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    How Belief Could Be Physically Effective Through Quantum Physics I
    By Sascha Vongehr | January 5th 2012 04:28 AM | 45 comments | Print | E-mail | Track Comments
    About Sascha

    Dr. Sascha Vongehr [风洒沙] studied phil/math/chem/phys in Germany, obtained a BSc in theoretical physics (electro-mag) & MSc (stringtheory)...

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    Precognition is under scientific investigation, though often with the aim to obtain null-results in order to discredit such ideas. In fact, “extra-sensory perception” (ESP) and “precognition”, “premonition”, “presentiment”, and so on are misleading terms, as was discussed in detail in “The Science of Precognition: Cosmic Habituation versus Decline Effect”. A better term is “paranormal”, which implies that the effect, if it exists, requires mechanisms outside of what is known. “Precognition” is at most “paranormal prediction”. If it exists at all, it will become normal after we figured out how it works.

    “Presentiment” means an emotional or stress response before any knowledge or known physics could have informed about the exciting or dangerous future situation (“anomalous retroactive influence on affect”). “The Science of Precognition” argues that “presentiment” studies can be proper science and that presentiment would be strongly selected for and thus would arise at some point during evolution. The big problem: presentiment seems to require an influence from the future, and that is impossible in classical physics.

    However, quantum physics may allow retroactive causation, which was somewhat discussed also in “Future Influence: Quantum Physics of Precognition”. Let us not repeat the arguments in those articles, but add to them here.

    1) Quantum Parallelism and Empirical Probability in Many Worlds Models

    In classical physics, the future does not yet exist, so it cannot have any effect, period. However, any future situation is just another world that observes to be further along in cosmic time (the cosmos has cooled and expanded further). Quantum mechanics allows or perhaps even cosmologically requires those parallel worlds to be in quantum superposition with the one you observe now.

    1.1) Presentiment versus Psychokinesis

    The trigger of presentiment in the present would be indeed in the present and thus not from the future. Even if the sentiment were traced back to some quantum physical ongoing in certain evolved neural circuits, you could claim that since these happen in the present, they influence the future rather than the future being their cause.

    This is similar to claiming that the presence of an effect in the present makes the term “precognition” or “future influence” not applicable by definition. Here it is a more physical argument: rather than being influenced by the future, the future was shaped by the presentiment. Since it is still paranormal, one speaks of “psychokinetic” effects. Studies try to differentiate between these by using pseudo random number generators (PRNG) instead of hardware random number generators (HRNG) which tap quantum randomness. The problem with PRNG: presentiment becomes clairvoyance/remote viewing of the already present information.

    All these ‘mechanistic’ hypotheses, i.e. presentiment by signal like future influence, naïve psychokinesis, or remote viewing, are extremely suspect. There is nothing evolved* in humans that could pick up on or influence anything inside a computer and its random number generator. There is no conceivable way in which the brain has anything evolved that can make use of entangled particles to look inside a computer or kick the electrons in the HRNG. The problem is not the physics per se. There is no overlap between what humans are evolved for to perceive and the internal representations of information in a computer.

    (* Evolutionary conceivability inside a causal description where “past” is a self-consistent record rather than a dynamical origin seems sufficient and less suspect given the very topic here.)

    There is only one way that conceivably works, and this way is relevant also for those who argue about issues of terminology, because there may be no signal, no trigger from the future in the present at all, yet nevertheless there could be effectively presentiment.

    1.2) Empirical probability in Many World Interpretations

    Probability is the frequency found in records (memory/laboratory log). In a many world interpretation (MWI) with so called branch counting, it is sufficient if there are more future worlds remembering having felt the correct presentiment. The past worlds are equal in number, half feeling that heads will come up, half anticipating tails. No trigger or "effect" may be found in the past worlds. Nevertheless, you may find yourself with higher probability in a world where the laboratory log shows significant effects.

