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First, regarding physicists, I might be simplifying their non-intuition towards quantum mechanics greatly - I am not in that soup really. But I think that the non-local phenomena (entaglement, EPR experiments, Bell's theorem) are still baffling to their intuitions. The best course is to go forward constructing new gadgets and consequences, it appears.

My understanding is that empirical intuition is based on "deja vu" (including genetic deja vu). If you have a phenomenon which is unlike anything you ever experienced before, there comes a problem of satisfactory understanding. Quantum mechanics is difficult because it is hard to model it by anything else. (As regarding cellphones - a trivial remark is that most people are just happy to understand how to use them.)

But intuition may come not only from the empirical lower circuits, but from higher circuits as well. Say, in "Quantum Psychology" RAW claims complete equivalence of quantum mechanics and psychology (starting from subjectivity or experiences or measurements, the "maybe" logic, and going up to Big-bang non-locality against highest perceptions). He appears to be teasingly exhaggerating here: by his own philosophy, "complete equivalence" is an Aristotelian notion, not to be measured. Any model map is not the whole territory, whether we model quantum mechanics by deep psychology or vice versa. My rational supposition at the moment is that the higher circuits perceive some general but deep patterns beyond usual empirical experience, and quantum mechanics fits in those patterns (and deep cognitive psychology fits those pattenrs as well). It would follow then that higher circuits may help a lot to understand quantum mechanics "fully".

The 3rd circuit (if well programmed) is able to make assumptions even without practical results, just for a matter of thought experiments. I find myself in no difficulty to keep a few sets of assumptions about ongoing events (if I am really interested in those events), and adjust plausibility of various assumptions with new facts. But my habit to "keep options open" appears to be a drawback for corporate purposes, I was told.

Regardin Cheney's manipulation of the 3rd circuit, yeah, it works. It is admirable to teach people to detect bullshit, but then the problem appears to be that bullshit detection is applied inconsistently. For example, in 2000 Gore's positions were regurlarly perceived (}or presented) as bullshit, while Bush was treated admirably, exactly because bullshit detection was directed straight against Gore and away from Bush - by big efforts of the conservative-libertarian talnking heads in the media.

For the beginning, someone has to call Cheney's bullshit. It is amazing how conservatives were successful in ridiculing liberals' concerns while getting away with their own "fearsome" issues, while liberals were unable to do anything opposite.

by das monde on Wed Jul 25th, 2007 at 11:16:36 AM EST
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But I think that the non-local phenomena (entaglement, EPR experiments, Bell's theorem) are still baffling to their intuitions.

There are no non-local phenomena. Unless, of course, you insist on naive realism (defined as counterfactual definiteness and non-contextuality).

Can the last politician to go out the revolving door please turn the lights off?

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jul 25th, 2007 at 11:22:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hmm... ok, non-locality is just another Aristotelian excuse. But those counter-intuitive experiments and facts are still counter-intuitive, or what?

To extend quantization intuition on mathematical level, some try to generalize localization functors to non-commutative algebras...

by das monde on Wed Jul 25th, 2007 at 12:14:53 PM EST
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Well, the Heisenberg uncertainty relations basically tell you physical observables form a noncommutative algebra.

When you look beyond your past experience you're likely to encounter things that are counter-intuitive. "Counter-intuitive" is a statement about your intuition, not about the phenomena.

The real problem is not quantum behaviour, but the "classical limit". I think decoherence and consistent histories go a long way towards solving that.

Can the last politician to go out the revolving door please turn the lights off?

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jul 26th, 2007 at 02:56:39 AM EST
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Is the "classical limit" the same problem as the measurmement problem, where the disctinction between determenistic wave evolution and a "mesurement" is not clear? Bell says that that Bohm's model (a particle riding a wave) solves this issue, but then "non-local" interpretations are weird.

Above that, is objectivity of the "real world" is now clear?

by das monde on Thu Jul 26th, 2007 at 10:53:02 AM EST
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IMHO the measurement problem stems from von Neumann's introduction of a "collapse of the wavefunction" axiom in his (1931?) Mathematical Foundations of Quantum Mechanics. Personally, I go for Everett's "relative state" formulation. But that has ontological problems.

Bohm's model works for spinless, newtonian particles. I am not aware of a workable generalisation of Bohm's "pilot wave" formulation to quantum fields, variable unmbers of particles, or particles with spin or internal degrees of freedom.

The "classical limit" is related, but not the same, as the measurement problem. It is related because we describe "measurement" in terms of macroscopic objects. Imagining that von Neumann's "collapse" applies to any interaction that one might call a "measurement" leads to the quantum zeno paradox. But the quantum zeno paradox assumes that interactions are instantaneous, which is unphysical.

