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    Indeterminism Comes Before Quantum Mechanics
    By Sascha Vongehr | September 8th 2012 07:02 AM | 44 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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    It would be idiotic to claim that quantum mechanics just follows from getting stoned and blurting “everything is possible”. One of the difficulties with understanding the derivation of quantum mechanics (QM) from tautological modal realism [1] is that vital steps are omitted from the discussion (see for example many comments here). An important early step is grasping the indeterminism contained in tautological modal realism (TMR). Before discussing indeterminism, let us briefly see where indeterminism is in the bigger picture. The derivation of QM looks as follows [numbers like (3) refer to numbered paragraphs in [1] ]. Indeterminism is already on line three:


    - Wanting to describe Totality (1)

    - Fundamental equivalence among alternatives (4, 5), TMR (6)

    - Emergent Indeterminism (~ fundamental uncertainty, not yet QM) (7, 8)

    - Add: Special relativity (~Einstein locality) as an empirical input but also a quite natural one [considering TMR, because the light-cones are the determined pasts relative to observers] (9, 11)

    - Get: Basic Everett Relativity (still not QM!) (9)

    - Consider the physical matching of worlds of Alice and Bob (Wheeler’s utterly simple idea that demands the quantum) (10)

    - Explain that this ‘interaction’ is the core of QM (13) because mere classical correlation (other worlds are ‘dead’, cannot ‘interact’) are insufficient to account for the strong QM correlations between alternatives.

    - Show how apparent non-locality emerges (14, …) and how Bell inequality violating QM probabilities arise (20).

    ------------------------------

    Mentioning emergent indeterminism (emerging inside totally determined totality) is crucial, because without it, Einstein relativity does not imply Everett relativity, but instead a block universe like Wheeler’s parchment (9), painted by god!


    In TMR, indeterminism is not “genuine stochastic” or “quantum uncertainty” modifying a classical starting point. Such would perhaps be suggested by a biased historical narrative, which is why one should reject too much history when teaching physics, because it conserves inconsistent paradigms. Where does indeterminism origin? How can we justify indeterminism as primitive? Let us review and revise (7):


    7) As seen, for example, with the unitary evolution of wavefunctions, QM is fundamentally deterministic, and if it were not yet, the more fundamental, modified QM would be anyway, because totality is totally determined.  Totality does not have a future; it includes all futures.  Many-world tautological modal realism describes experiencing stochastic behavior:  Relative to my today, my wearing of socks a year from now is as irrelevant as my not wearing socks then (even assuming time symmetric classical determinism).  A mature physics must let this indeterminism emerge inside of determined totality.  A certain anti-realism [e.g. A. Zeilinger’s, also see before (12)] is here implicit, because a difference between ‘subjective’ and ‘real/fundamental’ uncertainty is refused, since such is a verification transcendent distinction.  Anti-realism rejects not reality but distinctions like whether the quantum state is epistemic or ontic.  It avoids regress errors like “absolute actualization”:


    Observing a system, I can ask what future states of it are possible for “me” to observe, and it might be that only a single one is possible with the particular system.  Thus, I can meaningfully say that the time evolution actualizes only that particular future; it will be actualized relative to all my futures, meaning all those that are consistent with remembering the present observed by the observer (“me”).  Any observer observes only one present situation, which is tautological, because the present situation is precisely all that is presented now.  However, to the describer, for example me the author, writing this text for hours, rather than me being an observer of a now-moment, for the fundamental describer there is no motivation for singling out one particular observed situation inside of totality!  Observing one single present can trigger strong feelings in favor of bad terminology, similar to the 'something-profound-remains-feeling', but such does not allow to propose a meaningless “absolute actualization”. Absolute actualization commits a regress error; it introduces “random randomness”, i.e. a godly randomness external to the already fully described randomness inside the fundamental description (22, 23), or in other words, something outside of totality, which is obviously nonsense!


    Once more: The indeterminism follows from rejecting meaningless language right from the start. A distinction between “merely subjective” uncertainty and “real/fundamental” uncertainty does not arise, since it is a verification transcendent distinction (a difference that makes no difference). Anti-realism rejects such meaningless ingredients, because they are the very ingredients that make descriptions inconsistent, nonsensical, and prone to regress errors.


