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 (2012)