    The MWI has shortcomings when it comes to normalizations of probabilities, but these models are used successfully in cosmology and they resolve the Einstein Podolsky Rosen (EPR) paradox. Violation of the Bell inequality in quantum mechanics can be modeled by MWI in precisely the way just described: While the world branches, it may branch according to classical probabilities, but “after” the classical branching, the branches re-combine and branch/multiply further. After many subsequent experiments, in most future worlds, the recorded outcomes imply the quantum probabilities, not the classical ones.




    Presentiment could turn out correct in most of the future worlds. In that case, nothing goes back into the past, no signal, yet nevertheless it seems as if the future informed the past.

    Big problem: Why would correct presentiment multiply the number of parallel branches? This I will come back to the next time. In short: quantum physical probability is well known to be increased by mere consistency, by the constructive interference of consistent histories, while inconsistent histories destroy each other via quantum interference. Belief adds consistency. But does this not lead to contradictions? Do I not find myself in worlds where others with different beliefs are also present? Is this all semi-religious pseudo-scientific drivel?

    Just one promise: Sheer crazy like Henry P. Stapp’s “choices made by nature stem from sufficient reasons, and that two such reasons are to promote the positive and to curtail the negative experiences of observers” [1] will have no place in my considerations. How the hell does nature care about what Henry feels is “positive” to then destroy the inconsistent pasts? The guy has gone certifiably bananas.


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    [1] Henry P. Stapp: “Retrocausal Effects As A Consequence of Orthodox Quantum Mechanics Refined To Accommodate The Principle Of Sufficient Reason.” (2011), on the preprint archive, don’t waste your time.

    Comments

    Very good, deep article!.I'm looking for "How Belief Could Be Physically Effective Through Quantum Physics 2 "

    Lex Anderson
    The choices as I see them are: 

    a) Admit temporal symmetry in MWI and suffer the paradoxes that go with it

    b) Develop a new "science" that can deal with causality breaking phenomena, because the one we have certainly can't  

    c) Seek enlightenment from your local pub (if such a thing exists in your particular universe) 
      
    Even without presentiment I already know what my choice will be.



    vongehr
    Less cryptic would be helpful. MWInterpretation has more time symmetry than the QM it interprets? Surely the branching is not necessarily time symmetric?!? What paradoxes?
    Lex Anderson
    MWInterpretation has more time symmetry than the QM it interprets? Surely the branching is not necessarily time symmetric?!? 
    There are many open questions and some quite speculative MW variations, so it depends what you are talking about. Standard MWI at least only considers forward evolving states. 
    What paradoxes?  
    Such as implied by this article: macroscopic effects that lead to backwards causality.
    MikeCrow
    Love it!
    I was watching "Through the wormhole" on the sixth sense last night, one of the experiments measured biometrics while pictures were revealed, if the picture was an erotic one, the brain responded as much as 5 seconds prior to the actual reveal, non erotic pictures did not cause this response.
    They also had the global random number experiment, which showed the largest response on 9/11, which actually started hours early.

    What i would like to see with both of these experiments is whether there any response that doesn't correlate to an event.
    Never is a long time.
    Gerhard Adam
    ...the brain responded as much as 5 seconds prior to the actual reveal, non erotic pictures did not cause this response.
    Since there is clearly no 100% correlation, then how does one account for anticipation?  If one anticipates an erotic picture, then the brain will tend to respond in advance, whereas if an erotic picture was just observed, it isn't equally likely that the brain won't expect one?

    The problem remains as it always has ... no matter what effect is suggested, it must ultimately translate into classical terms to be processed by the brain.  It isn't enough to suggest some quantum effects .... these quantum effects would have to translate into "eroticism" which would then have to trigger some biological response that would cause the brain to anticipate their existence.  I'm not buying it.
    Mundus vult decipi
    vongehr
    "Through the wormhole" on the sixth sense ... global random number experiment
    You are kidding us, right? Pleeeaaazzeee!
    MikeCrow
    I mentioned it, because you brought it (random number experiments) up.

    The show reported a statistical result of people affecting RNG's, which led to the global experiment(and I tossed the link in for anyone who wants to see what it's about). While I might be able to make up some reason why it does this (same with Gerhard's comments), it would just be me making crap up.