    I will likely soon discuss quantum solipsism (e.g. local patch descriptions like R. Bousso’s) as being an expected dual description of any description of totality. This will clarify once more differently why Wittgenstein is relevant to physics. From a solipsist point of view, given all I can possibly know, and I cannot even fully know myself, but can at most destroy myself trying to find out, the future (as well as the past) has many possibilities. This shell of potentiality around the observer (or a decoherence bubble containing the observer), who is relative to the horizon in a superposition of all possible observers, is the rest of the complete quantum universe, and the potentiality of the horizon provides the fundamental uncertainty, it is pure potentiality of what the observer can observe.  This is a different way of describing emergent indeterminism, namely as uncertainty. Again, there is no difference between “epistemic/subjective” uncertainty and “real/ontic” uncertainty.


    -----------------------------------

    [1] S. Vongehr: “Realism escaping Wittgenstein’s Silence: The Paradigm Shift that renders Quantum Mechanics Natural”. 4thFQXi Essay Contest http://fqxi.org/community/forum/topic/1483 (2012)

    Comments

    colinkeenan
    As I was reading this, I got the message loud and clear that it makes no sense to even talk about a distinction between really truly randomness and just seeming to be random to a particular observer. Early on I developed an expectation that you would explain and give examples of how randomness emerges from totally determined totality. Having finished, still don't feel like I've gotten the explanation or examples. 
    I appreciate the bold text and repeated messages that would seem to indicate I didn't do a very good job of reading. Your explanation of how randomness emerges is that  it "... _follows from rejecting meaningless language right from the start. A distinction between “merely subjective” uncertainty and “real/fundamental” uncertainty does not arise...". Your example of randomness emerging from totally determined totality is that whether or not you wear socks today has nothing to do with whether or not you wear socks on a future date, and furthermore, "..._for the fundamental describer there is no motivation for singling out one particular observed situation inside of totality..."

    However, I somehow need everything explained even better. I need the line drawn for me between rejecting meaningless language and randomness. I need more examples of randomness than the importance of having worn socks on any given day and further explanation of why this has anything to do with randomness/indeterminism.

    I feel like I almost understand, and this is how I usually feel after reading something you've written. You are gradually succeeding in convincing me about tautological modal realism, especially now that I understand it as part of totality. My main problem with many worlds or multiverse has been my simplistic idea of the word "universe" including totality and so there couldn't be more than one as the prefix "uni" implies. By using (unfortunately for me, mind numbing) terminology like "tautological modal realism" and "totally determined totality", you're trying to show me how in some sense more than one universe is a required element of totality.

    I plan on making a comment on your previous post about how when I was watching one of those science documentaries about how strange modern physics is I suddenly saw how rational the modal realism idea you're pushing actually is.
    colinkeenan
    One of the (for me) mind numbing terminology that you use is "regress error". In fact, in my laziness, I didn't even click the link and so basically ignored it. Ever since I learned to read, I've had this bad habit of ignoring words I don't understand while reading and then never picking up the meaning from context.
    I finally decided to click the link. I do understand that essay, but I don't know how to avoid regress in my thinking and that's probably why I never feel satisfied about my understanding your writing.
    Lex Anderson
    I don't know how to avoid regress in my thinking  
    You are by no means alone. We are all prone to assuming the necessary existence of infinities, which to me is far more insidious than any causality-breaking crackpottery. Clearly such infinities belie the empirical notion of science, where it is understood and expected that more complex structures are emergent according to some universal physical laws that apply to smaller structures. The arrogance (if there is any) is to assume that such a regression is infinite. It is likewise arrogant to assume that all states are possible, even ones that are self-contradictory. Modal realism is the case where infinite regression might be replaced with an infinite number of possibilities along with a limiting assumption that such possibilities are somehow irreducible. 

    Briefly, consider the thought experiment that there exists a finite limit to regression, such that some kind of irreducible "pixel" exists, then there must exist a finite limit on the number of possible configurations of pixels in this (our) universe. Then by the axioms of modal realism it must follow that if there is an infinite number of universes, there must exist an upper bound to the number of unique universes, or equivalently there must exist a finite number of possible finite universes. Then if each universe is finite, there must be a finite amount of entropy in each universe. If we make the assumption that entropy is shared then the implication is that some kind of elementary law of transversal is applicable to each pixel, such that each possible pixel must exist in all universes according to some probability distribution. This distribution is what we consider to be indeterminism and the average uncertainty of this distribution is what we typically call entropy.

