Posts Tagged ‘Entanglement’

TO BE AND NOT TO BE? Is Entangled Physics Thinking, Or Sinking?

April 29, 2016

Frank Wilczek, a physics Nobel laureate, wrote a first soporific, and then baffling article in Quanta magazine: “Entanglement Made Simple”. Yes, all too simple: it sweeps the difficulties under the rug. After a thorough description of classical entanglement, we are swiftly told at the end, that classical entanglement supports the many World Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics. However, classical entanglement (from various conservation laws) has been known since the seventeenth century.

Skeptical founders of Quantum physics (such as Einstein, De Broglie, Schrodinger, Bohm, Bell) knew classical entanglement very well. David Bohm found the Bohm-Aharanov effect, which demonstrated the importance of (nonlocal) potential, John Bell found his inequality which demonstrated, with the help of experiments (Alain Aspect, etc.) that Quantum physics is nonlocal.

Differently From Classical Entanglement, Which Acts As One, Quantum Entanglement Acts At A Distance: It Interferes With Measurement, At A Distance

Differently From Classical Entanglement, Which Acts As One, Quantum Entanglement Acts At A Distance: It Interferes With Measurement, At A Distance

The point about the cats is that everybody, even maniacs, ought to know that cats are either dead, or alive. Quantum mechanics make the point they can compute things about cats, from their point of view. OK.

Quantum mechanics, in their busy shops, compute with dead and live cats as possible outcomes. No problem. But then does that mean there is a universe, a “world“, with a dead cat, happening, and then one with a live cat, also happening simultaneously?

Any serious philosopher, somebody endowed with common sense, the nemesis of a Quantum mechanic, will say no: in a philosopher’s opinion, a cat is either dead, or alive. To be, or not to be. Not to be, and not to be.

A Quantum mechanic can compute with dead and live cats, but that does not mean she creates worlds, by simply rearranging her computation, this way, or that. Her various dead and live cats arrangements just mean she has partial knowledge of what she computes with, and that Quantum measurements, even from an excellent mechanic, are just partial, mechanic-dependent measurements.

For example, if one measures spin, one needs to orient a machine (a Stern Gerlach device). That’s just a magnetic field going one way, like a big arrow, a big direction. Thus one measures spin in one direction, not another.

What’s more surprising is that, later on, thanks to a nonlocal entanglement, one may be able to determine that, at this point in time, the particle had a spin that could be measured, from far away, in another direction. So far, so good: this is like classical mechanics.

However, whether or not that measurement at a distance has occurred, roughly simultaneously, and way out of the causality light cone, EFFECTS the first measurement.

This is what the famous Bell Inequality means.

And this is what the problem with Quantum Entanglement is. Quantum Entanglement implies that wilful action somewhere disturbs a measurement beyond the reach of the five known forces. It brings all sorts of questions of a philosophical nature, and make them into burning physical subjects. For example, does the experimenter at a distance have real free will?

Calling the world otherworldly, or many worldly, does not really help to understand what is going on. Einstein’s “Spooky Interaction At A Distance” seems a more faithful, honest rendition of reality than supposing that each and any Quantum mechanic in her shop, creates worlds, willy-nilly, each time it strikes her fancy to press a button.

What Mr. Wilczek did is what manyworldists and multiversists always do: they jump into their derangement (cats alive AND dead) after saying there is no problem. Details are never revealed.

Here is, in extenso, the fully confusing and unsupported conclusion of Mr. Wilczek:

“Everyday language is ill suited to describe quantum complementarity, in part because everyday experience does not encounter it. Practical cats interact with surrounding air molecules, among other things, in very different ways depending on whether they are alive or dead, so in practice the measurement gets made automatically, and the cat gets on with its life (or death). But entangled histories describe q-ons that are, in a real sense, Schrödinger kittens. Their full description requires, at intermediate times, that we take both of two contradictory property-trajectories into account.

The controlled experimental realization of entangled histories is delicate because it requires we gather partial information about our q-on. Conventional quantum measurements generally gather complete information at one time — for example, they determine a definite shape, or a definite color — rather than partial information spanning several times. But it can be done — indeed, without great technical difficulty. In this way we can give definite mathematical and experimental meaning to the proliferation of “many worlds” in quantum theory, and demonstrate its substantiality.”

Sounds impressive, but the reasons are either well-known or then those reasons use a sleight of hand.

Explicitly: “take both of two contradictory property-trajectories into account”: just read Feynman QED, first chapter. Feynman invented the ‘sum over histories’, and Wilczek is his parrot; but Feynman did not become crazy from his ‘sum over history’: Richard smirked when his picturesque evocation was taken literally, decades later…

And now the sleight of hand: …”rather than  [gather] partial information spanning several times. But it can be done — indeed, without great technical difficulty.” This nothing new: it is the essence of the double slit discovered by that Medical Doctor and polymath, Young, around 1800 CE: when one runs lots of ‘particles’ through it, one sees the (wave) patterns. This is what Wilczek means by “partial information“. Guess what? We knew that already.

Believing that one can be, while not to be, putting that at the foundation of physics, is a new low in thinking. And it impacts the general mood, making it more favorable towards unreason.

If anything can be, without being, if anything not happening here, is happening somewhere else, then is not anything permitted? Dostoyevsky had a Russian aristocrat suggests that, if god did not exist anything was permitted. And, come to think of it, the argument was at the core of Christianism. Or more, exactly, of the Christian reign of terror which started in the period 363 CE-381 CE, from the reigns of emperor Jovian to the reign of emperor Theodosius. To prevent anything to be permitted, a god had to enforce the law.

What we have now is way worse: the new nihilists (Wilczek and his fellow manyworldists) do not just say that everything is permitted. They say: it does not matter if everything is permitted, or not. It is happening, anyway. Somewhere.

Thus Many-Worlds physics endangers, not just the foundations of reason, but the very justification for morality. That is that what is undesirable should be avoided. Even the Nazis agreed with that principle. Many-Worlds physics says it does not matter, because it is happening, anyway. Somewhere, out there.

So what is going on, here, at the level of moods? Well, professor Wilczek teaches at Harvard. Harvard professors advised president Yeltsin of Russia, to set up a plutocracy. It ruined Russia. Same professors made a fortune from it, while others were advising president Clinton to do the same, and meanwhile Prime Minister Balladur in France was mightily impressed, and followed this new enlightenment by the Dark Side, as did British leaders, and many others. All these societies were ruined in turn. Harvard was the principal spirit behind the rise of plutocracy, and the engine propelling that rise, was the principle that morality did not matter. because, because, well, Many-Worlds!

How does one go from the foundations of physics, to the foundations of plutocracy? Faculty members in the richest, most powerful universities meet in mutual admiration societies known as “faculty clubs” and lots of other I scratch-your-back, you scratch-my-back social occasion they spend much of their time indulging in. So they influence each other, at the very least in the atmospheres of moods they create, and then breathe together.

Remember? It is not that everything is permitted: it’s happening anyway, so we may as well profit from it first. Many-Worlds physics feeds a mood favorable to many plutocrats, and that’s all there is to it. (But that, of course, is a lot, all too much.)

Patrice Ayme’

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Is “Spacetime” Important?

November 3, 2015

Revolutions spawn from, and contributes to, the revolutionary mood. It is no coincidence that many revolutionary ideas in science: Chemistry (Lavoisier), Biological Evolution (Lamarck), Lagrangians, Black Holes,, Fourier Analysis, Thermodynamics (Carnot), Wave Optics, (Young, Poisson), Ampere’s Electrodynamics spawned roughly at the same time and place, around the French Revolution.

