New Hints to How our Reality is Created

There is something fascinating going on in the world, hidden deep beneath the noise of Trump, soccer matches, and Game of Thrones. It is an exploration into the nature of reality – what is making the world tick?

To cut to the chase, it appears that our reality is being dynamically generated based on an ultra-sophisticated algorithm that takes into account not just the usual cause/effect context (as materialists believe), and conscious observation and intent (as idealists believe), but also a complex array of reality configuration probabilities so as to be optimally efficient.

Wait, what?

This philosophical journey has its origins in the well-known double slit experiment, originally done by Thomas Young in 1801 to determine that light had wavelike properties. In 1961, the experiment was performed with electrons, which also showed wavelike properties. The experimental setup involved shooting electrons through a screen containing two thin vertical slits. The wave nature of the particles was manifested in the form of an interference pattern on a screen that was placed on the other side of the double slit screen. It was a curious result but confirmed quantum theory. In 1974, the experiment was performed one electron at a time, with the same resulting interference pattern, which showed that it was not the electrons that interfered with each other, but rather a probabilistic spatial distribution function that was followed by the pattern on the screen. Quantum theory predicted that if a detector was placed at each of the slits so as to determine which slit each electron would go through, the interference pattern would disappear and just leave two vertical lines, due to the quantum complementarity principle. This was difficult to create in the lab, but experiments in the 1980s confirmed expectations – that the “which way did the particle go” measurement killed the interference pattern. The mystery was that the mere act of observation seemed to change the results of the experiment.

So, at this point, people who were interested in how the universe works effectively split into two camps, representing two fundamental philosophies that set the foundation for thinking, analysis, hypothesis, and theorizing:

  1. Objective Materialism
  2. Subjective Idealism

A zillion web pages can be found for each category.

The problem is that most scientists, and probably at least 99% of all outspoken science trolls believe in Materialism.  And “believe” is the operative word.  Because there is ZERO proof that Materialism is correct.  Nor is there proof that Idealism is correct.  So, “believe” is all that can be done.  Although, as the massive amount of evidence leans in favor of Idealism, it is fair to say that those believers at least have the scientific method behind them, whereas materialists just have “well gosh, it sure seems like we live in a deterministic world.” What is interesting is that Materialism can be falsified, but I’m not sure that Idealism can be.  The Materialist camp had plenty of theories to explain the paradox of the double slit experiments – alternative interpretations of quantum mechanics, local hidden variables, non-local hidden variables, a variety of loopholes, or simply the notion that the detector took energy from the particles and impacted the results of the experiment (as has been said, when you put a thermometer in a glass of water, you aren’t measuring the temperature of the water, you are measuring the temperature of the water with a thermometer in it.)

Over the years, the double-slit experiment has been progressively refined to the point where most of the materialistic arguments have been eliminated. For example, there is now the delayed choice quantum eraser experiment, which puts the “which way” detectors after the interference screen, making it impossible for the detector to physically interfere with the outcome of the experiment. And, one by one, all of the hidden variable possibilities and loopholes have been disproven. In 2015, several experiments were performed independently that closed all loopholes simultaneously with both photons and electrons. Since all of these various experimental tests over the years have shown that objective realism is false and non-local given the experimenters choices, the only other explanation could be what John Bell called Super-determinism, a universe completely devoid of free will, running like clockwork playing out a fully predetermined script of events. If true, this would bring about the extremely odd result that the universe is set up to ensure that the outcomes of these experiments imply the opposite to how the universe really works. But I digress…

The net result is that Materialism-based theories on reality are being chipped away experiment by experiment.  Those that believe in Materialist dogma are finding themselves being painted into an ever-shrinking philosophical corner. But Idealism-based theories are huge with possibilities, very few of which have been falsified experimentally.

Physicist and fellow digital philosopher, Tom Campbell, has boldly suggested a number of double slit experiments that can probe the nature of reality a little deeper. Tom, like me, believes that consciousness plays a key role in the nature of and creation of our reality. So much so that he believes that the outcome of the double slit experiments is due strictly to the conscious observation of the which-way detector data. In other words, if no human (or “sufficiently conscious” entity) observes the data, the interference pattern should remain. Theoretically, one could save the data to a file, store the file on a disk, hide the disk in a box and the interference pattern would remain on the screen. Open the box a day later and the interference pattern should automatically disappear, effectively rewriting history with the knowledge of the paths of the particles. His ideas have incurred the wrath of the physics trolls, who are quick to point out that regardless of the fact that humans ever read the data, the interference pattern is gone if the detectors record the data. The data can be destroyed, or not even written to a permanent medium, and the interference pattern would be gone. If these claims are true, it does not prove Materialism at all. But it does infer something very interesting.

