Toward a Unified Metaphysical Understanding: Signs of a New Paradigm 01    
 Signs of a New Paradigm 01
2009-01-09, by John Ringland

Following is a collection of quotes from leading thinkers that variously point towards an emerging paradigm that challenges many of our deepest assumptions about what is real and what is reality.

Responses to the question:
“What is your dangerous idea?”

Professor of Astrophysics, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton

A radical reevaluation of the character of time

Copernicus and Darwin took away our traditional place in the world and our traditional identity in the world. What traditional trait will be taken away from us next? My guess is that it will be the world itself.

We see the first few steps in that direction in the physics, mathematics and computer science of the twentieth century, from quantum mechanics to the results obtained by Gödel, Turing and others. The ontologies of our worlds, concrete as well as abstract, have already started to melt away.

The problem is that quantum entanglement and logical incompleteness lack the in-your-face quality of a spinning earth and our kinship with apes. We will have to wait for the ontology of the traditional world to unravel further, before the avant-garde insights will turn into a real revolution.

Copernicus upset the moral order, by dissolving the strict distinction between heaven and earth. Darwin did the same, by dissolving the strict distinction between humans and other animals. Could the next step be the dissolution of the strict distinction between reality and fiction?

For this to be shocking, it has to come in a scientifically respectable way, as a very precise and inescapable conclusion — it should have the technical strength of a body of knowledge like quantum mechanics, as opposed to collections of opinions on the level of cultural relativism.

Perhaps a radical reevaluation of the character of time will do it. In everyday experience, time flows, and we flow with it. In classical physics, time is frozen as part of a frozen spacetime picture. And there is, as yet, no agreed-upon interpretation of time in quantum mechanics.

What if a future scientific understanding of time would show all previous pictures to be wrong, and demonstrate that past and future and even the present do not exist? That stories woven around our individual personal history and future are all just wrong? Now that would be a dangerous idea.

Professor of Mathematics, Temple University, Philadelphia; Author, A Mathematician Plays the Stock Market

The self is a conceptual chimera

Doubt that a supernatural being exists is banal, but the more radical doubt that we exist, at least as anything more than nominal, marginally integrated entities having convenient labels like "Myrtle" and "Oscar," is my candidate for Dangerous Idea. This is, of course, Hume's idea — and Buddha's as well — that the self is an ever-changing collection of beliefs, perceptions, and attitudes, that it is not an essential and persistent entity, but rather a conceptual chimera. If this belief ever became widely and viscerally felt throughout a society — whether because of advances in neurobiology, cognitive science, philosophical insights, or whatever — its effects on that society would be incalculable. (Or so this assemblage of beliefs, perceptions, and attitudes sometimes thinks.)

Author, Sex, Drugs, Einstein, and Elves

We are all virtual

Our desire for entertaining virtual realities is increasing.  As our understanding of the human brain also accelerates, we will create both imagined realities and a set of memories to support these simulacrums.  For example, someday it will be possible to simulate your visit to the Middle Ages and, to make the experience realistic, we may wish to ensure that you
believe yourself to actually be in the Middle Ages. False memories may be implanted, temporarily overriding your real memories. This should be easy to do in the future — given that we can already coax the mind to create richly detailed virtual worlds filled with ornate palaces and strange beings through the use of the drug DMT (dimethyltryptamine).  In other words, the brains of people who take DMT appear to access a treasure chest of images and experience that typically include jeweled cities and temples, angelic beings, feline shapes, serpents, and shiny metals. When we understand the brain better, we will be able to safely generate more controlled visions.

Our brains are also capable of simulating complex worlds when we dream.  For example, after I watched a movie about people on a coastal town during the time of the Renaissance, I was “transported” there later that night while in a dream. The mental simulation of the Renaissance did not have to be perfect, and I'm sure that there were myriad flaws.  However, during that dream I
believed I was in the Renaissance. 

If we understood the nature of how the mind induces the conviction of reality, even when strange, nonphysical events happen in the dreams, we could use this knowledge to ensure that your simulated trip to the Middle Ages seemed utterly real, even if the simulation was imperfect. It will be easy to create seemingly realistic virtual realities because we don't have to be perfect or even good with respect to the accuracy of our simulations in order to make them seem real.  After all, our nightly dreams usually seem quite real even if upon awakening we realize that logical or structural inconsistencies existed in the dream.

