Saturday, December 13, 2008

Paranormal & Fortean : Questions About the Nature of Reality

I have wanted to keep doing small posts about upcoming topics in between the H/A series and that I hope will provide a background for future discussions. Not feeling so great this evening but decided to go ahead and post this tonight, so it would be at the top of the page tomorrow if people passing through would like to comment on it if they have downtime on Sunday. I would also like to keep this as the only post here for the next three to four days unless there is information I can add that will add to this topic. If anyone would like to comment please do and don't worry if it is not here in a bit. I am going to be somewhat busier the next week and like to have the comments sent to my email first-but I will post almost any comment about anything as long as it is not a personal attack and would definitely appreciate any ideas on this subject.

I think the 'fabric' of our reality is very important to discuss in relation to philosophy, metaphysics and the paranormal. This post will talk about an idea that has been around for awhile and I will give a couple of links to check out if anyone wants to. This idea has been called the 'Matrix Theory' and the 'Simulation Argument'. It has been discussed by many thinkers and theorists and average people for some time. I do not really like the idea that much at all and it seems to be linked to many people involved with transhumanism. This is not to say anything bad about transhumanists or any people who talk about some post-human future. I very much however think we lose a lot of what makes us human in some of the ideas that are expressed and think that technology is wildly outpacing our ethics to deal with some of the ideas brought up in this and other 'cyber-human' fields.

The reason that I feel it is so important to talk about the simulation argument is that is 'solves' some problems with ease that are brought up by modern physics. I want to present a quaternity of problems that the simulation or matrix hypotheses solve. For a long time I have wondered where we, our thoughts, our ideas, our emotions, our world, even our blogs exist in the fabric of space-time. I wonder if you, dear reader have ever had any intuitions that things are not as they seem. I sure have, especially in the last four years. Sometimes the world, to me anyway, seems to take on an almost comic-book like aspect when I view some of the events that have happened in recent years. I have noticed many people talking about how 'synchronicities' have been occurring with much more frequency in their lives and that time seems to be speeding up-even if these people have never been exposed to such ideas. Yet, and thank high heavens for this, I still get many feelings of human kindness and human wonder. What I am trying to say-perhaps using too many words is that I hope and do not want to think that our lives are being lived in some hyper-dimensional central processing unit that is both projecting the 'screen' and the 'movie' of our reality. However I think I should present these four ideas for some background discussion.

The first idea I want to talk about that the simulation argument solves is one brought up in a previous post. This is the proven fact in science that non-locality exists in experiments performed in modern day quantum mechanics. Non-locality is simply the fact that two particles at the level of quantum mechanics always change their respective quantum states immediately when something happens to one of them. These states are ones such as charge, spin and orientation. Put simply, it basically means that once the particles have been in contact with each other they are always connected. This has been proven and so it means that if the particles are somehow communicating it is faster than the speed of light or they are connected in a higher dimension of space. The simulation argument solves this problem because if all of the interaction between the particles is simply taking place inside a computer-no matter how unimaginably vast and complex-there really is no 'space' between them and the interactions are just an algorithm that is being solved by the 'computer'.

The second problem that the simulation solves is that of the wave-particle duality problem in physics. Trying to figure a way to state this simply so there is no confusion. In modern physics when a scientist does an experiement, the way he does the experiment determines if a 'wave' or a 'particle' is detected. This is bizarre if you think about it, how can something be both a wave of interference patterns and a particle at the same time-and WHY should how the scientist performs his experiment have any say on what is detected by instruments measuring events at the sub-atomic realm. This has also been proven. If a beam of light or electrons is focussed onto a screen behind an apparatus with one slit the scientist always gets a solid beam of particle hits. However if two slits are used he always gets a wave or interference pattern-and this happens every time -no matter if the electron beam or light beam is slowed down to just where one particle unit should be coming from it at the time. It is like the particle 'knows' if it is being shot to a detector with one or two slits! The matrix or simulation argument solves this problem again-in that if our reality is all just a bunch of computations taking place step by step in a computer-the computer would 'know' how the eventual outcome should look, more about this in the next two items.

Time and space in a computer are not 'continuous'- operations are performed in a step by step fashion. Modern physics continues to puzzle by the fundamental fact that all of its mechanics take place in a step by step fashion, in other words as opposed to the sweeping hands of an old analog watch, where there is an in-between, countless quantum experiments show that when you get down to the smallest level of our reality. everything is taking place in a 'digitized' manner. Also, there is no explanantion of why nature should be divided into whole numbers with nothing in between. The simulation argument solves this again because if the fabric of our reality is simply operations taking place step by step in some hugely powerful CPU-you would not expect to find any in beweens-either as far as space or time is concerned. And in modern physics, this seems to be the case. There are levels of space and of time-think very small scales of space and very small units of time that science does seem to not need to concern itself with. Exactly what you would expect if our reality was being projected in a computer like fashion and if there was a maximum limit to this computers level of power. This is why you would have a limit to the speed of light, and the constants in nature also such as the gravitational constant.

Our last item of concern is something called the 'uncertainty principle' discovered by Werner Heisenberg in the last century. This is when a physicist measures either the position of a quantum particle or the momentum of it. Heisenberg showed that the more you try to know of one state either position or momentum-the less you can know about the other. Why should this be a fundamental law of nature that can be expressed mathematically? Remember that one feature of quantum mechanics is that quantum properties come in whole units only-NO IN-BETWEENS. There are very few things at our human level of reality that are only black and white with no grey areas. Again, it seems that there is some level and constraints to what we can know about our reality when you get down to the constants of nature and the smallest units that we CAN measure-these seem to be fundamental constraints and there is no way around them. This is exactly what you would expect if our extremely powerful 'reality projection machine' has limits to its computational power.