From this and many many other categories of evidence it is strongly likely that our reality is dynamically being generated. Quantum entanglement, quantum zeno effect, and the observer effect all look very much like artifacts of an efficient system that dynamically creates reality as needed. It is the “as needed” part of this assertion that is most interesting. I shall refer to that which creates reality as “the system.”

Entanglement happens because when a two-particle-generating event occurs, it is efficient to create two particles using the same instance of a finite state machine and, therefore, when it is needed to determine the properties of one, the properties of the other are automatically known, as detailed in my blog post on entanglement. The quantum zeno effect happens because it is more efficient to reset the probability function each time an observation is made, as detailed in my blog post on quantum zeno. And so what about the double slit mystery? To illuminate, see the diagram below.

If the physicists are right, reality comes into existence at point 4 in the diagram. Why would that be? The paths of the particles are apparently not needed for the experience of the conscious observer, but rather to satisfy the consistency of the experiment. The fact that the detector registers the data is enough to create the reality. Perhaps the system “realizes” that it is less efficient to leave hanging experiments all over the place until a human “opens the envelope” than it is to instantiate real electron paths despite the unlikely possibility of data deletion. Makes logical sense to me. But it also indicates a sophisticated awareness of all of the probabilities of how the reality can play out out vis a vis potential human interactions.

The system is really smart.

Objective vs. Subjective Reality

Today’s blog is one part rehash of an ancient dilemma that has puzzled and divided philosophers and scientists for millennia and two parts The Universe – Solved!

First a couple definitions…

Objective Reality – a reality that completely exists independent of any conscious entity to observe it.

Subjective Reality – what we perceive.

As it is well known, subjective reality is “subject” to an elaborate set of filters, any one of which can modify a perception of that reality; sensory apparatus (e.g. the rods and cones in our eyes), sensory processing (e.g. the visual cortex), higher level brain function, and psychological factors (e.g. expectations). As such, what one person experiences is always different than what any other person experiences, but usually in subtle ways.

Fundamentally, one cannot prove the existence of an objective reality. We can only infer its properties through observations, which of course, are subjective. However, it may be possible to prove that objective reality doesn’t exist, if, for example, it can be shown that the properties inferred via a particular observer fundamentally contradict properties inferred via another observer. But even then those inferences may be hopelessly subjective. Suppose person A sees a car as red and person B sees the same car as green. We can’t conclude that there is no objective reality because person B could simply have an unusual filter somewhere between the car and the seat of their consciousness.

What if we can use some sort of high-precision reproducible measurement apparatus to make some observations on reality and find that under certain controlled circumstances, reality changes depending on some parameter that appears to be disconnected to the reality itself? There are a lot of qualifiers and imperfections in that question – like “high (vs. infinite) precision” and “appears” – but what comes to mind is the well-known double slit experiment. In 1998, researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science, demonstrated that reality shifts depending on the amount of observation, even if the “observer” is a completely non-intrusive device. IQOQI upped the ante in terms of precision in 2008 by showing that objective reality doesn’t exist to a certainly of 80 orders of magnitude (probability of being false due to error or chance = 1E-80). That’s good enough for me. And, in 2012, Dr. Dean Radin conducted what appear to be well-designed and rigorous scientific experiments that show to a high probability that conscious intent can directly alter the results of the double slit experiment. Just as it only takes one white crow to prove that not all crows are black, it only takes one experiment that demonstrates the non-existence of objective reality to prove that objective reality is an illusion.

So that debate is over. Let’s get past it and move onto the next interesting questions

What is this reality that we all perceive to be “almost” solid and consistent?

I believe it is a digital consciousness-influenced high-consensus reality for reasons outlined here. It has to have a high degree of consensus because, in order to learn and evolve our consciousness, we have to believe in a well-grounded cause and effect.

What does “almost” mean?

We could define “almost” as 1 minus the degree to which apparent objective reality is inconsistent, either between separate observers, or in experiments that have a different outcomes depending on the state of the observer. For now, I’ll have to punt on the estimates because I haven’t found any supporting research, but I suspect it is between 99.999% and 1.

How does “almost” work?

Subjective reality does not mean that you can call the shots and become a millionaire just due to intent. The world would be insane if that were the case. Because of the “consensus” requirement, the effects are much more subtle than that. For you to see a passing car and make it turn red just because you want to, would violate the color consensus that must be maintained for the other 1000 people that see that car drive by. In fact, there is nothing to say that the aggregate of conscious intents from all conscious entities fully shape the subjective reality. Most of it may be driven by the rules of the system (that aspect of digital global consciousness that drives the projection of the physical reality). See the figure below. In the digital global consciousness system (see my “The Universe-Solved!” or Tom Campbell’s “My Big TOE” for more in depth explanations of this view of the nature of reality), Brandon and I are just individuated segments of the greater whole. (Note: This is how we are all connected. The small cloud borders are not impervious to communication, either from other individuated consciousnesses (aka telepathy) or from the system as a whole (aka spiritual enlightenment)).