The fact is, every single counterintuitive or paradoxical prediction of quantum mechanics that has been tested experimentally has been confirmed, so when I say above that a particular interpretation on quantum mechanics has "ontological problems" I have to wonder whether it's not Ontology that has experimental problems.

Can the last politician to go out the revolving door please turn the lights off?

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jul 26th, 2007 at 11:07:28 AM EST
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What issue is Bohm's model "solving", by the way? It gives exactly the same experimental predictions as "ordinary" quantum mechanics. So the issue is not actually empirically motivated.

Can the last politician to go out the revolving door please turn the lights off?
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jul 26th, 2007 at 11:09:26 AM EST
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I agree, the issue must be to feed ontology, or intuition. Thank for discussion!
by das monde on Fri Jul 27th, 2007 at 05:37:04 AM EST
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The best course is to go forward constructing new gadgets and consequences, it appears.

This is where I'm not so sure.  I'd rather humanity--and in particular the scientific part of it--pondered a while the implications of what we're discovering rather than just using the "magic" to create ever-more-powerful devices for the status quo.  I think the new intuitions call into question most strongly the assumptions/intuitions of the status quo.  Heh heh...that's sorta where I'm coming from.  Think of DeAnander's regular dismantling of status quo assumptions.  I'd like every last scientist to be dismantling like crazy, building a new zeitgeist (?) for scientists that ties to the new intuitions, coz out of that I--well, I'm very optimistic about what rapid benefits....spreading rapidly in waves, complex shapes, using chaos knowledge...that kinda thing...distributed renewable energy systems, transportation, housing.  Yet I think (I could be wrong, this is not my field) the majority of people involved in science get their money from the circuit III "onwards as before" logic.

And, das monde!  You understand RAW much better than me; and yeah, I think he knows there are contradictions in what he proposes, but that's, I think, because there's something inherently contradictory about using writing as a primary communication tool at certain levels or in certain areas...the paradox of teaching what can't be taught...buddhist koans, that kinda thing...but I'm very glad he worked at it.

It is admirable to teach people to detect bullshit

I didn't pick up that you saw science that way.  I don't think it is how most people experience their science education.  I'm wondering what the circuit III is expected to use to balance their various models against.  If Cheney says, "It's too complicated to understand, but believe me," how do we call "Bullshit"?  On what grounds?  If there were some clear way of calling it, a way that couldn't be disputed by other "rationales"...but them's be politics.

I think the best (the only?) way of creating an unbreakable bullshit detector is for the grounding to be in intuition based on constant lived reality.  I mean, someone who knows plenty of people from Iran will hear bullshit much earlier than someone who has never met anyone from the middle east.  Only higher, wider, deeper, there's something about how society is constructed that is circuit III/IV, and we've reached the end of that, I think.  7 billion people is enough growth.  Now we need different intuitions...hey!

My rational supposition at the moment is that the higher circuits perceive some general but deep patterns beyond usual empirical experience

I don't think they are beyond empirical experience; I think the higher circuit model is to show that empirical experience is in evolution or development...that we are capable of empirically experiences much wider, higher, etc.  This reminds me of what TBG wrote, something along the lines that drugs are a day trip, but if you want to go live in the new country--that's harder.  But there is, indeed a new country, and the people who live there are, I think, quicker, more efficient, less "weighty" (the car=old tech., so weighty, that kinda thing), more connected (there's that quantum idea--everything is connected; everything influences everything else; everything is local--heh, I'm a circuit III reading runes and maybe trying to make a few day trips, and liking the country I visit, hoping my kids will learn from these circuit V people, that kinda thing.)

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Wed Jul 25th, 2007 at 12:19:24 PM EST
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beyond usual empirical experience

Yeah...  Heh, I got carried away there.  Reading comprehension: the art of.  Must re-read.

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Wed Jul 25th, 2007 at 12:23:10 PM EST
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I talked about bullshit because you mentioned Cheney, not because I extend the discussion on science. But if we go into there, we have to discuss Feyerabend's bullshit about science's bullshit.

Bullshit detection is an art. Even if you teach students to detect bullshit, they may apply it inconsistently against you. Liberals can appeal to detect bullshit better, but conservatives can manipulate bullshit "detection" very well. Say, they call bullshit on climate change very easily(whether directly or by implication) and successfully. Also, they manipulate people's intuition (and searching for charisma) very well - manipulation is always a problem of any perception power.

To hide limits of my understanding, so much remarks this time :-)

by das monde on Thu Jul 26th, 2007 at 11:03:52 AM EST
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To hide limits of my understanding, so much remarks this time :-)

heh...I think mine have been on full view.  

Enjoy your holidays!

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Thu Jul 26th, 2007 at 12:27:06 PM EST
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