In the Encyclopedie, under the term dimension Jean le Rond d’Alembert speculated that time might be considered a fourth dimension… if the idea was not too novel. Joseph Louis Lagrange in his ), wrote that: “One may view mechanics as a geometry of four dimensions…” (Theory of Analytic Functions, 1797.) The idea of spacetime is to view reality as a four dimensional manifold, something measured by the “Real Line” going in four directions.

There is, it turns out a huge problem with this: R, the real line, has what is called a separated topology: points have distinct neighborhoods. However, the QUANTUM world is not like that, not at all. Countless experiments, and the most basic logic, show this:

Reality Does Not Care About Speed, & The Relativity It Brings

Reality Does Not Care About Speed, & The Relativity It Brings

Manifolds were defined by Bernhard Riemann in 1866 (shortly before he died, still young, of tuberculosis). A manifold is made of chunks (technically: neighborhoods), each of them diffeomorphic to a neighborhood in R^n (thus a deformed piece of R^n, see tech annex).

Einstein admitted that there was a huge problem with the “now” in physics (even if one confines oneself to his own set-ups in Relativity theories). Worse: the Quantum changes completely the problem of the “now”… Let alone the “here”.

In 1905, Henri Poincaré showed that by taking time to be an imaginary fourth spacetime coordinate (√−1 c t), a Lorentz transformation can be regarded as a rotation of coordinates in a four-dimensional Euclidean space with three real coordinates representing space, and one imaginary coordinate, representing time, as the fourth dimension.

— Hermann Minkowski, 1907, Einstein’s professor in Zurich concluded: “The views of space and time which I wish to lay before you have sprung from the soil of experimental physics, and therein lies their strength. They are radical. Henceforth space by itself, and time by itself, are doomed to fade away into mere shadows, and only a kind of union of the two will preserve an independent reality.”

This remark rests on Lorentz’s work, how to go from coordinates (x, t) to (x’, t’). In the simplest case:

C is the speed of light. Lorentz found one needed such transformations to respect electrodynamics. If v/c is zero (as it is if one suppose the speed v to be negligible  relative to c, the speed of light infinite), one gets:

t = t’

x’ = x – vt

The first equation exhibits universal time: time does not depend upon the frame of reference. But notice that the second equation mixes space and time already. Thus, philosophically speaking, proclaiming “spacetime” could have been done before. Now, in so-called “General Relativity”, there are problems with “time-like” geodesics (but they would surface long after Minkowski’s death).

Another problem with conceptually equating time and space is that time is not space: space dimensions have a plus sign, time a minus sign (something Quantum Field Theory often ignores by putting pluses everywhere in computations)

In any case, I hope this makes clear that, philosophically, just looking at the equations, “spacetime” does not have to be an important concept.

And Quantum Physics seems to say that it is not: the QUANTUM INTERACTION (QI; my neologism) is (apparently, so far) INSTANTANEOUS (like old fashion time).

As we saw precedingly (“Can Space Be Faster Than Light“), the top cosmologists are arguing whether the speed of space can be viewed as faster than light. Call that the Cosmic Inflation Interaction (CII; it has its own hypothesized exchange particle, the “Inflaton”). We see that c, the speed of light is less than CII, and may, or may not be related to QI (standard Quantum Physics implicitly assumes that the speed of the Quantum Interaction QI is infinite).

One thing is sure: we are very far from TOE, the “Theory Of Everything”, which physicists anxious to appear as the world’s smartest organisms, with all the power and wealth to go with it, taunted for decades.

Patrice Ayme’

Tech Annex: R is the real line, RxR = R^2, the plane, RxRxR = R^3 the usual three dimensional space, etc. Spacetime was initially viewed as just RxRxRxR = R^4.]What does diffeomorphic mean? It means a copy which can be shrunk or dilated somewhat in all imaginable ways, perhaps (but without breaks, and so that all points can be tracked; a diffeomorphism does this, and so do all its derivatives).

The Future Of The Soul?

February 21, 2015

Evolving, And Collective, The Soul Still Exists, And Science Is Its Prophet:

Is it useful to speak of the “soul”? Why not? Why to deprive us of words? Over the millennia, the word “soul” had many meanings. No, immortality is not necessarily a property of the soul.

There was always physics, and, thus, there was always metaphysics. The latter being the logical universe of the former. There will be always physics, and thus there always will be metaphysics.

Metaphysics is what is beyond physics. Any logical discourse has a universe that is beyond itself.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domain_of_discourse

Our Soul Decides What It Means

Our Soul Decides What It Means

And mathematicians have agreed to disagree with themselves about metamathematics:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universe

Thus, both physics and metaphysics are moving targets. So the soul, naturally, should be, as understanding progresses. But we thinkers, are hunters, and we go after the biggest preys. We need an unending chase, to feed our souls.

To each stage in the mentalization of the universe, to each stage in human understanding, its own physics, metaphysics, and thus, then notion of a soul.

Neurology indeed enables to embody some of the notions of soul Aristotle floated across. One can speak of the “German soul”. And the “German soul” has changed.

Quantum Physics has started to spawn Quantum Biology, thus, soon, a scientific system of ideas that will be best described as “Quantum Minds”, not to say Quantum Mentalization.

If one brings all what we know about Quantum Physics, to bear on what the soul could be, our mental universe, the universe of possibilities and the imagination, tremendously expands.

The Quantum is characterized by waves, something intrinsically vague (pun intended, except it’s not a pun: “wave” and “vague” have the same root).

Quantum waves are non-local, and entangled, so they embody (sort of, as they constitute, de facto, the “ether”) something going much further than the body.

When a mind is operating, a beyond-astronomical, beyond-set, beyond-category, entanglement of wavy delocalizations is self interacting. This is the soul.

The Quantum Mind, per its very nature, is hard to know: it’s always changing, and interacting with it is a more-than-delicate matter. So the very question of whether it survives is inappropriate.

Souls are always interacting with souls. Quantum-interacting (even though the interaction goes through classical means, that is, particles, at some point).

Thus souls survive in the collective.

Ever more arguments, and even now experiments, show that those waves, while not particles, are endowed with an ethereal existence capable of differences, thus identity.https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2015/02/14/structured-light-why-light-slows-down-in-water/

One of the philosophical lessons of Quantum Physics is that local is global. Another lesson is that the particular world (the world of particles), is only a minute part of the world. This universe is full of waves, and Dark matter is its prophet.

Full Quantum Neurology is a soul in waiting. Only thus will consciousness be explained. Meanwhile, as physics cannot even get started on consciousness, we have to admit, just because of that, its incompleteness.

Notice in passing that the Quantum Biology based soul does not suffer of predestination problem often plaguing old fashion religion. The Quantum seems to say that the spirit is everything, and has a global reach, but still, it is, somehow, local. That’s unifying, somehow, very disparate and traditionally contradictory notions.

Our moral discourse needs to know there is more than us, because our discourse itself is more than us, and Quantum Wavy, besides. Morality needs a universe, the framework Nihilism is deprived of. And, logically there is more than us. This supplement d’ame, we give it a name, the soul. We are a discourse, the soul is our universe. Amen.

To diminish words and concepts diminishes the reach of our poetical imagination, central to mental creativity. Let’s not be afraid of words. Let’s, instead, endow them with refresh meaning.

Patrice Ayme’

IS LIFE ALL ABOUT THE QUANTUM?

January 22, 2015

Far From Being Absurd, Life May Be A Quantum Force That Gets Ever More Complex

The most striking feature of the Quantum is that, by doing something somewhere, one can change the state of something else, somewhere else. Einstein found this “spooky”. Philosophically, it just says that, whatever the universe is about, it’s not about old fashion “points”, as found in old fashion mathematics.

This “Quantum Entanglement” and the related, yet diluted “Quantum Discord” constitute the true architecture of the universe. This revelation ought to impact everything. Not just philosophy, but also psychology.