In the future, for each of your own real lives, you will personally create ten simulated lives. Your day job is a computer programmer for IBM. However, after work, you'll be a knight with shining armor in the Middle Ages, attending lavish banquets, and smiling at wandering minstrels and beautiful princesses. The next night, you'll be in the Renaissance, living in your home on the Amalfi coast of Italy, enjoying a dinner of plover, pigeon, and heron.

If this ratio of one real life to ten simulated lives turned out to be representative of human experience, this means that right now, you only have a one in ten chance of being alive on the actual date of today.

Cognitive Scientist, UC, Irvine; Author, Visual Intelligence

A spoon is like a headache

A spoon is like a headache. This is a dangerous idea in sheep's clothing. It consumes decrepit ontology, preserves methodological naturalism, and inspires exploration for a new ontology, a vehicle sufficiently robust to sustain the next leg of our search for a theory of everything.

How could a spoon and a headache do all this? Suppose I have a headache, and I tell you about it. It is, say, a pounding headache that started at the back of the neck and migrated to encompass my forehead and eyes. You respond empathetically, recalling a similar headache you had, and suggest a couple remedies. We discuss our headaches and remedies a bit, then move on to other topics.

Of course no one but me can experience my headaches, and no one but you can experience yours. But this posed no obstacle to our meaningful conversation. You simply assumed that my headaches are relevantly similar to yours, and I assumed the same about your headaches. The fact that there is no "public headache," no single headache that we both experience, is simply no problem.

A spoon is like a headache. Suppose I hand you a spoon. It is common to assume that the spoon I experience during this transfer is numerically identical to the spoon you experience. But this assumption is false. No one but me can experience my spoon, and no one but you can experience your spoon. But this is no problem. It is enough for me to assume that your spoon experience is relevantly similar to mine. For effective communication, no public spoon is necessary, just like no public headache is necessary. Is there a "real spoon," a mind-independent physical object that causes our spoon experiences and resembles our spoon experiences? This is not only unnecessary but unlikely. It is unlikely that the visual experiences of homo sapiens, shaped to permit survival in a particular range of niches, should miraculously also happen to resemble the true nature of a mind-independent realm. Selective pressures for survival do not, except by accident, lead to truth.

One can have a kind of objectivity without requiring public objects. In special relativity, the measurements, and thus the experiences, of mass, length and time differ from observer to observer, depending on their relative velocities. But these differing experiences can be related by the Lorentz transformation. This is all the objectivity one can have, and all one needs to do science.

Once one abandons public physical objects, one must reformulate many current open problems in science. One example is the mind-brain relation. There are no public brains, only my brain experiences and your brain experiences. These brain experiences are just the simplified visual experiences of homo sapiens, shaped for survival in certain niches. The chances that our brain experiences resemble some mind-independent truth are remote at best, and those who would claim otherwise must surely explain the miracle. Failing a clever explanation of this miracle, there is no reason to believe brains cause anything, including minds. And here the wolf unzips the sheep skin, and darts out into the open. The danger becomes apparent the moment we switch from boons to sprains. Oh, pardon the spoonerism.

Mathematician, Computer Scientist; CyberPunk Pioneer; Novelist; Author, Lifebox, the Seashell, and the Soul

Mind is a universally distributed quality

Panpsychism. Each object has a mind. Stars, hills, chairs, rocks, scraps of paper, flakes of skin, molecules — each of them possesses the same inner glow as a human, each of them has singular inner experiences and sensations.

I'm quite comfortable with the notion that everything is a computation. But what to do about my sense that there's something numinous about my inner experience? Panpsychism represents a non-anthropocentric way out: mind is a universally distributed quality.

Yes, the workings of a human brain are a deterministic computation that could be emulated by any universal computer. And, yes, I sense more to my mental phenomena than the rule-bound exfoliation of reactions to inputs: this residue is the inner light, the raw sensation of existence. But, no, that inner glow is not the exclusive birthright of humans, nor is it solely limited to biological organisms.

