found out with the discovery of the heliocentricity of the solar system, real understanding opens up vast new opportunities which cannot be accessed by mere mathematical predictions.Metaphysician Undercover

    Agreed! In my opinion the fact that there are many interpretation of QM means that we have yet to understand it. But it seems that many physicists do not agree, sadly.

    The flow of the river is not explained by the water. The water is one element, there is also gravity, and the form of the solid ground. So if change is related to time, like flow is related to the water in the river, we still have the background existence (the riverbed), and the cause of change (gravity) to identify. The cause of change, is more properly associated with time, than change itself, just like gravity is more properly associated with the flow than the water itself.Metaphysician Undercover

    Ok. I think I understood... So in your view time is the cause of change. But why do you think it is necessay to posit it in the first place? In other words why the "causal chain of happenings" is not sufficient to understand reality, but need a "cause to exist"? :)
    Personally I cannot see how such an "additional" cause might be required.


    P.S. For those interested in interpretation of QM, I have found a nice criticism of MWI (many-worlds):
    https://rekastner.files.wordpress.com/2014/07/decoherence-fail.pdf
    Here there are no formulas and the argument is quite clear IMO: in order to explain the "split" we already have to know how the worlds must split (this problem is called "preferred basis problem" in literature). The problem is that according MWI in its most rigorous formulation only the universal wavefunction is real and a-priori by it we cannot know how the universe split. Therefore it becomes either a "many-many worlds interpetration" where there are many-many ways in which worlds split or "a no-world interpetration", where literally nothing happens.

    For who is interested I give the link to two threads of "physicsforums":
    https://www.physicsforums.com/threads/why-does-nothing-happen-in-mwi.822848/
    https://www.physicsforums.com/threads/many-worlds-proved-inconsistent.767809/

    and the link to the pre-print of the paper where the criticism is found:
    https://arxiv.org/abs/1210.8447
  • Rich
    3.2k
    If you accept that "ultimate reality" is the "Mind"boundless

    Here we must be careful. "Reality" is a fabric in which everything lies in a quantum information state. The Mind is embedded in this fabric and perceives it, as its own creation. What's out there is as real as what's in here, all being a continuum of mind/consciousness or quantum information, however you wish to envision it.

    Do you know if there are some online resources about it? May you please give some links - if there are any?boundless

    I have yet to discover a good source as most sources on the Web are commercially oriented or Communist government inspired, both with a keen interest to suppress any spirituality. It is similar with Yoga. My journey so far had been very long and the path winds through many aspects of life (sports, arts, music, dance, Tai Chi, Yoga, Qigong, history, philosophy, psychology, physics, etc. By looking for patterns, applying then, and understanding who I am, I discover new things that are not found in books but are certainly part of the traditions that were discovered long ago. I can only attest is that with patience and relaxation there is an enormous amount of life to be discovered.
  • boundless
    79


    Ok I think I understood your view. Thanks for the clarification.

    And also thanks for the insights about Tai Chi and for sharing your experience!
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    4.2k
    Actually if by sensible we include also what can be "observed" by the instruments (i.e. the definition of "observable" in physics) of the lab Heisenberg and other Copenaghists would say that there is no difference. Others, like the Bohmians disagree.boundless

    I think this is exactly the point I was making. I wouldn't say that being observed by instruments is being observed, in any unqualified sense. That is because the instruments gather information, and the information must be interpreted according to theories. So there is an extra layer of interpretation there which is dependent on the validity of the theories employed. Take your map analogy. Suppose we have instruments, satellites for example, which are observing the earth, gathering information. Then, with the use of theories, the instruments produce a map of what a human being would see on the earth. You might say that the satellites allow us to observe the earth, but the observations are only as accurate as the theories which are used to interpret the information.

    Mmm, interesting view (I hope to have understand what you mean...). Ok, it seems a strict empiricism. In this case, however all our scientific pictures do not refer to observation but to a "construct" of it (apart of course theories that predict only perceivable results by our senses).boundless

    Yes, I think that all observations are ultimately reducible to constructs, and the accuracy of the construct is dependent on the theories employed. So even if you sit at your window, and describe what you are seeing outside, your description is limited by your language capacity. Your language represents the theories you employ in describing the situation.

    Let me ask a question. Suppose you have an atomic clock. Why do you think that they do not "observe" such small durations (femtoseconds for instance)?boundless

    I think that the standard caesium clock measures a time period much longer than a femtosecond. Regardless, I think that the clock doesn't "observe" the time duration, for the reasons discussed above. The clock gathers information which is interpreted according to theory and this produces an "observation"..