    In this thought experiment, both regression and "many-worlds" become finitary expressions of the same thing. Why? Because any regression arrives at an irreducible set of states and any enumeration of all possible states arrives at one of a finite number of possible universes where the probability of arriving at such a universe is given by the relative entropy between any two universes. So science can proceed empirically as normal without the need for infinities or local realism... The science in question being of course quantum mechanics. 
    colinkeenan
    then there must exist a finite limit on the number of possible configurations of pixels in this (our) universe.

    Why? If the universe is infinite, then even if there's an irreducible pixel, there could still be infinite possible configurations of pixels. Also, if the pixels can be placed continuously and overlap, there could be infinite possible configurations in a finite universe, assuming the "pixels" are not the building blocks of the space they are being placed into.
    What's wrong with infinities anyway? That's not a regression error. A line can be infinitely divided in geometry. A line can extend to infinity in both directions too. Time could be infinite as well. We just need to avoid explaining something that doesn't need to be explained because it's already fundamental so that time doesn't need to be explained in terms of a flow of time through some meta-time because that does lead to an infinite and obviously useless regression.
    Lex Anderson
    If the universe is infinite, then even if there's an irreducible pixel, there could still be infinite possible configurations of pixels. 
    By way of example, consider that there are a finite number of pixels on your LCD screen, then you may only show a large but finite number of possible images. This can be proved by reduction to the unit case of a 2x2 monochrome LCD screen, then you have 16 possible images you can show. Like a LCD screen, the pixels represent everything in the universe's "image", including the particles, forces and "empty" spaces.
    Also, if the pixels can be placed continuously and overlap, there could be infinite possible configurations in a finite universe, assuming the "pixels" are not the building blocks of the space they are being placed into.
    If the pixels "overlap" then they are "structures" emergent from a set of pixels that don't overlap.
    What's wrong with infinities anyway? That's not a regression error. A line can be infinitely divided in geometry. A line can extend to infinity in both directions too. 
    There is nothing wrong with infinities in general terms, its just that they cannot be measured and science is about the measurable. 
    Time could be infinite as well. We just need to avoid explaining something that doesn't need to be explained because it's already fundamental so that time doesn't need to be explained in terms of a flow of time through some meta-time because that does lead to an infinite and obviously useless regression. 
    It may well be, but if you consider space to be finite and assuming you accept relativity, then time must also be finite. This doesn't mean that spacetime is not expanding and that it may continue to expand for quite some time, just that there exists some finite entropy limit, kind of like enlarging a video until individual pixels become distinct, but you lose the overall information of the movie itself.
    colinkeenan
    I do believe in general relativity. I also believe space&time are infinite. You seem to have ignored my first point which was based on space being infinite. In analogy with pixels on a screen, the screen would have to be infinite. I also believe unbound objects, even if irreducible, can be placed continuously. Even pretending everything is finite, I still don't really understand the rest of your comment and none of this discussion is helping me with this essay that we're commenting on.
    Lex Anderson
    I lack the necessary skills to argue about what you believe or don't believe. 
    vongehr
    infinities belie the empirical notion of science
    Yes, say infinite density in a singularity, simply because such is on principle not operationally verifyable (you would need infinite amounts of energy to get infinite resolution).
    The arrogance (if there is any) is to assume that such a regression is infinite.
    That is why I write "regress without definite termination". For example, ether theories are a regress (space in space), however, we may still have a few layers of emergent spaces in more fundamental spaces (say the universe on a string theoretical membrane). Guess what - this is a point I have tried to make, but it is rejected by the philosophical establishment (all the journals about philosophy of physics!). They want you to write bullshit about Einstein's hole problem (that Einstein himself already solved!), so that you can cite the big dicks' mumblings about hyperspace foliations, but if you try to stick to these very important points you rightly mention, you will be labelled a crackpot and black-listed!
