How Quantum Mechanics Could Be Even Weirder

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How Quantum Mechanics Could Be Even Weirder

Quote:Why doesn’t the world make sense? At the fundamental level of atoms and subatomic particles, the familiar “classical” physics that accounts for how objects move around gives way to quantum physics, with new rules that defy intuition. Traditionally these are expressed as paradoxes: particles that can be in two places at once, cats that are simultaneously alive and dead, apparently impossible faster-than-light signaling between distant particles. But quantum rules are perfectly logical and consistent—the “paradoxes” are the result of our trying to impose on them the everyday reasoning of classical physics.

What’s more, over the past several decades we’ve come to understand that the classical and quantum worlds don’t exactly operate by “different” rules. Rather, the classical world emerges from the quantum in a comprehensible way: you might say that classical physics is simply what quantum physics looks like at the human scale.

All the same, we’re confronted with the question: why is the quantum world the way it is? Why do fundamental particles dictate this set of rules and not some other? Normally that question carries an implication that quantum particles are being a bit perverse by not behaving like billiard balls, reassuringly solid and definite and thing-like. But that might be the wrong way to think about it. Last December, I spoke with Romanian-British physicist Sandu Popescu of Bristol University in England, who told me that things could have been even stranger than quantum.

In fact, Sandu said, we’re not even completely sure that things aren’t even stranger. Maybe we just haven’t detected this extra strangeness yet.
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell


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(2018-10-22, 08:18 AM)Sciborg_S_Patel Wrote: How Quantum Mechanics Could Be Even Weirder
The closing paragraph of the article
Quote: All this fits with a growing conviction among many physicists that quantum mechanics is at root a theory not of tiny particles, but of information. It’s about how much we can deduce about the world by looking at it, and how that depends on intimate, invisible connections between here and there.

Yikes - the idea is still described in a classical physics context.  "Between here and there" implies physical space.  There is nothing wrong with the math describing physical space.  The problem is "infospace" (real-world informational environments) is the appropriate context.  What does it mean to be in the space of here and there, when there is a calculation outcome in Hilbert Space?

Intimate is a sexy word.  Nothing against sex in a narrative to spice it up, but humanity has understood abstract connections for millenniums.  Are the connections between any working system - visible, other than when mechanical parts are touching.  Can we see magnetic connections?  Is the earth on a string to the sun?

When will elite thinkers start to reconstruct reality with all four foundations - matter, energy, formal (Shannon) information and meaningful structures.   Logical relations, such as communication and prediction, are as much the observable substance of science, as are natural patterns of metallurgy.
(This post was last modified: 2018-10-22, 01:57 PM by stephenw.)
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(2018-10-22, 01:52 PM)stephenw Wrote: When will elite thinkers start to reconstruct reality with all four foundations - matter, energy, formal (Shannon) information and meaningful structures.

You don't think consciousness is foundational? And how do you distinguish between matter and energy at a foundational level?

(Haven't (yet) read the article in the OP; sorry, Sci, I'd otherwise have offered a response/comment and/or a like).
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(2018-10-22, 03:33 PM)Laird Wrote: You don't think consciousness is foundational? And how do you distinguish between matter and energy at a foundational level?

(Haven't (yet) read the article in the OP; sorry, Sci, I'd otherwise have offered a response/comment and/or a like).
(note; my arguments are in a methodological context, how science measures, records and analyzes data) 

Matter and energy are distinctly different.  Materials are characterized by structural properties.  The units of measure address those properties.  Likewise, energy is characterized by activity and there are units of measure that quantify activity.  The dividing of "substances" into matter and energy is a key development in science.  In my own personal view I see the ontological binding of these two abstract concepts, as being in the sense of the Tao.  There is integrity and wholeness in physical objects that is expressed by measurements of each, together, in an environmental context.

I suggest that information as both bits - and meanings - is a symmetrical match.  There is formal Shannon information that measures only structure.  To understand Shannon information as the Mathematical Theory of Communication - the structure must be measured separate of the meaning of the activity.  Meaning is specifically excluded from the MTC.  Yet, meaning is behind working messages.  

Sci recently posted a link to Basil Hiley who discusses how he and D. Bohm were trying to put "meaning" back in quantum equations.