I propose the following. Life, its gathering complexity, adaptability, progress, ethology, meaning, are all animated by the very nature of the Quantum. It’s neither weird, nor absurd, it’s a force that proceeds.

Let me backtrack a bit.

“There is only one really serious philosophical problem,” Camus says in his book, The Myth of Sisyphus, “and that is suicide. Deciding whether or not life is worth living is to answer the fundamental question in philosophy. All other questions follow from that.”

What does this mean? Not much. Besides the admission that apparently much of Camus’ life was absurd. Camus should have done like Nietzsche, and go climb mountains solo. There, as Nietzsche did, he would have found meaning.

One does not decide if life is worth living, most of the time, because, most of the time, life is not a choice. One does chose to breathe. One breathes. When one is thirsty, one drinks, and so on. There is a mechanical aspect to animals, who are machines which live. Most of the time, an animal’s systems are on automatic, best described by inertia.

Animals find meaning by experiencing the life that they are made for.

Recent studies have shown that young lions get neurological damage, if they don’t chew hard on tough flesh. Being a lion is meant to be tough, to be fulfilling. Camus and company lived too soft, in their hour of glory.

Lamarck believed that two forces acted on evolution. One had to do with adapting to the environment, the other was the “Pouvoir de Vie”. This “Life Power” brought increasing complexity to biological evolution. It goes without saying that it is observed. It is an open question whether life started on Mars (it probably did). What is clear, though, is that fortunes are spent to sterilize landers sent to other planets (including the Moon), because exobiologists are worried that today’s Earth life would take over: Earth life has become so complex, it can adapt to what space can throw at it.

This “Life Power” made reductionists spiteful, because they saw no science based reason for it. However, if they had been smarter, they would have seen it that it was a fact. They knew too much Classical and Thermo Dynamics… While the true nature of Quantum Physics was hidden by the siren song of the Copenhagen Interpretation.

Quantum Physics depends upon law (unfortunately, that “law” varies; it can be an infuriatingly parachuted wave equation, or another, or, more generally in the “Standard Model”, some manipulation of a hyper complicated Laplacian; in any case, it has to do with waves… Non-linear waves, in the general case!), initial conditions, and also the final space (a Hilbert space generated by eigenstates). This makes Quantum Mechanics somewhat teleological, an inconceivable horror for the classic-mechanical minded.

It means the Quantum looks far ahead, and everywhere, as if it were a god in the machine. It is a god, the god, in the machine…

The final space for genes is the environment. Genes are Quantum machines (a bit like Turing machines, but operated by the Quantum). This interaction between the genetic machinery and the environment means that we have a Quantum mechanism for fast adaptation to the environment.

Someday, soon, Quantum Biology may well become the queen of sciences… Ruling even mathamatics.

But not only this. The Quantum force operates through Quantum Entanglement… Entanglement creates a complexity at a distance, and that complexity propagates, as the Quantum Entanglement does.

So it is as if life progressed by extending Quantum tendrils in all spaces that it can reach, and it can reach a lot. There is Lamarck’ Life Power, there is the increasing complexity, and there is progress. If biology itself progresses, at fortiori culture, the minds’ tendrils.

Why was Camus so obsessed by absurdity? Because he got surrounded by absurdity. He came from a dirt poor environment in Algeria, and, in exchange for valor and work, was given everything by the Republic. This testimony, a celebration of human rights and equal opportunity, was then confronted to “intellectuals” who inverted, and buried all these values… In their names. Camus was told to follow Comrade Stalin, instead. When he begged to differ, he is called a colonial racist.

What is teleology? It’s the logic of the ends, the logic of purposes, logic at a distance. Socrates believed in it. Plato and Aristotle had their own versions. During the Enlightenment, dominated , and inspired as it was by Classical Mechanics, teleology got assimilated to the discredited Christian god, and fell into contempt.

We know more now, and we can afford different, more sophisticated teleologies. I claim that life is teleological, because it evolves not just haphazardly (“stochastically”), but also teleologically (thanks to Quantum Physics, which provides eyes and a feeling… for what is going on at a distance).

Teleology at the level of hydrogen bonds? Most probably (surprise, surprise). Modify the DNA’s environment, and Quantum Computational pressure is exerted on DNA’s hydrogen bonds (among other bonds). Thus the DNA  will evolve much faster than (classical “Darwinian”) haphazard mutations would have it.  It is such an obvious mechanism that evolution is bound to have selected for it. Life’s little secret is the Quantum!

Experiments are planned. All this will be probably viewed as obvious, all along, within ten years.

What this teleology does is to make life ever more adapted and ever more adaptable. If one measures progress by adaptability, progress there has been, as adaptability has progressed.

Philosophically, it means that, in the deepest sense, life, thanks to the Quantum, is behaving as if it were making value judgments. For example, at the molecular level, lowest energy solutions can be evaluated, and selected.

What is the aim of that teleology? Survival of the life form adapting. A question which immediately surges, is what is life? One thing that is clear, though, is the definition of goodness. For a give lifeform, that means survival of said lifeform. So, naturally enough, goodness will vary according to species, but also tribes, and even individuals.

So let the biggest goodness, and the goodness of the strongest lifeform win (as Nietzsche insisted… and this is the way life always has had it… as Nietzsche himself pointed out, following Sade, who was even clearer!)

Experiments in ethology are starting to test this (EJ Winner ought to consider them! ;-)). Basic psychology, such as a sense of fairness, have obvious survival values in social species such as primates.

Intelligence is also teleological. Philosophically, one can argue that intelligence, and even culture, are an extension of the adaptability of life at the nanometer scale, harnessing the Quantum. The extension probably uses the same Quantum machinery that starts to be put in evidence at the molecular level (say in the chlorophyll molecule).

If Homo Is Aware, Is the Universe Aware? It’s a bit like the question of pondering whether a planet harboring life is alive, or not. Earth is certainly alive, because life enables the very conditions on Earth that enable of its on-going existence, so far. The advent of oxygen producing lifeforms enabled the progress of complexity, hence the apparition of intelligence and advanced ethology of the conscious type.

Speaking of this, a question naturally arises: what is the definition of life? Life, so far, has no definition. The greatest minds have been left speechless.

Considering the preceding, clearly, such a definition will have to involve the Quantum, and Entanglement, besides reproduction. Crystals, and Quasi-crystals can reproduce an Entanglement architecture, but they are intensely boring.  They can be described by just one equation.

Life is any Quantum Entanglement architecture which can approximately self-reproduce and adapt while being described by a potentially growing set of equations.

Probably, we are aspects of the Entanglements and Delocalization that the Quantum is capable of, at least in a little corner of the universe. We don’t need no Sisyphus: we can operate on it, at a distance.

Spooky, admittedly, but that’s what we are.

All these revelations  change the overall mood towards the purpose of life. Life is not absurd, it simply is a growing, entangled complexity, our morality and intelligence, hopes, meaning, and consciousness are entangled with it. But the solutions we cling to, all too long, can well be, indeed, all too disjointed, point-wise, disconnected, and thoroughly absurd.

Equally clearly, the (meta, or final!) solution is to have all the absurdities gobbled up by life itself.

Patrice Ayme’

Time for Cause & Effect?

December 31, 2014

Cause, effect, and time are all mysteries at this point. As far as Physics is concerned.

When I was a young chicken, learning physics, pecking around the way chicken do, I came upon “the Arrow of Time”. At the time, the question about the nature of time was all about “Entropy” and the “Second Law of Thermodynamics”. How quaint it seems now that I got much wiser!

Entropy is about “states”. The “Second Law” says that processes augment the number of states, as time goes by.

The most basic question is then: ”What is a state?”

People in thermodynamics thought they had an answer. And, in a way, they do, like a car mechanics is full of answers about the state of your car.

Mechanics Getting Weirder: Are There Wormholes?

