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A Quantum Refutation of a Quantum Conspiracy


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#1 Michael Stuart Kelly

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 12:10 AM

A Quantum Refutation of a Quantum Conspiracy

 

I'm putting this one up solely because I spent an hour of my life listening to it.

 

My head now hurts...

 

:smile:

 

 

Here's the deal. This guy, Dr. Ron Garret, claims that he has absolute proof to lay all the quantum conspiracies out there to rest.

 

Then he goes into some incredibly complex math to show that people who claim QM is weird are just being silly. As far as I was able to track this, here is what he said:

 

1. You can't use real numbers to make the math work, you can only use complex numbers--which, according to him (if I understood him correctly), do not correspond to anything in reality.

 

2. The math done his way is merely speculation, but it absolutely debunks the ideas of the quantum conspiracy folks, who claim there is an underlying reality or something like that where observation factors in as part of the weirdness to our current view.

 

3. The true reality is that reality does not exist. There is no universe. Only our ideas of reality exist. He calls this the Zero Universe model. Garret actually said this with a straight face.

 

4. The math proves that the multiple universes theory is also true, but he finds this aggravates his intuitive feelings, so he finds this interpretation distasteful.

 

5. Quantum entanglement is not really entanglement, but it is.

 

The talk was done at Google and was presented as if it lays the issue of QM to rest.

 

Garret seems to be a nice enough person... serious... intelligent...

 

But I still feel like I have been conned. All that brain pain I suffered was merely to follow a fellow who was trying disprove the QM theories that claim chaos is a part of reality, and he did so by coming to the conclusion--the mathematically proven conclusion--that this can't be because reality doesn't exist in the first place.

 

What's that sound I heard emanating from the direction of Ayn Rand's grave?

 

Hmmmmmmmm...

 

:smile:

 

Michael


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#2 Brant Gaede

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 08:01 AM

Math can give a facade of science.

 

--Brant


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#3 dennislmay

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 08:37 AM

A Quantum Refutation of a Quantum Conspiracy

 

I'm putting this one up solely because I spent an hour of my life listening to it.

 

My head now hurts...

 

:smile:

 

 

Here's the deal. This guy, Dr. Ron Garret, claims that he has absolute proof to lay all the quantum conspiracies out there to rest.

 

Then he goes into some incredibly complex math to show that people who claim QM is weird are just being silly. As far as I was able to track this, here is what he said:

 

1. You can't use real numbers to make the math work, you can only use complex numbers--which, according to him (if I understood him correctly), do not correspond to anything in reality.

 

2. The math done his way is merely speculation, but it absolutely debunks the ideas of the quantum conspiracy folks, who claim there is an underlying reality or something like that where observation factors in as part of the weirdness to our current view.

 

3. The true reality is that reality does not exist. There is no universe. Only our ideas of reality exist. He calls this the Zero Universe model. Garret actually said this with a straight face.

 

4. The math proves that the multiple universes theory is also true, but he finds this aggravates his intuitive feelings, so he finds this interpretation distasteful.

 

5. Quantum entanglement is not really entanglement, but it is.

 

The talk was done at Google and was presented as if it lays the issue of QM to rest.

 

Garret seems to be a nice enough person... serious... intelligent...

 

But I still feel like I have been conned. All that brain pain I suffered was merely to follow a fellow who was trying disprove the QM theories that claim chaos is a part of reality, and he did so by coming to the conclusion--the mathematically proven conclusion--that this can't be because reality doesn't exist in the first place.

 

What's that sound I heard emanating from the direction of Ayn Rand's grave?

 

Hmmmmmmmm...

 

:smile:

 

Michael

 

Yes he is trying an old confidence game - the first statement is the giveaway:

 

"You can't use real numbers to make the math work, you can only use complex numbers". 

 

He assumes a math which is not necessary, claims it cannot be converted to real numbers,

then uses it to make his series of arbitrary assertions.

 

There was also another recent prominent display of similarly misplaced arrogance many

steps removed from any kind of evidence or connection to reality:

 

http://www.scienceda...30205151450.htm

 

Dennis



#4 BaalChatzaf

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 09:09 AM

Complex (which involved an "imaginary" component)  numbers are the natural mathematical objects for dealing with phase variations among waves.  That is as real as rain.  We can't do without them. Dirac also to the imaginary (i.e. complex) solutions to the wave equations seriously and predicted anti-matter.  Again as real as rain.

