The Observer Effect and Entanglement are Practically Requirements of Programmed Reality

Programmed Reality has been an incredibly successful concept in terms of explaining the paradoxes and anomalies of Quantum Mechanics, including non-Reality, non-Locality, the Observer Effect, Entanglement, and even the Retrocausality of John Wheeler’s Delayed Choice Quantum Eraser experiment.

I came up with those explanations by thinking about how Programmed Reality could explain such curiosities.

But I thought it might be interesting to view the problem in the reverse manner.  If one were to design a universe-simulating Program, what kinds of curiosities might result from an efficient design?  (Note: I fully realize that any entity advanced enough to simulate the universe probably has a computational engine that is far more advanced that we can even imagine; most definitely not of the von-Neumann variety.  Yet, we can only work with what we know, right?)

So, if I were to create such a thing, for instance, I would probably model data in the following manner:

For any space unobserved by a conscious entity, there is no sense in creating the reality for that space in advance.  It would unnecessarily consume too many resources.

For example, consider the cup of coffee on your desk.  Is it really necessary to model every single subatomic particle in the cup of coffee in order to interact with it in the way that we do?  Of course not.  The total amount of information contained in that cup of coffee necessary to stimulate our senses in the way that it does (generate the smell that it does; taste the way it does; feel the way it does as we drink it; swish around in the cup the way that it does; have the little nuances, like tiny bubbles, that make it look real; have the properties of cooling at the right rate to make sense, etc.) might be 10MB or so.  Yet, the total potential information content in a cup of coffee is 100,000,000,000 MB, so there is a ratio of perhaps 100 trillion in compression that can be applied to an ordinary object.

But once you decide to isolate an atom in that cup of coffee and observe it, the Program would then have to establish a definitive position for that atom, effectively resulting in the collapse of the wave function, or decoherence.  Moreover, the complete behavior of the atom, at that point, might be forever under control of the program.  After all, why delete the model once observed, in the event (probably fairly likely) that it will be observed again at some point in the future.  Thus, the atom would have to be described by a finite state machine.  It’s behavior would be decided by randomly picking values of the parameters that drive that behavior, such as atomic decay.  In other words, we have created a little mini finite state machine.

So, the process of “zooming in” on reality in the Program would have to result in exactly the type of behavior observed by quantum physicists.  In other words, in order to be efficient, resource-wise, the Program decoheres only the space and matter that it needs to.

Let’s say we zoom in on two particles at the same time; two that are in close proximity to each other.  Both would have to be decohered by the Program.  The decoherence would result in the creation of two mini finite state machines.  Using the same random number seed for both will cause the state machines to forever behave in an identical manner.

No matter how far apart you take the particles.  i.e…

Entanglement!

So, Observer Effect and Entanglement might both be necessary consequences of an efficient Programmed Reality algorithm.

 

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Explaining Daryl Bem’s Precognition

Dr. Daryl Bem, Professor Emeritus of Psychology at Cornell University recently published an astounding paper in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology called “Feeling the Future: Experimental Evidence for Anomalous Retroactive Influences on Cognition and Affect.”  In plain English, he draws on the results of eight years of scientific research to prove that precognition exists.  His research techniques utilized proven scientific methods, such as double blind studies.  According to New Scientist magazine, in each case, he reversed the sequence of well-studied psychological phenomena, so that “the event generally interpreted as the cause happened after the tested behaviour rather than before it.”  Across all of the studies, the probability of these results occurring by chance and not due to a real precognitive effect was calculated to be about 1 in 100 billion.

This little scientific tidbit went viral quickly with the Twitterverse and Reddit communities posting and blogging prolifically about it.  We have to commend the courage that Dr. Bem had in submitting such an article and that the APA (American Psychological Association) had in accepting it for publication.  Tenures, grants, and jobs have been lost for far less of an offense to the often closed-minded scientific/academic community.  Hopefully, this will open doors to a greater acceptance of Dean Radin’s work on other so-called “paranormal” effects as well as Pim van Lommel’s research on Near Death Experiences.

More to the point, though, this has many scientists scratching their heads.  What could it mean about our reality?  Quantum physicists say that reality doesn’t really exist anyway, but most scientists from other fields have compartmentalized such ideas to a tiny corner of their awareness labelled “quantum effects that do not apply to the macroscopic world.”  Guess what?  There isn’t a line demarking quantum and macroscopic, so we need to face the facts.  The world isn’t as it seems and Daryl Bern’s research is probably just the tip of the iceberg.

OK, what could explain this?

Conventional wisdom would have to conclude that we do not have free will.  Let’s take a particular experiment to see why:

“In one experiment, students were shown a list of words and then asked to recall words from it, after which they were told to type words that were randomly selected from the same list. Spookily, the students were better at recalling words that they would later type.”

Therefore, if students could recall words better before the causative event even happened, then that seems to imply that they are not really in control of their choices, and hence have no free will.

However, our old friend Programmed Reality, again comes to the rescue and offers not one, not two, but three different explanations for these results.  Imagine that our reality is generated by a computational mechanism, as shown in the figure below.

programmedreality

Part of what constitutes our reality would also be our bodies and our brain stuff – neurons, etc.  In addition, assume that that “Computer” reads our consciousness as its input and makes decisions based both on the current state of reality, as well as the state of our consciousnesses.  In such case, consider these three possible explanations:

1. Evidence is rewritten after the fact.  In other words, after the students are told the words to type, the Program goes back and rewrites all records of the student’s guesses, so as to create the precognitive anomaly.  Those records consist of the students and the experimenters memories, as well as any written or recorded artifacts.  Since the Program is in control of all of these items, the complete record of the past can be changed, and no one would ever know.

2. The Program selects the randomly typed words to match the results, so as to generate the precognitive anomaly.

3. We live in an Observer-created reality and the entire sequence of events is either planned out or influenced by intent, and then just played out by the experimenter and students.

Mystery solved, Programmed Reality style.

 

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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.

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Change the Past, Change the Future Simply by Forgetting

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!

Future, Past, Present