Brandon’s reality projection may have three components. First, it is generated by the system, based on whatever rules the system has for creating our digital reality. Second, it may be influenced by the aggregate of the intent of all conscious entities, which is also known by the system. Finally, his projection may be slightly influenced by his own consciousness. The same applies to my own projection. Hence, our realities are slightly different, but not enough to notice on a day-to-day basis. Only now that our scientific instrumentation has become sensitive enough, are we starting to be able to realize (but not yet quantify) this. Perhaps 5% of reality is shaped by the aggregate consensus and 95% by the system itself. Or 1% and 99%. Or .00001% and 99.99999%. All are possible, but none are objective.

Rewriting the Past

“I don’t believe in yesterday, by the way.”
-John Lennon

The past is set in stone, right?  Everything we have learned tells us that you can not change the past, 88-MPH DeLoreans notwithstanding.

However, it would probably surprise you to learn that many highly respected scientists, as well as a few out on the fringe, are questioning that assumption, based on real evidence.

For example, leading stem cell scientist, Dr. Robert Lanza, posits that the past does not really exist until properly observed.  His theory of Biocentrism says that the past is just as malleable as the future.

Specific experiments in Quantum Mechanics appear to prove this conjecture.  In the “Delayed Choice Quantum Eraser” experiment, “scientists in France shot photons into an apparatus, and showed that what they did could retroactively change something that had already happened.” (Science 315, 966, 2007)

Paul Davies, renowned physicist from the Australian Centre for Astrobiology at Macquarie University in Sydney, suggests that conscious observers (us) can effectively reach back in history to “exert influence” on early events in the universe, including even the first moments of time.  As a result, the universe would be able to “fine-tune” itself to be suitable for life.

Prefer the Many Worlds Interpretation (MWI) of Quantum Mechanics over the Copenhagen one?  If that theory is correct, physicist Saibal Mitra from the University of Amsterdam has shown how we can change the past by forgetting.  Effectively if the collective observers memory is reset prior to some event, the state of the universe becomes “undetermined” and can follow a different path from before.  Check out my previous post on that one.

Alternatively, you can disregard the complexities of quantum mechanics entirely.  The results of some macro-level experiments twist our perceptions of reality even more.  Studies by Helmut Schmidt, Elmar Gruber, Brenda Dunne, Robert Jahn, and others have shown, for example, that humans are actually able to influence past events (aka retropsychokinesis, or RPK), such as pre-recorded (and previously unobserved) random number sequences

Benjamin Libet, pioneering scientist in the field of human consciousness at  the University of California, San Francisco is well known for his controversial experiments that seem to show reverse causality, or that the brain demonstrates awareness of actions that will occur in the near future.  To put it another way, actions that occur now create electrical brain activity in the past.

And then, of course, there is time travel.  Time travel into the future is a fact, just ask any astronaut, all of whom have traveled nanoseconds into the future as a side effect of high speed travel.  Stephen Hawking predicts much more significant time travel into the future.  In the future.  But what about the past?  Turns out there is nothing in the laws of physics that prevents it.  Theoretical physicist Kip Thorne designed a workable time machine that could send you into the past.  And traveling to the past of course provides an easy mechanism for changing it.  Unfortunately this requires exotic matter and a solution to the Grandfather paradox (MWI to the rescue again here).

None of this is a huge surprise to me, since I question everything about our conventional views of reality.  Consider the following scenario in a massively multiplayer online role playing game (MMORPG) or simulation.  The first time someone plays the game, or participates in the simulation, there is an assumed “past” to the construct of the game.  Components of that past may be found in artifacts (books, buried evidence, etc.) scattered throughout the game.  Let’s say that evidence reports that the Kalimdors and Northrendians were at war during year 1999.  But the evidence has yet to be found by a player.  A game patch could easily change the date to 2000, thereby changing the past and no one would be the wiser.  But, what if someone had found the artifact, thereby setting the past in stone.  That patch could still be applied, but it would only be effective if all players who had knowledge of the artifact were forced to forget.  Science fiction, right?  No longer, thanks to an emerging field of cognitive research.  Two years ago, scientists were able to erase selected memories in mice.  Insertion of false memories is not far behind.  This will eventually perfected, and applied to humans.

At some point in our future (this century), we will be able to snort up a few nanobots, which will archive our memories, download a new batch of memories to the starting state of a simulation, and run the simulation.  When it ends, the nanobots will restore our old memories.

Or maybe this happened at some point in our past and we are really living the simulation.  There is really no way to tell.

No wonder the past seems so flexible.