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Michel X.

Appy polly loggies for not contributing more in this post, but I thought these two links (one a lay summary, the other the article it describes) might prove of interest, given your description of your interest.



Cake tare,
-Michel X.

Dan Dennis

What is the difference, on your view, between the world *being* a ' peer-to-peer simulation' and a ' peer-to-peer simulation' being a useful model of the world? Or perhaps I should rather say, how would you tell which was the case? Or why would you say one was the case rather than the other?

Marcus Arvan

Hi Michel: Thanks for the links. However, I actually reference that paper in mine! ;)

Dan: Good questions. I tend to take models to be structures isomorphic to phenomena being modeled. So, in one sense, I think it's right to call P2P simulations a model of our reality *and* correct to call our world a P2P simulation. Both models and the phenomena they model are, roughly speaking, "the same kind of thing" -- though, as I note in the paper, there may be one salient difference: namely, some kind of *primitive* mind-iness that comprises the P2P nature of our reality (which the P2Ps we've created lack). So, just like model bridges don't model *every* aspect of actual bridges (which are bigger, etc.), actual P2P's don't necessary model *every* aspect of our reality (just most of it). Sorry this reply is a bit jumbled and off-the-cuff. Got to run to teach today!


It seems to me that a large part of these claims owes to a mathematical or topological similarity (or identity) between some things, but why project today's popular concepts of peer-to-peer networks etc on to fundamental physics, or metaphysics? Why not go the other way, and say that peer-to-peer networks are really Hilbert spaces populated by whatever goes on in string theory or whatever? (I am ignorant of the math.) Or why not just describe it in an ordinary, mundane way: some topological structures apply to several distinct things?

Perhaps simulation and other brain-in-a-vat arguments lend some legitimacy to the metaphysical conclusions, but I don't know. I have a hard time understanding how many of these formulations, which one must admit sound a bit overly sensational, are actually not for this reason a little misleading. And this isn't an argument, but I think I am not alone in having this first reaction.

Marcus Arvan

Hi TM: One can, I suppose, go either way -- though let me note a few things.

First, I claim that the P2P simulation hypothesis (A) makes several distinct empirical predictions (not made by other interpretations of QM), and (B) has much greater explanatory power than rival interpretations of QM. Thus, I think there are potentially two separate grounds -- one empirical, the other theoretical -- for favoring one way over the other way.

Second, I think Gates would reply to you as follows: notice that you used the notion of *identity*. Although I don't want to put words in his mouth, I expect Gates might say that adrinka and representations in Hilbert spaces are strictly identical -- that they are merely different ways of representing the same phenomena, such that if the error-correcting codes are embedded in adrinkas they are in some sense embedded in Hilbert space as well.

Dan Dennis

Thanks Marcus. Would you agree that if you say the reality is ultimately a P2P simulation then there are no features of the reality which are not a P2P simulation? Whereas if you say the reality is well modelled by a P2P simulation this allows that there are features of the reality which are not captured by a P2P simulation. In which case one might think that the P2P model captures certain facets or aspects of reality but not others. It is useful, something we can employ to make predictions. But nothing more...

Marcus Arvan

Hi Dennis: Well, in the paper I actually argue that there may well be (at least) one aspect of reality that is *not* captured by a P2P simulation.

In P2P simulations we've created, of course, we (the users) are also governed by physical laws in a higher reference-frame outside of the simulation (viz. we have brains, bodies, etc.). I argue that for all we can have evidence of, this *may* be true of our world (i.e. we are literally hooked up to a P2P simulation). However, I also argue that our world may be fundamentally different in the following respect: our minds may *not* be governed by any laws in a higher reference-frame (i.e. minds are *fundamental* features of reality in a higher reference-frame).

I concede in the paper that we probably can't have any evidence favoring one of these pictures (i.e. world=P2P vs. world=very, very similar in structure to a P2P, with at least one huge difference, primitive mind-iness).

