Thursday, 8 May 2008

How Many Minds?

I admit there are subjects in ITLAD that I have yet to wrap my mind around. The one I have most difficulty with is Everett’s Many Worlds Interpretation (MWI) of quantum mechanics. So as not to misrepresent my position, this is entirely a layman’s opinion. I am not a physicist, mathematician or member of any other uber geek profession. What I mostly am is confused.

My biggest problem with MWI is the philosophical questions it poses. There seems to be no rhyme or reason in a MWI existence. I like to believe everything in nature has a purpose. This purpose provides the testing ground in the evolutionary process. The norm is for the weak to perish and the strong to survive. In a MWI existence everything survives. Rather than growing a stronger reality, MWI accommodates the inferior position.

I also have a difficult time wrapping my mind around the infinite multiplication of matter. The examples usually given in MWI revolve around splitting Universes at some semi-major event in our personal existence. But how do we determine what that event threshold is? Why wouldn’t the infinite potential possibilities of every particle have this same power to create? And then there's the question of time. How often should we make these splits? Is it once every second? Or do these splits occur in infinite divisions thereof?

I know that just because I don’t comprehend these things doesn’t make them false. Still, I also believe the basic premise of ITLAD is not dependant on classic MWI. Maybe that’s part of the evolution of ITLAD theory; it continually splits and evolves into multiple, but separate, versions of itself. Here in my version only a single world exists – everything else exists only as potential.


Karl L Le Marcs said...

RAC: Robert, Quantum Physics is all about being confused!
If Quantum Mechanics hasn't profoundly shocked you, you haven't understood it yet” - Niels Bohr

You say that “I like to believe everything in nature has a purpose” and if you accept the MWI then every purpose of everything is achieved somewhere in the Multiverse. It is only in this subjectively observed universe that things are as they appear to be.
So yes, in a MWI existence everything does survive, but MWI surely doesn’t “accommodate the inferior position” other than within our isolated subjective perception of what is “reality”.

Regarding your thoughts on matter and time I would say that as matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration then “infinite energy” is simpler to comprehend than “infinite matter”. As far as the “splits” are concerned, Everett suggested no “time” perspective as time is merely a human construct but the splits occur at each “quantum event”, and of course as we are dealing with time and infinity here, everything has a probability density function within each and also outside of each, thereby causing enormous headaches!

I certainly agree with you that ITLAD is not MWI dependant; Many MINDS perhaps yes! And considering your closing thoughts that: “only a single world exists – everything else exists only as potential” I would like you to consider the following:

The Many Worlds Interpretation suggests the existence of parallel universes existing within the Multiverse. Now, Imagine that indeed there are Many Alternate Worlds out there – those being everybody else we know!!!!!!!
It is only in our own subjective consciousness that things are "as they are" to us. In effect, the Multiverse is all around us; we are each one individual universe of our own subjectively observed making. The Parallel Worlds are actually the Parallel Lives that others live contemporaneously beside us as separate, subjective-consciously observed particles collapsed from the objective consciousness wave.


Good post Robert, thanks for placing your thoughts and questions here, I always like a challenge.

Anthony Peake said...

ROBERT: My introduction of the MWI into CTF was fairly late on in the development of the theory. My problem was a simple one. I realised that my suggestion that if we live the same life over and over again in a static Bohmian IMAX recording then I was placing myself in exactly the same philosophical cul-de-sac that Nietzsche found himself in. As he wrote in "The Convalescent":

'I shall retun with this sun, with this earth, with this eagle, with this serpent - not a new life or a better life or a similar life:
I shall return eternally to this identical and self-same life in the greatest things and in the smallest, to teach once more the eternal recurrence of all things'.

I then read Petyr Ouspensky's angle on the ER and he to advocated that most individuals - he termed these 'byt' people - are trapped in this eternal movie re-run, but that some were aware of the fact that they are living this life again. This is the position of Dr. Gortler in J B Priestley's play (and exposition of the Ouspenskian 'Eternal Recurrance') "I Have Been Here Before".