    Do I believe?
    I believe the brain generates complex em fields(which have been measured), which leaves open the possibility of those em waves affecting other things which uses em fields such as other brains and electronics.
    Do they actually affect those objects, I don't have a clue.
    Never is a long time.
    vongehr
    I mentioned it, because you brought it (random number experiments) up.
    No - I vehemently refuse the charge of having ever brought up anything like that! There is a big difference, and just because they talk about random numbers, that does not mean it has any relation to reasonable research employing random number generators, which are used all over science.
    MikeCrow
    Studies try to differentiate between these by using pseudo random number generators (PRNG) instead of hardware random number generators (HRNG) which tap quantum randomness.

    blah,blah,blah

    There is no conceivable way in which the brain has anything evolved that can make use of entangled particles to look inside a computer or kick the electrons in the HRNG.
    Which seems to be what the researchers at Princeton's Global Consciousness Project say they are measuring.
    Never is a long time.
    vongehr
    Yes, and Sara from the new-age shop tells us that she can even see the future. She also sells crystals that unblock your chi for a mere three hundred dollars a piece.
    If we think different we will also act different. Actions have effects. Recognizing the effect tells us which actions have which effects. Which allows us to act accordingly - to “presentiment“ the future.

    Gerhard Adam
    The Science of Precognition” argues that “presentiment” studies can be proper science and that presentiment would be strongly selected for and thus would arise at some point during evolution.
    Two issues that I would be concerned about:

    1.  Is it presumed that only humans have this "ability"?  I raise this point because it is highly unlikely that any biological/evolutionary basis for this would not have precursors in other species.

    2.  Doesn't this also presume full "conscious awareness" of information that we may be processing?  After all, the difference between precognition and prediction is based on the data available, and yet with our brain processing millions of bits of information [of which we may have no conscious awareness], how do we truly eliminate simple prediction?
    Mundus vult decipi
    vongehr
    1. If such exists at all, which I strongly doubt, I would expect it to be more expressed in animals than in humans, much like our olfactory system and infra/ultrasound hearing and all that have all gone down the hill. On the other hand, our neurons are the most complex.

    2.  Especially presentiment is about emotions that usually are not all that conscious. We act on them and then rationalize what we did with some sort of consistent story while not blaming our emotions. If we are actually aware of our emotions in a "mindfulness" (e.g. cognitive therapy) kind of way, we often act against our emotions.

    Is this all semi-religious pseudo-scientific drivel?

    Best bit of crackpottery so far this year. :)

    Belief adds consistency.

    That's a pretty elementary error in modal reasoning. The fact that a belief is consistent with an outcome does not mean that the brain state is consistent with it.

    vongehr
    All kinds of brain states are consistent, that is the problem. Whether "belief adds consistency" is an error in modal reasoning is more serious. I do not believe that there is a vain god who only lets those into the afterlife who believe in him. I kick the bucket and find myself in his heaven. My brain state is consistent, however, the situation is not. Having had believed in him would add consistency to that situation!
    I have no idea where gods come into this.
    Having had believed in him would add consistency to that situation!
    Only by mixing modalities - which I would have thought you of all people would be most allergic to!

    I don't think you can proceed unless you carefully explain what sort of consistency you are talking about and what sort is required for quantum interference to change the classical probabilities significantly.

    vongehr
    "Only by mixing modalities"
    Please explain what you mean by this. The described situation is inconsistent without the belief and consistent with. Where is the mixing?
    I don't think you can proceed unless you carefully explain what sort of consistency you are talking about and what sort is required for quantum interference to change the classical probabilities significantly.
    One example is the EPR setup. The consistency is that between how photons behave and how polarized light does. If the Bell inequality were not violated in photon experiments, we would not get the sine-squared angle dependence of absorption by a polarization filter, which is however obvious in a classical vector-field world. The Bell inequality is violated by the additional world branching (speaking in terms of an assumed MW model) that alters the probabilities from the uncorrelated (unentangled photons) ones that Alice classically expects for photons measured by Bob.
     
