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  1. #11
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kangol View Post
    I'm just wondering if the point of this thread is one of science or philosophy?
    I think Quantum Mechanics does take us into the area of philosophy because it is so counter-intuitive.

    And the idea - that the Wave Function provides the illusion of space and time, in the same way the spherical Earth provides the illusion of the flat Earth - is quite new.

    Mainly because Einstein himself believed that space and time were not an illusion.

    However there is not only the Wave Function but there is also physical evidence that space and time are an illusion.

    And interestingly it is an illusion created by the Wave Function itself.

    However it is an illusion we all share.

  2. #12
    Senior Member Feops's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    Great Caesar's Ghost Feops, the Sun rose at exactly the right time this morning and it set again at exactly the right time.

    And in between sunrise and sunset the Sun travelled halfway around the Earth.

    So the Sun certainly has not failed to travel around the Earth.

    And certainly I can't think of a system more stable.

    So you can tell me that the Sun going around the Earth is an illusion as many time as you like, but everything works exactly as one would expect..
    Not exactly, or we wouldn't be able to tell one way or another.

    It may help to explain what this Wave Function is, rather than simply repeating that it's an illusion and pulling in other misconceptions as "evidence".

  3. #13
    Senior Member Thisica's Avatar
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    Default My take on the notion of "wave function", from a physicist's point of view

    The wavefunction is a mathematical description of a particular kind of physical system. It has just the same status as the Newton-Euler law of motion, F = ma. People mystify the hell out of this notion, thinking that it applies to other kinds of phenomena, such as 'consciousness' (which is hotly disputed in cognitive science and philosophy circles). But because I'm not a cognitive scientist, I can't comment on that as a physicist...
    “To explain all nature is too difficult a task for any one man or even for any one age. 'Tis much better to do a little with certainty, & leave the rest for others that come after you, than to explain all things by conjecture without making sure of any thing.”—Statement from unpublished notes for the Preface to the Opticks (1704) by Newton.

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  4. #14
    Senior Member Red Ribbon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mole View Post
    Good heavens, even your CD player can't be designed without Quantum Mechanics and the Wave Function.

    So much of modern technology, which you take for granted, depends entirely on the Wave Function.

    You no longer believe your illusion that the Sun goes round the Earth. And yet you still believe your illusion of the three dimensions plus time.

    And incidentally time and space are are certainly not consistent and stable for all our practical purposes.

    In fact our most accurate theory, Quantum Mechanics, specifically says that time and space are not consistent and stable. And much of modern technology is built on Quantum Mechanics.

    Of course you are in good company questioning Quantum Mechanics as Albert Einstein said about Quantum Mechanics that, "God does not play dice".

    But we now now that God does play dice - as Quantum Mechanics is based on statistics and chance.

    And so far, to many many decimal points, we have no invalidation of Quantum Mechanics.

    So Albert was simply wrong.

    This is a bitter pill to swallow so you might like to console yourself with your Quantum Mechanical CD player.
    I read this post and the others but I'm just going to write out everything in this post.

    The truth is that we can't even imagine certain things in this universe. A good example is, can we comprehend nothingness? Because the vast expanse of space isn't nothingness, true nothingness exists outside the universe. But it doesn't even come into our imagination.

    Now, I'm no expert in quantum mechanics, but I did study it briefly for a while. I can mathematically express Heisenberg's (spelling?) Uncertainty principle but I can't ever perceive it, or we lack the technology to perceive it now. Facts like the sun revolving around the earth can be proven to be false, both mathematically and by one's own senses so it can easily be disproven.

    Your argument is that everything is an illusion which I disagree with. Human senses are accurate within a range just like any other instrument. We can see visible light which is only a small part of the light spectrum. The world would look very different if we could see UV or IR rays. So in a sense, you could say that the colours are only illusions. But I would argue that the perception of colours is accurate for us in the visible range only and the human eye lacks the ability to see the rest of the colours. (I hope this makes sense)

    And I'm baffled by how you connected this to MBTI? Would you explain?
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  5. #15
    Senior Member Red Ribbon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thisica View Post
    The wavefunction is a mathematical description of a particular kind of physical system. It has just the same status as the Newton-Euler law of motion, F = ma. People mystify the hell out of this notion, thinking that it applies to other kinds of phenomena, such as 'consciousness' (which is hotly disputed in cognitive science and philosophy circles). But because I'm not a cognitive scientist, I can't comment on that as a physicist...
    This is true. I've seen people try to explain things like Schrödinger's cat when all they know about it is, 'there's a cat in a box and it's either dead or alive.' A lot of conceptul knowledge is required to understand the subject and it really only appeals to people who like abstract theoretical stuff. Also I don't think that just because mathematically, all particles have particle and wave nature would imply that we should question our reality because it only really applies to the subatomic world where particles reach velocities comparable to that of the speed of light. In our daily lives, the masses are too large and we move way too slow. Even to experience miniscule evidences of time dilation, we'd have to travel at the speed of light.