I have just touched on some of these ideas here and would like to leave this post up on top until Tuesday at least if not Wednesday. The only things I would add are if I can add another post to this with more theory or add into this post if I have made something unclear or a mistake. Once again I do not like this theory at all that much but thought it should be presented as it would explain a lot of problems that modern science comes across when dealing with reality at its most fundamental levels. Then hopefully after this we can continue our H/A series and other things. Peace and best wishes to anyone stopping by or passing through. Here are the links-


aferrismoon said...

If we imagine the Universe finite and humans only able to define Universe some wave.particle of it remains mysterious as we don't apprehend the finite simultaneously - allowing for unity, though apprehended only plurally


wise woman said...

Hi Devin
I enjoyed both your posts.

The nature of reality post stirred something though I'm not sure what just yet - it somehow seemed to fit very nicley into my thoughts at the moment.

Am having a 'sick' day off work myself today - more of a need to rest than anything.

Glad you enjoyed the humour. My son & I were watching some funny Youtube cat clips this morning - so nice to start the day with a laugh.
Hope you are feeling better :)

Devin said...

aferris-so appreciate you stopping by you were definitely one of the people I was hoping who would see this post! Very much thank your for commenting-Best to you!

wise- I very much hope you get better soon! Take it easy and relax-humor is one of the best ways I think anyway for humans to heal. Thanks for stopping by and commenting-I think we may have 'synched' in our illnesses too-the problem with me seems to be more a lack of energy than anything. Sending blessings and 'get better' thoughts to NZ from AZ!

wise woman said...

Hi Devin
Dropping by to say hi. I have not had a chance to read your new artcles yet (am at work!) but will get to them this evening.

I hope you are feeling better & having a very pleasant day.

Weave on!

Devin said...

wise I am feeling better-still losing weight at a precipitous rate! have a docs appt tomorrow-if I had time for a political rant tonight I would do it regarding America's health care system! I so enjoyed your new post and hope to revisit it this eve if nothing intervenes-always so happy to see you here!

Michael Skaggs said...


It's very much like humans to bring the Universe "down into measurable units" isn't it? Trying to understand the infinite in our finite measurements, and then adding that cold harsh "computer" feel to it.

I like the stretch-thoughts of Dark Matter tying everything together, that what we cannot see is unexplainable. Quantum mechanics is the new thinking, the new paradigm, the newest, latest, greatest "measuring device" Science has wrapped its brain around in its attempt to explain the Universe.

Honestly, questioning is key to evolving, we have to always question, otherwise our brains become useless, and our hunger for knowing does too, its good for the soul to hunger for knowledge, and since I don't think there will ever be a definite answer to how the Universe works, we can continue to feed our souls with knowledge and creative thoughts, thusly putting out creative energies to continue the infinite quest.

Take care of yourself Devin, I am thinking your immune system is a bit off kilter if your losing weight that quickly. Not sure if you've ever gotten into body cleanses for toxicity, but I KNOW they work. I had helped a friend who has a child that was diagnosed with Leukemia setup a healthy organic diet so his immune system could handle the chemotherapy better. The damn doctors wouldn't even suggest a healthier diet because "legally they couldn't", is that not b.s. or what!?

Be well bro.

Devin said...

Michael=always enjoy seeing you here so much! Agree with you 100 percent-am trying to collect bits of stuff for a health and health care rant soon-was going to do an H/A post this eve and a short personal one about my day-will wait a while and see if i can get the energy-best to you as always!

Your thoughts about us humans trying to put universe in measurable human sized bites is so true!

X. Dell said...

(1) Interesting point. Since our blogs don't physically exist, they represent a complete abstraction. Now if they are an abstraction of an abstraction (ala the Matrix theory) then whre they exist becomes an interesting question.

(2) Transhuman philosophical movements received a boost from such seers as Cayce and Blavatsky, who saw mankind as fundamentally non-corporeal. Thus, the earlier hominids represented the non-corporeal manifestaton of the abtract spirit, with newer versions coming out all the time (kinda like Real Player, ReapPlayer 2.0, and so on). Homo-Sapiens-Sapiens (us) were alleged, in this mythology, to have become so popular that the non-corporeal part of ourselves forgot that we were non-corporeal, and desperately clung to the flesh no matter in what condition.

As for me, I don't profess to know, understand, or even believe much at this point. A good discussion is always welcome, therefore.

Devin said...

Xdell as always I am delighted to see you here at MFM! I know you are literally 'under the gun' so to speak with work-and I really appreciate you taking the time to come to my little place and comment!-Especially as you have your own great series going at your place that I have enjoyed so very much. I am like you -In that respect-I do not profess to have any or even some of the answers-I very much want to keep this subject going-if my health allows-there are an infinite number (almost hehe) of versions of reality and I thought this one really needed to be talked about-becuase even though I dont like it-it would explain a lot in modern physics-and I have never bought the universe 'in a pop' theory-which i tried to state in the previous UFO post-the background of where we came from to me should have been so completely empty that there should have been no 'unstable quantum vacuum to come from'-but again that starts bringing up so many new questions. Best to you as always!