In short, at the end of the day, I do mean to say that the P2P model captures (1) *many* elements or reality, (2) *possibly* all of them, but also (3) possibly not (and we just can't ever know which of the latter two is actually the case).

Does that answer your question?


the theory of consciousness/mind required for any of this to be true is itself a far-fetched fancy, annihilating any further claims based on it. sorry, I can't take the idea of a non-physical (thus, magic) mind seriously. evidence for mind being a physical thing is overwhelming at this point, and all that's left for the opposition is unverifiable metaphysical claims. sigh.

Marcus Arvan

Argo: three points in reply.

First, I am far from alone in philosophy *or* science in believing that the mind is non-physical. It might interest you that many pioneers of quantum mechanics -- including Schrodinger himself (of the Schrodinger equation fame) -- have argued that *quantum mechanics* implies dualism, and for roughly the reasons I give in the paper (all interpretations of quantum-mechanics require positing unobservables).

Second, although I "grew up" a hard-core physicalist (I wrote my undergraduate thesis under Dennett defending physicalism), I now believe there are very strong philosophical grounds for thinking that not just mind is nonphysical but also *causation* (see the second half of Greg Rosenberg's 2004 book on consciousness and causation).

Second, if you think about my P2P hypothesis a bit, there is one gloss (not the one I favor) in which it can be used to give a fully *functionalist* (hence "non-magical") analysis of dualism. I argue that there is *no* way we can know what is going on in the higher reference frame in which our minds reside. What we *do* know (if my theory is true) is that, like an ordinary P2P, there is *something going on in a higher reference-frame that is P2P-ish. Perhaps we are just physical users in a higher reference frame (I.e brains in vats). In that case there is nothing magical about the theory, just multiply embedded *physical-functional* reference frames.

Finally, my theory makes several distinct empirical predictions. So, if its predictions are verified, perhaps you should believe in "magic."


I am well aware of these views, and they keep surprising me. First, I'd like to note that I am definitely not well versed in the modern metaphysics (including the more "out there" parts of quantum physics etc.) - they might be legit, but I dare not judge this. however, I am opposed to physicists making far-reaching claims regarding consciousness, when that is not their subject matter. since you mentioned Dennett, then he has often made a good point, that everyone feels like they're a specialist in consciousness and mind. but, well, Dennett thinks this is not the case (at least in his books, I haven't had the honor of meeting him in person), and neither do I.

quantum properties and whatnot do indeed paint an interesting picture of what is matter and consequently our world, reality etc, and insofar humans are physical, I suppose, all these effects apply to humans as matter, too. however, when it comes to mind, it's very easy to make big mistakes just because the way it seems to you seems like plenty evidence that it is so. well, neurosciences etc keep on showing us new and new ways how our minds, mental activity is nothing more but physical things doing their physical actions, with no need for higher level magic that would determine what's happening.

and, finally, notice how your P2P hypothesis essentially does nothing in explaining what minds do. the claim "we can't know what's happening in the higher frame of reference" can easily be substituted for "magic! - we can't know!". furthermore, if we entertain the brains-in-vats possibility, where mind is the physical functional thing, the P2P layer is not in any way needed to explain what these physical brains then do. we already know we have them, doesn't matter whether it's in our heads or whether in vats, hooked up to elaborate simulations.

so P2P hypothesis might tell us something metaphysical (I dare not guess what), but I highly doubt it can in any meaningful way resolve the problems you've promised it could, namely, those of free will, mind, identity etc, as it essentially goes right over them, leaving the actual explanation to the science of whatever-higher-reference-frame consists of.