    @Mole you certainly don't need to understand Quantum Mechanics to be able to design a CD player. I can do it myself, it's not that hard, and I can do it without even thinking of the wave function once.
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  6. #16
    Member Straylight's Avatar
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    Any argument that attempts to negate the common-sense definition of reality (the natural world) is predicated on the idea that there is anything "non-real" that can be categorically defined.

    To put it logically, any statement of the sort "X exists" is insinuating the possibility of a rational statement taking the form of "X does not exist", which is absurd given that if "X" does not exist, then you can't talk about it because it categorically does not exist.

    Therefore, "X exists" is a tautology (it goes without saying - i.e., you could simply say "X" and that would categorically imply "exists"), and "X does not exist" is always irrational because it is self-refuting.

    Now, I'm not saying that we can't redefine what we mean by concepts like "space" and "time" linguistically, but to say "they don't exist" is categorically false.

    I realize I'm making a semantic argument here, but it's one of my pet peeves when people use this kind of language to discuss theory because it makes it sound like nonsense when in fact it might be very meaningful research of real importance into very abstract subject matter.

    TL;DR, please stop trying to refute concepts such as "time" and "space", it's akin to trying to refute the existence of numbers and makes you sound foolish or high.
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  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feops View Post
    Time and space have certainly not failed me this morning. I woke up when I expected to (with a little help from my alarm clock) on my bed as I should be, got ready with a logical set of motions (space) in a rather mundane sequence (time), and now I'm about to go to work on a bus that will most certainly be in front of my apartment in the same 5 minute window it tends to be, outside a breakdown.

    So my purpose (getting to work on time) has been served very well by my perceptions. You can say it's an illusion as many times as you like, in a trainwreck of logical nonsense, and yet everything worked exactly as one expected. I can think of no system more stable.
    Sure, everything at our size is normal, we take it for granted, it is intuitive. And the unimaginably small and the unimaginably large are not normal, can't be taken for granted, and are counter-intuitive.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Ribbon View Post
    And I'm baffled by how you connected this to MBTI? Would you explain?
    Mbti is an intuitive cult, it enable us to avoid our psychological pain by fantasising about our personality and the personality of others, of dogs and cats, even of nations, not to mention celebrities.

    Interestingly the world we live in is intuitive, it fits us like a sock, we have successfully adapted to our environment, however the imaginably large and the unimaginably small are counter-intuitive.

    So the interesting question arises: how did intuitive creatures discover the counter-intuitive. The answer is that for 200,000 years we lived in spoken, intuitive cultures, than in 1440 we invented the printing press, and as almost none of us learns to read naturally at home, we were compelled by State law to go to special institutions with specially trained staff to learn to read and write, to become literate. This was necessary because literacy is not intuitive rather it is counter-intuitive. So the deep fruit of literacy is a counter-intuitive way of thinking which has been applied to everything from science, to modern economics, to liberal democracy, to modern medicine, and almost everything else.

    In short, the intuitive became the content of the counter-intuitive.

    And interestingly this process hasn't stopped, and in 1840 we invented the electric telegraph, leading to the telephone, the radio, the television and the computer. In short, the electric media, and notice that unlike literacy we learn to use the radio, the television, and the computer intuitively at home, we are not compelled by State law to go to special institutions with specially trained teachers to learn how to use the radio, the telephone, the television, and the computer. The electric media are showing us an old age way of thinking called intuitive thinking.

    The electric media are showing us etribal thinking and giving us identity politics.

    Fortunately for us literacy is disengaged while etribes are emotionally engaged. And so literacy now acts as an antidote to etribalism and traditional tribalism, while traditional, spoken tribes are driven into a frenzy of engagement by the electronic media, which we see on our TVs and in our newspapers every day, while we remain calm and carry on.

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