 

Every mathematical object currently used in physics can be traced back to a physical object or process or phenomenon.   Every last one.

 

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#5 Stephen Boydstun

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 09:19 AM

I will not have time to watch this. Imaginary numbers and complex numbers certainly do represent physically real relations, sometimes directly (as in Ross* or in Bob’s #4) and sometimes (as in Dennis’ class of application) indirectly. Michael remarked “I still feel like I have been conned.” Rand’s expression of what she had gathered of quantum mechanics and its extraneous, popular philosophical pufferies as of 1957 are voiced by Robert Stadler in a scene with Floyd Ferris on pages 340–48 of AS (hdbk, 1st ed.).*



#6 Michael Stuart Kelly

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 11:48 AM

Rand’s expression of what she had gathered of quantum mechanics and its extraneous, popular philosophical pufferies as of 1957 are voiced by Robert Stadler in a scene with Floyd Ferris on pages 340–48 of AS (hdbk, 1st ed.).*

 

Stephen,

 

I went to the link you posted, but instead of Robert Stadler, I got entangled in a transactional interpretation of quantum mechanics and something called a CFD, a contrafactual definiteness principle.

 

Now my brain hurts even more.

 

:)

 

Michael


Know thyself...


#7 dennislmay

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 12:58 PM

Rand’s expression of what she had gathered of quantum mechanics and its extraneous, popular philosophical pufferies as of 1957 are voiced by Robert Stadler in a scene with Floyd Ferris on pages 340–48 of AS (hdbk, 1st ed.).*

 

Stephen,

 

I went to the link you posted, but instead of Robert Stadler, I got entangled in a transactional interpretation of quantum mechanics and something called a CFD, a contrafactual definiteness principle.

 

Now my brain hurts even more.

 

:smile:

 

Michael

 

Is is very disappointing that some prominent Objectivists have indicated support for certain quantum theories going nowhere.

 

Dennis



#8 Michael Stuart Kelly

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 01:25 PM

Dennis,

 

I'm not worried about that.

 

I just want to see the Stadler example.

 

:)

 

Michael


Know thyself...


#9 BaalChatzaf

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 02:36 PM

 

Rand’s expression of what she had gathered of quantum mechanics and its extraneous, popular philosophical pufferies as of 1957 are voiced by Robert Stadler in a scene with Floyd Ferris on pages 340–48 of AS (hdbk, 1st ed.).*

 

Stephen,

 

I went to the link you posted, but instead of Robert Stadler, I got entangled in a transactional interpretation of quantum mechanics and something called a CFD, a contrafactual definiteness principle.

 

Now my brain hurts even more.

 

:smile:

 

Michael

 

Is is very disappointing that some prominent Objectivists have indicated support for certain quantum theories going nowhere.

 

Dennis

Maybe it is because the theories produce predictions corroborated by experiment and measurement.


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#10 Stephen Boydstun

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 09:32 PM

Michael,


AS Chapter I of Part II

 

Firstly, a point not to do with QM and its sponges, but with a romance in philosophy of science that continues a live controversy today. An excerpt from a book of trash published under the name of Stadler’s institute, without his foreknowledge of it: “The giants of the intellect, whom you admire so much, once taught you that the earth was flat and that the atom was the smallest particle of matter. The entire history of science is a progression of exploded fallacies, not of achievements.”


Then come the echoes of QM as draped in ancient bromides for popular consumption for three decades by ’57, in another excerpt from the book that has reached Stadler’s office: “The latest scientific discoveries—such as the tremendous achievements of Dr. Robert Stadler—have demonstrated conclusively that our reason is incapable of dealing with the nature of the universe. These discoveries have led scientists to contradictions [not!] which are impossible, according to the human mind, but which exist in reality nonetheless.”


The author is Ferris.

Dr. Stadler reached over and made the book slide from the corner to the center of his desk, with a contemptuous flick of one hand. “Will you tell me, please,” he asked, “what is this piece of indecency?”


Dr. Ferris did not glance at the book, . . .

. . .