Note that panpsychism needn't say that universe is just one mind. We can also say that each object has an individual mind. One way to visualize the distinction between the many minds and the one mind is to think of the world as a stained glass window with light shining through each pane. The world's physical structures break the undivided cosmic mind into a myriad of small minds, one in each object.

The minds of panpsychism can exist at various levels. As well as having its own individuality, a person's mind would also be, for instance, a hive mind based upon the minds of the body's cells and the minds of the body's elementary particles.

Do the panpsychic minds have any physical correlates? On the one hand, it could be that the mind is some substance that accumulates near ordinary matter — dark matter or dark energy are good candidates. On the other hand, mind might simply be matter viewed in a special fashion: matter experienced from the inside. Let me mention three specific physical correlates that have been proposed for the mind.

Some have argued that the experience of mind results when a superposed quantum state collapses into a pure state. It's an alluring metaphor, but as a universal automatist, I'm of the opinion that quantum mechanics is a stop-gap theory, destined to give way to a fully deterministic theory based upon some digital precursor of spacetime.

David Skrbina, author of the clear and comprehensive book Panpsychism in the West, suggests that we might think of a physical system as determining a moving point in a multi-dimensional phase space that has an axis for each of the system's measurable properties. He feels this dynamic point represents the sense of unity characteristic of a mind.

As a variation on this theme, let me point out that, from the universal automatist standpoint, every physical system can be thought of as embodying a computation. And the majority of non-simple systems embody universal computations, capable of emulating any other system at all. It could be that having a mind is in some sense equivalent to being capable of universal computation.

A side-remark. Even such very simple systems as a single electron may in fact be capable of universal computation, if supplied with a steady stream of structured input. Think of an electron in an oscillating field; and by analogy think of a person listening to music or reading an essay.

Might panpsychism be a distinction without a difference? Suppose we identify the numinous mind with quantum collapse, with chaotic dynamics, or with universal computation. What is added by claiming that these aspects of reality are like minds?

I think empathy can supply an experiential confirmation of panpsychism's reality. Just as I'm sure that I myself have a mind, I can come to believe the same of another human with whom I'm in contact — whether face to face or via their creative work. And with a bit of effort, I can identify with objects as well; I can see the objects in the room around me as glowing with inner light. This is a pleasant sensation; one feels less alone.

Could there ever be a critical experiment to test if panpsychism is really true? Suppose that telepathy were to become possible, perhaps by entangling a person's mental states with another system's states. And then suppose that instead of telepathically contacting another person, I were to contact a rock. At this point panpsychism would be proved.

I still haven't said anything about why panpsychism is a dangerous idea. Panpsychism, like other forms of higher consciousness, is dangerous to business as usual. If my old car has the same kind of mind as a new one, I'm less impelled to help the economy by buying a new vehicle. If the rocks and plants on my property have minds, I feel more respect for them in their natural state. If I feel myself among friends in the universe, I'm less likely to overwork myself to earn more cash. If my body will have a mind even after I'm dead, then death matters less to me, and it's harder for the government to cow me into submission.

Professor of Physics, University of the Mediterraneum, Marseille; Member, Intitut Universitaire de France: Author, Quantum Gravity

What the physics of the 20th century says about the world might in fact be true

There is a major "dangerous" scientific idea in contemporary physics, with a potential impact comparable to Copernicus or Darwin. It is the idea that what the physics of the 20th century says about the world might in fact be true.

Let me explain. Take quantum mechanics. If taken seriously, it changes our understanding of reality truly dramatically. For instance, if we take quantum mechanics seriously, we cannot think that objects have ever a definite position. They have a positions only when they interact with something else. And even in this case, they are in that position only with respect to that "something else": they are still without position with respect to the rest of the world. This is a change of image of the world far more dramatic that Copernicus. And also a change about our possibility of thinking about ourselves far more far-reaching than Darwin. Still, few people take the quantum revolution really seriously. The danger is exorcized by saying "well, quantum mechanics is only relevant for atoms and very small objects...", or similar other strategies, aimed at not taking the theory seriously. We still haven't digested that the world is quantum mechanical, and the immense conceptual revolution needed to make sense of this basic factual discovery about nature.