    Then by the axioms of modal realism it must follow that if there is an infinite number of universes, there must exist an upper bound to the number of unique universes
    Since it is the possibilities that are real (modal realism), not the "really out there" instantiations, you should not blame modal realism for any difficulties with people trying to count indistinguishable universes. The problem here is that you assume already direct realism ("some kind of irreducible "pixel" exists").
    Lex Anderson
    They want you to write bullshit about Einstein's hole problem (that Einstein himself already solved!), so that you can cite the big dicks' mumblings about hyperspace foliations, but if you try to stick to these very important points you rightly mention, you will be labelled a crackpot and black-listed! 
    I have a hunch that this idea is far too simple and obvious (resp. theoretical "elegance") to pass the "My importance in the establishment is proportional to the complexity of the problems I deal with" filter. So I suggest a minimally ten-fold overdefinition written in the style of a Sherlock Holmes novel so it may sneak past.
    _Since it is the possibilities that are real (modal realism), not the "really out there" instantiations, you should not blame modal realism for any difficulties with people trying to count indistinguishable universes. The problem here is that you assume already direct realism ("some kind of irreducible "pixel" exists"). 
    My thought experiment is just a handy illustration. If you substitute "pixel" with "state" (in the same  sense, but not necessarily in the same emergent stratum as "quantum state"), then we are in agreement. Disappointing really, when you consider my objective at the outset was to disagree with you for as long as possible :)
    vongehr
    give examples of how randomness emerges from totally determined totality. Having finished, still don't feel like I've gotten the explanation or examples. ... I need more examples of randomness than the importance of having worn socks on any given day and further explanation of why this has anything to do with randomness/indeterminism.
    I do not give examples, because that would imply an empirical basis. The argument is not that I defend indeterminism against something else, that I would need to disprove classical determinism in physics. In the correct fundamental description, the historical classical determinism never arises! The determinism of totality is tautological (7). I want to explain QM. Adding decoherence to QM, classical worlds emerge, but that is not the topic of the essay. I care about QM, and all I need to get started is even just two different but obviously (from a fundamental perspective) equivalent alternatives, so one me wearing socks and one without socks is almost sufficient. The most basic "indeterminism" is that there are more than one worlds. This "indeterminism" simply does not go away just because you sort the worlds according to memory contents and derive time coordinates and ascribe causality. IF I were to argue for classical determinism, I would need to think hard about how it comes about (and would of course never succeed). But the indeterminism is trivial. You can also argue via the describer's uncertainty about her own state. Since she cannot completely know without killing herself, there are different possibilities.
    My main problem with many worlds or multiverse has been my simplistic idea of the word "universe"
    "Many Worlds" [Item (6)] is not the same as "multiverse" [Item (8)]. I do not use the word universe in a vital way, because of "uni". I rather use totality.
    colinkeenan
    Thanks. I see that I was making the emerging indeterminism too complicated in my mind. Part of the problem is the word "emergent" which kind of scares me whenever I see it making me expect complications. I understand the sock explanation now and the inability to know your own state helps as well. 
    MikeCrow
    Do you think that, a change in the total number of potential worlds in totality could alter the results of some measurement that is dependent on QM's indeterminism(?).
    Never is a long time.
    vongehr
    nothing changes totality
    oligoverse?
    MikeCrow
    I used Metaverse for those occasions.
    Never is a long time.
    Sascha - I think you are making things too complex as you explain stuff. The point that people miss so easily is is that QM shows no preference for one state over another - and you obviously want to start from a similar fundamental position without the specifics of QM in order then to derive a physics which has to be true. (Good luck in that quest, by the way.) 
     
