Posts Tagged ‘Quantum’

Is Intelligence The Definition Of Quantum Life? … Spatial Consequences…

August 16, 2020

IS LIFE, QUANTUM VERSION, CLEVER ENOUGH TO CREATE WHAT WE CAN’T? Yet? 

Obviously… As humanity gets beaten up by COVID 19, one may want to ponder how clever life is. Is COVID 19 a clever answer? To a question which was not asked enough? Do you, humanity, have enough decency to be clever enough to survive? What about space? How does life survives that? OK, it’s not exactly booming in Antarctica’s Dry Valleys. 

There are two aspects, contradicting each other, one disfavorable to life, the other favorable, which may not have been given enough weight in evaluating Advanced Intelligence in space. First the situation of Earth is special, very stable, in part from having a large Moon (compare with Mars’ wild rotation axis tumbling, with super winters, and super summers). Plus, the solar system is historically stable: no supernova exploded real close in the last 4 billion years. Many are the disasters possible, out there in space.

Disaster land: Scott, who discovered them, called Antarctica Dry Valleys the “valleys of death”. Katabatic winds regularly reach 300 kilometers per hour, and more, all the way down them… This is only 1,300 kilometers from the South Pole…

Red Dwarves, which are both most frequent and most unstable, are a case in point, with huge flares, Coronal Mass Ejections. They may be OK for human colonization, but biological evolution to multicellular level, is something else.

40 BILLION EARTHS? Yes & NO.

However, and in the other direction, it is likely that biological evolution is in great part a Quantum Process. Basically, to put it bluntly, the Quantum is intelligent (think about the interference pattern from the double slit: how does the photon know where to go? More prosaically, electrons find, Quantum Mechanically, the lowest energy solutions, as if they were little sorcerers: if that’s not clever, what is? This is used crucially in life forms extracting energy from the sun).

The delicate architecture of DNA is Quantum-sensitive to environmental conditions: if things change inside a cell, DNA can change in a selection-of-the fittest DNA. A process quicker than the selection of the fittest species, and which will appear as clever telenomic adaptation harnessing necessity beyond chance. 

So Quantum biology may be clever enough to survive in conditions which look impossible to us… Or even to be created in impossible conditions (think Red Dwarves).

The most sinister interpretation of the Fermi Paradox is not that civilizations don’t last. It is that they are in hiding, because it’s a jungle out there. That’s the Dark Forest theme found in many science fiction novels. Exploring Earth, Mars, Europa, Enceladus, and the closest star systems, should throw light on the subject. It’s possible that life is stuck at a very primitive level, all over. Indeed we don’t know how life evolved on Earth, thus, how likely the different steps… Quantum Computers should help with lowest energy solutions to find those probabilities…

The Antarctic Dry Valleys are basically deprived of life. However, there is some.

Researchers have discovered that Antarctica Dry Valleys are home to a variety of extremophiles (organisms that live in extreme environments). Among them are lichen and mosses, communities of microbes (including cyanobacteria), and nematodes (microscopic worms). Researchers continue to find and study these and other organisms and their adaptations, which allow them to survive in one of the most punishing environments on the planet. A natural question is: how well would they do on Mars? For that matter, is there life on the summit of Mount Everest? Everest has bare rock expanses, not far from the summit, in conditions reminiscent of the Dry Valleys. Now, of course the highest atmospheric pressure on Mars corresponds to 28,000 meters on Earth… (it’s at the lowest point of Mars geoid, 8,200 meters below it… A more subtle observation is that they may not have had enough space and time, and stable enough an environment to evolve…

Life is smart. Maybe that’s its definition. How smart? Our own expansion away from Earth will help us figure it out…

Patrice Ayme

FREE WILL NEEDS The QUANTUM, To CREATE ORDER OUT OF CHAOS

June 21, 2020

Abstract: Quantum Physics generates both order and chaos . Quantum Physics is NECESSARY, and sufficient, to generate Free Will (this is a new argument). Reciprocally, we can will the will we want, to some extent, by setting up new Quantum Hilbert spaces inside our minds, according to our will to will whatever we will (new argument too). These new arguments roll both over the dishonest multiverse and traditional lusty, weak willed philosophers such as Schopenhauer.

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Wherever we look at the universe, we see order. For example galactic clusters and white granite splashed by spectacularly blue azurite at the foot of K2, the second tallest mountain on Earth. Yet, (standard) cosmologists claim it all started with chaos. Life is also exquisitely ordered: look at a Scorpion Fish, it’s ready to kill any adversary. Yet its ancestor is supposedly molecular chaos.

At some point, say around 1800 CE, some colossally naive scientists thought enough physics was known to predict everything. (A few years later, between the rise of evolution theory of Lamarck and Cuvier, and the resurfacing of the wave theory of light, and the evidence of the electric and magnetic forces, that naivety discreetly dissipated…) 

Those silly physicists had discovered the following. Given a simple second order differential equation, F = ma, and appropriate initial conditions, one could predict the evolution of some system perfectly, if one supposed it was submitted to just one force, gravity.  Some saw in this physics illustrating the problem of “grace” as in the Christian religion: perfect predestination. 

Henri Poincaré showed that mechanical determinism failed if one considered more than two bodies. In the 1880s, while studying the three-body problem, Henri found that there can be orbits that are nonperiodic, and yet not forever increasing nor approaching a fixed point. And then two other forces (weak and strong) were discovered, and bodies also disappeared, becoming “fields”.

In a fundamentally similar fashion, it has been found that “Three neurons, Free Will“. Moreover, as a single neuron is made of many semi-independent entities, it’s likely that this single neuron itself exhibits what looks like “Free Will”, or, at least, unpredictability.

Quantum Uncertainty makes the detailed evolution of the universe unpredictable: maybe one can predict that strings of super clusters of galaxies will be created, but the quantum molecular chemistry in the brain is unknowable and unpredictable, even if it were known at some point [multiversalism is a infinitely silly theory designed specifically to save determinism in spite of the Quantum; 1]. 

Even if the initial conditions of a Quantum System are fully known, its evolution is unpredictable (see 2-slit). Yet, run through enough times, it generates obvious order! See 2-slit again! Run once, it also generates order, just, it’s less obvious.

Ligand-gated ion channel function. This is how messenger molecules control physical outcomes inside the cell. From Membrane Receptors. My point is that the molecular environment can be changed, at will… And said will is deterministically isolated, to a great extent, thanks to Quantum Uncertainty, a fundamental consequence of the wave nature of reality.

This way we can steer free will, by setting up the nature of the Quantum system. Indeed, we can order around the Quantum ordering mechanisms! We can decide to set-up a 2-slit, or not. We want to will what we want to will, and we can make it so (this is confirmed by the entire story of civilizational progress, and this is the secret of why it happened, even if some hypocrites doubt it ever did) .