 

“But you’ve given the prestige of science to that unspeakable stuff! It was all right for a disreputable mediocrity like Simon Pritchett to drool it as some sort of woozy mysticism—nobody listened to him. But you’ve made them think it’s science. Science! You’ve taken the achievements of the mind to destroy the mind. By what right did you use my work to make an unwarranted, preposterous switch into another field, pull an inapplicable metaphor and draw a monstrous generalization out of what is merely a mathematical problem?”


What is merely a mathematical problem—not a world itself contradictory and incomprehensible—that’s where Rand was at on QM and some of its hype as of ’57. Skinner's behaviorism was in AS also, and Rand wrote about that later. No more about QM and its philosophical exploitations (for the very good reason perhaps that she had no mastery of QM, no Messiah* or Merzbacher* say), except the embarrassing remarks on QM by Dr. Peikoff in his ’76 lectures on her philosophy, which she found agreeable. She was correct, however, to suspect way back when that some very old philosophical hay (skepticism and mysticism) was being spun as scientifically confirmed in QM (one of the greatest achievements of the human mind).



#11 Michael Stuart Kelly

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 10:25 PM

Stephen,

 

Thanks.

 

I never thought much about Rand dealing with QM. My own impression of Atlas Shrugged (which I have carried for years) was that she was arguing against philosophers per se, and the penetration of their most toxic ideas into society, the arts, etc., not specifically the QM science stuff. But given the publicity QM has had, I can see it.

 

Interesting...

 

As to Skinner, I received the series of Ayn Rand Letters she devoted to BF-baby at the time she sent them out. And I aped her. It took me years to get rid of the mental sneer I would assume whenever I encountered a mention of Skinner or Behaviorism. 

 

The one thing that snapped me out of it was a Brazilian musician telling me he had improved his learning abilities using some techniques based on Behaviorist principles. He was taking a correspondence course in electronics, of all things. I remember the mental sneer coming on, then suddenly thinking whaaaaat?... You learn faster and easier with this stuff? Boring stuff, too? Maybe I should look deeper, at least at the practical applications. I don't have to agree with all of it.

 

I did not look deeper into it, though. There was no relevant material that was easily available to me at the time and this was not a priority--that is, until these last few years.

 

Those four Letters of Rand (two called "The Stimulus..." and two called "... And The Response") were special in more ways than one. They constituted one of the few times she actually dug into an original work she disagreed with and not a critique of an original work (like she habitually did with Kant, Rawls, etc.). 

 

It's been years since I read her analysis, but I have a suspicion. I bet if I took away the scope problem with both Rand and Skinner and relegated the arguments of each to the part of the human brain and mind they dealt with respectively, there would be much truth to be found that could actually exist in harmony side-by-side. I'm not talking about watering anything down--merely making more precise identifications of what applies to what.

 

It's also been years since I read Skinner (I'm still traumatized by the image of his Jesus crucifixion posture at the end of Walden Two :smile: ), but not too long ago, I have gone through the following ebook, which I found on my many "voyages" over the Wild Wild Web: Don't Shoot the Dog by Karen Pryor. It's a free PDF. Total unashamed Behaviorism--and starting with dolphin and dog training to boot. I found it practical, seemingly effective, and not at all  threat to humanity--at least not in the way Pryor goes about it. Within the confines of specific behaviors a person might want to automate and/or change in his or her life, the techniques are quite good.

 

Michael


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#12 Serapis Bey

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 10:26 PM


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I'm the thirteenth at the table, I'm the uninvited guest

#13 dennislmay

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 12:31 AM

 

 

Rand’s expression of what she had gathered of quantum mechanics and its extraneous, popular philosophical pufferies as of 1957 are voiced by Robert Stadler in a scene with Floyd Ferris on pages 340–48 of AS (hdbk, 1st ed.).*

 

Stephen,

 

I went to the link you posted, but instead of Robert Stadler, I got entangled in a transactional interpretation of quantum mechanics and something called a CFD, a contrafactual definiteness principle.

 

Now my brain hurts even more.

 

:smile:

 

Michael

 

Is is very disappointing that some prominent Objectivists have indicated support for certain quantum theories going nowhere.

 

Dennis

Maybe it is because the theories produce predictions corroborated by experiment and measurement.

One set of the 8-9 QM theories which produce predictions corroborated by experiment and measurement.  Sort of like the 2 theories of relativity which produce predictions corroborated by experiment and measurement.  PC science then picks and chooses which are the blessed approaches fitting their philosophy.