Marcus Arvan

Argo: I think you're ignoring the actual arguments in the paper. I think the paper addresses all of your points. Here's a quick summary:

First, the P2P hypothesis explains something about *physics* that no other theory explains (even in physics): namely, why quantum phenomena exist at all. Physics (and other interpretations of QM) take quantum phenomena as *basic*, and attempt to interpret those phenomena. They provide no explanation for *why* the quantum world is the way it is.In contrast, the P2P hypothesis explains why the very phenomena to exist to begin with (indeterminacy and measurement problems are *inherent* in any P2P simulation due to the distributed nature of the entire system).

Second, the P2P hypothesis *explains* the very existence of a number of perennial debates in metaphysics (notice: I did not say "solves" them). I merely claim that *explaining* the very existence of the debates (in a unified theory which also explains basic facts about physics) is a decided epistemological mark in favor of the theory. Good theories (both in physics and philosophy) are explanatorily powerful. Good theories of the world explain more about it than bad theories -- and the P2P hypothesis explains *more* about our world than other physical or metaphysical theories. Of course, good theories also have to make predictions and have those predictions verified, but my theory does make predictions, so we'll have to wait and see, not just dismiss it out of hand.

Third, I don't think your objection that the theory "doesn't explain what minds do" is a mark against the theory. You can't just epistemologically legislate from on high and say we *have* to be able to explain how minds work. After all, if the theory is right -- and again, I think there's a lot going for it (it *unifies* a whole lot, from quantum mechanics to metaphysics on down) -- then the conclusion our minds exist in a higher-dimension inaccessible to us is the *correct* epistemological position to take. It is simply the way the world is. What gives a philosopher the right to decide that every aspect of the world must be explicable?

Notice, finally, that insofar as the theory makes empirical predictions in *our* reference frame, I'm claiming that we might actually have good epistemic reasons to believe in the higher-reference frame. It is, I think, the mark of a good epistemologist to admit what can and cannot be known. If the theory's predictions are borne out, we would have some real *reason* to believe that the mind is -- from our reference-frame -- "magic."

Now, you may not like this result, but the truth is not "what we like." Not to make any comparisons, but many people initially thought the theories of relativity were "absurd" because, oh, what a *mystery* it is that space-time can be relative. And, of course, Einstein thought quantum-mechanics is "absurd" because "god does not play dice."

You may think that neuroscience explains "more and more" about the mind. But here's the problem: neurons are composed by atoms, which are composed by subatomic particles, which are governed by the laws of quantum mechanics...which, if my theory is correct, is best understood in terms of a P2P simulation. So, you're putting the cart before the horse.


hmm, I wonder what abyssal fate befall my previous post, which I'm quite sure I did submit, but yet it is nowhere to be found.

Marcus Arvan

Argo: there's no secret conspiracy. Your post was never received for approval. This has happened to me before, and I don't know why it does.. Try again, and be sure to copy and save it before you submit it. If you're still having trouble, feel free to email it to me and I'll post it for you.

Dan Dennis

Thanks. I see what you are saying. I would have to think more about it a lot more to understand the issues sufficiently to be able to decide whether to agree with you about whether P2P is a comprehensive model of reality.

As for whether we *are* in/generated by, a computer simulation/P2P network. What would your reply be to the moral objection?

Ie If we are generated by a computer simulation, or a P2P network, then it does nto matter what we do, there would be no real right and wrong. However it does matter what we do, there is real right and wrong, therefore we are not generated by a computer simulation/P2P network. (Or – we have grounds for assuming that it does matter what we do, there is real right and wrong, therefore we have grounds for assuming that we are not generated by a computer simulation/P2P network).

Likewise, the moral objection to modal realism. If modal realism were correct then it would not matter if I saved the children from drowning or not – because if I do not save them from drowning then in another world my counterpart will save them, and if I do save them from drowning then in another world my counterpart will not. However it does matter whether I save the children, it is wrong not to save the children, therefore modal realism is false. (OR - we have grounds for assuming that it does matter whether I save the children, it is wrong not to save the children, therefore we have grounds for assuming that modal realism is false.)