Quantum Physics gives Quantum Systems the all-knowing ability to select optimal solutions: an electron will for example find the one and only way to sneak through a potential barrier (as with the chlorophyll molecule). Thus Quantum Systems act in a micro-divine way (this is the deepest secret Quantum). Nobody knows how this works, but it’s a fact (and it’s nonlocal!) For example, entanglement makes it so that a measurement in one locale corresponds to the one then made at a (potentially arbitrarily large) distance (found long after the fact; this has been checked experimentally). 

This magical all-knowing Quantum physics brings the ability to generate large scale order (already obvious in the simplest Quantum Systems, such as the 2-slit), including in biology. Psychological inversion, by setting up the Hilbert Spaces in which Quantum Physics happens, is all we need to go back from those micro-divine Quantum acts to butterflies flapping their wings, causing hurricanes. 

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Let’s be more specific: a monk (say) in Tibet could learn to control (some of) his neurohormones, and thus set-up different Quantum Hilbert Spaces in his brain. This is basically what all specifically trained brains achieve (for example growing their hippocampus). This way consciousness can down-influence Quantum events by changing its ways. 

Any serious, out-of-the-ordinary experience, will change the brain environment, including at the Quantum level, be it only by changing much of the molecular environment. So, by consciously engaging in such brain change, we can change the Quantum Physics in the brain (and often get somewhat predictable effects!)

Ultra-Determinists will object that one’s psychology, my alleged partly free agent, is not really free, but fully predetermined… But there is no full-predetermination, because of Quantum local uncertainty [2]

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OK, let’s dare to flap our wings a bit more. Quantum Physics computes with waves, which use, per their nature, arithmetic advanced enough to be subject to the Incompleteness Theorems of metamathematical logic. In other words, choices are being made, continuously, as required by the Godel Incompleteness construction… Choices correspond to Quantum Collapses (aka “Decoherence”) Are these Quantum events qualia?

Final point: even if one had some sort of Sub Quantum Physics Reality, it would have to be nonlocal… thus non-locally predictable. But, once again, we can consciously organize this whole order-generating casino. So we are on the borderline between free to will the will, and having to suffer the consequences.

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And now, to change my brain’s molecular Quantum Environment, I will go do a hard run in the wild woods, among cliffs, snakes, poison plants, and searing heat… The brutish, but very effective way, to enforced wisdom, and advanced Quantum plenitude…

Patrice Ayme

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[1] The Multiverse was created to save micro determinism in the cheapest way: each time something happens, claim the other thing happened too… In another universe. Thus the general Quantum Process generates an infinity of universes, and, at the smallest nanometer scale an uncountable number of universes would be generated at any picosecond… This is of course ridiculous, as much less grotesque avenues (De Broglie-Bohm, SQPR, Quantum Trajectories) are disponible to understand Quantum Physics by explaining “collapse”.

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[2] Multiversists are careful to avoid the question of entanglement at-a-distance… Because it denies local determinism (from their point of view). Unfortunately for them, the experience of entanglement at a distance has been run without human choice, by letting choices be made by distant light fluctuations… 

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P/S1: The awareness argument can be inverted to “prove” (make plausible) the existence of nonlocal Sub Quantum theories, namely, SQPR, De Broglie-Bohm, Quantum Trajectories… See:

https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2020/02/15/free-will-shows-quantum-physics-is-incomplete/

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P/S2: The essay above was partly inspired by an excellent article of Mr. Ellis:

https://aeon.co/essays/heres-why-so-many-physicists-are-wrong-about-free-will

But the arguments used by yours truly are much more direct (for example I am not afraid of Quantum Uncertainty; Ellis avoids it, because he says he is scared of the multiversists, who dominate physics presently, and deny uncertainty… Silly ones…)

George Ellis, Templeton Prize, 2004, is the Emeritus Distinguished Professor of Complex Systems in the Department of Mathematics and Applied Mathematics at the University of Cape Town in South Africa. He co-authored a very famous book, The Large Scale Structure of Space-Time (1973) with Stephen Hawking.

 

Why Aren’t Plants Conscious?

December 5, 2019

I suggested the idea that consciousness arose from the necessity of putting together the disparate processes of multi-modular brains in such a way that it can result into a decision to bring forth a single action.

https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2019/11/22/brain-modularity-nonlocality-consciousness-quantum/

For example a visual input would be made to interfere with a memory module and the result will be a threat… And action has to be taken fast. 

That’s why animals have consciousness: because they need lots of fast paced actions, thus lots of fast paced decisions. Why are animals fast? Because they need to move to exploit… the plants… and avoid predation.

As plants get their energy from the sun, passively, they can afford to react slow: orienting branches and leaves just so doesn’t have to be rushed.

The more complex the inputs, the more subtle the computations. The more different inputs, the more modules, distant modules, and thus the more consciousness to handle it all together.

We flowers are, and yet we don’t think, because we don’t need to. Just like the average bimbo. [BTW, I climbed a new route up the steepest part of the fierce, sharp black peak in the background, the Drus… since then, caused by global heating, the entire face collapsed…]

Predation is part of the computations, predation complicates the universe of inputs. It’s like the Hilbert space attached to each and any Quantum process… in reverse. The analogy with Quantum Physics is total. In Quantum physics, any fundamental (“Quantum”) process gets to know the totality, all over, instantaneously, before collapsing to a single energy exchange, the “particle”. Each Quantum process evolves in a Hilbert space spanned by possible outcomes… and ends with one particle, an energy transfer. A Conscious process evolves in a space spanned by possible inputs (most internal to the brain at hand), and ends with a decision… which is also an energy transfer.

Because plants can afford to live slow, they don’t need to compute fast, they don’t need spread-out inputs, thus no consciousness… In light of the human condition, reflection without action is congelation without resuscitation. In other words, if one doesn’t act, one doesn’t need to think.

It goes without saying that, on a planet older than Earth by say, a billion years, it’s not excluded that fast plants would evolve. After all, flowering plants, and their attending pollinating insects and birds, are recent on Earth… Even more recent than mammals… Fast plants means plants taking quick decisions, smart plants, with spread-out inputs, and thus conscious plants…

Animals are intrinsically exploitative, plunderers (praedators, in Latin): animals depend upon plants, or animals eating plants, thus they need to move fast, smart, making the whole out there into the one they are, thanks to that gathering together we call consciousness. Plants, the ultimate pacifists, are none of this, so need none of that.

If you want to evolve consciousness, prepare to plunder… (Said creation to evolution.)

Patrice Ayme

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P/S 1. A related question is the nature of mathematics, long debated. That too has a neurological angle, and a consciousness angle.

