From: Higgo James <>
Date: Mon, 26 Jun 2000 10:11:12 +0100

Trying to derive SE from AUH is like trying to derive 'Jacques Mallah' from

It's very easy: all universes exists, so some thoughts of the cleass "the SE
is -i hbar d/dt psi = H psi" exist.

Some thoughts of the class "why is the SE -i hbar d/dt psi = H psi" also
exist - and by WAP we shouldn't wonder why we *are* (not think, but are)
such a thought. If we weren't, we wouldn't wonder it...

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Jacques Mallah []
> Sent: Sunday, 25 June, 2000 3:02 AM
> To:
> Subject: Re: QM
> >From:
> > writes:
> > > writes:
> > > QM is the laws of physics that best explains what we see. I
> think
> >that says it all. I should point out that there is really no summation
> >involved, especially not a sum over worlds. There is just -i hbar d/dt
> psi
> >= H psi.
> > > Of course, you could write psi as a sum of orthogonal functions and
> you
> >could choose nearly decoherent such functions.
> > > In the computationalist view, there is a wavefunction, and it
> >implements computations. These implementations may resemble those that
> >would be produced by classical mechanics, modified by interference terms
> >that may be small.
> >
> >OK, the Shoedinger equation is -i hbar d/dt psi = H psi, Why? Why does
> the
> >equation have an imaginary form? What is the meaning of Planck's constant
> >it the CONTEXT of the MWI? Just saying, as you do, that the SE is what it
> >is just because, is adopting the same POSITIVIST attitude as the
> Copenhagen
> >school. I am looking for the INTERPRETATION of this equation in terms of
> >the MW. Is it possible to derive this equation from a PURELY
> If you mean to derive it from the AUH (+ computationalism), I don't
> blame you for wanting that. That's the holy grail. It would be one of
> the
> greatest intellectual achievements in all of human history. The Nobel
> Prize
> would be the least of it. Don't hold your breath.
> I wouldn't be mucking around with trying to measure wabbittiness if I
> could derive the SE from the AUH. As it is, the best I think is practical
> is trying to predicts things like wabbittiness, and to argue that the SE
> *could* be what a typical observer-moment in the AUH would see. We expect
> the observation to be consistent with apparent laws of physics that are
> relatively simple, in a universe that is computationally deep. (See the
> discussion Wei Dai and I had soon after I joined this list.) Getting more
> specific is hard.
> As for positivism, what you say is false. Even if (as I did *not*
> say),
> the SE is not derivable from the AUH, that's not a positivist statement.
> A
> positivist would say there is really no SE in existance, but we can use
> the
> SE to make predictions.
> >You say that psi can be written in terms of orthogonal (decoherent)
> >functions. Are those functions equivalent to the individual worlds in the
> >MW? If so, then we certainly have the ability to be affected by several
> >such worlds simultaneously because of the phenomenon of superposition.
> What
> >does this say about consciousness? Does consciousness have "thickness"
> >across the MW? How does this fit with the ideas of Lewis and Kriepke?
> Don't misquote me. I said it could be written in terms of nearly
> decoherent functions. On that 'nearly' hangs interference, the basic
> property of QM and our main defense against the 'collapse' idea.
> 'Individual worlds' - a matter of definition. "Many worlds" is a
> great
> way of describing QM - until the details start to matter, in which case
> those words can cause as much confusion as enlightenment.
> I don't know what ideas L&K have.
> > > You still don't know what computationalism means? It means that
> >certain computations give rise to consciousness. It does not explain
> >behavior at all, and does not allow zombies
> >
> >It seems that you need to be more precise. Computationalism ASSUMES that
> >certain computations give rise to consciousness. It does not EXPLAIN
> >consciousness. And without a third person/ first person theory you can
> only
> >talk about behaviors as observed from a third person point of view
> without
> >ever describing what it is to be (yourself) conscious.
> You say assumes, I said asserts. Whatever. True, computationalism
> makes no claim about *why* computations are conscious. There are two
> schools of thought about why: reductionism and dualism. Both are
> compatible
> with computationalism.
> Reductive computationalism is the belief that consciousness is nothing
> more than computation. Obviously, if this could be proven, it would not
> have to compete with the rival school. That is obvious, isn't it?
> You can certainly talk about consciousness, though. And
> computationalism explicitly, and by definition, does talk about it.
> But as for describing what it's like *qualitatively*, that's
> impossible.
> Language cannot convey that regardless of your ideology.
> Well, I hope you soon see the light (in more ways than one). Get well
> soon.
> >From: Russell Standish <>
> >Basically, the i in the equation is to ensure that the Hamiltonian is
> >hermitian, which is required by the law of conservation of probability
> >(d/dt (psi* psi))=0. This latter law is simply the statement that the
> >axiom saying the probability of the certain event is 1, and shall
> >remain so for all time.
> As you know Russell, I find your "derivation" of the SE quite wanting.
> As far as conservation of probability, it is not obvious that measure
> should
> be conserved as a function of time. In fact, measure is not strictly
> conserved.
> The i is there to make the equation simpler to write. Of course one
> could write it in terms of real quantities only, such as amplitude and
> phase.
> >As for the value of hbar, this is to fix a rather arbitrary set of
> >units we happened to choose to measure the world in. If we did
> >everything in terms of Planck units, hbar=1.
> This one you got right. Of course, one could ask about the
> dimensionless 'constants' of physics, and make an anthropic principle
> argument.
> - - - - - - -
> Jacques Mallah (
> Physicist / Many Worlder / Devil's Advocate
> "I know what no one else knows" - 'Runaway Train', Soul Asylum
> My URL:
> ________________________________________________________________________
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Received on Mon Jun 26 2000 - 02:17:02 PDT

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