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Re: Multiverse Morality

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  • hibbsa
    ... Hi Gary - Sorry for not replying sooner but I am away quite a lot and often don t see these lists for days or weeks or longer. However, what I want to do
    Message 1 of 35 , Aug 28, 2013
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      --- In Fabric-of-Reality@yahoogroups.com, Gary Oberbrunner <garyo@...> wrote:
      >
      > On Thu, Aug 8, 2013 at 6:32 PM, Ismail Atalay <i_c_atalay@...>wrote:
      >
      > > do not think anyone has such prospect if MWI is correct. There is no room
      > > for subjectivity or genuine choice in MWI. AFAIC, according to MWI, we
      > > humans are very complex entities who are pushed to fool ourselves as if we
      > > have a real influence or choice but essentially the universes are splitting
      > > according to objective equations during these processes and thus we do not
      > > make any real choice.
      > > Ismail Atalay
      > >
      >
      > Just to be clear, this point of view above is not specific to the MWI. It
      > applies to any deterministic non-dualistic physics, such as a Newtonian
      > block universe (no splitting, but no "real choice" either), or the
      > Copenhagen interpretation of QM. You would need some kind of non-physical
      > mind or soul in order to have it not be according to objective equations.
      > Which of course raises all the standard mind/body dualism questions, which
      > I won't repeat here.
      >
      > --
      > Gary
      >


      Hi Gary - Sorry for not replying sooner but I am away quite a lot and often don't see these lists for days or weeks or longer. However, what I want to do right off the bat, is express my appreciation to you for taking the time from your own busy life to try to decode my often incoherent rantings. This is strongly appreciated and valued by myself.

      About what you say here. Admittedly in this particular thread I had begun to pretty much challenge whether the sort of variation seen in diverging universings had *any* influence up emergent levels. But that was partly motivated by the lack of responses....I thought I'd try throwing a trap or two. Seriously... if you search back on this basic issue I've been raising, you'll see that generally the discussion has been in terms of whether such differences are ever statistically significant - statistics being in whatever single universe terms that word is usually used to mean.

      On that matter - the tense that you are raising here with your chaos example of macroscopic amplification - my basic position has been that I am saying exactly the same thing that MWI itself says. Namely, that the multiverse represents all the possible outcomes, in the same way that, within a one-universe model - a statistical model of the possibilities would say the same thing. As such, the multiverse could be conceptualized as a statistical model. Albeit one that cannot be derived for real.

      In that context, what I am challenging, is whether the multiverse - in context of the divergence from some ancestor world, can ever produce novelty that, were that novelty to have occurred in the ancestor world, it would have amounted to a statistically significant change in that ancestor world.

      I know that the idea of sensitive initial conditions, and the example you have given, do back off onto hard theory that does say this is possible. The Butterfly effect and so on, as you have mentioned a couple of times.

      But the problem I have with applying that sort of theory within the context of emergence, is that....what if there are 100 or 100 fully distinct emergent levels in our universe. So far as I know, there are no properly worked through variants on chaos theory, that describe the effect in terms of that emergence. I don't even think there are yet any hard scientific models of emergence that have made it all the way to mathematics. In which case, it's hard to see how it can currently be regarded as reliable, robust, reasoning, to speak of such effects within a context of emergence at all.

      Beyond that, as I mentioned to you in a private mail a few weeks or months back, the issue I am raising here is not primarily about MWI itself, but about Deutsch's specific variant of MWI, which heavily involves the concept of fungibility. Emergence isn't directly linked, but he does describe a personal theory about emergence in BoI. So the issue I'm raising is really about whether these three concepts all work together properly, or whether there is a problem.

      For example, can you or anyone, explain how worlds can be fungible - which Deutsch describles as being literally in the same dimensional 'place'....and not just at the quantum level but at all levels. How does that work, using Deutsch's description of emergence which explicitly rejects a purely bottom-up determinism in terms of emergences.

      The implication being, that macroscopic levels - supposedly fungible - can potent ially be influenced by top-down effects, which presumably in some possible instances result in changes at the macroscopic level. Which presumably would violate fungibility. Which so far as I can see, would have to be see as a refutation of the concept of fungibility itself, unless Deutsch has an explanation how this can nevcer happen.....which in turn maintains consistency with his explanation of emergence itself.