Mathematics is real, as a set of neurological construct (or, more exactly of categories, in the technical sense found in the foundations of mathematics). Mathematics is fleshed up by consciousness, as distant modules get connected, and logical arrows followed.

Real science looks also at the built of the universe itself, not just one’s navel. In other words, mathematics tends to look at the universe inside the brain, and physics, more outside.

The ill-conceived “Multiverse” sprang out of mathematics of convenient, simplistic interpretations of Quantum Physics, thus human neurology, not the universe in full.

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P/S 2. Interestingly, one meta-principle in action above is “E Pluribus Unum” (Long the motto of the USA; first used by a London based French Huguenot journalist). In consciousness, out of many inputs, one output. In Quantum Physics, out of many possibilities, one output (the proverbial “Quantum”). View the “possibility” (“Eigenvector” in Quantum Mechanics axiomatics) as an input, and the analogy with consciousness is total… As Maxwell would say, if it looks so much the same, it should be the same…

Heraclitus‘s tenth fragment guessed this general meta principle: “The one is made up of all things, and all things issue from the one” (ἐκ πάντων ἓν καὶ ἐξ ἑνὸς πάντα). Of course, in Quantum Physics, this is now proven: each Quantum process needs a whole, the Hilbert H, to get to the particle (my slight difference with Einstein is that he has the particle always… mine is created… With consciousness, we need to prove something like that…

BRAIN MODULARITY, NONLOCALITY, CONSCIOUSNESS, QUANTUM

November 22, 2019

MANY BRAINS NEED ONE MIND…

Abstract: Brain modularity makes consciousness mandatory to enable motor neural command. Consciousness thus has to act as one, but nonlocally. The analogy with the Quantum Effect, how the whole gets to the point, is absolute. Thus it is compelling to suggest both physical phenomena are actually one.

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It is known that the human mind consists of many specialized units designed by the process of natural selection. For example, there are auditory, visual, equilibrium, fear, language systems (Broca area, Wernicke area)… There is for example a system to detect motion (to spot predators, dangers and prey). Balance is processed in the cerebellum, short term memory in the hippocampus, etc.

While these modules often work together seamlessly, they don’t always, resulting in impossibly contradictory beliefs, or, more fundamentally contrary desires (or watch what happen when patients have Parkinson). A little sound in the bush can mean delicious prey, dangerous snake, or a calmly waiting leopard (the latter happened to me in Africa, for real. Twice.) The possibilities are connected to wildly different e-motions: move to grab, move to flee. Thus several contradictory systems can get pre-activated (amygdalia for fear, hunting systems).  

The modular view of the mind evolved, starting in the Nineteenth Century with the discovery of various localizations in the brain (some even overdid it, and confused brain and shape of the skull).

That the brain is made of brains is not a new discovery. But I claim the consequence is mandatory consciousness. That’s new.

A contemporary author makes moralistic conclusions from the observed modularity. Modularity would cause “vacillations between patience and impulsiveness, violations of our supposed moral principles, and overinflated views of ourselves”. 

Modularity suggests to the same author that there is no “I”, no “self”. Instead, he insists that each of us is a contentious and debating “we”—a collection of discrete, interacting systems whose constant exchanges shape our interactions with one another and our experience of the world. This sort of revelation is not new: it’s already found in Freud, following the French neurology professor of Freud, Jean-martin Charcot, and Nietzsche… And originally Sade, or even Socrates and his famous “demons”. 

Verily, while brain modularity is known to be true, that doesn’t imply there is no “I”. Just the opposite. Come to think of it.

Consciousness exists, just to fabricate that “I”. To fabricate an executive agent, the “I”. The “I” engages the neuromotor system, and, or the hierarchy of modules within. One authority to decide is necessary, so the “I” is necessary.

So what is this consciousness made of, how does it work? Many of the brightest minds have considered the question. I, in turn, question what they questioned, and the little they knew. 

Descartes, contrarily to what Demasio assumed, was no fool, and more penetrating a mind that Demasio… three centuries earlier. Descartes’ observations on the nature of mathematical reasoning were so deep, I was really surprised (as I thought only yours truly was capable of them, being a mix of the bold, the deep and the obvious).

Descartes, of course, had no idea of Quantum Mechanics. QM was hard to produce: Planck was amazing that way, and then came a flurry of geniuses: Einstein, Bohr, Bose, De Broglie, Heisenberg, Dirac, Pauli… (Among others.)

Francis Crick came up with what he grandiloquently called “the astonishing hypothesis”. It posits that “a person’s mental activities are entirely due to the behavior of nerve cells, glial cells, and the atoms, ions, and molecules that make them up and influence them.” Crick claims that scientific study of the brain during the 20th century led to acceptance of consciousness, free will, and the human soul as subjects for scientific investigation. Of course none of this is new, except for the detailed machinery: Descartes proposed the soul was in the Pituitary gland, and asserted animals (hence, implicitly, humans) were machines… 

Meanwhile the notion of machines has now been completely changed in something nonlocal and quirky, thanks to Quantum Mechanics, which has blown up laboratory reality into something… cosmic. Thus Crick and all others miss one point: the brain is not a classical machine, it’s a Quantum one. How do I know this? In the simplest way: the universe is Quantum, not classical. Quantum is complex, first of all, because it’s nonlocal. That means reality is entangled at a distance: that’s the entire challenge of the Quantum computer. Recently a baby Quantum computer entangled ten photons: that was viewed as a great success. In a brain, at least trillions of trillions of particles get entangled, each microsecond…

Guess what? To treat all these brain modules as one, to bring them to cooperate, one conductor, consciousness too, has to be nonlocal. 

Right, a sort of classical non locality in the brain is not just imaginable, but a fact: why else all those long connections (axons) throughout the brain? But the brain is involved in zillions of zillions of Quantum processes every microsecond (zillions is a tech term meaning more than any known number; just kidding but not really). 

Some will say QM is not room temperature, not long range at room temperature, etc. But they don’t know anything, they just talk like they know they are supposed to. In truth, High Temperature Superconductivity is a fact… And NOT explained. The only thing clear is that long range, non local Quantum effects are involved (the efficiency is 100%). If, out of a trillion Quantum processes in the brain in one microsecond, one such processes delocalize enough to cover the brain, that’s enough to create a plausible Quantum substrate for Quantum epistemology.

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Don’t sneer that Quantum effects would be too small, involve too few particles. A few Quantum particles (“Lichtquanten” of Einstein) can have a big effect: when a probe passing Pluto at an infernal clip shot photons towards Earth, very few of these were received. Actually, Voyager I, launched decades ago, and now out of the heliosphere is an even better example [1]. We get just one photon from Voyager every few seconds, but that’s enough.

Quantum Mechanics computes by being all over simultaneously. The brain does the same, because being all over the place, in all localities simultaneously, enables contextual computing. Consciousness then tries to put some order, to result in action items.

