Change the Past, Change the Future Simply by Forgetting
April 21, 2009 2 Comments
Here’s an interesting idea. To avoid an impending disaster, all you have to do is forget your past. So says physicist Saibal Mitra at the University of Amsterdam. Even changing the past seems to be possible, believe it or not.
His idea is predicated on accepting our old friend, the Everett interpretation of Quantum Mechanics, aka the Many Universes theory. According to Mitra, if the collective observers memory is reset prior to a cataclysmic event, such as a species ending asteroid impact, the state of the universe becomes “undetermined.” As a result, it has an equal likelihood of following any of the many subsequent paths, most of which should have nothing to do with an asteroid impact. And so, by selectively forgetting our past, we can avoid certain doom by starting with a clean slate of future outcomes. See this New Scientist article.
There is something unsettling about the logic, but his paper seems to be on firm footing: http://arxiv.org/abs/0902.3825. And the implications are fascinating. Not happy with how last year’s Superbowl turned out? Keep a single copy of the event, erase everyone’s memory, replace all archived bits of history relating to the game, and then we can all sit back and watch the recording again. Mitra says if we do that, there’s a good chance Arizona will win. Watching the same tape! Well, maybe not the same tape. Because once the universe became undetermined again, the physical tape could have encoded any number of outcomes.
This a vaguely reminiscent of “Last Thursdayism,” which is one of the possible aspects of Programmed Reality. Once the universe is reset from an observational standpoint, we would never know the difference and an entirely different future course of events is possible. If you make the restart point somewhere in our current past, then the recent past can be changed too. Programmed Reality explains it all!