      Sorry for the brain dump....but once again....thanks for trying to make sense of me. I am grateful for your time.
    • hibbsa
      ... Gary, OK. I respect what you are saying. The best explanation, would the implication that I don t understand MWI and its connection to QM and how this
      Message 35 of 35 , Sep 1, 2013
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        --- In Fabric-of-Reality@yahoogroups.com, Gary Oberbrunner <garyo@...> wrote:
        >
        > On Sat, Aug 31, 2013 at 2:12 PM, hibbsa <hibbsa@...> wrote:
        >
        > > SWE is not literally what you say. It describes collapse events.
        >
        > Nope, the other way around. Check the refs I sent.
        >
        > > The only way to fix things so it doesn't is with an infinite
        > > multiverse.
        >
        > Not the only way -- but one way. Check the refs I sent.
        >
        > One easy way to see that the SWE can't describe collapes is that the
        > SWE is completely linear. Collapse is, of course, highly nonlinear.
        > Thus it cannot described by the SWE.
        >
        > > walking me through some arbitrary process starting with observed
        > > strangeness and ending up invoking a multiverse
        >
        > That's pretty much Chapter 1 of FoR; the observed strangeness is the
        > particle/wave duality. You can approach it from other angles as well.
        >
        > > Then there's the claim MWI is mathematical.
        > > This is only substantially true if you can show a set of equations,
        > > maybe SWE itself, that overwhelmingly capture the entire multiverse
        > > conception, and also how it maps to individual QM events and all
        > > the rest. In other words, that we can say, going forward we are
        > > going to talk abiout MWI mathematically, using equations and
        > > consequences, and we care going to find that this a much more
        > > powerful way to work with MWI.
        >
        > The above is a good statement of how it actually does work in
        > practice. The SWE does in fact capture the entire multiverse as well
        > as individual objects and interactions. It's really the only way we
        > know of to make progress in the very large, very small and very
        > high-energy frontiers. Deutsch is a good popularizer, so he puts it
        > into common words well enough (in FoR anyway), but the core is the
        > equations and what they tell us.
        >
        > > Are you making any of the above claims?
        >
        > Absolutely.
        >
        > > I don't think so. I think we're stuck with verbal explanations of
        > > MWI.
        >
        > If so, it would be empty of content.
        >
        > > I don't think you would have much luck in any attempt to
        > > translate MW concepts like fungibility and all the rest, in some
        > > kind of intermediate structure that allowed full translastion
        > > between MWI and SWE and the rest of QM.
        >
        > Don't know that there is any intermediate structure needed.
        > Fungibility is a fact of life; not only a consequence of the SWE (like
        > everything in physics) but experimentally observable (e.g. in
        > Bose-Einstein condensates). The discovery of the SWE _is_ the
        > discovery of the underlying principle of all of QM.
        >
        > > But then do it. Show me.
        >
        > I would love to -- I have a day job though. Definitely considering
        > working on quantum computation once I retire though. But all the
        > progress in the last 50 years is pretty exciting to me; I think the
        > next 50 will be incredible.
        >
        > --
        > Gary
        >
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >


        Gary, OK. I respect what you are saying. The best explanation, would the implication that I don't understand MWI and its connection to QM and how this actually is hard science on anyone's terms.

        The above is a major possibility simply because my interest in MWI has only ever been as one of the objects in the Popperian array. And my interest in *that* has for a long time been very much in terms of understanding how a way of thinking can be so right at the root yet get so distorted and off the rails further down.

        I've always done this, I hope, with integrity. In that, whenever Deutsch or anyone has something that I can see possibility in, that I have done the right thing, and gone off and spent time reflecting on it.

        So I guess I might have to spend some time trying on, what you are saying.

        The problem though, one way or the other, is going to be that, if I come back agreeing or disagreeing, there isn't going to be any way for me to influence your point of view.

        This is because you have, or you seem to have, adopted Deutsch's philosophy-based view of Science, which essentially rejects all of the ways that science has invented for criticizing and weighing between possible explanations.

        I respect Deutsch...he says its about cleaning up the thinking. And sure, this can be about messy thinking my end. But, the way it looks when I stand back ten feet, is that with all that messy thinking Deutsch has swept away, he's thrown out almost every possible way to criticize and make object judgements.

        Now it's just about 'good explanation' and that's just about good philosophy, and that's just popper and deutsch, and you criticize it, but guess what, any criticism you make at any level, is actually pre-refuted by the level above! Or to the left!

        And of course, the only way to navigate it all, is by becoming total expert of the whole thing. And people that don't see the promise of a philosophy, or have major doubts, typically don't commit years and years to that subject.

        Therefore, the only people that could criticize, are the same people that totally don't have major criticisms. And that is caused by the structure of the philosophy itself, and in effect it makes it impossible to criticize.

        So it's the total opposite of what it claims to be, and what it thinks it is. Popperians think that just be saying you're fallible and by preaching it, and just by that being a major component of the philosophy, that this...this...delivers criticism. It doesn't.

        And if Deutsch says different, I would ask him to point to the really major concessions that he has made in constructing this philosophy. Or is the story that Deutsch got everything right beginning to end?

        It's just never happened. This has all been on a tiny scale. It's like Deutsch and 3 or 4 others, all of them likeminded from the start. It just can't work like that and be consistent with its own philosophy.

        Don't forget, this philosophy claims to trump Science. This is now science. Deutsch rejects all the *evolved* ways Science has found to keep the steer on the right path to objective reality. And in their place he has put a conception of criticism that has never actually been applied to his own philosophy in any dramatic way, and never applied to the *structure* of the philosophy and whether that structure actually puts up large barriers to criticism. I'm not even sure popperians know what I'm talking about when I mention things like structural barriers, but it's very common and ubiquitious. Ever heard of non-tariff barriers?

        OK back to this MWI thing. I will reflect on what you say. But I would really like you to just take 10 steps back, and look at all the possible options, right across the scientific frontier, for how QM might come to be explained.

        And I would like you to drop the popperian standard for a moment, and use a practical standard. Judge which approach would be better, in terms of:

        - How many outstanding scientific barriers the solution *potentially* clears up at the same time.

        - Whether that avenue of enquiry *promises* falsification events at regular stages along the way.

        - The potential for research to have unexpected knock on relevance into other sciences...which note could also lead to developments that eventually worked their back into the mainline research as either criticisms or as new energy in the form of insights that strengthened research.

        Use that criteria for a moment. Judge MWI, the last 50 years of it, with that criteria.

        And then try on my QM <--> Big Bang formula. You don't have be able to see how that would proceed. Not on this criteria. The only question is whether....since as you say yourself "who knows?"....then just comparing the two routes based on which one is most promising to rule itself out, or lead to dramatic progress.

        And then answer me this. Is it reasonable, that given the unfalsiability of MWI, all other avenues that may produce falsifiability should be thoroughly explored, before accepting MWI and putting that at the centre of things?
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