Wednesday, May 25, 2050

Ontology & Quantum Mechanics

This blog is an experimental way to discuss topics in philosophy of physics, especially interpretation of quantum mechanics (QM), and some philosophy of mind.

I tend to support the many worlds interpretation (MWI) of QM, and computationalist philosophy of mind. However, I try to be objective and lay out the difficulties clearly.

I welcome comments and criticism. However, if you think that mainstream physics is nonsense and that you are a lone genius, please go elsewhere until you learn some physics.

Jacques Mallah, Ph.D. (jackmallah@yahoo.com)

Table of Posts:
Ontology & Quantum Mechanics

Chapter 1: Basics of Quantum Mechanics

1.1. Simple proof of Bell's Theorem
                  - 1-page Bell's Theorem

1.2. Why MWI?
1.3. Top 12 things to know about physics
1.4. on external links
1.5. Studying Quantum Mechanics: the Delayed Choice example
1.6. Key definitions for QM: Part 1
1.7. Key definitions for QM: Part 2
1.8. Key definitions for QM: Part 3
1.9. Studying Quantum Mechanics: Measurement and Conservation Laws
1.10 Studying Quantum Mechanics: Decoherence, Macroscopic Superpositions, and the 'Preferred-Basis Problem'
1.11. Further Study

Chapter 2: Probability in Many Worlds Interpretations

I. Interlude: Anticipating the 2007 Many Worlds conference
II. Interlude: The 2007 Perimeter Institute conference Many Worlds @ 50

2.1. Meaning of Probability in an MWI
                  - Why do Anthropic arguments work?

2.2. Measure of Consciousness versus Probability
2.3. Why 'Quantum Immortality' is false
2.4. Early attempts to derive the Born Rule in the MWI
2.5. Decision Theory & other approaches to the MWI Born Rule problem, 1999-2009
2.6. MWI proposals that include modifications of physics
2.7. The Computationalist approach to Measure
2.8. On Dualism

2.9. The Everything Hypothesis: Its Predictions and Problems

Chapter 3: Making Computationalism Precise
Note: My new paper about implementation of computations will appear in the proceedings of the 7th AISB Symposium on Computing and Philosophy (2014). It is largely compatible with the ideas presented on this blog but contains a few new ideas and explanations:

Structure and Dynamics in Implementation of Computations preprint

3.1. Basic idea of an implementation
3.2. The Putnam-Searle-Chalmers theorem
3.3. Restrictions on mappings 1: Independence and Inheritance
3.4. Restrictions on mappings 2: Transference
3.5. Causation, Activity, and Computation

III. Interlude: The Partial Brain thought experiment

IV. Interlude: Ideas on quantum gravity
- The problem of time and reference frames
- Indiscernibles are Not Identical
- The pseudo-Heisenberg-operator possible ontology

3.6. Counting implementations: The Problem of Size
3.7. Linear dynamics, independence, & noise
3.8. Counting implementations: proposal 1: Substate-style criterion
3.9. Counting implementations: proposal 2: Just allow any starting states
3.10. Counting implementations: proposal 3: Use different physical ranges
3.11. Implications for quantum mechanics
3.12. Possible changes to the model of physics
3.13. The problem of Boltzmann Brains

3.14. Implications for artificial intelligence