I found this position to be not only depressing, but also pointless. I like to believe that things exist to progress - evolve if you like. In its raw form the "Etenal Recurrance" is the antithesis of of evolution. It is a trap in which we go round and round like Sisyphus pushing the stone up the hill only to see it roll back again.

I needed to find something that would allow variation (to continue the evolutionary analogy, a mutatation). This I found in Everett's Many Worlds Interpretation (MWI) - even more so in the more psychologically based 'Many Minds Interpretation' as Karl so rightly points out.

This was the key that allowed me to escape from the Nietzschian trap, something that thwarted Nietzsche's 'demon'.

Indeed in "The Vision And The Riddle" (I have been delving into some really obscure writings of FN) Nietzsche himself suggests something similar (I will place this on a full post). Every possible scenario of my life exists out there in the Multiverse. As such a version of me will have lived all of these possible lives branching out like trillions of rail tracks disappearing into the horizon.

This was my solution. By incorporating MWI (MMI)into CTF I dispelled an existentialist nightmare.

Of course there are still many unanswered questions as to how this mechanism works. For example how does the Daemon facilitate the temporal mutations that make the Eidolon take a different road? (among many others)

And that is the function of this blog and our debates - to find answers!!!

Sorry for this long comment but I am feeling rather hypergraphic today (must be the pain)!

Karl L Le Marcs said...

Tony and All:
Regarding Nietzsche and especially his works that Tony mentions in his comment above, I refer you to a previous post of mine:

The Vision and The Riddle

RAC said...

I can see that being a member of this blog will require I keep a good supply of aspirin on hand. You both make your points wonderfully and with great clarity. Yet, to wrap my mind around such concepts and visualize them is beyond my mental capabilities. Of course that may be the source of my problem - I'm trying to VISUALIZE an infinite reality and all it does is make my head hurt. Note to self: “must find a new way of thinking.”

Robin said...

Robert, I relate to your feelings here! These thinkers frequently blow my mind. A bit of advise, don't try to make sense of it all at once. In the beginning I found myself researching every little bit of science laid before me, now I just take it in and eventually the understanding develops. I'm on my second reading of ITLAD and the concepts are so much clearer this time around. Some of us are blessed with the ability to retain and process the most detailed information. I'm not one of them. But I find my mind improving as I go along. I love this brain buffet that Tony et al have laid before us!

Karl L Le Marcs said...

RAC: Robert, a useful ITLADian starter kit bag would include the following:

A hearty supply of whatever your particular infusion is.

Several boxes of varying medication.

A sturdy pen for the chewing on the end purpose while contemplating all manner of cerebral cartwheels.

An oversized gingham handkerchief (for reasons well known to those who know the reasons well).

And access to this blog, where ITLADians everywhere gleefully congregate to yell "HELP" and TIWIGI at regular intervals.


Karl L Le Marcs said...

Robin: You do yourself a disservice! You grasp ITLAD with a passion and you impressed me the way you understood the basic concepts behind my Collapsing the Consciousness Wave Theory so quickly and asked me lots of very interesting questions.

RAC said...

Thanks everyone for the advice. Robin's words have a particular resonance as I seem to have wandered down a more simplified path these last few months. In my quest for truth I found I was at a point of information overload. In an effort to survive I decided to turn inward and concentrated on one simple rule: "Know Thyself." All else would be secondary.

Aloha Gary said...

Very Delphic! which is indeed the whole point of this 'life' exercise we are all conducting on the holiday camp we call planet earth!

AND...given Tony's quantum physics posting that matter ONLY seems to exist when we focus on it, then actually ALL universes, including our own, are nothing but potential until they are observed.

Which is the Hawaiian concept of IO that I was trying to explain on a previous posting some time way back!

There are 5 'elements' - air, earth, fire, water and IO which is both everything and nothing at the same time, ie, pure potentiality.

So everything is pure potentiality, which coalesces into an element which coaleses into particles which grow into bigger things until we can observe them with our 'poor observing equipment'.

As they say, there's nothing new under the sun, and those ancient dudes certainly knew a thing or two, even though there are some who seem to think that our modern world is somehow smarter!


Karl L Le Marcs said...

*clears throat*
So, therefore, we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively. Hmmm, someone should write something on that as a theory!!