Re: Belief Statements

From: Stephen Paul King <>
Date: Wed, 26 Jan 2005 23:46:17 -0500

Dear Tianran,

    QM is far more than a "set of equations"! It is a very predictive and
falsifiable collection of principles and relationships. The most cunning of
experimenters have been trying for almost 90 years to find a falsification,
none yet has even been hinted. When a quantum gravity theory is found that
unifies QM and General Relativity theory's realms of prediction, it will not
contradict them, but will extend them. We see the same situation when we
compare QM and GR to Newton's theory.
    It is one thing for a quantum computation to solve NP-Complete problems
in polynomial time. It is something else to compute simulations of behaviors
"faster" than Nature itself can complete them. The non-commutativity issue
is a very important aspect of any theory that hopes to explain phenomena, it
follows from the small but non-zero value of the Plank constant. From what I
have studied of superstring theory (or its M-theory incarnation), the
non-commutativity of canonically conjugate observables (such as position and
momentum) is something that we should not expect to vanish.
    This is Not a "time dependency", it is a "concurrency" problem. It
involves the order of operations that naturally can not be avoided when more
that one event is considered. In order to do simulations of consciousnesses
that involve shuffling the ordering, it is necessary for each conscious
event is computationally simulable independent of all others and this would
include any possible experience including experiences of events that involes
order sensitive measurements. If we could assume that "all possible
experienciable events" exists, like a pile of shapshots, then we claim have
to prove that for any given first person experience of living in a world
with time there exists some sequence of snapshots that exist a priori in the
pile, but this is not enough, we must be able to show the necessity of first
person experiences.
    Why is it that I have a first experson experience of a world in which
there is an asymmetry between past and future if the entire content of this
experience exists priori to me? Why bother with an illusion of time?
    BTW, the N-boby problem is completely intractible in a world that takes
Plank's constant to be zero because the number of solutions becomes infinite
if the energy differences can be infinitely small. The problem is
    QM solves this problem partially by only allowing energy (involved in
emmision and absorbtion events, which encompasses any and all interactions)
to be integer multiples of the plank constant. All of this can be learned
from a good QM for laymen book such as Roger Penrose's "The Emperor's New
Mind" or John Gribbin's "Schroedinger's Kittens".


----- Original Message -----
From: "Tianran Chen" <>
To: "Stephen Paul King" <>;
Sent: Wednesday, January 26, 2005 9:48 PM
Subject: Re: Belief Statements

> Dear Stephen
> Stephen Paul King wrote:
>> Dear Hal and Tianran,
>> Assuming there is some aspect of consciousness that requires QM ( I
>> side with Penrose on this) these out of order computations are
>> impossible. This boils down to the fact that for systems that have
>> time-like relationship with each other will have observable that are not
>> commutative.
>> We could ignore Penrose and make the same argument by pointing out
>> that is the simulated consciousnesses, for example those of Alice and Bob
>> of the EPR experiment, are to involve any hint of QM phenomena then the
>> non-commutativity will rear its ugly head and nip off the idea in the
>> bud. I am surprised that Greg Egan didn't notice this...
>> Stephen
> Logically speaking, QM (not its interpretations) is simply a branch of
> applied mathematics (use the definition given by <<Foundation of
> Mathematics>>) that happen to agree with some observed facts. In another
> word, QM is a set of equations we used to describe phenomenon. If there is
> time dependency, then it is in the structure of those equations, not in
> the phenomenon. It is totally possible that later on, some totally
> different theories will be proposed that can describe the same set of
> observations and yet do not suffer from such time dependency problem.
> Isn't it?
> Let us suppose, later on, the super-string theory become favored by most
> serious physicsts, and let us pretend that there are some equation in the
> super-string theory that can support consciousness, and can be solved in
> constant steps with some turing machine. However unlikely, such possible
> shall not be ruled out.
> Also from another direction, isn't it possible that later some type of
> computation model (say quantum computer) can actually solve hard problems
> (say multi-body gravity problem) in constant time, then it can also
> simulate consciousness-supporting world out of order.
> I only had chance read a few sections novel, so sorry if I misunderstood
> some important details here. But the novel did not explicitly say which
> theory of physics the simulator was using, right?
Received on Wed Jan 26 2005 - 23:50:03 PST

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Feb 16 2018 - 13:20:10 PST