Sunday, 28 October 2007

Quantum Fermi?

Fermi argued it was unlikely that we were the first intelligent creatures in the universe to rise technologically, and that with even a tiny head start on us, the galaxy should be teeming with aliens by now. Perhaps we inhabit that tiny fraction of universes where we ARE the first, and thereby haven't been fed to ET's pets!

On a different note: Some people who've had NDEs recall tunnels, bright lights, and sometimes people greeting them. That sounds like a baby's eye view of childbirth to me. Perhaps an NDE is a premonition of the first major experience beyond death?

I hold entirely with the eternal return idea - because I believe time is circular like most other dimensions appear to be. For a long time however, I was depressed at the thought of continual repetition which, despite its eternal nature, is a single life. Its much like a still picture on an (analogue) television - it repeats fifty or sixty times per second. But its a still nonetheless. On a more positive note, the quantum physical aspect suggests that while the universe repeats, our perception need not. How we 'collapse the wave function' may be different each time, thereby permitting our lives to pan out in different ways.

In that respect I suggest the 'Watersian Multiplex' model where death is like leaving a multiplex cinema only to re-enter. But you don't have to see the same film. All the films repeat endlessly, but there are infinite films to choose from.

Actually, I think we change film constantly and not just at death. Rather than an ever expanding tree of possibilities, I see the universe as a network of 'states' some of which have multiple paths leading to them. I argue this because if state A is achieved through events B and C, it doesn't necessarily matter if B happens before C or vice versa, provided the end state is the same. Both historical timelines lead to the same state. Hence the network in place of the tree.


Karen said...

Re 'Watersian Multiplex' model.
So life could be like the holodeck on Star Trek where there are infinite realities to choose from although you are always the same person just in different scenario's.

Anthony Peake said...

What a brilliant analogy. I really can buy into the 'Waterian IMAX' (I love it when we add to our own ITLAD terminology). The idea that we can decide which IMAX to enter is a fascinating suggestion. It applies directly the implications of Everett's Many Worlds Interpretation. In an earlier (more scientific) version of ITLAD I suggested something similar which I termed 'The Eternal Golden Braid'. I think I picked up this idea from the wondeful book by Douglas Hofstadter entitled "Godel, Escher, Bach" (thanks to Sally P for this gift) in which I discused the idea that at all times we are fliting from one actual life route to another. They are all out there, we decide which one to follow. (yesterday I referenced Jorge Borges' short-story "The Garden of the Forking Paths" whih has a similar theme.

With regard to the lights and tunnel being similar to a birth this is a very interesting idea and one that was originally suggested by Carl Sagan. May be something in it it - particularly as it supports ITLAD.

Hurlyburly said...

With regards to the depressing thought of repetition. There is a great line at the end of 12 monkeys when they are in the movie theatre.

"The movie never changes, but you do"

Bit more comforting to see it that way

paigetheoracle said...

The stills pictures idea falls in with an idea I put forward somewhere, inspired by 'Walking & Falling' by Lori Anderson - namely that we teleport ourselves from one place to another, not move bulk (matter) in reality.

As for birth being death of here and going there, that falls in with it to. As for drinking of Lethe's waters, that is simply I believe the fact that memories are let go of at death in the same way a balloon gets rid of ballast in order to float away (You can have the experience here but you can't take it with you - hence people you meet while dying, don't recognize you when you're alive again (or you, them usually either).

As for Hurlyburly's comment - yes, it's your internal perception that changes from reality to reality, not the world we abandon as a lost cause as we see sense eventually ('It's only a movie' Sheryl Crow?)

Anthony Peake said...

Now get this for proof that we create our own universe. I have an archos MP3 player. It has a memory of 100 gigs and I have somewhere in the region of 15,000 individual tracks. I have this on random play as I am writing. About two hours ago Lori Anderson's 'Walking & Falling' was played. I remember thinking that that track had never come up before. Indeed I have four albums of hers on the archos and I thought it strange that none of her stuff had come up before. Not really surprising taking into account the number of tracks but this archos does synchronicity a lot so I made a mental note of it. Lo and behold within two hours that very song is mentioned!!!!