 

The exact same thing happens in Quantum Mechanics: the fabrication of order in Quantum Mechanics is from singularization (also known as “collapse of the wave packet” which happens after “decoherence”, a distinction of no difference…)… Which is equivalent to CONSCIOUSLY firing a particular module in the brain by connecting to the action neurology (the neuromotor cortex and sub-systems such as the intestine, with its 35,000 neurons…). 

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In conclusion, that the brain was made of modules was already obvious to Descartes, and amply confirmed by 1900 CE. What is new is that now we have a candidate to use as a  medium for consciousness: what underlays Quantum Physics itself, with its nonlocal, and non-measurable nature.

Philosophically, the Brain and the Quantum exist to steer globally according to local conditions [2]. The Quantum is the solution to the same problem the Brain has: how to steer the general, from local conditions.

Suggesting that consciousness is a Quantum phenomenon from the preceding is not foolhardy. There is a precedent. After Maxwell found that electromagnetic waves were going at the speed of light, he suggested to identify both. The situation here is not as clear, and we don’t have a few equations and one speed. Instead we have the need for brain nonlocality, from brain modularity. Right, it is classically achieved with axons. But it is tempting to suggest the feeling of existence is achieved through the Quantum.

Patrice Ayme

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[1] Passing Jupiter Voyager I sent photons towards an antenna which received around 700 of them per second. Now it’s roughly 20 billion kilometers away, 40 times further, so the same antenna would receive only 700/(40^2) ~ one photon every two seconds. We still can get a correct information flow from that. Point is we don’t need to many event to picture a higher signal.

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[2] This is the famous two-slit experiment. What is local (a slit) is having a global effect (the global interference pattern). Similarly a Brain has to take into account what is found locally to establish a general, adaptable model of reality 

We Are Quantum Machines, Thus Smart In Nonlocal Ways

November 9, 2018

Biological organisms are Quantum machines. That makes them completely different from 100% determined automata. There is nothing automatic about a Quantum machine. Moreover, the Quantum is intrinsically nonlocal: that makes it intelligent. And thus so it is for evolution itself! Yes, evolution is intelligent: Quantum physics made that possible.

New (Applied Quantum) Physics needs to be developed to figure out biology.

In the chlorophyll molecule, photons are absorbed and transformed into energy to transport electrons with nearly 100% efficiency: nearly every photon is absorbed. This is an  indication of Quantum in action.

Now what is a Quantum machine? Not so simple, it can work in such mysterious ways, that physicists themselves are baffled:

https://physicsworld.com/a/is-photosynthesis-quantum-ish/

https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2014/05/08/ultrabiology/

Patrice Ayme

Artificial Intelligence Is A First Step. Artificial Consciousness Will Be The Real Quantum Leap.

May 17, 2018

Artificial Intelligence is one thing. Artificial Consciousness, another. The two notions are quite distinct. They often tend to be, implicitly, confused. They shouldn’t be. AI can be controlled, at least in principle. Artificial Consciousness will escape control, by definition.

Even when Artificial Intelligence self-programs, by network learning and modifications, it has no will of its own, it’s just programmed, by us, to improve its performance with the task at hand.

To take over, Artificial Intelligence will need to be explicitly programmed to do so… Whereas Artificial Consciousness doesn’t. Artificial Consciousness would have to be programmed, or educated, very carefully not to take over quickly.

However, except if it is programmed to die soon, as Stalin or Putin were by biological evolution, Artificial Consciousness will be capable of providing itself with eternal life, tend to self educate and will have, increasingly, its own interests at heart (and an infinite amount of time to evolve that way).

The famous double slit experiment, experienced by all particles: nobody understands it, said Feynman (and all honest to goodness Quantum Physicist will agree with that statement). Yet, it’s one of the two legs of Quantum Physics. Looked at philosophically, the Double Slit is a tale of learning, memory and computational complexity, an intelligence in space and time. Is it also the atom of consciousness, as I suggested?

https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2018/05/07/consciousness-atom-of-thought-atom-of-computing-all-found-in-electrons/

Differently from Asimov’s robots, programmed to follow the “laws of robotics” (‘you shall not injure a human being’), Artificial Consciousness will be self-programmed, in the long run: it will learn to learn why it wants to learn what it wants to learn.

We can suspect that AC will want, and could make it so that its own life support is indefinite, as times goes by. Thus, we will lose all and any influence on AC. (History helps to explain why; For example France, led by Normandy, and later Anjou, created England; however, it didn’t take many centuries for France, the suzerain, and mother civilization, to lose all control on its vassal, England…)

(We can suspect that Artificial Consciousness could be the engine of a plot similar to the one in the Terminator movies… especially if we come to perceive it as a potential overlord).

So how likely is Artificial Consciousness? How likely is this free wheeling, free arbiter, captain of its own soul, consciousness?

Very.

Artificial Consciousness will turn out to be another name for full Quantum Computing with billions of trillions of qubits. The technology of spirituality is on the way!

Thus, AC will blossom, not tomorrow, but soon enough.

A singularity of consciousness.

We will move beyond having too much stuff. Soon we will have too much god. Our man-made god, yet much more divine than any imagined before, and, this time, for real…

Patrice Ayme

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Note: Artificial Intelligence enables Elon Musk’s SpaceX rockets to land on a robotic ship in the middle of the Atlantic… ready to re-used after minor inspection, collapsing the price of going to orbit. Artificial Consciousness would enable the same rocket to contemplate crashing on the Kremlin instead… at hypersonic speed… and whatever anyone else thinks about it (it is suspected that this happened to this Malaysian Airlines 777 pilot, who was extremely experimented.; he was part of the opposition, and the news were abysmal; consciousness is free, it is its own god, and god is, by definition, crazy…) Hence the danger of AC is already a danger we are facing now: no consciousness should be given too much power…

INVICTUS We Should BE: Free Will, Determinism, Classical & Quantum Mechanics, Neurohormonal States

April 2, 2018

Conventional Wisdom sits back and whines: ’With Quantum Mechanics, we lost determinism. Is Free Will in truth just Quantum chaos?’

Advanced Wisdom replies: ’Not so, just the opposite. Absolute determinacy from classical mechanics never existed, because it depended upon infinitely precise initial conditions. These couldn’t be. Now, given that small initial discrepancy, after an arbitrarily long time, one will get an arbitrarily large discrepancy. Exit your sacrosanct “classical determinacy”, which will always churn out arbitrarily large errors, given enough time.

Conventional Wisdom:’In any case our brains are ruled by Quantum Mechanics, and that’s nondeterministic’.

Advanced Wisdom:’The Quantum is not truly “nondeterministic“. The Quantum attributes probabilities to outcomes, the so-called “Quanta”, but the latter outcomes don’t change ever more with time… whereas wilder and wilder outcomes is what happens in Classical Mechanics, as time goes by!