Another example: take Einstein's relativity theory. Relativity makes completely clear that asking "what happens right now on Andromeda?" is a complete non-sense. There is no right now elsewhere in the universe. Nevertheless, we keep thinking at the universe as if there was an immense external clock that ticked away the instants, and we have a lot of difficulty in adapting to the idea that "the present state of the universe right now", is a physical non-sense.

In these cases, what we do is to use concepts that we have developed in our very special environment (characterized by low velocities, low energy...) and we think the world as if it was all like that. We are like ants that have grown in a little garden with green grass and small stones, and cannot think reality differently than made of green grass and small stones.

I think that seen from 200 years in the future, the dangerous scientific idea that was around at the beginning of the 20th century, and that everybody was afraid to accept, will simply be that the world is completely different from our simple minded picture of it. As the physics of the 20th century had already shown.

What makes me smile is that even many of todays "audacious scientific speculations" about things like extra-dimensions, multi-universes, and the likely, are not only completely unsupported experimentally, but are even always formulated within world view that, at a close look, has not yet digested quantum mechanics and relativity!

Responses to the question:
“What do you believe is true even though you cannot prove it?”

What I believe but cannot prove is that quantum physics teaches us to abandon the distinction between information and reality.

The fundamental reason why I believe in this is that it is impossible to make an operational distinction between reality and information. In other words, whenever we make any statement about the world, about any object, about any feature of any object, we always make statements about the information we have. And, whenever we make scientific predictions we make statements about information we possibly attain in the future. So one might be tempted to believe that everything is just information. The danger there is solipsism and subjectivism. But we know, even as we cannot prove it, that there is reality out there. For me the strongest argument for a reality independent of us is the randomness of the individual quantum event, like the decay of a radioactive atom. There is no hidden reason why a given atom decays at the very instant it does so.

So if reality exists and if we will never be able to make an operational distinction between reality and information, the hypothesis suggests itself that reality and information are the same. We need a new concept which encompasses both. In a sense, reality and information are the two sides of the same coin.

I feel that this is the message of the quantum. It is the natural extension of the Copenhagen interpretation. Once you adopt the notion that reality and information are the same all quantum paradoxes and puzzles disappear, like the measurement problem or Schrödinger's cat. Yet the price to pay is high. If my hypothesis is true, many questions become meaningless. There is no sense then to ask, what is "really" going on out there. Schrödinger's cat is neither dead nor alive unless we obtain information about her state.

Physicist; Institut Universitaire de France & University of the Mediterraneum; Author, Quantum Gravity

I am convinced, but cannot prove, that time does not exist. I mean that I am convinced that there is a consistent way of thinking about nature, that makes no use of the notions of space and time at the fundamental level. And that this way of thinking will turn out to be the useful and convincing one.

I think that the notions of space and time will turn out to be useful only within some approximation. They are similar to a notion like "the surface of the water" which looses meaning when we describe the dynamics of the individual atoms forming water and air: if we look at very small scale, there isn't really any actual surface down there. I am convinced space and time are like the surface of the water: convenient macroscopic approximations, flimsy but illusory and insufficient screens that our mind uses to organize reality.

In particular, I am convinced that time is an artifact of the approximation in which we disregard the large majority of the degrees of freedom of reality. Thus "time" is just the reflection of our ignorance.

I am also convinced, but cannot prove, that there are no objects, but only relations. By this I mean that I am convinced that there is a consistent way of thinking about nature, that refers only to interactions between systems and not to states or changes of individual systems. I am convinced that this way of thinking nature will end up to be the useful and natural one in physics.

Mathematician, Computer Scientist; CyberPunk Pioneer; Novelist; Author, Infinity and the Mind

Reality Is A Novel.

I'd like to propose a modified Many Universes theory. Rather than saying every possible universe exists, I'd say, rather, that there is a sequence of possible universes, akin to the drafts of a novel.

We're living in a draft version of the universe—and there is no final version. The revisions never stop.

From time to time it's possible to be aware of this. In particular, when you relax and stop naming things and forming opinions, your consciousness spreads out across several drafts of the universe. Things don't need to be particularly one way or the other until you pin them down.