In supporting the conceptualization of information objects I assert that there is a symmetrical match.  Shannon's informational structure is used to measure the "stuff" of communication whose purpose is to convey meaning.  The separation of bits and bytes as a category - from the possible states of meanings and affordances - is a great scientific achievement. As much, as was dividing the measurement tracks of physics and materials science.  Informational objects contain both structured symbolic sequences AND meaningful understandings as a bound-together unit.

So the out of the box claim I make is: that "real-world meanings" (including misinformation, imagined expressions of agents and strictly physical information) are bound to information structures in a Taoistic way.  Information objects evolve in a matching manner, as do physical objects, only at a different level of reality (infospace).  

Information objects like math equations, organic purposes and intercelluar communication systems, therefore become measurable, using logic and and understanding about how order and organization change real-world circumstances.  Following the transformations of math, language, logics, systems engineering and measuring their productivity as applied -- is what I envision information science to be about. 

********

Consciousness is a category, which when abstracted doesn't lead to clear measurement.  I do not want to disparage anyone's belief in a connection between spiritual ideas and consciousness.  But, neuroscience analysis of processes are of a different ilk than conscious experience. 

For me, the core foundation of the activity of mind is measurements of mutual information (where an agent can know something) and most importantly how an agent change measurable real-world probabilities when mutual information about inner and outer environments can be understood.  Understanding - is the how the activity of mind is linked to purposeful organic behavior.  Understanding is how the the universe participates with itself.

G. Tononi starts his quest to measure "consciousness" with a derivation of mutual information to apply to neural signalling.  I think his work is groundbreaking.  It is measuring mutual information and understanding (the merging an agent's database with its focused receipt of of ongoing communication with its environments) in foundational manner.  Tononi's good work is not going to tell you what is meant by feeling the experience of red.
(This post was last modified: 2018-10-23, 01:42 PM by stephenw.)
(2018-10-23, 01:15 PM)stephenw Wrote: Matter and energy are distinctly different.  Materials are characterized by structural properties.

Oh, I see: by distinguishing "matter" from energy you're getting at structure. I had been thinking you meant "mass", which needn't - any more than energy - have structure, and the two of which (mass/energy) seem in terms of mainstream physics to be interchangeable. Since "matter" combines the two concepts of "structure" and "mass", maybe it would be more correct to posit the two foundational categories of structure and energy/mass rather than of matter and energy?

(2018-10-23, 01:15 PM)stephenw Wrote: I suggest that information as both bits - and meanings - is a symmetrical match.

I'm not sure I understand your exact claim (even taking into account the rest of your post which I've elided). You could be saying that information fully determines meaning (and vice versa?), or you could be saying that the relationship between information and meaning is contingent - perhaps contingent on the mind in which the information's meaning is apprehended - but I can't work out which (if either) of these is your claim.

(2018-10-23, 01:15 PM)stephenw Wrote: Consciousness is a category

Well, sure, but so is each of the four foundational elements that you identified, so that doesn't help to distinguish it from them.

The real question is: if consciousness is not one of the foundational elements, then how can it be accounted for in terms of them?
(This post was last modified: 2018-10-23, 03:30 PM by Laird.)
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(2018-10-23, 03:23 PM)Laird Wrote: Oh, I see: by distinguishing "matter" from energy you're getting at structure. I had been thinking you meant "mass", which needn't - any more than energy - have structure, and the two of which (mass/energy) seem in terms of mainstream physics to be interchangeable. Since "matter" combines the two concepts of "structure" and "mass", maybe it would be more correct to posit the two foundational categories of structure and energy/mass rather than of matter and energy?

The real question is: if consciousness is not one of the foundational elements, then how can it be accounted for in terms of them?
I am not qualified to instruct anyone in physics.  I do have opinions in terms of philosophy of science.  I have a comfort level when speaking of Materials Science, where mass is simply a measurable property, tied to specific units of the SI. (My view is maybe more pragmatic then some.)

Quote:The SI base units and their physical quantities are the metre for measurement of length, the kilogram for mass, the second for time, the ampere for electric current, the kelvin for temperature, the candela for luminous intensity, and the mole for amount of substance.