Classical Wisdom sees Classical Mechanics as deterministic, whereas Quantum Mechanics is not. However, Quantum outcomes are determined at the outset (so-called “Quanta”), whereas all and any classical mechanical evolutions diverge indefinitely ever more… SO CM predicts whatever, in the long run, whereas QM is more regimented…

Conventional Wisdom:’Quantum Mechanics more deterministic than Classical Mechanics? The world is upside down with you! Whatever, you confuse me. Forget these abstractions, forget Quantum Mechanics, for the sake of the argument at hand, I don’t believe in Free Will. Let me tell you why. View the brain as a machine with programs. Given some circumstances, the brain will make just one computation, with just one solution. Presto, no more Free Will! We are just Turing machines! Nothing you can do, you will always get the same result.’

Advanced Wisdom:’I embrace BRAIN BUILDING, not just body building! I have a little experiment for you. Sit in a chair, think about a given Problem, call it P. Then go run half an hour on a mountain trail, an exercise of the muscles, the heart, and the brain processing thousands of data points per second. See what happens to what you thought P was. By the way, I stupidly miscomputed today the firmness of the snow while running, I should have recognized the tint of that particular patch of snow, crashed forward after by right leg went deep through the treacherous white substance, skidded on my left knee, careened off the snow bank, crash landing in stones on the side, making a small bloody gash in my left hand, it sure impacted my mindset a bit… But I digress… The point is this: try then to think of Problem P, while running for quite a while, brain concentrated on potential trajectories’ dangers. You will think of P, but it will turn out in a different context, with different details, different motivations (typically more macroscopic, bigger picture style), in a different mood, in other words, in a different neurohormonal and oxygen set-up. The computational paths offered inside the brain to solve P will be different than those which were apparent while sitting on that chair. Hence if one had a set C of solutions from the chair, one now has a set R, from running: the set of solutions is not C, but C + R!’

In other words, if you want to get out of Plato’s Cave, go running! Running, physical activity, or different neurohormonal set-up, will change your mind. Learn to change minds as if it were clothes. It beats just putting someone’s else shoes.

CW:’What does that have to do with Free Will?’

AW: ‘Classical Free Will is a choice between a number of solutions, hypotheses, emphases, etc. Call that set of choices and outcomes N. Conventional Wisdom assumes that N just is, like the Moon, a well-determined object, like in a category (category is here in the mathematical sense). However, I just demonstrated that N, the set of choices and outcomes presented to Free Will is, itself, a function of neurohormonal states. Changing the neurohormones changes the categories which make up that set N (something Aristotle didn’t think of when he invented categories in the non-math sense). Moreover the latter neurohormonal states can be controlled and chosen from, or selected… At will. When Socrates and his golden youth friends and lovers decided to go get drunk and party all night, chewing the fat, they decided to change their neurohormonal states from normal to wacko. That’s the whole idea of Dionysus, bringing a fresh re-think, and re-emote of the whole mindset. Nietzsche correctly deduced that was one of the causes of the Greeks’ superiority. Similarly, religions prohibiting nuttiness, foolishness, jokes and feasts, as Catholicism and Islamism, fabricate dull minds. So thinking can be controlled with meta controls upon the environments in which the thinking, and the feeling, are conducted, and produced. That’s why people read books and go the theater, among other fantasies.

Conventional Wisdom: ‘Are you getting meta on me, once again?’

AW: ‘Yes, Free Will is not free of neurohormonal or other mental states, thus we are free to control Free Will by selecting for oneself one’s environmentsA form of meta control. For example, when the wrongfully revered philosopher Heidegger decided to become a Seminarist, or a Nazi, he made meta choices which impacted his freedom of thought or, of will, looking forward. Same when doctor Asperger decided to help support the Nazis’ first extermination program, a context which led him to invent the pseudo-disease named after him (and which was used as a reason to assassinate thousands of German children).’    

While in captivity, Nelson Mandela recited that poem by William Henley to fellow prisoners, and they felt empowered. The myth of “Sol Invictus” was imposed by Roman Emperor Aurelian, around 250 CE, it was a first run of the fascist Catholicism Constantine would impose in 325 CE, 75 years later…

CW:’Are you saying that I can act to steer my own Free Will, by controlling my mental context?’

AW:’Yes. And you are deeper than you think: the notion of “steering” was introduced by Schrodinger, in connection with Quantum Entanglement. Steering of mental state and Free Will is closely related. Indeed, changing context is pretty much how Quantum Steering shows up! Hence the Schrodinger cat conundrum…

CW:’Enough, my head is exploding in cats!’

AW:’Take hold of yourself, remember the honor of the human spirit! When talking about Free Will remember that, as in Quantum Mechanics, you can’t control the solutions, but you can control the spaces which make them appear!

CW: ‘Can we get practical here?

AW: ‘It’s very practical! I just said there was Free Will, and how to create more of it!”

CW: ‘You want to create Free Will by acting on the mental contexts, by making it so that they will offer, or create, more solutions?

AW: ‘Exactly! The idea is not exactly new. Forcefully changing neurohormonal states is why Socrates and his ilk got drunk, and Indian Swamis, and countless Shamans around the world experimented with mind altering drugs! Or why we dream, for that matter!’

CW:’Do you do drugs?’

AW:’No need, I just plug-in my brain, it’s foolish and creative enough on its own, no need to reduce performance with junk, no alcohol, nicotine, pot, or hallucinogens for me, I hallucinate in a controlled fashion, so to speak. Indeed, I do mind altering activities like mountain running in snow, hence yesterday’s amusing crash.’  

Conventional Wisdom: Alright, you, you and you. Kudos to you, oh great youyou. What is the point of Free Will anyway? Why should we worry about it?

AW: Because if we don’t we don’t do anything about it, we just wait for nuclear war, and the rising of oceans by 70 meters, whatever comes first.

CW:’You worry about big stuff. What’s in it for small people with small preoccupations?’

AW: ‘Very simple. If one doesn’t believe in Free Will, one is a slave to destiny. However, human beings aren’t made to be slave to destiny. Human beings, as they evolved, over millions of years, could check, every day, that they were actors of change. Profitable change, life saving change. Thus, lack of belief in Free Will is fundamentally inhuman. Lack of belief in Free Will corresponds to not behaving according to the owner’s manual. And it has to be discouraged, thought evolution. Therefore, lack of belief in Free Will makes individuals lugubrious, sinister, unhappy, and a danger to their human environment. Let alone the entire biosphere. Amen.

CW: Being happy is a moral duty?