    "Only by mixing modalities"
    Please explain what you mean by this. The described situation is inconsistent without the belief and consistent with. Where is the mixing?
    I do not believe that there is a vain god who only lets those into the afterlife who believe in him. I kick the bucket and find myself in his heaven. My brain state is consistent, however, the situation is not.
    The obvious interpretation of the situation is that you were wrong about the god. The situation is totally consistent. However, your belief is inconsistent with the reality. The difference is crucial. The existence of your belief - in this case a belief in the non-existence of such a god - is  part of the situation, something attributable to the state of your brain (or whatever it maps to in the afterlife). However the content of that belief has two aspects.

    One is that it is obviously a way of categorizing belief-states. There are  theist, deist, atheist beliefs as well as simple absence of belief. These are just ways of adding detail to "the situation". It remains consistent as you can still be wrong - as your scenario would suggest.

    However belief has another aspect which is that it is a proposition. This aspect of the belief is inconsistent with the situation only in the sense that it is wrong.  Sascha's statement "I don't believe in the vain god" is contradictory to the god existing. However the modality is different. One is: Sascha believes that xxx. The other is simply xxx.  You cannot meaningfully say whether the two are consistent, you can only say whether Sascha is mistaken.

    The natural thing for a physicist might be to say "Ah, but Sascha's state of belief is derived from the state of his brain." Yes, but that is just the belief-state. In order to bridge this modality gap, you would need to show that the things Sascha believes or does not believe are necessarily correlated with the truth.  If you could show such correlation then you would be entitled to pull the proposition "there is no such god" out of Sascha's beliefs and into the assumptions of the scenario. But then instead of starting with "I do not believe there is a vain god who..." you would start with the stronger statement "There is no vain god who... ". That, of course, would be inconsistent with your finding yourself in his heaven. (But such a self-contradictory scenario does not allow you to speculate about belief and QM.)
     
    Why should Sascha's opinions be correlated with reality? Normally, one assumes, he is safe to be let out, he can cross the road safely and usually finds his way home after a few detours to double-check that the streets haven't moved. He can even talk coherently about quantum mechanics on occasion. All this suggests that his brain is functioning to create belief states that correspond to the reality presented to his senses. When it comes to god-things, he seems to form beliefs that are not justified by sense data and are, it turns out, plain wrong. So no matter what the precise reason for his beliefs, their content is not dependent on the reality itself. Hence any attempt to bridge the modality gap is doomed to failure. When Sascha is talking about his socks (which he does rather a lot) he is probably being rational. When he is talking about gods he just becomes irrational. In fact he occasionally enters a persistent belief state and comes out with statements like "I don't believe"  (the infamous argument from incredulity). In any case, this is just a brain spinning out of control, anything it believes or otherwise is nothing more than noise spat out from a random number generator.
     
    Ok, so that's why I say it is a fatal modality error. 
     
    vongehr
    ?!?!? Derek: the god is supposedly vain! Meaning he does not let anybody not believing in him into heaven. If he lets me, he is obviously not that vain. That is the contradiction. I may be with a god, but I cannot be with a god who does not allow me near if I did not believe in him.
    That is not what you said. You said "I don't believe in a vain god". Now you're re-casting the scenario by adding the premise that the vain god exists.  That some sort of god exists is obviously entailed by the fact you are with him. However the statement that he is too vain to let you near him is clearly contradictory to the facts. The question is, who is asserting it? Is it you stating it as a premise of the scenario? Or is it the fictitious you in the scenario?

    If the scenario includes the vanity of the god as a premise, then your scenario is trivially self-contradictory. And as you know, if you have a contradiction, everything follows ex contradictione sequitur quodlibet
     
    If however, the scenario does not say whether the god is vain but only that people, not necessarily you, think he is, then once again it is a fallacy to infer a contradiction. The fallacy is to compare a modal statement "Mr Jones thinks that the god is so vain he will not let non-believers into his heaven" with a direct statement " the god is so vain he will not let non-believers into his heaven".
     
