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25581Re: Multiverse Morality

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  • Gary Oberbrunner
    Aug 31, 2013
      On Sat, Aug 31, 2013 at 12:10 AM, hibbsa <hibbsa@...> wrote:

      > **
      > > > Alan batted this away saying QM implied MWI not the other way
      > > > around. I did mention at the time I didn't think that a legitimate.
      > >
      > > You are correct in my view. MWI is only one interpretation of QM.
      > > But MWI is principally a mathematical theory -- we put words around
      > > that mathematical explanation to help tell the story. But the math
      > > _is_ the ground truth. (This bears on your other posting as well --
      > > all true scientific explanations are primarily mathematical.) You
      > > could say that MWI is more strictly mathematical than Copenhagen,
      > > since Copenhagen also postulates that quantum states collapse when
      > > observed, and it has no mathematical model for how and when this
      > > happens. MWI has no such mathematical inconsistency.
      > Gary - MWI is not defined with a set of equations that I know of...do you
      > have a link?

      MWI is *literally* nothing more than saying that the entities described by
      the Schroedinger Wave Equation represent reality. It rejects the "collapse
      postulate" (proposed as the reason there isn't more than one outcome for a
      given experiment, which is what the SWE says) and says that the results of
      that equation stand as written.

      > Perhaps you are attributing QM mathematics to MWI. Which IMHO would be
      > wrong, even if it was 'right' that you could do it. QM is parochial, thus
      > so is its mathematics.

      Whoa, what do you mean by parochial? Do you mean QM doesn't apply
      everywhere? The Schroedinger Wave Equation is by far the best predictor of
      experimental outcomes we have ever seen, from the tiniest phenomena to the
      largest; from the lowest energies to the highest. Where do you think it
      fails to apply?

      > What I am talking about is a set of equations describing the multiverse
      > itself.

      Well, of course one first has to decide for oneself if the multiverse
      exists, and what the term means, and so on. Tipler and others have a
      different concept. But assuming you mean the MWI which is a consequence of
      the Schroedinger Wave Equation, that multiverse is _by definition_ the one
      described by the SWE.

      > At least one falsifiable prediction would be possible as the consequences
      > of such a set of equations.

      Sure! There are thousands. We run those experiments all the time, at
      CERN, through cosmology, satellite orbital predictions, and so on. So far
      the Schroedinger Wave Equation is still holding up well.

      > And that would be the prediction of how souls within individual universes
      > would experience the multiverse.

      Now we get into different territory. The Copenhagen interpretation says
      that quantum superpositions "collapse" (producing only a single result)
      when "observed". See Schroedinger's Cat. CI says that the act of opening
      the box and observing the cat causes the state vector to collapse. This is
      weird. What is an "observer"? Does it have to be conscious? What about a
      video camera? Does the video camera stay in superposition til someone
      watches it? MWI sidesteps all of that by saying that what the SWE
      describes reality: the cat splits, the box splits, the observer/camera
      splits, and so on. It all happens by very well-defined means and there's
      no quantum weirdness. Specifically, there's no distinction between
      observers and observed, there's no special place reserved for conscious
      beings -- it's all just physics.

      And the SWE does accurately predict what conscious observers (or video
      cameras) will experience within a multiverse. Decoherence is a consequence
      of the equations. And in fact there are ongoing experiments now in
      preserving quantum superpositions of large nearly-macroscopic objects for
      longer and longer times, which is what the SWE (and MWI) predict, but not
      what collapse-based interpretations say would happen. (Google for "quantum
      superposition of macroscopic objects" for more.)

      > Now if the multiverse equations could predict, literally predict, the
      > precise form of Quantum Mechanics....or even go further and predict
      > macroscopic concepts like Space Time. Now that would describe the ascent
      > into Science of MWI. There would also be a Nobel or two in the offing.

      I don't get it. How does it not? What's it missing? Maybe you're saying
      the SWE assumes the existence of spacetime. That is true. It explicitly
      takes the derivative of the wave with respect to time.

      > >
      > > > How do you feel about it? And how is the progress coming along?
      > >
      > > I'm an engineer. Not a scientist and certainly not a philosopher,
      > > except insofar as I care deeply about certain problems in those
      > > areas. And from that engineering point of view, the entire field of
      > > quantum computing, which is admittedly still small but is making
      > > (ahem) quantum leaps every year, does not really exist without a
      > > decent (non-Copenhagen) interpretation of QM.
      > I don't understand the proposition of quantum computing very well. If it
      > involves using the superposition, then I would like to register a personal
      > prediction right here, that quantum computing won't ever happen on those
      > terms.

      Well, it's already happening, sorry. Shor's algorithm (google it) has been
      run with up to 7 superposed qubits. (
      http://arxiv.org/pdf/quant-ph/0112176.pdf). Once we get up to 32 or so,
      using it routinely to break cryptographic codes will become possible. In
      fact if I had to bet, I'd bet that the US NSA is already well ahead on
      this, and just not telling. They have arguably the most to gain from
      quantum computing.

      > The reason I think that, is that from a perspective of QM as one side
      > something that the Big Bang becomes the other side, which is in fact
      > inherently a position that requires the 'bold conjecture' that our universe
      > came about by a process very much in analogue to Darwinian evolution (which
      > kicks off a process that inevitably requires the emergence out of the Big
      > Bang, as a 'development' or 'gestation' event, in that the actual evolution
      > of all this took place back through pre-Big Bang history, as a progression
      > starting with universes that flashed in and out of existence, to ones that
      > lasted a bit longer, to others yet more enduring, probably thousands or
      > millions of rounds, to get us here.
      > I can't be arsed trying to ezplain why that is for now, but cross me
      > kippers hope to die, it comes out of a very hard set of constraints.
      > So anyway...that would be a very basic level illustration of the reality
      > that I see, and in that reality QM never gets explained directly at all.
      > What happens instead is that QM equations, because they are so accurate at
      > predicting reality, becomes a surrogate for an empirically observable patch
      > of reality, which then - just exactly the same way that 18th century
      > chemistry came to be - that surrogate empirically observable landscape is
      > paired to an embryonic, highly vague, explanatory conception, in such way
      > that, the components of the conceptions can be played around with, until
      > some small prediction falls out about quantum level reality, which can in
      > turn be tested using that surrogate empirical landscape.

      You could be right about all of this, of course. Who can say? I think
      what you're saying is there could be a better explanatory framework for
      everything out there, and our current explanations are some sort of "local
      maximum" which is good as far as it goes, but not the real truth, and our
      current form of explanation blinds us to the best one (and indeed maybe
      lots of better ones). I think you're almost certainly right, if that's
      what you're saying. But it was ever thus. Eventually enough hard problems
      build up, and enough clever people propose clever new ideas, and we break
      out of our parochial ideas.


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