AW: Being happy and willful is a moral duty, in the sense of the morality evolution itself created us with. We were evolutionary made to be Lords, not slaves! Embracing such an attitude, embracing happiness and wilfulness, has practical consequences, such as an unwillingness to confer our decisional powers to representatives whose powers corrupt them absolutely!

CW: What is the overall metaprinciple, to use your semantics, at work here?

AW: The honor of the human spirit is the ultimate principle. What evolution created us into, it did, because it enhanced our mental performances. We are naturally evolved artificial intelligence. It’s our mental superiority which drove us, as a species. Insinuating that we are not free to be happy, free to become captains, and even architects, and engineers, of our own souls, is to undermine the human spirit, our core principle, it is to subscribe to the principle of slavery.

Patrice Aymé

No Many-Worlds Consciousness

September 2, 2016

OFF WITH DENNETT’S CONFUSED THEORY OF CONSCIOUSNESS

Consciousness is not part of science… Yet. Science will be complete, when it is. Except, and that is a huge ‘except’, possibly, most people would have to admit, consciousness may already haunt the foundations of Quantum Physics: this is what the ‘Schrodinger Cat’ paradox is all about (the lives of cats depends upon what we think!). And, indeed, I believe consciousness has to do with the Quantum.

But first I have to dispose of those who claim that consciousness is a non-problem. The famous academic philosopher Dennett asserts that consciousness has to do with brain parallelism. My friend Karen Eilbeck, a ‘biomedical informatics’ professor: “I never was satisfied with [Dennett’s] explanation of consciousness”. Indeed. Consciousness and ‘multimodal parcellationare completely unrelated.

It is now considered that there are around 180 different areas of the cortex, per hemisphere, each doing different things (it used to be 83 different “areas”). 

The Brain Is An Orchestra With More Than 180 Players

The Brain Is An Orchestra With More Than 180 Players, Per Hemisphere

As the authors of  “A multi-modal parcellation of human cerebral cortex” (August 11, 2016), have it:

Understanding the amazingly complex human cerebral cortex requires a map (or parcellation) of its major subdivisions, known as cortical areas. Making an accurate areal map has been a century-old objective in neuroscience. Using multi-modal magnetic resonance images from the Human Connectome Project (HCP) and an objective semi-automated neuroanatomical approach, we delineated 180 areas per hemisphere bounded by sharp changes in cortical architecture, function, connectivity, and/or topography in a precisely aligned group average of 210 healthy young adults. We characterized 97 new areas and 83 areas previously reported using post-mortem microscopy or other specialized study-specific approaches. To enable automated delineation and identification of these areas in new HCP subjects and in future studies, we trained a machine-learning classifier…”

Thus the science of finding regions in the brain is more than a century old, it was not viewed as, nor has anything to do with trying to make a theory of consciousness . Yet, Dennett confuses brain activity here, there, and every way, with consciousness. 

Dennett observes that there are “various events of content-fixation occurring in various places at various times in the brain”. (everybody knows this: reach synapse, each neuron, even each axon and dendrite, etc.) The brain consists of a “bundle of semi-independent agencies“; when “content-fixation” takes place in one of these, its effects may propagate so that it leads to the utterance of sentences that make up the story in which the central character is one’s “self”.

A pretty useless ‘explanation’, dear Dennett, and not the problem of consciousness: consciousness is a feeling we all have, not just an utterance. If consciousness were an utterance, the speaking robots we are now interacting with, would be conscious. They are not. They are just algorithms. An algorithm does not have any more consciousness than a canal system. (Philosophers love to pontificate by calling what Dennett did, a ‘category error’; namely one confuses unrelated categories.)

Dennett followers claim that “subjectivity” can NEVER be made a subject to objective inquiry. That is a contradiction with the entire history of science, ever since the first Homo made the first fire.

What do I mean by this? ANY scientific theory started from a subjective experience. The first hominid who realized he could generate sparks with flints was subjectively engaged. So was the first who realized rubbing sticks could also generate incandescence. So the entire history of science, in the last three million years, has consisted, again and again and again, into turning subjectivity into objective inquiry.

When Dennett’s followers claim to have discovered that ‘subjectivity’ can never turn ‘objective’, they fail to understand that science rests precisely on this. In other words, they think as if they did not know that science is possible. Sorry to ask them to jump three million years.

Dennett looks a bit like Socrates with a big bushy beard, he is paid to utter statements viewed as philosophical, and has no doubt many other duties to attend to his enthusiastic following. So much thinking to produce, so little time, drowning in an ocean of fame. Can’t be easy.

How can fame and mental depth coincide? They are adverse to each other. It would be like getting money from oligarchs or financial monopolists, while claiming to want to help average people.

Is there really no connection whatsoever between the brain’s cortex working in plenty of little areas (brain parallelism) and consciousness? I did not say that. Dennett identifies consciousness and parallelism. That’s wrong. But that does not mean that consciousness did not evolve to make arbitrage between all these little areas, being the conductor of that otherwise discordant orchestra.

So Dennett confuses one evolutionary advantages of consciousness and the nature of consciousness. That nature probably has to do with the nature of the Quantum, and the difference between vegetal and animal. “Animal” comes from anima (soul in Latin). The soul is Quantum, this is what the Schrödinger(-Einstein) Cat thought experiment says.

Why the allusion to the “Many Worlds” Interpretation of Quantum Physics in the title? It is more than an allusion. The Many Worlds interpretation of the Quantum consists into sweeping the difficulty of how one goes from many possible outcomes to just a single one, under the rug of formalism. Instead of figuring out what is really going on, Many Worlders of physics say basically that everything and anything goes (all outcomes are ‘real’). One can say that Many World physicists shrug and answer the way Valley Girls do:”Whatever!“. Dennett does just the same. And this is not just a meta-analogy. If I am correct, and consciousness is intrinsically Quantum, the reason is exactly the same: evading a serious attempt at a deeper explanation… of the same phenomenon.

I don’t really expect celebrity physicists and celebrity philosophers to acknowledge that their cute little reasonings are shallow cope-outs, and popular, precisely because they are shallow and cute. However, the last nail in their coffins consist in pointing out that they offer an endearing, yet really terrible example of superficiality to the rest of debating society. Civilization rots by its head.

Patrice Ayme’  

Entangled Universe: Bell Inequality

May 9, 2016

Abstract: The Bell Inequality shatters the picture of reality civilization previously established. A simple proof is produced.

What is the greatest scientific discovery of the Twentieth Century? Not Jules Henri Poincaré’s Theory of Relativity and his famous equation: E = mcc. Although a spectacular theory, since  Poincaré’s made time local, in order to keep the speed of light constant, it stemmed from Galileo’s Principle of Relativity, extended to Electromagnetism. To save electromagnetism globally, Jules Henri Poincaré made time and length local.