Each draft, each spacetime, each sheet of reality is itself rigorously deterministic; there really is no underlying randomness in the world. Instead we have a great web of synchronistic entanglements, with causes and effects flowing forward and backwards through time. The start of a novel matches its ending; the past matches the future. Changing one thing changes everything. If we fully know everything about the Now moment, we know the entire past and future.

With this in mind, explaining an given draft of the universe becomes a matter of explaining the contents of a single Now moment of that draft. This in turn means that we can view the evolution of the successive drafts as an evolution of different versions of a particular Now moment. As Scarlett's climactic scene with Rhett is repeatedly rewritten, all the rest of
Gone With The Wind changes to match.

And this evolution, too, can be deterministic. We can figure we think of there as being two distinct deterministic rules, a Physics Rule and a Metaphysics Rule. The Physics Rule consists of time-reversible laws that grow the Now moment upwards and downwards to fill out the entire past and future of spacetime. And we invoke the Metaphysics Rule to account for the contents of the Now moment. The Metaphysics Rule is deterministic but not reversible; it grows sideways across a dimension that we might call
paratime, turning some simple seed into the space-filling pattern found in the Now.

The Metaphysics rule is...what? One possibility is that it's something quite simple, perhaps as simple as an eight-bit cellular automaton rule generating complex-looking patterns out of pure computation. Or perhaps the Metaphysics rule is like the mind of an author creating a novel, searching out the best word to write next, somehow peering into alternate realities. Or, yet again, the big Metaphysics rule in the sky could be the One cosmic mind, the Big Aha, the eternal secret, living in the spaces between your thoughts.

Cognitive Scientist, UC, Irvine; Author, Visual Intelligence

I believe that consciousness and its contents are all that exists. Spacetime, matter and fields never were the fundamental denizens of the universe but have always been, from their beginning, among the humbler contents of consciousness, dependent on it for their very being.

The world of our daily experience—the world of tables, chairs, stars and people, with their attendant shapes, smells, feels and sounds—is a species-specific user interface to a realm far more complex, a realm whose essential character is conscious. It is unlikely that the contents of our interface in any way resemble that realm. Indeed the usefulness of an interface requires, in general, that they do not. For the point of an interface, such as the windows interface on a computer, is simplification and ease of use. We click icons because this is quicker and less prone to error than editing megabytes of software or toggling voltages in circuits. Evolutionary pressures dictate that our species-specific interface, this world of our daily experience, should itself be a radical simplification, selected not for the exhaustive depiction of truth but for the mutable pragmatics of survival.

If this is right, if consciousness is fundamental, then we should not be surprised that, despite centuries of effort by the most brilliant of minds, there is as yet no physicalist theory of consciousness, no theory that explains how mindless matter or energy or fields could be, or cause, conscious experience. There are, of course, many proposals for where to find such a theory—perhaps in information, complexity, neurobiology, neural darwinism, discriminative mechanisms, quantum effects, or functional organization. But no proposal remotely approaches the minimal standards for a scientific theory: quantitative precision and novel prediction. If matter is but one of the humbler products of consciousness, then we should expect that consciousness itself cannot be theoretically derived from matter. The mind-body problem will be to physicalist ontology what black-body radiation was to classical mechanics: first a goad to its heroic defense, later the provenance of its final supersession.

The heroic defense will, I suspect, not soon be abandoned. For the defenders doubt that a replacement grounded in consciousness could attain the mathematical precision or impressive scope of physicalist science. It remains to be seen, of course, to what extent and how effectively mathematics can model consciousness. But there are fascinating hints: According to some of its interpretations, the mathematics of quantum theory is itself, already, a major advance in this project. And perhaps much of the mathematical progress in the perceptual and cognitive sciences can also be so interpreted. We shall see.

The mind-body problem may not fall within the scope of physicalist science, since this problem has, as yet, no bona fide physicalist theory. Its defenders can surely argue that this penury shows only that we have not been clever enough or that, until the right mutation chances by, we cannot be clever enough, to devise a physicalist theory. They may be right. But if we assume that consciousness is fundamental then the mind-body problem transforms from an attempt to bootstrap consciousness from matter into an attempt to bootstrap matter from consciousness. The latter bootstrap is, in principle, elementary: Matter, spacetime and physical objects are among the contents of consciousness.