    However, it comes as a huge shock to most of us to realize that, by definition, "equivalent possibilities" (different possible outcomes) must remain equivalent unless there is fundamental randomness to pick one out. The latter has been the muddled paradigm that leads to such monstrosities as "the collapse of the wavefunction" which purports to do precisely that and pick out an eigenstate to replace the superposition. QM hugely simplifies when the collapse as such is removed and a superposition of observer-states is created instead. Again, reluctance to embrace the essential participation of the observer is part of traditional "objective" science. The feeble way an observation is traditionally depicted as disturbing the system is half-hearted to say the least. The fact is, the system splits the observer, not the other way round. Or better still, they are inseparable from the beginning, being one combined system that evolves as a superposition.

    No-one, not even you, is wholly comfortable with the idea that the unique individual which is "me" rapidly branches into a superposition of a googolplexian of divergent neo-clones, but that is precisely what the Schrodinger equation tells us. And, I think, your arguments lead to the same thing at a fundamental pre-physics level though I haven't had time to see whether they are rigorous.

    However, this - my little exercise in softening up the reader - leads to one thing. Randomness is fully (well sort of) accounted for by superposition , i.e. the equivalence of all possibilities, and thus fundamental randomness, if it exists, would be in addition to emergent randomness (or quantum probability or the Born rule) not an explanation of it !
     
    The hypothesis that there is fundamental randomness is therefore testable:
    The Born rule would be
    broken !


    All this and no mention of consciousness with its bizaare preference for eigenvalues nor fairy-winged qualia that come along and muck it all up again! I shall miss them.
    vongehr
    I think you are making things too complex as you explain stuff.
    Give me the precise simplification and I will be happy to take it on board.
    unless there is fundamental randomness to pick one out. The latter has been the muddled paradigm
    Yes, and you should not even say " fundamental randomness to pick one out". "Picking out" is reserved for non-equivalent possibilities, like if alternatives are strongly naturally selected (evolution) or logically self-consistent.
    No-one, not even you, is wholly comfortable with the idea that the unique individual which is "me" rapidly branches into a superposition
    You underestimate my comfort level. After all, there are some calming aspects to that realization, too, even if one were to neglect that "unique individual" is to be defined one way or another. People focus onto the scary part, like citizens starting to deny responsibility for their past decisions. But of course, how much they do so is just as determined, and usual evolution pretty much looks like as if such won't lead to instabilities.
    Randomness is fully ... accounted for by ... the equivalence of all possibilities, ...
    Stop!
    ... and thus fundamental randomness, if it exists, would be ...
    ... a regress-error mess that implies that your model needs external ingredients and is therefore not the fundamental model. My description is already the fundamental description. I am done with randomness! Randomness is, like time in general relativity, already fully inside the description. No external time that allows flow of time! No external "genuine randomness" that allows god to throw a coin after the flow of time let me drift to a branching.
    The hypothesis that there is fundamental randomness is therefore testable:
    The Born rule would be broken !
    That sounds like nonsense, sorry. The only sense this could possibly make: If we find "reasonable probabilitiy rules" not being reflected in empirical records, we would at some point be led to assume to be caught in a simulation/creation where gods play with us, rather than us being more directly residing in a fundamental stratum and simply having gone mad. But still, this would be consistent with a "bad string of luck", i.e. simply the situation of finding myself inside a crazy branch.
    Stop! ... My description is already the fundamental description. I am done with randomness!
    Yes! Excellent! However, you have mistaken my meaning. I do not think randomness can be ruled out tautologically. As far as I know, we have to go to experimental science to find out whether there is randomness.
    The hypothesis that there is fundamental randomness is therefore testable:
    The Born rule would be broken !
    The only sense this could possibly make: If we find "reasonable probabilitiy rules" not being reflected in empirical records, we would at some point be led to assume to be caught in a simulation/creation where gods play with us.
    Absolutely! Randomness (including entanglement) is emergent in QM, *NOT* fundamental. Why do you think I bitched about fairy-winged qualia when you tried to tweak the reasonable probabilities?




     
    Lex Anderson
     I do not think randomness can be ruled out tautologically
    The least confusing interpretation of what you are saying is that it is possible to test if something (randomness) is fundamental. If you don't mean something like: while(true) {}; printf("attention quale detected in reality!"); then what do you mean?
    vongehr
    What? There is uncertainty and fundamental equivalence about some of the alternatives we are uncertain about, and that is it. Finished! All randomness is now included. I am finished!
    You may now like to divide this total randomness into different types that can be distinguished relative to a less fundamental model. Say you introduce time and thus distinguish "indeterminism", or assume a physics where different micro-states "carry" the same mental experience and therefore have uncertainty about locating one's own present state in the assumed space of microstates. No use to mention QM. No empirical input necessary.
    Thor Russell
    The idea of about 10^100 different me's sure does sound strange (however Sascha certainly sounds more than OK with that idea according to me) but some people could sure find it "useful" if it becomes more popular. If you do something and clearly lose just because of bad luck then telling yourself that in most "worlds" you have won could comfort many people. More so I expect such a view to be horribly abused in situations where the odds are not clear, e.g. a trader who loses just tells themselves it is not their skill but they have won in most worlds and continues. Or someone causes an apparently freak accident and doesn't take responsibility because they tell themselves it didn't happen in most worlds etc.
    You point about randomness doesn't really make sense to me either I'm afraid. The more I think about it, the more problematic "fundamental randomness" seems. Something that can avoid the need for it would surely be a step forward towards a more fundamental description. As far as I am aware that problem hasn't been completely solved.
    Thor Russell
    vongehr
    So you straight out reject what I just wrote, both points, the one about focussing on the red hering about determinism being a lame excuse for bad decisions (you simply stand by that without any empirical or logical support), and much worse, the point about randomness being completely included in fundamental equivalence, you simply say makes no sense (to you), but again you do not add any argument but simply state your position. It tells me that I am unconvincing, but doesn't help me see any chance of improving my description.
    Thor Russell
    What, I didn't reject what you wrote I was replying to Derek. Being able to avoid randomness in a fundamental description is surely desirable.
    Thor Russell
    vongehr
    I think your content, whoever you wrote it to, rejects what I just wrote to Derek.
     