    Therefore the only principle that I can (at least for now) propose is the "causal" argument: the "external reality" is somehow the cause of our experience (to avoid solipsism). However we can only make reasonable assumptions and inferences about it (and even for its existence). Note that since the Copenaghen interpretation became the "standard" one, physics now is seen as dealing with what is "observable" by physical instruments (and therefore claims about what "there is behind it" are seen as either speculations or fictions).boundless

    I look at "the cause of our experience" in a different way. I think of the biological systems of the human organism as the cause of our experience. Our bodies take information from our environment, interpreting it, and constructing something which is presented to the conscious mind, which interprets this, and constructs something again. So the causation is really within, in the act of constructing.

    But why do you think it is necessay to posit it in the first place? In other words why the "causal chain of happenings" is not sufficient to understand reality, but need a "cause to exist"? :)
    Personally I cannot see how such an "additional" cause might be required.
    boundless

    It is necessary because the nature of free will, creativity, and all that "construction" which occurs within us, that I just described, which indicates that we need to assume something more than the "causal chain of happenings" to understand reality. As a free willing being, I see possibilities in the future. I can influence the future with my decisions, such that I can start a causal chain of happenings intended to bring about what I want. This ability to start a causal chain of happenings, at any moment of the present, needs to be understood.
  • Rich
    3.2k
    Therefore it becomes either a "many-many worlds interpetration" where there are many-many ways in which worlds split or "a no-world interpetration", where literally nothing happens.boundless

    These are good points. John Bell considered it extravagant.

    Have you attempted to imagine how many worlds are being created each moment as decisions are being made?
  • boundless
    79
    I think this is exactly the point I was making. I wouldn't say that being observed by instruments is being observed, in any unqualified sense. That is because the instruments gather information, and the information must be interpreted according to theories. So there is an extra layer of interpretation there which is dependent on the validity of the theories employed. Take your map analogy. Suppose we have instruments, satellites for example, which are observing the earth, gathering information. Then, with the use of theories, the instruments produce a map of what a human being would see on the earth. You might say that the satellites allow us to observe the earth, but the observations are only as accurate as the theories which are used to interpret the information.Metaphysician Undercover

    Ok I see. In principle you are right. We cannot have a "direct experience" of what the instruments in the labs register, i.e. we have an additional interpretative level. Or rather two... Let me explain what I mean.

    What we experience is that the instruments "do some stuff" (pardon the imprecise language) and we interpret it an "observation". However it is an assumption, albeit a "very reasonable" one. We do not oberve what the satellite are observing but only how the satellite is "behaving". This is VERY similar to Heisenberg/Bohr reasoning, minus the fact that even they assumed that the observation is an interaction between the experiment apparatus and the "thing" observed by it. To me this is also the reason why science cannot "prove" itself. We need philosophy of science, i.e. we need to explain what we are observing when we analyse the experimental apparatus. But in the strictest sense this is not science, anymore. It is philosophy of science. But even if we accept that there is still a layer of interpretation, i.e. we need to use some assumptions in order to interpret the "results" of the observations. In the case of the satellites it is simple (in fact we can see the Earth...). But with an atomic microscope we cannot be so sure: we have not a direct experience of the atoms, for example (in fact this was, more or less, the objection of Mach against the atomic theory). We need a theory that can account for how the observation, i.e. the interaction of the instrument with the "thing" observed, happens. Here I think you are right, our theories actually condition how we interpret even how we interpret observations themselves. And in fact Bohr, for example, was agnostic about "the nature of the quantum world" - except the fact that the "cause" of the observation is a sort of interation of the "quatum stuff" and the experimental apparatus. In a similar way we can say that in fact we cannot really know "what the quantum world is" by performing experiments. After all it was Bohr who said:
    "It is wrong to think that the task of physics is to find out how nature is. Physics concerns what we can say about nature." and "We must be clear that when it comes to atoms, language can be used only as in poetry. " https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Niels_Bohr (however I suggest you to read https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/bohr-correspondence/ and https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/qm-copenhagen/)

    Yes, I think that all observations are ultimately reducible to constructs, and the accuracy of the construct is dependent on the theories employed. So even if you sit at your window, and describe what you are seeing outside, your description is limited by your language capacity. Your language represents the theories you employ in describing the situation.Metaphysician Undercover

    Yeah, I think I can agree. Direct experience is after all in some sense both "pre-conceptual" and "beyond concepts" (Very "zen" X-) ). We use our constructs as a map (this is not to say that they are "false" or a "misconception"...). For example a "chair" is concept we "impose" on our experience. But our experience does not tell us that there is a "chair". Yet conventionally/practically it is very useful to use those concepts. As I also said about the "world outside our experience" we can be agnostic and make some "reasonable guesses". (That's why I am very interested in many "eastern" philosophies which are interested in the "direct/non-conceptual" experience!).

