[ExI] Is the wave function real?

John Clark johnkclark at gmail.com
Mon Dec 5 22:43:52 UTC 2016

On Mon, Dec 5, 2016  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.

​Yes but a quantum interpretation is not necessarily required to explain
how that works, the Copenhagen interpretation must but there is no need for
Many Worlds to do so. Observation is critical for Copenhagen but what
exactly is a "observation" anyway, can a monkey do it, how about a mouse, a
cockroach, a bacteria, a photographic plate, a brick wall, an atom? I can't
answer any of those questions but as a fan of Many Worlds I don't need to.

> ​> ​
> 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.

​The stuff you talk about, s
​ (and the virtual particles in the vacuum) ​and s
tars, elephants
​ etc are all the nouns in the universe, but nouns are not all there is,
there are also ​adjectives and verbs. And they are important. Mind is what
the brain does and consciousness is what data feel like when it is being

​> ​
> 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.

I'm confused by your confusion. Why isn't the map
​ t
he territory? Because the map usually lacks detail that the territory has.
If my map is so good it has all the information that the territory has then
the two would be indistinguishable.

> ​> ​
> Right there. (A) confused (B) on a systemic level. One universe, two
> different descriptions.

​All theories or philosophies must start with assumptions, and A and B are
not different ​
​if you assume the world is realistic.​ If you don't assume that, if you
say you don't believe the moon exists when nobody is looking at it and
other observers don't exist when you're not observing them then I can't
prove you wrong, but I can question the sincerity of your belief.

​> ​
> Thomas Kuhn tells us that
> ​ [...]​
​I love philosophy but not philosophers because no philosopher has done any
philosophy in about 400 years, these days philosophy is done exclusively by
scientists and mathematicians. And that includes so called philosophers of
science, if
Thomas Kuhn
​ had this great algorithm for doing good science why didn't he ever use it
to do any?​

John K Clark
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