Marcus Arvan

Dan: I argue in the paper that there are *two* possibilities, and we can't possibly know if our reference frame which possibility is actual. The first possibility is that our minds are causally determined in a higher reference-frame (by the P2P). The other possibility -- which we have no evidence to rule out -- is that our minds are a *fundamental* part of the P2P such that we have true the true libertarian capacity to will our actions ex nihilo.

The move I am making here is very much of the same sort of the one that Kant made in the third section of the Groundwork, where he argues that the physical world is comprised of phenomena, yet we know there must be noumena behind the phenomena, and we can't possibly know what they're like (for sure).

What I take myself to be doing is providing an empirically respectable way of understanding quantum mechanics in the same way. If I am right, we can have evidence in our frame of reference that we are in a kind of P2P, we just can't know whether the P2P is governed by strict causal laws in a higher reference-frame or whether we have true libertarian freedom ex nihilo. I admit in the paper that this "mysterianism" might frustrate, but I'm not concerned with what frustrates us or what we might like. I am concerned with the truth, and if my theory is correct the truth -- in a higher reference frame -- may forever elude us. But still, there is genuine room in *our* physical world for libertarian free will to work.

But you'll have to read my paper to see precisely how I think that is. Hope this helps!


fascoinating stuff - thank you very much for the link - panpsychist


hmm, still nothing. and I'm still interested in this opposition. perhaps the comment is too lengthy, I'll break it down.


the now old comment, pt1:

Hehe, well, that is without a doubt true that I haven't read the whole paper (I did do some cursory reading, but nothing much, a page here and there), but I thought I felt the direction where it's going/coming from and it's a subject matter I feel strongly about (as is by now obvious, hah), so I couldn't hold back. I guess that does make my critique rather unfounded, but I feel some issues remain. Thanks for writing up a summary, though.

So, first, the things I find agreeable or I feel neutral about:
1) the metaphysical value of the arguments – the truthfulness of your arguments in this aspect I dare not evaluate, but I already granted this in my previous post that this might be something legit. Explanation of why there are any quantum phenomena at all would be a remarkable feat, without a doubt.
2) the aim and potential success of unification of numerous issues would, of course, be a considerable achievement. Once again, I dare not judge the success of this, but the project seems like a worthy one.
3) epistemological considerations – namely, that one can't proclaim what can be known or not and that the answer might turn out to be “we can't know”. This is all very legit.

And now on to things I still can't agree with:

1) “not explaining what minds do “ is not an unfounded or self-proclaimed objection. The current physicalist program of research shows considerable successes in explaining various features of the mind. Of course, there are still some tough problems (binding problem etc), but they don't seem to be principally unsolvable with our current methods. I find all arguments against consciousness or mind as explainable in physicalist terms to be, well, unfounded, since most of them rely on introducing new metaphysical claims regarding the nature of consciousness, but there are no really good arguments that would prove any of these claims (I'm thinking Chalmers here mostly). And if given a choice between a physicalist program that has methods and ways of thinking about mind that is producing results versus metaphysical claims that no results can be produced with our current methods (which seems to contradict the fact of the matter that results are already being produced), then I'll go with the first one every time.


Dan Dennis

Argo, I would pose the question, what does progress in ' current physicalist program of research' amount to? Is it progress towards showing that the mental *is* physical? Or is it simply progress in showing what observable physical phenomena correlate with what (mental) experience? The latter may help us improve medical interventions. Which is valuable. But it is not especially philosophically noteworthy. Not a *qualitative* improvement on the observation that sticking a needle in my finger correlates with feeling pain.

Marcus Arvan

Argo: what Dan said. As I explain in the paper, scientists living within a P2P might, by all means, explain *most* of what goes on in their world -- including their mental and bodily behavior -- by reference to their world's physics. But...and this is a crucial part of the paper, any member of such a simulation would think there are *some* aspects of their mental lives which cannot be accounted for in terms of their world's physics. AND THEY WOULD BE RIGHT. After all, there would be "intrinsic" elements of their mental lives existing in a higher-reference frame that could not *possibly* by explained by any of the physical properties or relations in their world.