Mechanics Getting Weirder: Are There Wormholes?

[Yes, these distorted things are distant galaxies, viewed through the wormhole. The picture, from the excellent movie “Interstellar” depicts how a wormhole in spacetime would appear at close range; the little flower is the rotating spaceship. Interstellar represents an Earth where society has pursued its way down the abyss, thanks to the anti-science, anti-rationality movement in evidence nowadays. NASA went underground… Something not far removed from its present state, where tantalizing clues for life on Mars are left unexamined, because of the anti-nuclear movement… Long story, another time.]

However, nature is a Quantum car. And mechanics have nothing to say about it. Quantum Physics has its own notion of state. Moreover, in the meantime, the very notion of time and causality came under attack. From an unexpected corner.

It was simple enough when Lorentz and Poincaré introduced the notion of “local time”. Time was relative (Poincaré Relativity Principle, 1904): it depended upon one’s state of motion. In a local frame moving fast, time slows down (relative to the friend who did not get on that speedy rocket).

Einstein then observed that if a local time was accelerated, it would also slow down. Einstein somehow hoped to extract from this “General Theory of Relativity” a cause for inertia, but he failed (and could only fail, as GTR is local, not global). He ended up with just a Theory of Gravitation (Fock), a better and much improved version of the one of 1700, true… But still GTR is articulated basically the same equation arising from Ismael Bullialdus considerations in 1645 (and then Huygens, Borelli, Hooke, etc.)

Enter Quantum Physics. There time is absolute (oops). Locally absolute over an extent. Why? Because each Quantum processes are logically and mathematically analyzed in a particular space, relative to said process, and GLOBALLY therein (here is that global concept Einstein was desperately searching for, as he craved for inertia as a global phenomenon, following Newton and Mach).

That particular space relative to that particular process is not just two dimensional (as in the famed double slit experiment), it can be pretty much anything that can be depicted as a Hilbert space (consider Dirac Spinor space).

In the past, before 1904, one could consider that if something A preceded something else B, in time, A could have “caused” B. However local time already messes up with that situation (consider closed time loops in GTR; reference: just released movie Interstellar, a respected relativist, Thorne, made discoveries while consulting for the movie).

Quantum Physics makes causation a worse consideration than ever. As it stands, the Quantum is Non-Local. No need to get into Spin and Bell, to figure that one out: the analysis in Quantum Hilbert space uses time only as a one parameter transformation group, it’s intrinsically Non-Local (hence the famed “Collapse of the Wave Packet).

If a physicist changes a spin axis on Earth, does it do something to the second member of the entangled photon pair he sent to Beta Centauri? Instantaneously? Really? No one knows for sure (and I don’t believe the “instantaneous” part), but the present Quantum formalism (sort of) says it does.

Paradoxically, all of this debate about cause and effect has become very practical, in the most fundamental domain possible, Quantum Physics. As real physics moves away from the multiverse derangement syndrome, it ponders using, as nature and biology, and even evolution do, the Quantum.

Indeed, even biology uses the Quantum to compute, and find best solutions (as was demonstrated in the case of the chlorophyll molecule; much more examples are on the way, including that will demonstrate how a type of Lamarckian evolution works).

However “what causes what” has stood in the way of making Quantum Computers. Real physicists and engineers have been trying to get a handle on causation. One wants to isolate the process of computation, yet get it impacted by complicated inputs, and only these.

Time to spend some money on all this (that means re-direct the economy that way).

Patrice Ayme’

NON-LOCALITY

December 28, 2014

Non-Locality is the stuff of legends. A sorcerer does something somewhere, and something happens somewhere else. Newton himself said the gravitation theory which he had helped to elaborate was “absurd” because of “act at a distance”:

“It is inconceivable that inanimate Matter should, without the Mediation of something else, which is not material, operate upon, and affect other matter without mutual Contact…That Gravity should be innate, inherent and essential to Matter, so that one body may act upon another at a distance thro’ a Vacuum, without the Mediation of any thing else, by and through which their Action and Force may be conveyed from one to another, is to me so great an Absurdity that I believe no Man who has in philosophical Matters a competent Faculty of thinking can ever fall into it.—Isaac Newton, Letters to Bentley, 1692/3.

Du Châtelet Discovered Energy, Infrared Radiation, Correcting Newton

Du Châtelet Discovered Energy, Infrared Radiation, Correcting Newton

[Yes, one of civilization’s most important physicists and thinkers was a woman; but don’t ask the French, they never heard of her… because she was a woman.]

However Émilie Du Châtelet pointed out that: “…hypotheses eventually become truths for us if their probability increases to such a point that this probability can morally pass for certainty…. In contrast, an hypothesis becomes improbable in proportion to the number of circumstances found for which the hypothesis does not give a reason. And finally, it becomes false when it is found to contradict a well-established observation.” (Du Châtelet’s Lectures on Physics, 1740. Notice the subtlety of the thinking.)

Every Quantum process contradicts Locality, thus, Émilie Du Châtelet would say, Locality is a false hypothesis.

Gravitation got better described (not much) by making gravitation into a field propagating at the speed of light. It is not a trivial modification: it immediately predicts gravitational waves. If two huge star like objects (such as pulsars) rotate around each other, they should generate such waves, they should carry energy away, and those two objects ought to fall towards each other at a predictable rate. Said rate is indeed observed, thus Einstein’s gravitational equation (obtained by talking a lot with others, such as Hilbert, Grasso, etc.) seems correct.

Einstein’s main motivation for his theory of “General Relativity” was that he wanted to explain inertia (why fast rotating planets develop a bulge at the equator, or more generally an acceleration VV/r). That worry, called Mach’s Principle, actually originated 100% with Newton. Newton put water in a pail, twisted and twisted and twisted a rope from which the pail was suspended, and let go: the pail rotated faster and faster, and the water inside crawled up.

Einstein basic wishful logic was that: gravitation = inertia (he called that the “Principle of Equivalence”). So, by making a theory of gravitation, Einstein would make one of inertia, and become a giant among giants (of Du Châtelet’s caliber, say).

Silly. Silly idea, doomed to fail.

Why silly? Once gravitation was made into a field, Einstein and company made it into curvature in a manifold (called “spacetime”; the basic idea was elaborated by genius Riemann, two generations earlier, although implicitly attributed to Einstein by the ignorant ones).

So gravitation is locally determined: once at a point A, gravitation, that is, curvature of spacetime, is determined in a(ny) neighborhood of A (call it N).

The distant stars do not influence N much, if at all. Yet, inertia is clearly determined by the distant galactic clusters.  Einstein could not understand this.

But now physicists understand better Einstein was deluded, and (Soviet physicist) Fock’s critique that Einstein’s General Relativity is just a theory of gravitation is universally (albeit silently) accepted.

So let me repeat slowly, as I suspect many readers will not understand this either: inertia, as far as present day physics can see, is a Non-Local effect. Inertia has been Non-Local, ever since Buridan discovered it, seven centuries ago (1320 CE; time flies!)

Einstein completely failed at understanding inertia. Einstein even failed to realize that it was a Non-Local effect, although that is completely obvious. So he came out obsessed by Non-Locality, while being angry at it (so he was open to the Non-Local objection of philosopher-physicist Sir Karl Popper! Hence the EPR paper, more or less lifted from Popper.)

All this to say that I am not shocked by Non-Locality: I just have to go out, and look at the stars, move about, and I see Non-Locality.

Many, if not most physicists are horrified by Non-Locality.

Philosophically, though, being afraid of Non-Locality makes no sense. Once I was broaching Quantum Physics with my dad. I explained what I understood of the problem of Non-Locality to him.

My dad did not know much physics, but he was a scientist. Admitted to the famed ENA (the school of conspirators from which the present leaders of France come from), he declined it, and, instead, following the path of his own father, an amateur-professional geologist, he himself became a (highly successful) non-academic geologist (he discovered Algeria’s fortune).