#14 dennislmay

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 12:39 AM

Michael,


AS Chapter I of Part II

 

Firstly, a point not to do with QM and its sponges, but with a romance in philosophy of science that continues a live controversy today. An excerpt from a book of trash published under the name of Stadler’s institute, without his foreknowledge of it: “The giants of the intellect, whom you admire so much, once taught you that the earth was flat and that the atom was the smallest particle of matter. The entire history of science is a progression of exploded fallacies, not of achievements.”


Then come the echoes of QM as draped in ancient bromides for popular consumption for three decades by ’57, in another excerpt from the book that has reached Stadler’s office: “The latest scientific discoveries—such as the tremendous achievements of Dr. Robert Stadler—have demonstrated conclusively that our reason is incapable of dealing with the nature of the universe. These discoveries have led scientists to contradictions [not!] which are impossible, according to the human mind, but which exist in reality nonetheless.”


The author is Ferris.

 

Dr. Stadler reached over and made the book slide from the corner to the center of his desk, with a contemptuous flick of one hand. “Will you tell me, please,” he asked, “what is this piece of indecency?”


Dr. Ferris did not glance at the book, . . .

. . .

 

“But you’ve given the prestige of science to that unspeakable stuff! It was all right for a disreputable mediocrity like Simon Pritchett to drool it as some sort of woozy mysticism—nobody listened to him. But you’ve made them think it’s science. Science! You’ve taken the achievements of the mind to destroy the mind. By what right did you use my work to make an unwarranted, preposterous switch into another field, pull an inapplicable metaphor and draw a monstrous generalization out of what is merely a mathematical problem?”


What is merely a mathematical problem—not a world itself contradictory and incomprehensible—that’s where Rand was at on QM and some of its hype as of ’57. Skinner's behaviorism was in AS also, and Rand wrote about that later. No more about QM and its philosophical exploitations (for the very good reason perhaps that she had no mastery of QM, no Messiah* or Merzbacher* say), except the embarrassing remarks on QM by Dr. Peikoff in his ’76 lectures on her philosophy, which she found agreeable. She was correct, however, to suspect way back when that some very old philosophical hay (skepticism and mysticism) was being spun as scientifically confirmed in QM (one of the greatest achievements of the human mind).

In 1957 the incorrect proof of von Neumann supporting the Copenhagen Interpretation still held sway in viritually all of theoretical physics - though it was already known to be in error by one researcher and Bohm's 1952 work put it in doubt.  It wasn't until 1964 with the publication of the work of J.S. Bell that QM as skepticism and mysticism lost its foundation - though much of the physics community has yet to digest this fact nearly 50 years later.



#15 Stephen Boydstun

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 05:51 AM

Behaviorism


Tibor Machan’s first book was The Pseudo-Science of B. F. Skinner.

 

Rand’s essay “The Stimulus and the Response” is included in Philosophy: Who Needs It.


An illuminating paper online by Gary Hatfield – Behaviorism and Naturalism



#16 BaalChatzaf

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 07:17 AM

 

 

 

Rand’s expression of what she had gathered of quantum mechanics and its extraneous, popular philosophical pufferies as of 1957 are voiced by Robert Stadler in a scene with Floyd Ferris on pages 340–48 of AS (hdbk, 1st ed.).*

 

Stephen,

 

I went to the link you posted, but instead of Robert Stadler, I got entangled in a transactional interpretation of quantum mechanics and something called a CFD, a contrafactual definiteness principle.

 

Now my brain hurts even more.

 

:smile:

 

Michael

 

Is is very disappointing that some prominent Objectivists have indicated support for certain quantum theories going nowhere.

 

Dennis

Maybe it is because the theories produce predictions corroborated by experiment and measurement.

One set of the 8-9 QM theories which produce predictions corroborated by experiment and measurement.  Sort of like the 2 theories of relativity which produce predictions corroborated by experiment and measurement.  PC science then picks and chooses which are the blessed approaches fitting their philosophy.

Are you implying that all or most professional scientists are engaged in a PC conspiracy against those who seek truth?


