[ExI] Is the wave function real?

Colin Hales col.hales at gmail.com
Mon Dec 5 05:38:13 UTC 2016

On Mon, Dec 5, 2016 at 5:32 AM, John Clark <johnkclark at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Sat, Dec 3, 2016 at 9:30 PM, <col.hales at gmail.com> wrote:
>> ​> ​
>>  QM fails to predict the existence of an observer or depict the
>> mechanism underlying it. This is the massive hole, a blind spot culturally
>> promulgated that will not go away until we recognise the hole as a
>> community.
>> Unlike Copenhagen the Many World's interpretation has no need to explain
> what
> ​an​
> observer or consciousness is because it has nothing to do with either one;
> when something changes the universe splits and it makes no difference if
> that change occurred in conscious matter observing something or in
> nonconscious matter observing nothing. Some say MWI
> ​ ​
> posits an ontologically real
> ​ ​
> Universal Wave Function
> ​ but I think it would be more accurate to say it claims the multiverse is
> ontologically real
> ​ and the wave function​ is a mathematical description of how the
> multiverse evolves that is useful in making calculations.
> ​It's in ​
> Bohm
> ​'s ​
> Pilot
> ​Wave
> ​Interpretation ​where the wave is real; that interpretation is
> more intuitive and less weird sounding than the others, but there a 2 big
> problems with it:
> 1) Although conceptually simpler it's mathematically more complex, you
> have to jump through more hoops to make a calculation. Physics is hard
> enough as it is so nobody wants to add a mathematical layer on top of it
> that is unnecessary.
> 2) Nobody has figured out how to get Pilot Waves obey Special Relativity
> so they only work in low energy stuff where nothing moves very fast. Paul
> Dirac united Quantum Mechanics with Special Relativity as early as 1928,
> but he didn't use Pilot Waves. Nobody has yet united
> Quantum Mechanics with
> ​General​
>  Relativity
> ​, we need a quantum theory of gravity but we don't have one.​
>  John K Clark
Whatever the universe is made of,  you and I and the rest of it are all
made of it.
Whatever the universe is made of, it is capable of creating an observer
(scientists) inside it.

For discussion, let's say the universe U was made of bricks. Space, atoms,
all the crap in the standard model. All made of itty bitty bricks. You, me
(observers) and the space we inhabit: *All of it *a gigantic unified
collection of behaving, interacting bricks. Somehow through a principle as
yet unexamined, when you are bricks inside a collection of bricks, the rest
of the bricks *appear* to be what we call space inhabited by a zoo of crap
we call a 'standard model' with atoms and neutrinos etc etc. We get to
extremely accurately predict the behaviour of these apparent things. But
U's not made of it (and especially not the maths that we use). U just *looks
like *space, stars, elephants and scientists observing stuff. But it's not.
It's all bricks.

So here *we* are:
(A) Correlating, as an observer) apparent persistent structure within our
experiences as observers. We predict how the universe appears from within
(all the stuff of traditional descriptive science like QM). It correlates
the contents of observation, not bricks!

.... when the actual problem is a failure to:
B) Describe a unified collection of bricks! .... If you did that then you'd
be doing something completely different: Explaining how an observer works.
You'd also predict the existence of all the things we observe (QM, space,
standard model, elephants, scientists etc etc). A completely different
behaviour to (A).

There's your map/territory confusion. Right there. (A) confused (B) on a
systemic level. One universe, two different descriptions. One of what it's
made of, one of how it appears from within.

Both (A) and (B) are scientifically evidenced. (A) by observation. (B) by
the mere existence of an observer. Scientists have to be evidence of
something! They (we) scientifically evidence (B).

I can't state it any more clearly.

So when I see (A) mistaken for (B) or an attempt to make (A) identical to
(B) by decree .....  while denying any responsibility for a scientific
observer ... and while simultaneously lamenting the conundrums created by
that very behaviour (like reconciling QM/Gravity) .... I wonder if we'll
ever escape this trap.

Thomas Kuhn tells us that _after_ the solution to this kind of problem
emerges, those involved in the original inadequate science were able to see
themselves as being the actual problem. And some poor schmuck held up a
torch for the solution and met a wall of blindness. This is especially
applicable to this issue because it is so big:
(i) Science itself is 50% missing.
(ii) we have no self-governance that might examine it.
(iii) we all learn to be scientists by mimicry (leaving all the
presuppositions unexamined). We all think we know what it is to be a
scientist when all we actually know is how scientists currently behave (A).

I'll put this in my diary as yet another ignored post sent to the wild to
achieve nothing. maybe someone out there is listening. I do this from time
to time. :-)


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