Re: Quantum Time Travel

From: <>
Date: Thu, 24 Feb 2000 17:02:04 EST

In a message dated 02/23/2000 12:30:19 PM Pacific Standard Time, writes:

> > writes:
> > > On Mon, 21 Feb 2000 wrote:
> > > > Since I do not buy the concept of objective reality, I do not
> > >
> > > Then you are no better than a Copenhagenist. It's precisely the
> > > fact that non-belief in objective reality is a form of insanity that
> > > spawned the MWI in the first place.
> >
> > The Copenhagen school lost faith in the power of reason and they did not
> > believe 100% in QM. They failed to explore the full implications of QM
> > (without the wave collapse phenomemon).
> >
> > Einstein who opposed the Copenhagen School, died in 1955 in Princeton.
> That
> > same year, a young graduate student, Hugh Everett III, joined Princeton
> > University and two years later, under the guidance of John Archibald
> Wheeler,
> > he published his doctoral dissertation which he called a "Relative State
> > Formulation of quantum mechanics" in the Reviews of Modern Physics,
> Volumer
> > 29, No. 3, pages 454-462, July 1957. This paper clearly positions him as
> > relativist.
> >
> > Einstein claimed that no observer in an inertial frame is privileged;
> Everett
> > asserted that no observer state in superposition is privileged. Everett
> had
> > the courage and vision to continue the quest that Einstein started. He
> the
> > true inheritor of Einstein's mantle.
> It is well known that Einstein believed in an objective
> reality. That's why he made the EPR argument to Bohr.
> Everett did indeed extend the work of Einstein. That part I agree
> with. Like Einstein, he believed in an objective reality. When he talked
> about observers in a superposition, he clearly believed that they exist in
> some objective sense. That's how he could go beyond Copenhagen.
> > Jacques, to call me "no better than a Copenhagenist" shows me your true
> > measure and your unfortunate lack of comprehension in this matter. I am
> > relativist.
> No, you yourself said you're a subjectivist, anti-realist. That's
> the problem, not the fact that you don't privilege one term in a
> superposition, because neither do I.
> As far as your own measure I took that long ago.

Wonderful! Now we are getting somewhere. I agree with you almost 100% except
for the "anti-realist" part and the fact that I consider measure relative.
:-) Our exchange has brought to focus the really important aspects of our
difference. Thank you!

We are both relativist. Our difference is that you are an objectivist like
Einstein whereas I am a subjectivist. I am not sure if Everett was an
objectivist or a subjectivist.

There is no problem with the relativist-objectivist point of view as long as
you restrict yourself to non-self (3rd person) issues such as inertial frames
of reference like Einstein did. However, as soon as you start talking about
consciousness and quantum immortality which are, as Bruno calls them first
person issues, then you are led inexorably from the objective point of view
to the subjective one. Pushing the concept of relativity from Einstein's
objective frames to its final conclusion, the self, you'll discover that the
self becomes the ultimate frame of reference. The mind then becomes a frame
of reference and relativity is expressed at least in part by Shannon mutual
infomation theory. I like to think of "mutual information" as "relative
information." Other branches of mathematics that could bear on this problem
is axiomatic theory and Goedel's work.

I am not sure if Everett did envisioned Quantum immortality and if he
actually made the transition from objectivism to subjectivism.

If however, you maintain an objective point of view, you forgo any
understanding of consciousness. Objectively speaking, you are only a mass
comprised mostly of water, nitrogen, phosporus and trace minerals totally
void of consciousness. As an objective relativist you would deny any
consciousness to anyone. Therefore, it is not surprising that you also deny
Quantum immortality.

Yet you do feel conscious, don't you? How do you explain this?

In summary, you can't possibly simultaneously retain objectivity, relativity
and consciousness. One of them has to go. My choice was to keep relativity
and consciousness, and become a subjectivist. However objectivity is not
necessarily dead as I explain below.

Fred Chen wrote the following:

>Okay I may seem a dinosaur, but the illusion of an objective reality is at
>helpful to provide a mental framework to analyze things. Let me illustrate
>with a simple example from my physics education. In my general physics class
>college, it was taught that an inertial reference frame was any reference
>that was not accelerating relative to the fixed stars. The 'fixed stars' is
>obviously a silly 'absolute' reference frame, because they are not that, but
it is
>still a convenient standard to reference to when talking about other
>frames, which are relative to each other. I don't know if that clarifies my
>perspective a bit more. I cannot speak for the others.


Yes I agree, the illusion of an objective reality is helpful in providing a
mental framework for analyzing things. The reason why we have such an
illusion is that, most of the time, our frames of reference are extremely
close together. Our points of view do not differ significantly and therefore
the world appears to be the same. So it's OK to be an objectivist in most
cases. As I mentioned above, It was acceptable for Einstein to be an
objectivist because his frames of reference were third-person-based and did
not involve the self and more specifically the continuing existence of the

However, when one starts to think in terms of consciousness and Quantum
Immortality, the objectivity paradigm doesn't cut it anymore. In those cases,
the relevent frames of reference are consciousness-based and anthropically
dependent. To be more specific the frames of reference are comprised of the
information and data processing capability in the mind of the observer, plus
all the anthropically necessary sustaining factors in the environment. An
example of sustaining factor would be the state of the cyanide capsule in the
Schoedinger cat experiment. The state of the cyanide capsule represents the
difference between the frames of reference for the cat that survives and the
cat that dies.

George Levy
Received on Thu Feb 24 2000 - 14:10:36 PST

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