    I think that the standard caesium clock measures a time period much longer than a femtosecond. Regardless, I think that the clock doesn't "observe" the time duration, for the reasons discussed above. The clock gathers information which is interpreted according to theory and this produces an "observation"..Metaphysician Undercover

    Ooops sorry, you are right. Atomic clocks arrive at "picoseconds", those who arrive near the "femtoseconds" seem to be "mode-locked" lasers.

    According to what we have said, yes. But still I think that our present theories are so successful that we can say that it "observes" such a small temporal duration! But in principle you are righ, I think. And in fact this objection is even more justified for smaller scales

    I look at "the cause of our experience" in a different way. I think of the biological systems of the human organism as the cause of our experience. Our bodies take information from our environment, interpreting it, and constructing something which is presented to the conscious mind, which interprets this, and constructs something again. So the causation is really within, in the act of constructing.Metaphysician Undercover

    But... our "biology" is conditioned by the external environment, as you say. So causation itself IMO is also "outised" us. The problem is how we interpret it. This in fact can be said to be "within". All our experience "arises" from the "contact" of our consciousness our biological systems and "something external" (unless one is a solipsist we have to admit that "the external world" co-causes our experience... but maybe a solipsist does not even accept the existence of the body). For example when we touch something, that "something" produces signals that are interpreted by our brain and our consciousness (brain and consciousness are not identical for the emergentist - let alone dualists or other theories). So causation cannot be said to be wholly "within", but at the same time our "description" of it IS "within".

    It is necessary because the nature of free will, creativity, and all that "construction" which occurs within us, that I just described, which indicates that we need to assume something more than the "causal chain of happenings" to understand reality. As a free willing being, I see possibilities in the future. I can influence the future with my decisions, such that I can start a causal chain of happenings intended to bring about what I want. This ability to start a causal chain of happenings, at any moment of the present, needs to be understood.Metaphysician Undercover

    Ok, so in our view time is in fact "within us"? I think I can agree: the "time" we "experience" is NOT the time "measured" by clocks. Are you saying this?



    I agree that it is extravagant, but this argument is that it is even either more extravagant than Bell thought (i.e. there are "Many-Many" worlds) or describes a "universe" where literally nothing happens. In any case in MWI the "reality" is the wavefunction.

    Of course even somehow we can "avoid" the objection raised by the article it is very "extravagant". We are in a sort of illusion, thinking that our world is "the reality". But even all "the stories" together cannot be said that are reality. The reality according to them IS the universal wavefunction which is eternally in a superposition state (the cat is always both alive and dead BUT we are inside the universe so we observe either alive or death). Interestingly both Bohm and Bell held that in PWT the wavefunction is as real as MWI, but according to them our "story" is "real" because there are also particles. This raised an objection to PWT itself (mainly by MWI-advocates) since if we hold that the universal wavefunction is real, then it never collapses and therefore there are, in fact, other stories but they are "empty" of particles. MWI-supporters see PWT as an unnecessary complication whereas PWT supporters raise the objection above and the (fatal IMO) objection that it CANNOT reproduce, without additional axioms, the Born Rule (the probabilistic predictions of QM). MWI-supporters (e.g. Tegmark, De-Witt, Deutsch...) hold that both are "resolved" or "not very important", but I never found a convincing "defense". Also some PWT no more treat the wavefunction as real, but as "nomological", i.e. a sort of physical law, because of the problem raised about the "empty stories".

    Regarding your question about split... Well, no. But remember that according to MWI our world is not real as we normally think. To a well-written FAQ about MWI see http://www.anthropic-principle.com/preprints/manyworlds.html.

    Personally I find too much "extravagant". I am more in line with Bohr and in a lesser grade Rovelli (but interestingly I am fascinated by also Bohm). MWI also would be very elegant (mathematically) but thetwo objections above IMO rule it out.

    By the way Everett's original interpretation was a bit different, it was called "relative state interpretation", the MWI it seems is its most famous type. But I do not rember very well these things.

    See also this for a "mental" interpretation of MWI: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Many-minds_interpretation (this might of your interest!)
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    4.2k
    What we experience is that the instruments "do some stuff" (pardon the imprecise language) and we interpret it an "observation". However it is an assumption, albeit a "very reasonable" one. We do not oberve what the satellite are observing but only how the satellite is "behaving".boundless

    This is exactly the issue. That is the nature of an experiment, we do something, and note what happens. We interact with the world and make observations of the interactions. In experimentation it is very important that we know precisely, what we are "doing", so we can separate cause from effect, in the observation. That's why we follow a very specific procedure. So for instance, if you were doing experiments in biology, raising cultures in a sterile environment, and you inadvertently introduced a foreign bacteria with some unsterilized equipment, that would be a problem because you wouldn't know where the bacteria came from. You might "observe" that its existence somehow got caused by your experiment. And if you repeated the experiment numerous times, making the same mistake, because this tiny little mistake slipped the grasp of the preparations for your procedure, then you'd confirm your inaccurate observations.