My Dad said: ”Non-Locality is obvious. To think things would get ever smaller, just the same, made no sense.”

With this philosophical perspective, the following arise: physical space is not made of points (although Quantum Field Theory is, one of its many problems).

When physicists talk about Non-Locality, they feel the urge to get into the “Bell Inequality”. But it’s a convoluted, over-specialized, contrived way to get at Non-Locality (I say this, although I respect the late John Bell as much as I despise Feynman when he tried to steal Bell’s work… Although, in general I do respect and love Feynman, especially in light of his appreciation for my own ideas).

Bell theorem says that some Local Hidden Variable theories imply an Inequality that Quantum Physics violate. So Bell’s is a work which predicts that something false is not true.

My approach to Non-Locality is made for Primary School. It goes first through:

  • The Uncertainty Principle:

Suppose you want to know where an object is. Suppose all you have is touch. So you kick it. However, if you kick it, it goes somewhere else. That’s the Uncertainty Principle.

Why touch? Because light is touch. It turns out that light carries energy and momentum. Anybody who lays in the sun will agree about the energy. To demonstrate the momentum of light requires a bit more experimental subtlety.

Could you kick the object gently? No. That’s where the Wave Principle kicks in. Waves ignore objects which are smaller than themselves: they just turn around them, as anybody who has seen a twenty meter tsunami wave enter a Japanese port will testify.

So, to detect a small object, one needs a small wavelength, high frequency wave. However the energy of a Quantum wave (at least a light wave) is proportional to its frequency.

So the more precise the determination of (position of) the object, the higher the frequency of the wave, the greater the energy and momentum conferred to the object, etc.

  • Conservation of Momentum: 

One has axioms, in physics, as in mathematics. Modern physics axioms include the conservation of energy and momentum. Newton knew of the latter, and confused it with the former. A French woman, Gabrielle Émilie Le Tonnelier de Breteuil, marquise du Châtelet discovered (kinetic) energy (”force vive”). As she also discovered Infrared radiation, she obviously could have done more when she died from a fever, at age 43, after giving birth to her fourth child. (Her lover Voltaire, also a physicist quipped that:” Émilie du Châtelet was a great man whose only defect was to be a woman”)

Fundamental hypotheses in contemporary physics are conservation of energy and momentum (something the Multiverse violates, thus, into the bin of silly ideas).

  • The Non-Local Interaction:

So say two particles, such as a positron-electron pair, are created together and have total momentum zero (a completely realistic situation: machines do this, for medicine).

Knowing the momentum of (say) the electron E, gives that of the positron P (the vector is exactly opposite to that of the electron). Classical and Quantum mechanics say the same.

So, without having disturbed P (it could be next to Beta Centauri, 4 light years away), we know its momentum. Should one measure it later, one will find it as said. (The latter experiment, retrospective checking of entanglement was actually accomplished by the Austrian Zeillinger and his team!)

However, the basic set-up of Quantum Physics says that the measurement create the state (my formulation, you will not read that in textbooks, although it’s clearly what Bohr wanted to say, but he did not dare, lest his academic reputation gets vilified: he had only a Nobel Prize in physics, after all…).

So the state of P, maybe a few light years away, was created by measuring E.

How come?

The basic Quantum set-up was designed for laboratory experiments, not Cosmological Quantum effects. So it did not need to consider all the consequences of this.

Following Du Châtelet, I will say that we are in obvious need of a new hypothesis, the QUANTUM INTERACTION (ex “Collapse of the Wave Packet”). It explains what we observe (instead of trying desperately to say that we cannot possible observe what we observe).

Following Newton, I will say it is absurd to suppose that the effect of E on P is instantaneous. So this Quantum Interaction goes at a speed I call TAU (it’s at least 10^10 the speed of light: 10,000,000,000 times c).

New physics coming to a Quantum Computer near you.

And of course , said new physics will have giant impacts on philosophy (be it only by presenting new models of how things may be done), or Free Will (is it really free if it takes its orders from Andromeda?). This is going to be fun.

Patrice Ayme’

Free Will & Quantum

December 27, 2014

It is natural to suspect that those who evoke the Quantum at every turn are a bit deranged. Has a Quantum obsession replaced God? God died, but not the need to obsess? (Dominique Deux made a wry remark in that direction.)

Nietzsche himself is an example. Having “killed” (his father’s) “God“, Nietzsche obsessed about the (Indian based) “Eternal Return of the Same”, something from the Zeitgeist. Henri Poincare’ soon demonstrated some dynamical systems roughly do this (although I certainly do not believe all Solar Systems will; recent observations have confirmed my hunch: many Solar Systems are very unstable, the Sun-Jupiter harmony may be rare…)

Quasar & Host Galaxy [NASA-ESA Hubble]

Quasar & Host Galaxy [NASA-ESA Hubble]

[The picture, from 1996, is poor, as the Quasar is very far. We need another telescope, but plutocrats don’t want it, because they would have to pay more taxes, thus rendered unable to treat the Commons as dirt as much as they desire. Yet, in spite of the plutocratically imposed low resolution, one can see the mighty ultra-relativistic jets arising from the Quasar’s core.]

Obsessing about the Quantum is obsessing about the true nature of Nature. As it turns out it’s much simpler and magical than the classical picture.

Nature is the Quantum writ large. Relativity, the Standard model, the Big Bang: these are all amusements of dubious veracity. The Quantum is the Real Thing. And it’s everywhere. Most people just don’t know it yet.

Even Biological Evolution Theory, or Free Will, are going to be revealed to be within the Quantum’s empire.

There is something called “Free Will Skepticism” as massaged in Gregg Caruso Scientia Salon’s essays, and his (celebrity) TED talk. It is not so much skepticism about the existence of Free Will, but skepticism that those who loudly believe in “Free Will” have a constructive, progressive attitude in the society of the USA.

Ultimately, the problem of Free Will will have to tackle the problem of what are exactly the free agents in Quantum Physics.

Well, nobody knows for sure. What the free agents are is the central problem of Quantum Computing, and the high energy physicists’ wild goose chase for high energy processes went the other way, for two generations, so we don’t know what determines the evolution of the Quantum systems.

High energy processes are of interest only in high energy places, none of which are found where the biosphere lays. In other words, much physics, high energy physics used the Quantum, but did not try to figure it out.

Not knowing what the free agents, if any, of Quantum Physics are imply that we do not know what determines the evolution of the simplest processes.

The simplest processes are, by definition, the Quantum processes.

As long as we do not really know what controls simplest systems, talking about whether there is Free Will, or not, is shooting the breeze.

Free Will is even a problem in Quantum Non-Local analysis.

On-going experiments on non-locality. In some hard core physics labs. Those experiments aim to turn around the problem that we may have no Free Will.

The situation is this: doing a measurement at point A was found to have an influence at point B. The influence propagates orders of magnitude faster than the speed of light (as the formalism of basic Quantum Physics theory predicts).

French physicist Alain Aspect was able to show this with crafty optico-acoustic devices (he got the Wolf prize for this, and, clearly, ought to get the physics Nobel). The question remained, though, that maybe Alain Aspect himself was a pre-determined phenomenon deprived of Free Will.

To check this, Aspect’s experiment is going to be re-run with distant quasars in charge (rather than just some French guys). MIT physics department is doing this.

Free Will is the last major loophole of Bell’s inequality — a 50-year-old theorem on Spin that, as it is violated by experiments, means that the universe is based not the (topologically separated) laws of classical physics, but on Non-Locality.

Actually this is all very simple. (No need for the fancy high school math of Bell’s theorem, a particular case of Non-Locality with spins.)