The rules by which, for instance, human vision constructs colors, shapes, depths, motions, textures and objects, rules now emerging from psychophysical and computational studies in the cognitive sciences, can be read as a description, partial but mathematically precise, of this bootstrap. What we lose in this process are physical objects that exist independent of any observer. There is no sun or moon unless a conscious mind perceives them, for both are constructs of consciousness, icons in a species-specific user interface. To some this seems a patent absurdity, a reductio of the position, readily contradicted by experience and our best science. But our best science, our theory of the quantum, gives no such assurance. And experience once led us to believe the earth flat and the stars near. Perhaps, in due time, mind-independent objects will go the way of flat earth.

This view obviates no method or result of science, but integrates and reinterprets them in its framework. Consider, for instance, the quest for neural correlates of consciousness (NCC). This holy grail of physicalism can, and should, proceed unabated if consciousness is fundamental, for it constitutes a central investigation of our user interface. To the physicalist, an NCC is, potentially, a causal source of consciousness. If, however, consciousness is fundamental, then an NCC is a feature of our interface correlated with, but never causally responsible for, alterations of consciousness. Damage the brain, destroy the NCC, and consciousness is, no doubt, impaired. Yet neither the brain nor the NCC causes consciousness. Instead consciousness constructs the brain and the NCC. This is no mystery. Drag a file's icon to the trash and the file is, no doubt, destroyed. Yet neither the icon nor the trash, each a mere pattern of pixels on a screen, causes its destruction. The icon is a simplification, a graphical correlate of the file's contents (GCC), intended to hide, not to instantiate, the complex web of causal relations.

Quoted from an interview with Anton Zeilinger

You said that for example the velocity or the location of a particle are only determined at the moment of the measurement, and entirely at random.

I maintain: it is so random that not even God knows the answer.

Ultimately that implies something monstrous: namely that the particle had absolutely no characteristics before it was measured. The great Danish physicist Niels Bohr once said: no one has ever seen a chair. There is no objective reality. Only that which is measured exists. We construct reality, and only in the moment of measurement or observation.

I think you have to make a distinction: in my view there is something that exists independently of us – in physics we call that the singular event. For example the activity of a particle detector. Or the activity of a certain cell in my eye, which registers a certain number of light particles and then provokes a chemical reaction that is then registered in the brain. The images that we form on the basis of this are our constructs. Bohr's chair or on a much more abstract level, the quantum mechanics equation of states, are our concepts of an object. Of course they are very purpose-oriented, because they've been corroborated with repeated use.

So there is in fact something that exists independently of us. And the moon is also there when I'm not looking at it.

Something exists, but it is not directly accessible to us. Only indirectly. And whether this thing must really be called the "moon" is another question. That is also a construct.

But there is something up there...

... the word "there" is yet another construct. Space and time are concepts aimed at giving meaning to our world of appearances. So they are entirely reasonable constructs. By no means do I want to give the impression that I believe everything is just our imagination.

The world as a huge theatre that only plays in our heads.

That is certainly not my view of things.

Then what would you call it, this something that you can't call moon or space or time – this something that exists independently of us?

Wouldn't I be making another qualification if I tried to give it a name? Isn't it enough if I just say it exists? As soon as you use words like "world" or "universe", you start lugging about all that conceptual ballast again.

But you defend the thesis that there is an "original matter of the universe": information.

Yes. For me the concept of "information" is at the basis of everything we call "nature". The moon, the chair, the equation of states, anything and everything, because we can't talk about anything without de facto speaking about the information we have of these things. In this sense the information is the basic building block of our world.

But just now you spoke of a world that exists independently of us.

That's right. But this world is not directly ascertainable or describable. Because every description must be done in terms of the information, and so you inevitably get into circular reasoning. There's a limit we can't cross. And even a civilisation on Alpha Centauri can't cross it. For me that's something almost mystical.

In your last book you wrote: "Laws of nature should make no distinction between reality and information." Why?