    As far as I am aware that problem hasn't been completely solved
    I'm pretty sure all the randomness we need to describe QM - the infamous "collapse of the wavefunction", the correlations we call entanglements, environmental decoherence: all the headline stuff as well as the mundane - can be seen in the statistics of an ensemble of environment-observer-system states each of which evolves as a superposition.
     
    Fundamental randomness is only required if you want to go beyond what experimentally-confirmed QM allows and insist that one state is chosen to be real. The other miriad you's, for example, have to be real enough to interfere, but not real enough to count as being really "you": the one chosen at random to exist... I agree, our sense of personal identity is uncomfortable with virtual me's, especially when there are rather a lot of them, but it's easier to accept that my perception is at odds with the best description we have and deal with that, than it is to bend the science in directions it won't go.

    Lex Anderson
    I agree, our sense of personal identity is uncomfortable with virtual me's, especially when there are rather a lot of them
    Nicely put. A random variable might allow those of us who reject conventional faith to instead take comfort in some self-actualizing pathway through "chaos". Now, the harsh lesson is: Abandon the random variable, then concepts like "I", "choose" and "exist" become entirely abstract. Like most paradigm shifts it might just be necessary for such dinosaurs to become extinct before any real progress is made.
    vongehr
    Why "nicely put"? I think it is nonsense. Where am I supposed to become uncomfortable because it is many? At 10, 45872467836529, 10^10^10? The whole point about identifying in the first place is to be uncomfortable once your definition allows two of you to claim the same woman or pot of money or whatever. As long as there is no such reasons, why should I not be comfortable with being the more the merrier, say if the amount of dollars goes with N squared?
    Lex Anderson
    I think it is nonsense
    So do I, but I am a callous bastard. As Derek nicely put, some may choose to bend science to fit their world-view rather than accept the loss of "I". I have no doubt that the beauty of the idea will in many cases overcome such a loss, but it exists for the moment -- and so informed the narrative can only improve, right?
    Hi, could we build any experiment for confirming all this?
    Best regards
    Pablo

    vongehr
    Tautological logic (P=P) is true regardless of empirical content. In other words, you could say that experiment tells you about which kind of cosmos you are inside, but if it comes to the fundamental theory explaining all possible worlds (which isn't the same as cosmos or universe), it should not be expected to offer any experiment that could falsify it. Popper fans often forget that his views are rather a definition of "science". For me, tautological logic belongs to "science", for many others, mathematics is not "science".
    (This is only talking about tautological indeterminism. The empirical content in the derivation in the derivation of QM is firstly special relativity, which we have plenty of experiments for, and then the violation of the Bell inequality in QM experiments.)
    Tautological logic (P=P) is true regardless of empirical content
    It's even stronger than that. Tautology cannot have empirical support. 1+1=2 is close enough to a tautology for our purposes but Popperian falsibility would demand we consider cases where 1+1=3. Popper was not that stupid and Wittgenstein advises silence. Good idea.
    Wibble wibble wobble wobble
    Lex Anderson
    Tautology cannot have empirical support. 
    Indeed, mathematics and science is kind of like drinking and driving -- you are far more likely to get into trouble if you try to do both at the same time ;P
    blue-green

    Chinese sage Fēng Săshā says,

    “I do not give examples, because that would imply an empirical basis. …. all I need to get started is even just two different but obviously (from a fundamental perspective) equivalent alternatives.”