Two quasars on opposite sides of heavens are so distant from each other, that they would have been out of causal contact since the (semi-mythical) Big Bang some 14 billion years ago: there are no possible means for any third party to communicate with both of them since the (semi-mythical) beginning of the universe…

Now, of course, if my own version of the universe is true, and the universe is actually 100 billion years old, the “loophole” re-opens…

But of course, as a philosopher, I know perfectly well that I have Free Will, and, as a momentarily benevolent soul, I extend the courtesy to Alain Aspect.

The universe is Non-Local, even my Free Will is Non-Local, it does not have to be like long dead gentlemen thought it should be.

Patrice Ayme’

QUANTUM ENTANGLEMENT: Nature’s Faster Than Light Architecture

November 22, 2014

A drastically back-to-basic reasoning shows that the universe is held together and ordered by a Faster Than Light Interaction, QUANTUM ENTANGLEMENT. Nature is beautifully simple and clever.

(For those who spurn Physics, let me point out that Quantum Entanglement, being the Fundamental Process, occurs massively in the brain. Thus explaining the non-local nature of consciousness.)

***

The Universe is held together by an entangled, faster than light interaction. It is time to talk about it, instead of the (related) idiocy of the “multiverse”. OK, it is easier to talk idiotically than to talk smart.

Entanglement Propagates, Says the National Science Foundation (NSF)

Entanglement Propagates, Says the National Science Foundation (NSF)

I will present Entanglement in such a simple way, that nobody spoke of it that way before.

Suppose that out of an interaction, or system S, come two particles, and only two particles, X and Y. Suppose the energy of S is known, that position is the origin of the coordinates one is using, and that its momentum is zero.

By conservation of momentum, momentum of X is equal to minus momentum of Y.

In Classical Mechanics, knowing where X is tells us immediately where Y is.

One can say that the system made of X and Y is entangled. Call that CLASSICAL ENTANGLEMENT.

This is fully understood, and not surprising: even Newton would have understood it perfectly.

The same situation holds in Quantum Physics.

This is not surprising: Quantum Physics ought not to contradict Classical Mechanics, because the latter is fully demonstrated, at least for macroscopic objects X and Y. So why not for smaller ones?

So far, so good.

In Quantum Physics, Classical Entanglement gets a new name. It is called QUANTUM ENTANGLEMENT. It shows up as a “paradox”, the EPR.

That paradox makes the greatest physicists freak out, starting with Einstein, who called QUANTUM ENTANGLEMENT “spooky action at a distance”.

Why are physicists so shocked that what happens in Classical Mechanics would also be true in Quantum Physics?

Some say John Bell, chief theorist at CERN, “solved” the EPR Paradox, in 1964. Not so. Bell, who unfortunately died of a heart attack at 64, showed that the problem was real.

So what’s the problem? We have to go back to what is the fundamental axiom of Quantum Physics (Note 1). Here it is:

De Broglie decreed in 1924 that all and any particle X of energy-momentum (E,p) is associated to a wave W. That wave W s uniquely defined by E and p. So one can symbolize this by: W(E,p).

W(E,p) determines in turn the behavior of X. In particular all its interactions.

De Broglie’s obscure reasoning seems to have been understood by (nearly) no one to this day. However it was checked right away for electrons, and De Broglie got the Nobel all for himself within three years of his thesis.

Most of basics Quantum Mechanics is in De Broglie’s insight. Not just the “Schrodinger” equation, but the Uncertainty Principle.

Why?

Take a “particle X”. Let’s try to find out where it is. Well, that means we will have to interact with it. Wait, if we interact, it is a wave W. How does one find the position of a wave? Well the answer is that one cannot: when one tries to corner a wave, it becomes vicious, as everybody familiar with the sea will testify. Thus to try to find the position of a particle X makes its wave develop great momentum.

A few years after De Broglie’s seminal work, Heisenberg explained that in detail in the particular case of trying to find where an electron is, by throwing a photon on it.

This consequence of De Broglie’s Wave Principle was well understood in several ways, and got to be known as the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle:

(Uncertainty of Position)(Uncertainty of Momentum) > (Planck Constant)

[Roughly.]

The Quantum Wave, and thus the Uncertainty, applies to any “particle” (it could be a truck).

It is crucial to understand what the Uncertainty Principle says. In light of all particles being waves (so to speak), the Uncertainty Principle says that, AT NO MOMENT DOES A PARTICLE HAVE, EVER, A PERFECTLY DEFINED MOMENTUM and POSITION.

It would contradict the “particle’s” wavy nature. It’s always this question of putting a wave into a box: you cannot reduce the box to a point. There are NO POINTS in physics.

Now we are set to understand why Quantum Entanglement created great anxiety. Let’s go back to our two entangled particles, X and Y, sole, albeit not lonely, daughters of system S. Suppose X and Y are a light year apart.

Measure the momentum of X, at universal time t (Relativity allows to do this, thanks to a process of slow synchronization of clocks described by Poincare’ and certified later by Einstein). The momentum of Y is equal and opposite.

But, wait, at same time t, the position of Y could be determined.

Thus the Uncertainty Principle would be violated at time t at Y: one could retrospectively fully determine Y’s momentum and position, and Y would have revealed itself to be, at that particular time t, a vulgar point-particle… As in Classical Mechanics. But there are no point-particles in Quantum Physics:  that is, no point in Nature, that’s the whole point!).

Contradiction.

(This contradiction is conventionally called the “EPR Paradox”; it probably ought to be called the De Broglie-Einstein-Popper Paradox, or, simply, the Non-Locality Paradox.)

This is the essence of why Quantum Entanglement makes physicists with brains freak out. I myself have thought of this problem, very hard, for decades. However, very early on, I found none of the solutions by the great names presented to be satisfactory. And so I developed my own. The more time passes, the more I believe in it.

A difficulty I had is my theory created lots of cosmic garbage, if true (;-)).

At this point, Albert Einstein and his sidekicks (one of them was just used to translate from Einstein’s German) wrote:

“We are thus forced to conclude that the quantum-mechanical description of physical reality given by wave functions is not complete.” [Einstein, A; B Podolsky; N Rosen (1935-05-15). “Can Quantum-Mechanical Description of Physical Reality be Considered Complete?”. Physical Review 47 (10): 777–780.]

The EPR paper ends by saying:

“While we have thus shown that the wave function does not provide a complete description of the physical reality, we left open the question of whether or not such a description exists. We believe, however, that such a theory is possible.”

This is high lawyerese: even as vicious a critic as your humble servant cannot find anything wrong with this craftily composed conceptology.

Einstein had corresponded on the subject with the excellent philosopher Karl Popper earlier (and Popper found his own version of the EPR). This is no doubt while he was more circumspect that he had been before.

Let’s recapitulate the problem, my way.

After interacting, according to the WAVE PRINCIPLE, both widely separating particles X and Y share the SAME WAVE.

I talk, I talk, but this is what the equations that all physicists write say: SAME WAVE. They can write all the equations they want, I think about them.

That wave is non-local, and yes, it could be a light year across. Einstein had a problem with that? I don’t.

Those who cling to the past, tried everything to explain away the Non-Locality Paradox.

Einstein was a particular man, and the beginning of the EPR paper clearly shows he wants to cling back to particles, what I view as his error of 1905. Namely that particles are particles during fundamental processes (he got the Physics Nobel for it in 1922; however, as I will not get the Nobel, I am not afraid to declare the Nobel Committee in error; Einstein deserved several Nobels, yet he made a grievous error in 1905, which has led most physicists astray, to this day… hence the striking madness of the so-called “multiverse”).

The Bell Inequality (which Richard Feynman stole for himself!) conclusively demonstrated that experiments could be made to check whether the Quantum Non-Local effects would show up.

The experiments were conducted, and the Non-Local effects were found.