    You cannot have it both ways. Statements about belief are either direct statements about someone's state of mind or modal statements about the thing believed in. 
     
    Sascha,

    Since when the individual branches can recombine? As far as I know that would require non-linear quantum mechanics, something that breaks superpositioning of states:
    T: time evolution
    Psi1, Psi2 states:

    T(Psi1 + Psi2) != T(Psi1) + T(Psi2)

    vongehr
    The branches in linear QM never actually even separate anyway. With delayed choice experiments, they also recombine. Moreover, we still do not know whether QM will stay linear all the way. It would be the only theory to do so.
    No, but Everettian MWI (as usually explained) is profoundly non-linear, involving Copenhagenesque wavefunction collapse as well as multiple universes springing into existence. The whole point is that they decohere, though exactly how is not clear as the entire universe splitting would seem to exhaust the possibilities for interaction with a heat bath. So the only sort of recombination would be some sort of compromise merging on a classical basis, making its history inconsistent at almost every point precisely because the branches are not orthogonal any more. (Or is that wrong?

    Linear MW doesn't have that problem but then you can't add a zillion extra branches on the 0-0-0 history in order to screw the Born rule (and get time-asymmetry as a bonus). Even the incantation that you and Johannes seem to use rather a lot: "but this is a quantum system" won't allow you to do that, in fact it forbids it.

    vongehr
    Everettian MWI (as usually explained) is profoundly non-linear,
    ?!?!? This must be due to where you get your explanations usually from. The whole point about the "I" in "MWI" is that it is an Interpretation that adds no further physics to linear QM, not even collapse, which is why Bohr did not treat Everett with the respect he should have. (I mostly talk about MW models, not often about MWI of QM, which would chain me to refusing any non-linear corrections due to say gravity). BTW: Once you get deeper into the subject I am sure you will confer that the overlap with the armchair philosopher is marginal.
    BTW: Once you get deeper into the subject I am sure you will confer that the overlap with the armchair philosopher is marginal.
    I know; but it's fun to hear you both pleading "quantum" as an excuse for constructing impossible scenarios. 


     
    vongehr
    Johannes used "quantum" to construct classically impossible scenarios, which is fine. I say that if current quantum theory allows impossible macro scenarios, it needs to be modified before being able to explain all possible phenomena.
    I'm not complaining. I'm saying it's great fun to watch.
    Branches combine or multiply. In the MWI as I know it all just matrix multiplication, a unitary matrix takes a state forward in time, and the inverse matrix takes it backwards. A possible state is on row of a ket vector. And the total size of the vector doesn't change.

    Even in the Feynman Wheeler absorber theory, which allows light to travel backwards and forwards in time, no retrocausal signal or influences is observers. Thats because advanced wave comes from any possible future, so when they sum at orgin of the initial signal, they end up forming standing wave, which might as well only be forward in time.

    You (Sascha) seem to be worried that communication between observers in different future branches might be possible. But communication is an forward in time, essential one-way process in which entropy is produced, in both creating and recieving a message, both processes also create waste heat, which if reflecting from a common horizon would garantee decoherence so that any message would be in a shared branch.

    I was reading your summer bet that against a local realistic model producing the results of the an EPR experiment. I think I can win that bet, provided you allow me an extra-dimension of time. Mapping the polarisers plate rotations to a sideways in time that both Alice and Bob, to a single extra time coordinate that both live in for 3+2 dimensions of space or time. All information transport would be local, and every event in 3+2 dimensions would have a definite outcome, so local and realistic, and yes runnable on a classical computer (but slowed by having to compute all the extra events). http://axitronics.blogspot.com/2010/01/quantum-mechanics-and-fifth-dimen...

    Foster and Mullers paper showed that an extra time dimension can generate the equivalent effects to quantum mechanics, as I journalistical reported in an this blog item.