    Now, let's look at the nature of observation itself, at the most fundamental level. We sense the world, and take notice. Sensing is doing something. So we must respect this fact, that the human being is an agent, acting in the world, sensing. The materialist, determinist perspective, positions the human being as reacting to the world, sensation is caused by the external world. But this is unacceptable because we really need to respect the fact that the human being is doing something when it is producing sensations, and unless we can adequately account for what it is doing, and separate the procedure, from the observation, our observations will be inaccurate.

    There is an age-old argument for the immaterial soul, the tinted glass analogy. It's simple, and self-evident that unless you determine that the glass you are looking through is tinted, then all your observations will be tainted. So the argument is, that if we want to understand all of material existence, then we must give the soul a purely immaterial perspective. This is why dualism is unavoidable if our goal is to understand all of material existence. It is required to accept dualism in principle, to get there, to assume the immaterial perspective, and if it is wrong, i.e. the immaterial perspective is impossible, then we will just never get there. But we will not know until we try. Therefore we need to assume the immaterial perspective if our goal is to understand all of material existence.

    But even if we accept that there is still a layer of interpretation, i.e. we need to use some assumptions in order to interpret the "results" of the observations.boundless

    The basic assumption which is required then, is that we need to find the immaterial perspective. That is why I suggested time as the 0th dimension. We take the division between past and future, which forms the passing of time, as the immaterial perspective of the soul. This boundary has been assumed, in the past, to have no temporal extension, therefore it provided for the location of the soul, because no material existence is possible at this point in time, which has no temporal extension. To exist is to have temporal extension.

    Now, we find with modern physics, that this immaterial perspective may be illusory. Perhaps, the "change" from future to past is not absolutely instantaneous. Perhaps some types of objects move from future to past before other types of objects. If this is the case, then we need to determine the soul's immaterial perspective. So we need to refine our position, find out exactly what it means to move from future to past, to restore our hope of understanding all material existence.

    According to what we have said, yes. But still I think that our present theories are so successful that we can say that it "observes" such a small temporal duration! But in principle you are righ, I think. And in fact this objection is even more justified for smaller scalesboundless

    Here's the problem I apprehend with the differential in time scales. For the sake of argument, let's assume the soul's immaterial perspective, at the point of division between future and past. Let's assume that when an object goes past this point it becomes observable to the soul. Going into the past is what constitutes observability. For a spatial analogy, consider a plane. Objects are crossing the plane and you see them only when they emerge on one side. This is what constitutes the object's existence from the perspective of the soul, its being in the past, across that line of division. Now let's assume some very large objects, and some very small objects. Suppose that a very large object, due to its size, takes a little longer to get into the past than a very small object which crosses the plane instantaneously. We can make a time scale by watching large objects go into the past, and, we can make a time scale by watching very small objects go into the past. But since the amount of time that it takes for a large object to go into the past has been assumed to be different from the amount of time that it takes for a small object to go into the past, then we need to determine this difference in order to properly relate these time scales.

    Yeah, I think I can agree. Direct experience is after in some sense "pre-conceptual" and "beyond concepts" (Very "zen" X-) ). We use our constructs as a map (this is not to say that they are "false" or a "misconception"...). For example a "chair" is concept we "impose" on our experience. But our experience does not tell us that there is a "chair". Yet conventionally/practically it is very useful to use those concepts. As I also said about the "world outside our experience" we can be agnostic and make some "reasonable guesses". (That's why I am very interested in many "eastern" philosophies which are interested in the "direct/non-conceptual" experience!).boundless

    With dualism we can extend this way of looking at things to include the entire human body. Not only does the soul create concepts which are the constructed map, the way of looking at the world, but the soul has created the entire human body first, as its way of looking at the world, its map. The map, the body, is the medium through which we are looking at the world. We need to account for all the elements of the medium, giving the soul the purely immaterial perspective, in order to avoid the tinted glass problem.
  • Rich
    3.2k
    But remember that according to MWI our world is not real as we normally think.boundless

    This type of perspective always makes any attempt to understand nature and life hopeless. Illusions make everything meaningless since there are no boundaries to the illusion.
bold
italic
underline
strike
code
quote
ulist
image
url
mention
reveal
youtube
tweet
Add a Comment