This is one of the many reasons I take the theory I am offering to be so powerful. The P2P hypothesis reproduces and *explains* why although almost everything in our world has a physical explanation, many (I'd say most) people have the hankering feeling that you can't possibly explain everything in physical terms.

Look, almost everyone feels the pull of the so-called "explanatory gap." Physical objects and properties are fundamentally relational and so are describable structurally (just think about what an electron *is*. It is entirely defined in terms of relations). Redness, however, cannot be described at all. It can only be mentally pointed to. It seems to be an *intrinsic* property that cannot be accounted for in physical terms.

Now, there have been many attempts by physicalists to explain this. The so-called "most promising strategy" is the phenomenal concepts response. But -- and I am not alone here -- I think this response is incoherent. Either phenomenal concepts are relational, in which case they fail to explain what red looks like, or they're non-relational, in which case they (the concepts themselves!) are non-physical.

In contrast, my theory provides an elegant explanation of the explanatory gap. People living in *any* P2P simulation would feel precisely as we do: that part of their world could not be accounted for in terms of their physics. Just as we do.


oh, shazbot, it seems there's a clear limit to the comment length, overstepping which leads to the void, and the second part of my old comment got cut off anyhow, ehh, and I'm on a different pc, and, well, there should be a warning about this comment length thing :/

breaking down my next comment into four or more parts, just to be safe.


the rundown of the three remaining points of the now forever lost comment would be that "putting cart before the horse"is all this metaphysical jazz, not the in some ways (and in others totally not) more conservative physicalist program. a few points on this.

first, the quantum mechanics are relevant to people, brains etc at the matter level, this is granted. however, the question whether brain uses some funky quantum features beyond those used by any other organic thing is very much an open one. if it turns out it does, no problems, let's add this into our materialistic science of brain/mind. But if we can explain how liver works without making recourses to quantum metaphysics (other than those implicit in concepts of “matter” etc), then we have a hope of explaining brain this way, too.

second, the analogy of "magic" (found in previous comments) goes both ways. just as easy it is to dismiss the materialist view that everything must be explained in physical terms as silly resistance to what now seems magical (but could potentially be something like theory of relativity) it is to dismiss the claims that there's something fundamentally different about subjective phenomenal experience compared to everything else (in this case the magic is the idea of this "unexplainable this way!" experience being explained physically). philosophically it seems there's no conclusive proof yet of truth being in either direction, just a battle of gut feelings, eh.



third, with previous point in mind, I dare say that there's been a considerable progress made in neurosciences in researching human consciousness (even though it certainly is of the “mere” correlative kind). we can now state things like "brain region x produces feature y of visual awareness, given neural activity threshold z", and, given the specificity of these correlations (dedicated colour, movement, face, place perception areas etc – for example, if a certain region of brain (area mt) is damaged, you don't perceive motion anymore, world becomes a slideshow (so say patients), leading to side-effects such as not being able to pour water in a cup, because you can't judge how fast the cup is filling, and there are so many of these specific brain damage cases with simple, yet profound effects that sometimes I wonder how it's possible to entertain any other view of the man than that of a man as automaton (this I do not claim here, though)) it's hard to imagine anything remaining beyond the grasp of this program. certainly, it doesn't explain the intrinsic nature of these experiences (the redness of red etc) (yet?), but even if these facts of subjective nature turn out to beyond limits of our science, there is no reason to take them as anything more than something tightly related (being identical to/a product of/etc – any of these) )to the physical activity of the brain, even if we can't state this relationship with the accuracy otherwise required in science. Given the extent of how far mentioned correlations between neural activity and specific features of human mental life go, it certainly seems silly to assume there is anything metaphysically special to the human mind at all – after all, it seems it is absolutely (!!!) dependent on the physical brain.