    Its not too complex to model simple polarised wave in one direction. For a general quantum entangled state, it might take more dimensions? Joy Christen claims a 7-sphere in octonion space is enough, so are 5 time demensions always enough for a local realistic model. For a normal finite set of outcomes, extra continum dimensions of time are actually a lot more complex in terms of counting states than the MWI, but possibly the smearing of guassians wouldn't happen, so at least countable set of states would stay countable. Does it?

    It was me who brought up Herny Stapps paper, but it least its stimulated you, possibly in anger at the psuedoness of it.

    vongehr
    You (Sascha) seem to be worried that communication between observers in different future branches might be possible.
    ?!? I cannot imagine how you got to this impression.
    I was reading your summer bet that against a local realistic model producing the results of the an EPR experiment.
    That was not a bet. Nobody can win that bet.
    provided you allow me an extra-dimension of time.
    Extra time dimensions imply states with negative probability (ghost states) that you can only get rid of with a specific form of gauge freedom. Just the tip of the ice-berg of basically insurmountable problems with multiple times. Even if it worked, it is questionable whether that then still holds as a local theory in the sense of Einstein locality at all.
    Joy Christen claims
    Joy Christian is a pseudo-scientist who does not accept basic quantum mechanics in as far as it is observed by experiment. He does not admit that, but this is the very conclusion of the articles that you understood as my "bet". Stapp is just going kooky (he certainly did not stimulate me); Joy is an actual fraud.
    Stapp and others draw their credibility from AN Whitehead, and Whitehead took his stand in Universal Algebra (1898) against Felix Klein's Erlanger program in geometry by giving metaphysical priority to points over hyperplanes, which splits the product into progressive and regressive branches. The metaphysical background lies in Leibniz and the young Kant on space constituted by point-particles, and a curious alchemical doctrine which has mind acting back on matter to overcome the relativity of experience (finite nerve-signal speed), so constituting the 'actual occasions' of Whitehead's later metaphysics.
    It does remain the fact that intentional action must anticipate processes to overcome finite reaction-time. How far this capacity can be refined or focused is anyone's guess.

    I think the issue comes down to what exactly is time. We are observing a phenomenon and then coming to conclusions about what transpired, but as we know from relativity this is a relative experience. So time in itself may be something we only observe due to our limited intellect and what we re construct in our mind upon observation 9whci his just a reconstruction), the actual reality may be an omni reality---all observers will have a different recount of history and the whole dyanmic of space and time may be more like a wave function than a linear stream or branch from one point to the other .

    for example, I think the saying 'hindsight is 20/20' is wrong.

    You can never know anything from one st ream because you are jsut going to peice together what happened based on your own mental model. Perhaps the mental model and the causal interpretation of events are linked, we just dont realize it because we are in the actual grid. Depending on the interpretive model of the mind our interpretation fo events may change, as is suggested by day to day empricism.But mroe fundamentally, the interpretation of events would themslevres change the reality, because the observation will 'collapse' the reality to one that reflects this model. Perhaps not the model itself, but a reaction from that perception, in a similar way that the observation of a particle collapses the wave function.

    Gerhard Adam
    It seems that both previous posts miss the essential point about precognition versus prediction.  Precognition requires that knowledge be obtained from data that, by definition, doesn't exist.  If the information is available in some form, then how it is assessed simply results in prediction.
    Mundus vult decipi
    I agree with the distinction but not with "by definition doesn't exist". That is, after all, what Sascha is attempting to discuss. However it's hard to see how any effect from the future could carry  information in the same way that a fossil skeleton or a personal memory does. So rather than say "by definition" it would be better to say "according to conventional thinking". 
     
    I don't really believe that "events" and "cause and effect" are very meaningful in physics, but to the extent that a past event, our present state and a future event all have to be consistent, I suspect that an effect from a future event would be indistingishable from (thermal or possibly quantum) noise. But we will see what Sascha comes up with :)
    Gerhard Adam
    My point is arguing that "by definition" such information "doesn't exist" is to clearly establish that any instance of where such information does exist, it becomes difficult if not impossible to distinguish it from prediction.  After all, if the information is present, then it is potentially realizable and incapable of being "precognitive". 