    Do you know how hard it is to digest a sentence like that? You might as well say that all you need to get started is that P = not-P … and also …. as you also say, P = P. This is not science. Who are you? John Galt of A = A fame? As I wrote in your “utterly simple” essay.

    “As any non-believer can tell you, just because you say it is so does not make it so. If something is convincingly “emergent” from a deeper foundation that can derive Planck's constant or quantum uncertainty, one has to have a full numerical calculation (of the half-life of Carbon-14, for example) in which it is perfectly clear which parts are being derived and which parts are filled in using empirical data." 

    Einstein calculated the bending of starlight, the size of atoms, photoelectric effects and more while introducing his new paradigms. He didn't just have an elevator epiphany and leap to Riemannian geometry.

    If you need just raw logic to derive the quantum, go back to Wheeler 40 years ago:

    “Little astonishment there should be, therefore, if the description of nature carries one in the end to logic, the ethereal eyrie at the center of mathematics. If, as one believes, all mathematics reduces to the mathematics of logic, and all physics reduces to mathematics, what alternative is there but for all physics to reduce to the mathematics of logic? Logic is the only branch of mathematics that can “think about itself. ... “Physics as a minifestation of logic” … is as yet [Wheeler (1971a] not an idea, but an idea for an idea.”

    (from Gravitation page 1212)

    Wheeler knew all of this intimately 40 years ago, along with all things Everett and Feynman. He never claimed to have understood “how come the quantum?” Funny that you think you have solved it all.

    Lex Anderson
    Wheeler knew all of this intimately 40 years ago, along with all things Everett and Feynman.  
    This is exactly the problem with Sascha's framework (resp. paradigm). Once understood, it seems familiar (Wheeler, Everett ...) and at a casual reading it may even seem essentially vacuous ... so the natural response is to seek evidence that it isn't. It is of course senseless to expect a framework to make predictions, which is clearly the role of the underlying models. So what will the "evidence" be? Do you wait until the evidence is "on the horizon" before you produce the theory or do you motivate the research by publishing, even if you realize that experimental verification may be orders of magnitude beyond the current state of the art? The Einstein reference was yours, and his answer to that question lies in the historical record.

    vongehr

    in which it is perfectly clear which parts are being derived and which parts are filled in using empirical data.

    I clearly wrote that the special relativistic part is empirical input (though others have motivated Riemannian geometry as a-priori from operationalism). I suggest the way to derive the fact that different alternatives must correlate in stronger than classicaly possible ways (the core of QM), which should arrive at the quantitative amount of Bell violation.

    Einstein calculated the bending of starlight, the size of atoms, photoelectric effects and more while introducing his new paradigms. He didn't just have an elevator epiphany and leap to Riemannian geometry.

    All in a 10 page FQXi essay on the topic of "what physical assumption is wrong?" directed at a wider audience? Darn that guy was good!

    Wheeler knew all of this intimately 40 years ago

    Then why did he expect a revolutionary 'utterly simple idea' and not just tell us?

    Kitty cat: Stop being a little kid and instead adopt a mature atitude about charitable reading and helpful comments, how is that?

    blue-green

    Simple yes no question for anyone. Do you think you have derived the quantum? Wheeler's answer for himself (and his students and colleagues) was no. What is your answer Sascha? Yes or no?

    I am asking this so that if 5 essays later, you write as if you have derived the quantum and are moving on, I want to know whether in your oeuvre so far, you do or do not think you have derived the quantum (whether it is from an utterly simple basis or not). Deriving the quantum is not the same as talking about all of the interesting things that come from it, like Bell inequalities and experiments by Aspect and Zeilinger.