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#17 dennislmay

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 08:53 AM

 

 

 

 

Rand’s expression of what she had gathered of quantum mechanics and its extraneous, popular philosophical pufferies as of 1957 are voiced by Robert Stadler in a scene with Floyd Ferris on pages 340–48 of AS (hdbk, 1st ed.).*

 

Stephen,

 

I went to the link you posted, but instead of Robert Stadler, I got entangled in a transactional interpretation of quantum mechanics and something called a CFD, a contrafactual definiteness principle.

 

Now my brain hurts even more.

 

:smile:

 

Michael

 

Is is very disappointing that some prominent Objectivists have indicated support for certain quantum theories going nowhere.

 

Dennis

Maybe it is because the theories produce predictions corroborated by experiment and measurement.

One set of the 8-9 QM theories which produce predictions corroborated by experiment and measurement.  Sort of like the 2 theories of relativity which produce predictions corroborated by experiment and measurement.  PC science then picks and chooses which are the blessed approaches fitting their philosophy.

Are you implying that all or most professional scientists are engaged in a PC conspiracy against those who seek truth?

No I am saying that the handful of theoretical physicists who involve themselves in the foundations of quantum mechanics have taken one path of inquiry and they work their influence as much as possible to exclude other avenues - including looking the other way when mistakes are repeated as facts.  The techniques of gutter politics have replaced serious scientific inquiry.  What else would you expect with the government funding of science and the creation of vast science education bureaucracies designed to create permanent power structures and feather the nests of those who play ball with the movers and shakers who want to control opinion and the money that flows from it.  If not for David Bohm and J.S. Bell the most erroneous views of the earlier developers of QM would still be the only voices heard today.  As it is the work of J.S. Bell is reported incorrectly more often than not - something Bell fought to the day he died.



#18 Brant Gaede

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 12:32 PM

It's not that some Objectivists have taken certain positions on QM, but that most aren't theorectical physicists and those that are somehow drag Objectivism into the matter.  Workable technology is the best confirming feedback to theory, not the agreement of other physicists as such.

 

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#19 tmj

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 11:45 PM

 

 

 

 

 

Rand’s expression of what she had gathered of quantum mechanics and its extraneous, popular philosophical pufferies as of 1957 are voiced by Robert Stadler in a scene with Floyd Ferris on pages 340–48 of AS (hdbk, 1st ed.).*

 

Stephen,

 

I went to the link you posted, but instead of Robert Stadler, I got entangled in a transactional interpretation of quantum mechanics and something called a CFD, a contrafactual definiteness principle.

 

Now my brain hurts even more.

 

:smile:

 

Michael

 

Is is very disappointing that some prominent Objectivists have indicated support for certain quantum theories going nowhere.

 

Dennis

Maybe it is because the theories produce predictions corroborated by experiment and measurement.

One set of the 8-9 QM theories which produce predictions corroborated by experiment and measurement.  Sort of like the 2 theories of relativity which produce predictions corroborated by experiment and measurement.  PC science then picks and chooses which are the blessed approaches fitting their philosophy.

Are you implying that all or most professional scientists are engaged in a PC conspiracy against those who seek truth?

No I am saying that the handful of theoretical physicists who involve themselves in the foundations of quantum mechanics have taken one path of inquiry and they work their influence as much as possible to exclude other avenues - including looking the other way when mistakes are repeated as facts.  The techniques of gutter politics have replaced serious scientific inquiry.  What else would you expect with the government funding of science and the creation of vast science education bureaucracies designed to create permanent power structures and feather the nests of those who play ball with the movers and shakers who want to control opinion and the money that flows from it.  If not for David Bohm and J.S. Bell the most erroneous views of the earlier developers of QM would still be the only voices heard today.  As it is the work of J.S. Bell is reported incorrectly more often than not - something Bell fought to the day he died.

 

at core does qm, in any of its variants, require the suspension of perceptual reality? If so, how could it (ultimately) be proved?



#20 Michael Stuart Kelly

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Posted 03 March 2013 - 12:10 AM

at core does qm, in any of its variants, require the suspension of perceptual reality? If so, how could it (ultimately) be proved?

 

Heh.
 

Ya' poison a cat in a box with the poison on a time delay, but ya' don't actually kill it until ya' look at it.

 

I would say QM, as often promoted, is a super-enhancement of "perceptual reality."

 

Think of death-rays beaming from your eyes...

 

:)

 

Michael


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