(pt. 3)

And, finally, why is sticking to physicalist program the (more) proper way, but going metaphysical “putting cart before horse”? I believe one of the reasons people are not satisfied with the physicalist results so far are because the science of the brain is an extraordinarily complex affair and results seem very slow given the immediacy and availability of our conscious experiences. The urgent need people feel to explain this “right in the face” fact of subjective experience is my guess for what motivates them to abandon physicalism and jump into whatever else gives quicker and more complete “solutions”, that includes metaphysics, even if based on theoretical physics. But, if anything, the explanation of subjective experience would/will be the crown achievement of neuroscience, that can only be achieved after we have figured out a thousand other, more basic things. Since I think we still haven't figured out these basics (and there's probably some intermediate stuff, too, on the road to consciousness), I dare say it's a big leap to declare that the whole endeavor is doomed, especially given how this research of basics is proceeding smoothly.

I feel I am repeating myself (and sadly and most likely – many before me)a bit, but oh well.


(pt. 4)

Now, back to P2P theory. If P2P does explain both quantum phenomena and epistemological limitations of subjectivity/objectivity in a single framework, that's an achievement. But it sounds like it still is not enough grounds to state that our minds are anything non-physical. Best it can do is point to the epistemological limits and say “we can't be sure”. We can do this without P2P, too. Furthermore, it can't serve as basis for us to have “libertarian freedom” in this physical world – previous objections apply – all physical research points in the direction that we do not have this kind of freedom (and it probably isn't that big of a loss, humans have gotten pretty far, and the fact that we might potentially recognize ourselves as automatons one day doesn't really change anything in the ways we do things (it does add new ideas/concepts/whatever that influence us, but the actual mechanisms of decision remain the same)).

I read some more of your paper, and while I hold back on judgement of the quantum stuff (mostly), the part about mmorpgs (and in gamer terms, halo is neither mmo or rpg – it's a multiplayer shooter) somehow doing what P2P proposes is wrong. There are no actual P2P multiplayer games – P2P as a networking method simply doesn't work there. What is being called P2P in gaming actually means that the hosting player of the current match is the server, and everyone else connects to him. Server works as the definitive world – the location of every bullet is tightly determined, there is no approximation (in the quantum sense), just server lag influencing each player's temporal perception of this otherwise strictly determined world. They call it misleadingly P2P because there is no dedicated server infrastructure, so players have to provide servers themselves. But there is absolutely nothing like the unifying quantum collapse you propose in this paper happening in multiplayer gaming, sorry.


and that's that. hopefully, all parts make it this time.

Marcus Arvan

Argo: don't have time to give a full reply, but your last point is incorrect. The example I gave in the paper (Halo) does not use a true P2P environment, but many have (Command and Conquer, Starcraft, and others). True P2P's are incredibly difficult to program to prevent errors, and require much higher computing power, which is why most games these days use a dedicated server (or "host"). But that's quite irrelevant. The important thing is that true P2P's do exist, and do reproduce quantum effects.


I see that you have mentioned this in footnotes, however, the problem remains - Halo is a misleading example, and so is starcraft, and most definitely world of warcraft (what devil gave you the idea that it's P2P?!). All of these games uses servers or other means of authoritative, determinate record of whatever is happening the game world. There is not a single game that would be of the probablistic kind that you in your paper show us - no shooter relies on probabilistic data for the calculations of what “matters” - the score or whatever, only to compensate for lag, you sometimes are shown a few more frames of animation that have not yet definitively "happened" on the server, but since most of the time this simulation of your own movement is the same as the one server produces, you don't notice this. However, when there's a difference, server's information overrides yours, you get spikes and you seem to "teleport" (in pretty bad cases) around from your own perspective. If, during this lag, you see an enemy and shoot him, thinking you got him, then a second later, you might receive information from server that it was actually your enemy who got you, because he was in a tighter sync with server, and could respond faster and more accurately.