We've learnt in the natural sciences that the key to understanding can often be found if we lift certain dividing lines in our minds. Newton showed that the apple falls to the ground according to the same laws that govern the Moon's orbit of the Earth. And with this he made the old differentiation between earthly and heavenly phenomena obsolete. Darwin showed that there is no dividing line between man and animal. And Einstein lifted the line dividing space and time. But in our heads, we still draw a dividing line between "reality" and "knowledge about reality", in other words between reality and information. And you cannot draw this line. There is no recipe, no process for distinguishing between reality and information. All this thinking and talking about reality is about information, which is why one should not make a distinction in the formulation of laws of nature. Quantum theory, correctly interpreted, is information theory.

And can you explain all these strange quantum phenomena conclusively with your information concept?

Not all of them yet, but we're working on it. With limitation it works excellently.


I imagine that a quantum system can carry only a limited amount of information, which is sufficient only for a single measurement. Let's come back to the situation of two particles colliding like billiard balls, and in so doing entering a state of limitation. In terms of information theory that means that after the collision the entire information is smeared over both particles, rather than the individual particles carrying the information. And that means the entire information we have pertains to the relationship between both particles. For that reason, by measuring the first particle I can anticipate the speed of the second. But the speed of the first particle is entirely random.

Because the information isn't sufficient.

Exactly. Its randomness is ultimately a consequence of the finiteness of the information.

Also see the article by Zeilinger...

In the beginning was the bit

Also see a video lecture given by Zeilinger on

Quantum Information And The Foundations Of Quantum Mechanics

[< Back] [Toward a Unified Metaphysical Understanding]

Category:   Tags: , ,

Other entries tagged as ""
2013-12-08: Motivating and Clarifying the Paradigm Shift at the Heart of Science
2013-12-02: What is the highest perceived benefit or aspiration of my Life?
2013-11-28: The world-view arising from my work
2013-11-26: Motivation behind my work
2012-05-09: Regarding the nature of reality and the 'world'
2011-03-06: Defending mind from anti-mind spirituality
2011-03-06: Overview of information system metaphysics
2011-01-09: A True Current of Western Spirituality or a Partial Realisation?
2010-12-28: Comments Regarding The Truth
2010-12-28: Quotes regarding truth, reality and knowledge

Other entries tagged as ""
2013-12-08: Motivating and Clarifying the Paradigm Shift at the Heart of Science
2013-12-02: What is the highest perceived benefit or aspiration of my Life?
2013-11-30: Cognitive Repression in Physics - Reasons for the Entrenched Culture of Denial
2013-11-28: The world-view arising from my work
2013-11-26: Motivation behind my work
2013-11-26: Quantum Mechanics, Naïve Realism, Scientific Realism, Abstraction and Reality
2013-10-29: Freedom, Slavery and Fundamental Limits on the Growth of Civilisation
2012-05-09: Regarding the nature of reality and the 'world'
2011-01-09: A True Current of Western Spirituality or a Partial Realisation?
2010-12-16: Purifying one's mind and infowar both personal and global

Other entries tagged as ""
2013-11-30: Cognitive Repression in Physics - Reasons for the Entrenched Culture of Denial
2010-12-28: Quotes regarding truth, reality and knowledge
2010-11-08: Mystic Perspective: Comments and Quotes
2010-07-16: What is knowledge and what is to be known?
2010-07-13: Karma Yoga: The Way of Action - Quotes from the Bhagavad Gita
2010-07-10: Quotes Regarding Gnana, the Yoga of Supreme Knowledge
2010-07-10: Quotes regarding the illusion of being a person
2010-07-09: Naïve Realism Discussed in the Lankavatara Sutra
2009-09-01: Simulacrum Definition
2009-08-28: Liberation is not of the person, but from the person

Other entries in
2010-12-28: Comments Regarding The Truth
2010-12-28: Quotes regarding truth, reality and knowledge
2010-12-16: Purifying one's mind and infowar both personal and global
2010-11-08: Mystic Perspective: Comments and Quotes
2009-08-28: Extracts from the Lankavatara Sutra
2009-04-25: Discussing the Emerging Paradigm on the SSE Forum
2009-04-12: Harmony and Oneness through Clarifying Dialogue
2009-04-07: Reclaiming 'Realism' for the Sake of Being Realistic
2009-04-07: Biological Analogy for Agents of Change
2009-04-05: Advice on Nurturing the Emerging Memeplex

[< Back] [Toward a Unified Metaphysical Understanding] [PermaLink]?