Mass as some philosophical "substance" is not what I mean.  If some metaphysical meaning is taken from my comments when discussing science topics - it is a wrong assumption - or I personally have said something wrong and unintended.  Everything, I meant by mass is in the context of - Force = Mass*Acceleration - or as the measurement of mass as in calculations of molecular weight.

I do have a metaphysical stance that can be called Informational Realism.  It stands in direct contrast to Metaphysical Materialism, where only matter/energy counts.  My strongest assertion is that you have no chance of having working process models without measuring complexity (Kolmogorov/Chaitin), MTC information (Shannon), logical relations, organization, targeted purposes in messages and the accuracy of predictive outcomes from calculation.  All of which are measured in information science.  Hence - our universal environment - has at least two levels of measurement.

A much more sophisticated view of this would be that of Luciano Floridi of Oxford.  Note: he does not specifically endorse any view of mine. 
https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/a76e/2a...4df913.pdf
Quote: Universe as Informational Structure with Computational Dynamics for a Cognizing Epistemic Agent 

For a cognizing (epistemic) agent the structure of reality appears as information according to Floridi’s Informational Structural Realism (Floridi 2003) (Floridi 2008) (Floridi 2011). For an agent (as an information processing system), information is perceived in permanent flow, in a dynamical process of transformation. We know the world as a result of interactions based on information exchange and information self-structuring: Structural objects (clusters of data as relational entities) work epistemologically like constraining affordances: they allow or invite certain constructs (they are affordances for the information system that elaborates them) and resist or impede some others (they are constraints for the same system), depending on the interaction with, and the nature of, the information system that processes them. (Floridi 2008) 

Thus the Wiener’s Problem: “Is Information an Independent Ontological Category, Different from the Physical/Material and the Mental?” as one among Floridi’s Open Problems of Philosophy of Information (Floridi 2004) can be answered in the positive – information is a fundamental category for an epistemic agent; it is representative of the universe of which matter/energy and mind are derivative. (Dodig Crnkovic and Hofkirchner 2011)

My personal stance does not see matter/energy as derived as a special state of information.  I see the physical as the base, source and containment of actuality and as an equal partner to meaningful information objects evolving on a different track.

With no explanation, I personally assert that the objective category of observable conscious behavior can be derived reductively from the fundamentals, where the physical and the meaningfully informative are clearly expressed process models at different levels of abstraction.

It would be really helpful to read some of Floridi's entry in the SEP regarding semantic information.  It is a well-formed and clear account of the meaningful side of information studies.

https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/infor...-semantic/  

While having personal opinions - most of what I express is just reporting current state-of-the-art publications.  I am well-aware that they are not generally known and I may be quite poor at explaining them.
(This post was last modified: 2018-10-23, 06:11 PM by stephenw.)
(2018-10-23, 05:58 PM)stephenw Wrote: With no explanation, I personally assert that the objective category of observable conscious behavior can be derived reductively from the fundamentals, where the physical and the meaningfully informative are clearly expressed process models at different levels of abstraction.
So the neural correlates of consciousness have been set aside in favour of the behavioural correlates of consciousness. I'm not sure whether this is a giant leap sideways or not.
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(2018-10-23, 08:47 PM)Typoz Wrote: So the neural correlates of consciousness have been set aside in favour of the behavioural correlates of consciousness. I'm not sure whether this is a giant leap sideways or not.
LOL 

I detect British humor (humour).  Cracked me up, as it is insightful.  It well may be true that I am jumping sideways on a frequent basis.


The term "behavioural correlates of consciousness" is not one I have read before, but seemingly makes perfect sense, in psychological context.   Acting on separate levels - finding correspondences between the process models behind neural output and behavioral output, should be worthy of study. 

The work on the physics of brain processes is wonderful stuff and rightly is conducted in the manner of methodological materialism.  Only actual signals count.  I embrace the science and don't want to see it set aside.

What I want set aside - is that NCCs stands alone, as to the science that models mind.
  
Minds are processing information, and in my view it can better understood as processing informational objects.

Quote:  The outcome is informational realism, the view that the world is the totality of informational objects dynamically interacting with each other.  L. Floridi
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