The few games that do in fact use P2P as networking, still remain 100% deterministic. If a game-state of a player starts differing from what other players simulate, then the game produces an out-of-sync error, and there's no automagic, probabilistic quantum collapse to resolve this. The only solution is to resync the whole game-state (by relying on an authoritative master record of the world or returning to a previous game-state where everything was 100% in sync). Even random generators in such games are “synced”, using the same seeds and algorithms, to produce the exactly same “random” results. If our perception of the world was like this P2P simulation and not 100% deterministic (unlike the games using this kind of network), then we would get some funky desync errors, too – me eating ice cream from my perspective of the world, but due to butterfly desync me drinking sulfuric acid in your perspective of the world, even worse – I'd appear refreshed and happy about doing this. If we introduce quantum error correction to prevent such absurdities, we once again end up with a 100% determinate world state with only differing appearances due to error correction algorithms at work.

Marcus Arvan

Argo: I agree that the examples I gave in the paper aren't the best (I only learned of the differences between P2Ps and dedicated servers, etc., very late in my final revisions for the journal). In any case, as you note yourself, true P2P's do generate out-of-sync errors, which error-correcting algorithms can minimize. Anyway, it's precisely such out-of-sync errors that are analogous to quantum phenomena. Although we don't experience macro phenomena out of sync (i.e. you eating an ice cream from my point-of-view but sulfuric acid from yours), this is *precisely* what happens at a subatomic level (I measure an electron *here* you measure it *there*, etc.)


And now the million dollar question - does this “micro” desync then matter at our level?

Consider another side of the multiplayer game analogy. You mentioned "movement of leaves" being simulated in Halo, where each player might have a different movement of leaves at the same time. This is, in fact, wrong, no multiplayer shooter, as far as I know, simulates such tiny details as movement of leaves (it's computationally too demanding and wasteful from a gameplay point of view to do), it's just an animation that is being played back to each player individually, and yes, these animations can be very different for each player. In fact, while they are the same animations (assuming identical content in every instance of the game), they might never be in sync due to different animation start times etc. However, this is completely irrelevant to the game. In the set of rules that game is, this is one of those things that "doesn't matter", so it's excluded from causal calculations and, thus, should be excluded from causal explanations. The fact that the animation of leaves show the frame y for player x, when he shoots at player z, but z sees frame y+1 (or +5 or +366 or ...), doesn't change anything in the calculations and causal chain of x shooting z. Differences in leaves' animation (and many other things that are cosmetic, but irrelevant to the system of the game) can be seen as desync, that does happen, yet is causally completely impotent on the game's macro level – it doesn't change anything. A guess, then, follows that perhaps quantum phenomena that do differ for different observers is just this kind of causally irrelevant desync. This is based on the assumption that quantum phenomena do in fact differ for different observers. But it's a statement that is worthy of inspection.

So. What is the relationship of a subjective observer in the philosophical sense and quantum measurements? My guess would be that this relationship is “nothing special”. Indeed, a cursory “research” (google, wikipedia, random internet, haha) of quantum measurement methods don't reveal them to be anything more or fundamentally different from measuring anything else, be it on a macro or micro scale. Humans don't measure quantum properties by just looking at things, they do so by using instruments, and if two human observers use the same instrument and same method, they will achieve the same result – indeed, statement that two people measure electron's position using the same tool a single time and still their results differ would be absurd. So there is no “I measure electron here, you measure it there”. Uncertainty principle does not entail this, and I suspect that there are no other principles that would actually lead to this curious consequence. Certainly, you can't measure both electron's position and momentum at the same time, but it has nothing to do with human observers, but everything to do with fundamental properties of electrons themselves.

Making quantum phenomena then obey human observers seems little more than wishful thinking. I'm not sure if there's any difference between, say, a rock (a classic example of matter) and human observer to quantum phenomena.

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