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.


Reality Doesn’t Exist, according to the latest research

A team of physicists in Vienna has conducted a set of “reality” experiments that prove to a level of 80 orders of magnitude that reality doesn’t exist unless you observe it.  In other words, in case you ever doubted the Schrodinger’s Cat thought experiment, doubt no longer.  It seems that experimental evidence has confirmed that we create our own reality by looking at it, measuring it, or observing it.  The detail are here.

The results of many of recent 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.  No huge surprise to me, who questions everything about our conventional views of reality.  But I still think the evidence is fascinating and probably a bit unnerving to say the least, to the majority of those out there who don’t typically consider such things.  Cause and effect, and reality are certainly not what they seem.

What could be the explanation?  Certainly, more experiments to probe the depths of reality are needed.  But that doesn’t stop us from speculating.  Once again, Programmed Reality offers a perfect explanation.  Assuming that the programmed construct can detect “observation” (which, in principle, does not appear to be that difficult of a process), all the program has to do is the following:

select result from a subset of coherent results
else, randomize result

For example, in the classic reality experiment, pairs of photons are generated which are “entangled” by virtue of the fact that they were generated from the same reaction.  Those photons can be separated by large distances and then a property of one of them is measured.  The act of measuring the property of one photon immediately determines the property of the other photon, even if it is so far away that it precludes “knowing” about what is happening to its twin photon because of the limitations of exceeding the speed of light.  However, in the Programmed Reality model, the properties of the two photons can be related programmatically.  Once an experiment determines one property, the program sets the other photons property accordingly.  The program is aware of the observation and could be in full control of the properties of the paired particles.

For the RPK effect…

set result from archive to a subset of coherent results

For an example of this effect, imagine a set of random numbers generated programmatically and stored in some sort of archive.  The archive, of course, being a product of Programmed Reality, is under full control of the program.  The archive is not observed prior to the experiment and the subjects perform mass consciousness experiments on the data.  The program measures the level of “coherence” of the consciousness in the experiment and then sets the correlation of the stored numbers according to some algorithm, formula, or table.  When the experimenters unveil the data, lo and behold, they are not truly random, but rather, appear to be affected by the consciousness experiment.  A simple software algorithm can make this work!

The interesting question, though, is “What is the motivation behind the program?”  Why would it have such an effect?  Perhaps the answer lies in the idea that sentient beings do truly create their reality.  Much like “Sim City,” where the players create their reality, perhaps our reality is created accordingly to a complex set of rules and algorithms, which include such attributes as intent and observation.

This doesn’t prove the validity of Programmed Reality, but I have to wonder, how many anomalies does the theory have to solve, for it to be seriously considered?  Wink

IQOQI Reality Test Experiment