    vongehr
    That is for others to decide soon (give it a month or perhaps two). I won't say "yes" yet, because I have not yet convinced myself that my argument for sin(delta) in EPR is more than heuristics. However, I am working on something I discovered after posting the essay. I am now writing an article that almost does not talk about "what is wrong" (that is what the essay contest was about), and I discovered that I do not need to. I am all the way from nothing to the core of QM [apparent non-locality emergent from Einstein locality, which is not possible classically (thus, it is 'the quantum')], without stuff like classical determinism ever arising. Therefore, I do not need defending against it, or rant against direct realism or absolute actualization. All of a sudden, it goes smoothly all the way and consistent with anti-realism, which is a good sign and leaves me quite excited. I may just finally have arrived at what I was looking for since forever, the very derivation that must exist if a fundamental description is possible at all.
    Lex Anderson
    All of a sudden, it goes smoothly all the way and consistent with anti-realism, which is a good sign and leaves me quite excited.  
    If it doesn't have prime numbers and quasigroups in it, I will refuse to read it ;)
    blue-green
    I appreciate your efforts and realize that the essay contest was about what assumption(s) are misleading physics. There were huge number of entries, which by itself reduces your odds of winning quite a bit. So, just keep on ... keeping on. I'm just a lay person, and yet, you keep trucking over familiar ground which is why I wake up and say something now and then. Your word constructions and acronyms could use some help. Maybe it would all sound more natural in German with their immense run-on nouns. As I suggested to Tommaso, the term you want is VAST … Virtual Alternatives Subject to Testing.

    If someone tried to coin the phrase Black Hole today, it would never get past the political correctness police. It was Wheeler's replacement for a Completely Collapsed Gravitational Object.

    Best wishes to you in the forging of new sentences and in being a good teacher. Have an apple.

    vongehr
    "huge number of entries, which by itself reduces your odds of winning"
    There is a huge amount of crackpots plus a number of big names thinking that if they just write something half-hearted in an afternoon, their name is enough (and sadly, they are correct, see previous contests). I have zero chance: My shit is next-level, I am some unknown Russian or so in China, and especially, I have criticized FQXi for their PC feel-good nonsense criteria and support of pseudoscience way too often (they STILL have Joy Christian promoting the pseudoscience book they even funded him to write). The essay topic simply was an opportunity/excuse to write seriously about it. I am rewarded sufficiently by the struggle I have been through. The tautological approach is now much clearer to me. I already tossed much of the "what is wrong" parts (so to seriously obey Wittgenstein's silence) and turned it into a smooth derivation.
    so to seriously obey Wittgenstein's silence
    Unless one is familiar with all of, say, the Tractatus, the phrase "Wittgenstein's silence" adds more noise than light... I take it to be a fairly simple but thoroughgoing application of logic: that applying or incorporating an incoherent idea must make the whole picture incoherent. However I take issue with the implication - whether intended or not - that it is meaningless to talk about an incoherent idea. I guess this is something to do with whether one considers the idea as a proposition and ends up churning contradictions and silliness around, or whether one considers it as a mental/verbal or even logical construct whcih can safely be diagnosed as illogical from the outside - and put on the scrapheap. If you keep *that* distinction clear, you don't really need Wittgenstein to tell you what to do with nonsense.  Showing that an idea really is irredeemable nonsense is the hard bit.



    vongehr
    I understand what you are saying, however, this atitude is used as an excuse to inflate many a meaningless discussion. In order to fully argue meaninglessness, you may be required to assume and then contradict the distinction being a verifiable distinction, and all that. In other words: Wittgensteins silence enforced after you have shown a distinction to be meaningless means practically to endlessly show similar distinctions and regress errors to be meaningless. So, the silence should be the silence that a positivistic description keeps by being a good positivistic description. If that is not what Wittgenstein meant, I hereby misinterpret him. If it is my rather than Wittgenstein's interpretation, so be it. I see the use of your position when teaching introductory philosophy, where it is taught how to speak meaningfully, but at some point one should not so much discuss meaninglessness rather than perhaps teach how to make consistent terminologies about topics generally.
    and all that
    Why do you always fade out with that phrase when you start to get interesting? :)
    not so much discuss meaninglessness rather than perhaps teach how to make consistent terminologies
    Now that is a truly ambitious project even by your standards! A set of rules so that meaninglessness can be avoided from the start! But who is qualified to teach this art? Not you, I'm afraid: not yet anyway. Even you are still working on your core vocabulary. And all that.
     
    vongehr
    Well, lets not forget that philosophy departments do try to teach this to undergrads, and also logic (and all that). The question is, do they take it seriously enough or do they compromise in order to survive in academia? In philosophy more than anywhere, only counting of publication record gives you anything, so it is no wonder that philosophy is the currently the most useless field out there. The morte publish-or-perish, the more useless nonsense. Kind of like science blogging and all that.