[ExI] Is the wave function real?

Stathis Papaioannou stathisp at gmail.com
Mon Dec 5 10:59:13 UTC 2016

On 5 December 2016 at 16:38, Colin Hales <col.hales at gmail.com> wrote:

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. :-)

Are you making the distinction between what Kant called the Nouminal
(thing-in-itself) and Phenomenal (thing-as-it-appears)?  We can never
apprehend the thing in itself. It could be that there are no bricks at all
- just the appearance of bricks in a simulated world, with simulated

Stathis Papaioannou
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