RE: virus: <Reality>

Robin Faichney (
Wed, 24 Sep 1997 11:54:56 +0100

> From: Eva-Lise Carlstrom[]
> On Tue, 23 Sep 1997, Robin Faichney wrote:
> > I though some of you might be interested in this:
> >
> > "There is no deep reality" represents the prevailing
> > doctrine of establishment physics.
> >
> > [Niels] Bohr [who takes this position] does not deny
> > the evidence of his senses. The world we see
> > around us is real enough, he affirms, but it floats on
> > a world that is not as real.
> >
> > A couple of quotes, out of order, from Nick Herbert's
> > Quantum Reality.
> >
> > So what does "real enough" mean, and what can we
> > make of the assertion that this "real enough" world
> > "floats" on one that is not as real?
> >
> > As regards consistency, BTW, it seems conspicuously
> > lacking at the quantum level.
> >
> > Robin
> This makes me think of a couple different analogies.
> 1.) In a video game, there is a "real enough" world to provide
> sufficient
> illusion for the context. One layer down, it's all code and pixels,
> but
> that doesn't matter for the purposes of the game. {I realize that the
> underlying structure in a video game is well ordered; my point is that
> the
> exact nature of that underlying structure is unimportant to someone
> using the interface. All that matters is the result at the level we
> deal
> with it at.}
I agree, as a matter of pragmatics. But doesn't all this
cause problems for the philosophy of naive realism?

> 2.) In a pointillist painting, most of the dots could probably be
> slightly
> different places and/or colors and still present fundamentally the
> same
> image. The image, which has meaning and order for the viewer,
> "floats"
> on a substrate of painted dots, which don't (and which are
> individually
> unpredictable). The order arises from the average placement and
> color,
> not, in general, from individual dots being placed in very specific
> spots.
Agreed, again. We're talking statistics, as against
determinism, here. Which could suggest a way forward,
as QM is all about statistics and probability. So, strictly
speaking, every statement about reality should be
qualified by a degree of confidence. This is interesting,
because probability transcends the subjective/objective
dichotomy: the reason for the uncertainty could be
"internal", "external", both, or either (undetermined).
Statements without such a qualifier, i.e. A *is* B (or
A==A?) should probably be assumed not to have had
their confidence level assessed. :-)