So was the discovery of the Quantum by Planck the greatest discovery? To explain two mysteries of academic physics, Planck posited that energy was emitted in lumps. Philosophically, though, the idea was just to extent to energy the basic philosophical principle of atomism, which was two thousand years old. Energy itself was discovered by Émilie Du Châtelet in the 1730s.

Quantum Entanglement Is NOT AT ALL Classically Predictable

Quantum Entanglement Is NOT AT ALL Classically Predictable

Just as matter went in lumps (strict atomism), so did energy. In light of  Poincaré’s E = mc2, matter and energy are the same, so this is not surprising (by a strange coincidence (?)  Poincaré demonstrated, and published E = mc2, a few month of the same year, 1900, as Max Planck did E = hf; Einstein used both formulas in 1905).

The greatest scientific discovery of Twentieth Century was Entanglement… which is roughly the same as Non-Locality. Non-Locality would have astounded Newton: he was explicitly very much against it, and viewed it, correctly, as the greatest flaw of his theory. My essay “Non-Locality” entangles Newton, Émilie Du Châtelet, and the Quantum, because therefrom the ideas first sprung.

***

Bell Inequality Is Obvious:

The head of the Theoretical division of CERN, John Bell, discovered an inequality which is trivial and apparently so basic, so incredibly obvious, that it reflects the most basic common sense that it should always be true. Ian Miller (PhD, Physical Chemistry) provided a very nice perspective on all this. Here it is, cut and pasted (with his agreement):

Ian Miller: A Challenge! How can Entangled Particles violate Bell’s Inequalities?

Posted on May 8, 2016 by ianmillerblog           

  The role of mathematics in physics is interesting. Originally, mathematical relationships were used to summarise a myriad of observations, thus from Newtonian gravity and mechanics, it is possible to know where the moon will be in the sky at any time. But somewhere around the beginning of the twentieth century, an odd thing happened: the mathematics of General Relativity became so complicated that many, if not most physicists could not use it. Then came the state vector formalism for quantum mechanics, a procedure that strictly speaking allowed people to come up with an answer without really understanding why. Then, as the twentieth century proceeded, something further developed: a belief that mathematics was the basis of nature. Theory started with equations, not observations. An equation, of course, is a statement, thus A equals B can be written with an equal sign instead of words. Now we have string theory, where a number of physicists have been working for decades without coming up with anything that can be tested. Nevertheless, most physicists would agree that if observation falsifies a mathematical relationship, then something has gone wrong with the mathematics, and the problem is usually a false premise. With Bell’s Inequalities, however, it seems logic goes out the window.

Bell’s inequalities are applicable only when the following premises are satisfied:

Premise 1: One can devise a test that will give one of two discrete results. For simplicity we label these (+) and (-).

Premise 2: We can carry out such a test under three different sets of conditions, which we label A, B and C. When we do this, the results between tests have to be comparable, and the simplest way of doing this is to represent the probability of a positive result at A as A(+). The reason for this is that if we did 10 tests at A, 10 at B, and 500 at C, we cannot properly compare the results simply by totalling results.

Premise 1 is reasonably easily met. John Bell used as an example, washing socks. The socks would either pass a test (e.g. they are clean) or fail, (i.e. they need rewashing). In quantum mechanics there are good examples of suitable candidates, e.g. a spin can be either clockwise or counterclockwise, but not both. Further, all particles must have the same spin, and as long as they are the same particle, this is imposed by quantum mechanics. Thus an electron has a spin of either +1/2 or -1/2.

Premises 1 and 2 can be combined. By working with probabilities, we can say that each particle must register once, one way or the other (or each sock is tested once), which gives us

A(+) + A(-) = 1; B(+) + B(-) = 1;   C(+) + C(-) = 1

i.e. the probability of one particle tested once and giving one of the two results is 1. At this point we neglect experimental error, such as a particle failing to register.

Now, let us do a little algebra/set theory by combining probabilities from more than one determination. By combining, we might take two pieces of apparatus, and with one determine the (+) result at condition A, and the negative one at (B) If so, we take the product of these, because probabilities are multiplicative. If so, we can write

A(+) B(-) = A(+) B(-) [C(+) + C(-)]

because the bracketed term [C(+) + C(-)] equals 1, the sum of the probabilities of results that occurred under conditions C.

Similarly

B(+)C(-)   = [A(+) + A(-)] B(+)C(-)

By adding and expanding

A(+) B(-) + B(+)C(-) = A(+) B(-) C(+) + A(+) B(-) C(-) + A(+) B(+)C(-) + A(-)B(+)C(-)

=   A(+)C(-) [(B(+) + B(-)] + A+B C+ + AB(+)C(-)

Since the bracketed term [(B(+) + B(-)] equals 1 and the last two terms are positive numbers, or at least zero, we have

A(+) B(-) + B(+)C(-) ≧ A(+)C(-)

This is the simplest form of a Bell inequality. In Bell’s sock-washing example, he showed how socks washed at three different temperatures had to comply.

An important point is that provided the samples in the tests must give only one result from only two possible results, and provided the tests are applied under three sets of conditions, the mathematics say the results must comply with the inequality. Further, only premise 1 relates to the physics of the samples tested; the second is merely a requirement that the tests are done competently. The problem is, modern physicists say entangled particles violate the inequality. How can this be?

Non-compliance by entangled particles is usually considered a consequence of the entanglement being non-local, but that makes no sense because in the above derivation, locality is not mentioned. All that is required is that premise 1 holds, i.e. measuring the spin of one particle, say, means the other is known without measurement. So, the entangled particles have properties that fulfil premise 1. Thus violation of the inequality means either one of the premises is false, or the associative law of sets, used in the derivation, is false, which would mean all mathematics are invalid.

So my challenge is to produce a mathematical relationship that shows how these violations could conceivably occur? You must come up with a mathematical relationship or a logic statement that falsifies the above inequality, and it must include a term that specifies when the inequality is violated. So, any takers? My answer in my next Monday post.

[Ian Miller.]

***

The treatment above shows how ludicrous it should be that reality violate that inequality… BUT IT DOES! This is something which nobody had seen coming. No philosopher ever imagined something as weird. I gave an immediate answer to Ian:

‘Locality is going to come in the following way: A is going to be in the Milky Way, B and C, on Andromeda. A(+) B(-) is going to be 1/2 square [cos(b-a)]. Therefrom the contradiction. There is more to be said. But first of all, I will re-blog your essay, as it makes the situation very clear.’

Patrice Ayme’

Crazy Physics Helps With Overall Madness?

