Re: virus: real world?

Dan Plante (
Tue, 21 Jan 1997 18:57:32 -0800

At 01:52 PM 1/21/97 -0600, you wrote:
>On Thu, 16 Jan 1997 wrote:
>> wrote:
>> > > What is an atomic event classed as? Is it something fairly major, or
is it
>> > > something as simple as decision making?
>> >
>> > It's fairly small-scale. Actually, some interpretations of Quantum
>> > Mechanics seem to exclude decision-making from the domain of study.
>> This is what I was wondering. A lot of Sci-Fi on this subject uses the
>> idea that everytime a poerson (or any living being, I suppose) makes a
>> then a new universe is created (sorry, comes into being) where the
>> alternatives are played out. I was intrigued by the validity of this
>> idea. Can, though, the reactions in the brain that cause a decision to
>> be made, be thought of as atomic events?
>A subtle point. Your last sentence stops the analysis at the
>physical/energy implementation of the decision. One divergence between
>Many-Worlds and Copenhagen is this:
>Many-Worlds represents the arbitrariness of "free-will" as which
>time-line one is in.
>Copenhagen represents the arbitrariness of "free-will" as an "agent" that
>is explicitly NOT described by any axioms, except that it causes wave
>function collapses.
>[my internal reference frame uses "spirit"; I use this when distinguishing
>between mental and spiritual phenomena.]
>Once you are looking at the physical implementation of a decision, there
>is no distinction between the two interpretations.
>There's some interesting psychophysics in the most recent Scientific
>American theme issue on Consciousness. "Researcher tries to disbelieve
>his own experiments, and *fails*."

My understanding of the peer-reviewed literature on this subject (if I
remember correctly), represents quantum interactions as completely
predictable through computation, and therefore deterministic. Assuming
any and all aspects of (our own particular instance of?) existence are
determined by these interactions, then there is no such thing as "real"
free will.

However, the same sources go on to show that, although the calculations,
and therefore predictions, regarding quantum-level events can be performed
for small systems (a 1.5 year simulation run on a specially designed super-
computer successfully calculated all the quantum interactions of a system
of three atoms over some billionths of a second, if memory serves), the
same solution to the universe, including you and me, and the quantum-level
interactions in our heads responsible for our thoughts on free will, is
intractable in practice. This is due to the fact that first conditions
cannot be known, and also because there is not enough resources (matter,
energy) in any system, that can be manipulated in any way to compute that
system - even if you could construct a calculation engine where code/data
are encoded in different electron spins. This would seem to Indicate that
we do have "virtual" free will, since we can never know the future with
any certainty, for any reasonable distance along the time-line.

So, although in theory, everything is already "played out", we can never
know what the score was/will be, and free will reigns for all intents and

My recollection of the Copenhagen Interpretation is rather fuzzy, but this
speaks to the facts of quantum physics, not any interpretation of its
relevance to the nature of reality.

I was under the impression that this aspect of quantum behaviour was well
established. Am I missing something?

The Metasystem Transition History of the "Dan Plante" System:

control of data = information (0 to puberty)
control of information = knowledge (puberty to marriage)
control of knowledge = wisdom (divorce to present - ongoing)