That they would not have been found would have shattered Quantum Physics completely. Indeed, all the modern formalism of Quantum Physics is about Non-Locality, right from the start.

So what is my vision of what is going on? Simple: when one determines, through an interaction I, the momentum of particle X, the wave made of X and Y, W(X,Y), so to speak, “collapses”, and transmits the fact of I to particle Y at faster than light speed TAU. (I have computed that TAU is more than 10^10 the speed of light, c; Chinese scientists have given a minimum value for TAU, 10^4 c)

Then Y reacts as if it had been touched. Because, well, it has been touched: amoebae-like, it may have extended a light year, or more.

Quantum Entanglement will turn into Einstein’s worst nightmare. Informed, and all around, quasi-instantaneously. Tell me, Albert, how does it feel to have thought for a while one had figured out the universe, and then, now, clearly, not at all?

(Why not? I did not stay stuck, as Einstein did, making metaphors from moving trains, clocks, etc; a first problem with clocks is that Quantum Physics does not treat time and space equivalently. Actually the whole Quantum conceptology is an offense to hard core Relativity.)

Faster than light entanglement is a new way to look at Nature. It will have consequences all over. Indeed particles bump into each other all the time, so they get entangled. This immediately implies that topology is important to classify, and uncover hundreds of states of matter that we did not suspect existed. None of this is idle: Entanglement  is central to Quantum Computing.

Entanglement’s consequences, from philosophy to technology, are going to dwarf all prior science.

Can we make predictions, from this spectacular, faster than light, new way to look at Nature?

Yes.

Dark Matter. [2]

Patrice Ayme’

***

[1]: That the De Broglie Principle, the Wave Principle implies Planck’s work is my idea, it’s not conventional Quantum as found in textbooks.

[2]: Interaction density depends upon matter density. I propose that Dark Matter is the remnants of waves that were too spread-out to be fully brought back by Quantum Wave Collapse. In low matter density, thus, will Dark Matter be generated. As observed.

CONSCIOUSNESS IS QUANTUM

August 30, 2014

Consciousness is Quantum, because it cannot be anything else. Another, more vague argument, is that consciousness is ultimate, and so is Quantum Physics. It’s simple and natural to identify them, on the ground that there should be just one ultimate thing.

If consciousness were not Quantum, it would have to be classically explained. On the face of it, this is completely stupid: the world is Quantum, not classical. If consciousness were not Quantum, it would have to be “classical”, that is, not fundamental.

The Quantum is so incredibly fundamentally new, that it has changed even the notion of what it means to be enlightened:

Cat Seen From Entanglement, Not Light (!)

Cat Seen From Entanglement, Not Light (!)

[One of these Schrödinger cats was created by Entanglement, not Light!]

An argument for the Quantum nature of consciousness can also be derived along… classical lines familiar to old fashion philosophers.

Consider Classical Mechanics. Classical Mechanics is completely deterministic: given initial conditions, which can be determined with complete precision, a few differential evolution equation determine fully what will happen forever thereafter.

Thus, in Classical Mechanics, there cannot be any free will. Contrarily to observation. Also one then is left to ponder what good consciousness would have. Even pain would be useless, because the very conception of warning does not present any utility. Any process being ineluctable, human beings, and other animals are just witnesses to their own condition.

This means that the basic philosophy of consciousness and freedom contradicts Classical Mechanics.

Far from being philosophically satisfying, Classical mechanics is absurd. Descartes guessed this, as, inspired by Classical Mechanics (then being elaborated to the point it was clear that the equations were fully deterministic), he suggested animals were just machines.

To make human beings in something more, God was needed, it was confusedly felt. But then the omnipotence of God re-created the same problem as before: an omnipotent God replaces Classical Mechanics, and remakes the world into something humans cannot influence.

Quantum Physics has provided with a way out. It’s everywhere, unbeknownst. It is not just a physics of space and time, as so called “Relativity” is. When Poincare’ suggested the concept of Relativity, he meant one of space and time.

However, Quantum Physics entails a much more general relativity, the relativity of knowledge itself. Such is the Schrödinger Cat Paradox. Cats can be seen where one’s light has NOT reached. (The experiment was published a few weeks ago.)

What else do we know that can extent where no light of ours has passed? Consciousness, of course.

And the brain in all this?

The brain is a classical object, at first sight, a topology, a place with a notion of neighborhood. Different organs and networks in the brain accomplish different tasks, all at the same time. That’s what led some to the notion of subconscious. Indeed, most of these tasks are not consciously perceived: most of what the brain does is done in the background, and at best only very dimly perceived. For example heart management is hidden.

Yet, should one get a heart attack, one’s heart will become the focus of one’s consciousness (starting with a big pain). So what does consciousness do? It brings problems to the fore, and tasks where creativity, neurological creativity, is needed right away.

The brain, at first sight, is a classical object. But, at second sight, and actually, beyond sight, there is entanglement. And it allows to see.

It’s not as Pascal put it posthumously, that the heart can see where reason cannot, it’s that consciousness can see where light cannot. Remember the picture above.

How does consciousness do this? The brain, as I said has a local topology, yet consciousness rules over it all, that is, non-locally (we know this intuitively, or, as we also say, philosophically).

That perceived non-locality is something in common with Quantum Physics. The picture of the Schrödinger Cat made without light having gone from the cat to us was obtained by Quantum Entanglement, and not by a physical (“Hausdorff topology”) process.

Quantum Physics is not Hausdorff: points cannot be separated from each other. Not just that, but Quantum Physics is not local. Neither does consciousness feels like something, nor should it be, philosophically speaking as something that can be separated, and localized.

Some may scoff that the preceding may be all very interesting, a perspective on what may one day be better understood. But that it’s not practical.

Not so. The day has come, it’s here now.

Robots will seriously replace, displace and overcome humans when Quantum Physics becomes the core of Artificial Intelligence. Verily, one should talk about Artificial Consciousness (AC).

Indeed, the Quantum, once installed within machines in full, will show up as synthetic free will. The first Quantum computers are officially operational (see the D-Wave Two, an Adiabatic Quantum Computer; actually, you won’t see it, it’s sold for ten million dollars each).

Quantum processes, at best, are determined by non-local processes that we cannot inspect. Another point in common with consciousness.

So we are, most probably, Quantum computers. Classical Mechanics could explain us, Quantum Mechanics gives us freedom, and all what conscience is. This means that, as we create full Quantum computers, we will create, if my guess is correct, full consciousness of our own making. And we will be able to augment at will how conscious those machines will be.

Until they take over, of course.

The crown of creation will soon create souls. And soon engineer souls. Our apish ancestors started by stealing fire, we will end up giving birth to gods.

Patrice Ayme’

Demonic Empire & Bliss

June 27, 2014

Traditionally, there are those who are for empire, and those who are against it. Also there are those who distinguish good empires (the Athenian empire, the French “mission civilisatrice”; English Commonwealth) from the disgusting ones (say UK’s anti-Boer South Africa), to the very bad ones (plutocrat Leopold II’s Heart of Darkness Congo), or the outright demonic ones (the Kaiser’s holocaustic Namibia).

However, Manicheism goes only that far. I am going to suggest a completely different form of analysis, and approach, to the concept of empire.

An empire has subjects, just as a predator has preys. This is the conventional view. And, yet, it contains its own overcoming. Indeed, just as there is a mathematical entanglement between predator and prey, there is a philosophical entanglement between an empire and its subjects.

Good Empires Rest On Holy Wisdom; Ἁγία Σοφία, Constantinopolis

Good Empires Rest On Holy Wisdom; Ἁγία Σοφία, Constantinopolis

“Imperium” depicted initially the absolute, life-and-death ordering capability from top Roman generals. (Roman “emperors” inherited that capability, as they were always the commanders in chief, at least on paper.)