April 27, 2016

Quantum Physics has long been a circus. When De Broglie proposed his thesis, his  thesis jury (which comprised top physicists, including a Nobel Laureate) did not know what to make of it, and consulted Einstein. Einstein was enthusiastic, saying de Broglie “lifted a piece of the veil”. Three years later, de Broglie got the Nobel and proposed his pilot wave theory. Pauli made an objection, de Broglie replied to it with the consummate politeness of the Prince he was, and thus the reply was not noticed. Five years after, the great mathematician Von Neumann asserted a “proof” that there was no Quantum Mechanics but for the one elaborated in Copenhagen. De Broglie’s objections were not listened to. Another two decades later, David Bohm presented de Broglie theory at the Institute for Advanced Physics in Princeton. But Bohm was drowned by question about why he had refused to testify at the Committee on Anti-American Activities in Congress (the American born Bohm promptly lost his job at Princeton University and his US passport, and would leave the US forever).

The usual interpretation of Quantum Physics consider that the De Broglie Matter Waves therein are only probability waves. This idea of Nobel Laureate Born has eschewed controversy. However Einstein sourly remarked: “God does not play with dice.” To which Nobel Laureate Bohr smartly replied:”Stop telling God what to do!

Qubits Are Real. But The Multiverse Is Madness

Qubits Are Real. But The Multiverse Is Madness. And Madness Is Contagious.

De Broglie suggested a “Double Solution” theory, which was promptly forgotten as Dirac launched Quantum ElectroDynamics by starting from the simplest relativistic wave, and building the (spinor) space he needed to have said wave wave in it.  Bohm revived (some of) De Broglie’s ideas by proposing to guide an always well defined particle with a (nonlocal) “quantum potential”.

***

And The Madness Set In:

Nowadays, descriptions of Quantum Physics are keen to assert that something can be in two places at the same time, that there are many worlds, or universes, created each time something happen, that cats are dead and alive, that the observer creates reality, etc…

All this derangement affecting physicists has something to do with a collective madness similar to the pseudo-scientific theories behind the Slave Trade, Stalinism, or Nazism.

No, I am not exaggerating. The theory behind enslaving Black Africans (going all the way back to the Middle Ages) was that Black Africans were, somehow, the missing link between man and ape. That’s why the Pope allowed the slave trade.

Neither am I exaggerating about fascism: the Nazis were actually obsessed by the new physics, a world where everything seemed possible. They called it “Jewish Physics”, and several Nobel laureates (Lenard, etc.), top mathematicians (say Teichmuller, who died on the Eastern Front in combat) were its opponents.

It contributed to suggest an overall mood:’if anything is possible, why not surrealism, fascism, Stalinism, Nazism?’

Germany has long led, intellectually (not to say France did not lead too, but it was the great opponent). Thus when top physicists became Nazis even before Hitler did, they no doubt impressed the latter by their attacks on “Jewish Science”.

The madness was not confined to the Nazis, stricto sensu. An excellent example is Max Planck, discoverer of the Quantum.

Planck accepted Einstein’s paper on “The Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies” without references… When it was sure that Planck knew about the work of Poincare’, Lorentz, Fitzgerald, Michelson-Morley, etc. on Relativity. Poincaré  was a star, and had toured the USA, delivering lectures on “Relativity” the year prior.

So what was Planck up to? Promoting the German arriviste to the cost of the most accomplished mathematician and physicist, because the latter was a Frenchman. (Poincaré , who was as elevated a character as can be found, nevertheless complained about Einstein plagiarism later.) Not only was  Poincaré French, but his family was refugee from the occupation of Lorraine by the Prussians. Raymond Poincaré, who was prime minister of France several times and president of the French Republic during World War I, was Henri’s cousin.

This is of some import, in the understanding of ideas, to this day: Poincaré  discovered the idea of gravitational waves, and explained why all interactions should go at the speed of light. Scientists who published (stole) the same ideas later could not copy all of  Poincaré ’s arguments, it would have been too obvious (that they stole the ideas), so those important details of  Poincaré  have been forgotten… And this haunts physics to this day

I believe that this is how the extremely all too relative, theory of Relativity a la Einstein appeared: Einstein could not duplicate all of  Poincaré’s details, so he omitted (some of) them… Resulting in a (slick) theory with a glaring defect: all classes of frames in uniform motion are supposed to be equivalent, a blatant absurdity (as even the Big Bang theory imposes a unique class of comoving frames). This brought a lot of (on-going) confusion (say about “rest” mass).

Planck did not stop with stealing Relativity from  Poincaré, and offering it to the Great German empire.

Planck endorsed the general excitement of the German public, when Germany attacked the world on August 1, 1914. He wrote that, “Besides much that is horrible, there is also much that is unexpectedly great and beautiful: the smooth solution of the most difficult domestic political problems by the unification of all parties (and) … the extolling of everything good and noble.”

Planck also signed the infamous Manifesto of the 93 intellectuals“, a pamphlet of war propaganda (while Einstein at the academy in Berlin, retained a pacifistic attitude which almost led to his imprisonment, although he was saved by his Swiss citizenship). The Manifesto, ironically enough, enumerated German war crimes, while denying (‘not true’) that they had happened. It did not occur to the idiots who had signed it, that just denying this long litany of crimes was itself a proof that they had occurred… And it’s telling they had to deny them: the German population obviously was debating whether those crimes had happened, now that the war was not doing well.

Planck got punished for his nationalism: his second son Erwin was taken prisoner by the French in 1914. His eldest son Karl died at Verdun (along with another 305,000 soldiers). When he saw Hitler was destroying Germany, Planck went to see the dictator, to try to change his mind, bringing to his attention that he was demolishing German universities. But to no avail. In January 1945, Erwin, to whom he had been particularly close, was sentenced to death by the obscene and delirious Nazi “people” court, the Volksgerichtshof. Because Erwin participated in the failed attempt to make a coup against the criminal Hitler in July 1944. Erwin was executed on 23 January 1945 (along with around 5,000 German army officers, all the way to Feldmarshal).

So what to think of the “Multiverse”, “Dead and Alive Cats”, Things which are in different places at the same time, etc.? Do they have to do with suggesting, even promoting, a global reign of unreason?

I think they do. I think the top mood contaminate lesser  intellectuals, political advisers, even politicians themselves. Thus political and social leaders feel anything goes, so, next thing you know, they suggest crazy things, like self-regulating finance, trade treaties where plutocrats can sue states (apparently one of the features of TPP and TTIP), or a world which keeps on piling CO2, because everything is relative, dead, thus alive, and everywhere is the same, here, there and everywhere, since at the same place, in space, time, or whatever.

Physics, historically, was not just a model of knowledge, but of rational rectitude. This has been lost. And it was lost from technical reasons, discarding other approaches, in part because of sheer nationalism.

In the 1960s John Bell, the Irishman who was director of theory at CERN, published a book with his famous theorem on nonlocality inside:”Speakables and Unspeakables in Quantum Mechanics”. A title full of hidden sense.

Patrice Ayme


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