    Whether "events" or "cause and effect" are meaningful in physics is [in my estimation] largely irrelevant if the discussion is dealing with the human mental ability to detect such events [i.e. precognition versus prediction].  After all, for that to occur, then whatever phenomenon is being considered, the pertinent information must be capable of being transmitted and evaluated by the brain to represent some "real world" ["classical"] event. 

    This is part of the difficulty in such discussions, because regardless of how the world works quantum mechanically, we experience it in a largely classical way.  So whatever mechanism is being considered, it must present in a classical manner. 
    Mundus vult decipi
    Exactly!  But Sascha is promising a quantum way to make it much more likely that we find ourselves in those worlds where we guessed right even though the guesses themselves are no more accurate than chance. Why do I have a mysterious fee-ee-eeeeeeling that he won't be quite as convincing as he usually is?

    Gerhard Adam
    In fairness [and without speaking for Sascha], I believe the point is merely that it is something that can be studied and explored with regards to these various interpretations.  If I'm not mistaken, I don't think he believes that such a phenomenon exists, but rather that he is describing a possible approach to addressing the issue.
    Mundus vult decipi
    [and without speaking for Sascha]
     Probably a wise move :) 
    I don't think he believes that such a phenomenon exists
    I'm sure he would say that his opinions on the matter are irrelevant - although apparently they can affect the appearence of precognition so maybe they are not.
     

     
    Long-range correlations are characteristic of phase-transitions, and it does seem to me that genuine survival-related precognitions work that way: anticipating falling trees, avalanches or fire hazards. But this mechanism requires that one "actualize" a similar process within one's subjectivity, whence the "shape-shifting" of sorcerers. To suss a falling tree you have to get "gnarly" in the sense of Rudi Rucker, who at least lets his imagination run ahead of his science, and enjoys an endorsement from Steve Wolfram for his pains. Roger Caillois was out there at the head of the surrealist pack, and got an early lead in game theory.

    But reductions to quantum speculation I don't endorse. We want to get from actual occasions to instantons, and there the trailblazer is Edward Frenkel in the Geometric Langlands Program, which takes in critical points and p-adics like Matti Pitkänen, but not just the topological sector. Frenkel shows vertices deforming as if under stress, which is what I've felt from hazardous trees.

    Gerhard Adam
    ...and it does seem to me that genuine survival-related precognitions work that way: anticipating falling trees, avalanches or fire hazards...
    I don't think that's a tenable position.  Invariably it would be impossible to suggest that this isn't merely prediction based on existing information that is presently available.  True precognition would require that there be no physical elements available in the present to indicate that any of these events would occur, however that would largely preclude the events from actually occurring.

    In short, a tree doesn't fall without there being many physical indications that it is ready to fall (i.e. the physics is already at work on it).
    Mundus vult decipi
     Indeed. And on top of that there is the retrospective self-selection of anecdotal data. 
     
     

    Lex Anderson
    like fiber bundles of meat shooting out of the measurement events....
    Sascha, I recently re-read your paper in light of the recent results published in Nature (http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nphys2294). A very timely and insightful work -- but above all, this 

    phrase will remain stuck in my head for some time to come. I just have to figure out how to work it into casual conversation...
    vongehr
    Nice to see the model does help the one or the other person - that's what it was for. Whether a many worlds model with branch counting for the delayed entanglement swapping can still be intuitive is of course doubtful. I should look into that, but then, the overall response to the many world sausage model up to now was so unenthusiastic (and some plain negative), I am not exactly encouraged. After all, the main point is to support modal realism in a sort of effective quantum solipsism of observers inside their own event horizons. This is sufficient to account for anything, so I am finished as far as I need to know.
    Lex Anderson
    Whether a many worlds model with branch counting for the delayed entanglement swapping can still be intuitive is of course doubtful. I should look into that 
    To me these results seem consistent with your "sausage-model" branching and decoherence. I'm no expert, so I'll look forward to your take on it.