To this day, an empire is supposed to be all about a few ordering the many (thus, intrinsically “fascist”). Yet, even this Roman military root is endowed with subtlety: imperium does not reduce to fascism.

Why? The semiotics of fascism is, fundamentally, not just about the many being strong by tying up together. It’s about the law, and the law is absolute: Dura Lex, Sed Lex (Law Hard, But Law).  So the many are tied by an absolute.

Roman generals were obeyed absolutely, only when they inspired an aura of absolutism, that only vertiginous respect could confer them.

A professional special force killer was sent to assassinate Marius (seven times Consul, who triumphed in Africa over Jugurtha, and Gaul, Piedmont over invading Germans). He found the elder Marius in a room. Marius, unafraid, addressed the would be-assassin with his stentorian voice: ”Soldier, are you going to kill your general?”. Trembling, excusing himself, the assassin fled, and Marius’ enemies gave up on the notion of killing their all too respected foe.

In other words, imperium worked best when the soldiers loved their generals. After all, soldiers were armed to the teeth, trained to kill, and not to fear death. Generals need to be loved, the law does not. So imperium is an intrinsically milder notion than fascism.

Thus it’s not enough to say there are good empires, and bad ones. More generally, there are good empire-subject entanglements, and bad, unjust ones. It’s not all about just about the empire, it’s also about the subjects, and it’s also about the interactions of the one, with the others. Moreover those entanglements can be asymmetric.

Let me give an example. The Roman empire was the ultimate empire. Arguably, it’s going on, stronger than ever, 27 centuries after its founding (long story). For at least a millennium, the Romans interacted with the Celts, Jews, Egyptians, Greeks and Mesopotamians.

It was the same Roman empire, however, the outcomes were very different, and drastic differences are reflected to this day: the West became Rome, and Mesopotamia is still wrecked by war without end. By far the most complex interaction was with the Celto-Germans. It was pretty much antipodal to what happened with the Jews and the Mesopotamians, and, one can even claim, with the Greeks.

In Mesopotamia, and against the Iranians, Rome and its successor regime (“Constantinople”) struggled in vain for seven centuries. Nothing came out of it, except so much morbidity that, in the end, the Arabs overwhelmed both Persia and most of Rome.

The Jews, or rather, domineering Jewish fanatics, who made no sense whatsoever, in two formidably suicidal wars, rejected Rome. The first of these killed a million Jews, much of the population of Israel, then. It started by the cold blooded killing, inside Jerusalem, of 600 legionnaires of the Roman garrison. The strategic objective was unclear, and soon at least three Jewish factions were fighting each other, to death besides engaging the Romans.

The Romans had a sense of humor, and catapulted thousands of pig heads inside Jerusalem (I presume that they let them rot carefully first). On the less amusing side, the legions devastated forests throughout the region to build gigantic works for the siege of the holy city.

Egypt did not care about Rome one way or another. That mood of pragmatic indifference was contagious: while the titanic struggle of the Judaic War unfolded, just over the horizon, the hundreds of thousands of Jews in Alexandria did not raise the smallest protest.

Greece had been severely mistreated by the plutocratic Roman Senate, by 146 CE: Corinth was destroyed as a warning that republican independence of Greek City-States will not be tolerated. That was mass terrorism, and it marked Greece for centuries to come, as intended. Greek democracy did not recover, until the EU chased out the pro-Washington dictatorship, 21 centuries later.

And then there were the Celts and the Germans.  Those were not united, they relished their complicated world. They had adopted many traits of Greek civilization, even before the Romans showed up. Their metallurgy was second to none, and a major export to Rome. Ultimately, after 16 centuries of tragi-comedy, and all sorts of happenstance, the Celto-Germans became Rome (officially, in 800 CE).

It’s actually a curious thing: after a terrible war when Caesar intervened (Caesar was accused by some in the Senate and some historians, to have caused much of the problem), nothing anti-Roman ever happened again in Gallia. Even when the so called Gallic Empire ruled, later, it was not to reject Rome, but to improve it.

Differently from what had happened in Greece, the Romans did not rule Gaul through terror (although the war with Caesar had killed and enslaved millions, it had been a very complicated, messy affair, nothing like the cold blooded holocaust at Corinth) . Far from it. Even Latin was not imposed. In the Fifth Century the bishop of Lugdunum (= Lyon) preached in Celtic. Latin replaced Celtic completely, well after the legions were gone (that happened in 400 CE, a decision of Rome, taken when, for budgetary reasons, Rome put the Franks in charge of defending the two Germania and Gallia). Phasing out the three Celtic languages happened when the Franks, who came to rule Gaul completely in the early Sixth Century, completely gave up their own Low Countries German for Latin.

The Celto-Germano-Greco-Roman civilization became a symbiosis ruled by the Franks. Why a community of minds there, and not with Israel, or Mesopotamia? It’s obviously an explanation that involves many factors. The Celto-Germans and the Greco-Romans had a very long story, with fair intellectual trade, in both directions: by the time Caesar showed up, that intense trade was at least a millennium old. The Roman army was equipped with Celtic metal works for centuries.

Celts and Romans had important principles in common, like a quasi-religious dislike for kings, and, certainly, hatred of tyranny. This dislike was so strong that Armanius (Hermann) a once-Roman officer who treacherously annihilated Roman general Varus and his three legions (plus supporting troops, and fellow travellers), was later killed by fellow rebels for behaving, it was alleged, like a king.

Yet, as Rome became a fascist dictatorship, the Germans became more sympathetic to fascism, and kingship. Clovis, elected king of the Franks, his father, Roman imperator Childeric I, and his grandfather Merovius. Thus, Western Europe (or, at least, the elements if Western Europe which came to re-establish an empire) was pretty much evolving as one mental unit.

Such bliss of a common spirituality was not shared in the Middle East. The Jewish God symbolized tyranny made divine. Persians and Mesopotamians needed to kneel abjectly to all the plutocrats they could find. Lack of water had led the civilization of the Middle East to dictatorship. The hydraulic dictatorship (Fernand Braudel) implied “Oriental Despotism” (Karl Marx).  Fascism, cruel and demented, the “Right of Sword”.

Darius, who fought from Ethiopia to Ukraine, exhibited a clear case of the “Right of the Sword”. That existing mood was embraced 11 centuries later in the Qur’an. Unbelievably, the Sword is still festering today: arguing for the Right Of The Sword, Arab plutocrats are agitating, in 2014, to have Justinian’s Cathedral, Ἁγία Σοφία, “Holy Wisdom“,now a museum, been converted again to a mosque, so that the depiction of the real world represented therein be covered up again, as reality offends Islam.

This is an example of the persistence of moods and systems of ideas. Cynics will also point out that their genesis, namely the desert, only got worse.

Well, whatever: if we understand the situation, we can probably fix it. No empire, no law. Thus it remains to make the empire good.

Today the European Empire’s 28 heads of state approved Jean-Claude Junkers as head of the European Commission (the EU’s executive branch). The European Parliament is widely expected to elect Junkers next week. The 28 elected chiefs used the occasion to sign on the Free Trade and Association Treaty with Ukraine and Moldavia. Justly unsatisfied by this slap to Putin, they also sent Vlad the Impaler, back in Moscow, an ultimatum. Yes, an ultimatum. Electing the head of the EC is a furthering of democracy in the European empire. But democracy is naught, if it can’t bite.

The 28 EU leaders demanded that separatists return border checkpoints, release hostages and start talks to implement a peace plan drawn up by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko by June 30. Failure to do so will result in “further significant restrictive measures” against Russia.

Vlad The Invader has three days to obey. It may be time for him to remember what happened when his preceding supporter of minorities through annexations, Adolf Hitler, refused to obey. Unbelievably, France persuaded Britain to declare war.

Wisdom without doom is only gloom.

Patrice Aymé