Comments on David Kaiser's How the Hippies Saved Physics relevant to the essay,
“Little could Herbert, Sarfatti, and the others know that their dogged pursuit of faster-than-light communication—and the subtle reasons for its failure—would help launch a billion-dollar industry. … To Stapp, Bell’s theorem and the landmark experiment by group member John Clauser led to the “conclusion that superluminal transfer of information is necessary.”6 And so the agenda was set. The question of superluminal information transfer, and whether it could be controlled to send signals faster than light, would occupy Herbert, Sarfatti, and the others for the better part of a decade.
Their efforts instigated major work on Bell’s theorem and the foundations of
quantum theory. Most important became known as the “no-cloning theorem,” at the heart of today’s quantum encryption technology”
[Sarfatti Comment of March 8, 2017
I now realize, though many of my colleagues are still stuck in the “faster than light” explanation of quantum entanglement, that “local retrocausality” i.e. future dynamical causes of past effects explain all of quantum entanglement weirdness.
What John Bell really proved is that the common sense idea that there are only past causes of future effects is wrong. There is no need to invoke faster-than-light action-at-a-distance that is in violation of the ‘spirit’ if not the “letter’ of Einstein’s special theory of relativity. The local retrocausal explanation of quantum entanglement is more general than the faster-than-light explanation because the former neatly explains why the space-time separations among the future strong measurements of the localized parts of the entangled network make no difference in the absence of intervening noise decoherence from the environment. The idea of future causes of past effects in a block universe was already introduced by Wheeler and Feynman for classical electrodynamics and then for quantum theory by Feynman. It was taken up by I.J. Good, Fred Hoyle, Yakir Aharonov, John Cramer, but most importantly by Oliver Costa de Beauregard in his “zig-zag” back in the 1950s. We were all aware of it in the 1970s, but because of Bohr’s ghost in the hypnotic rhetoric of the Wizard Wheeler, we were in a spell and did not properly realize its importance until recent work by Huw Price at Trinity College, Cambridge and Roderick Sutherland at the University in Sydney. Therefore, all the references to “faster-than-light” in Kaiser’s book do not reflect my current view on the meaning of quantum theory. Of course my efforts and Nick Herbert’s efforts in the 1970s to make a faster-than-light quantum entanglement communicator using only quantum mechanics were doomed to failure because no one then really understood its limitations. It was only through our failures that others like Stapp, Eberhard, Wheeler’s students Zurek and Wooter’s et-al were prodded into inventing the no-cloning and other no-signaling theorems. However, this does not mean that Nature does not allow locally decodable keyless entanglement signaling. In fact Nature does allow it in living matter as seen in brain presponse and the SRI CIA precognition data et-al. It just means, as Einstein thought, that quantum mechanics is incomplete and that God does not play dice with the universe.
“Suppose there is even something vaguely teleological about the effects of consciousness, so that a future impression might affect a past action.” Roger Penrose, “The Emperor’s New Mind” pp 442-445 (1989)
“It seems to me that biological systems are able in some way to utilize the opposite time-sense in which radiation propagates from future to past. Bizarre as this may appear, they must somehow be working backwards in time.” Sir Fred Hoyle, “The Intelligent Universe”, p. 213 (1986)
The issue of using entanglement as a command-control-communication network is a separate issue the realm PQM (Post-Quantum-Mechanics) that contains QM (Quantum Mechanics) as a limiting case in the same way that Einstein SR (Special Relativity) is a limiting case of GR (General Relativity). Eugener Wigner’s “action-reaction” organizing meta-theoretic principle for construction of theoretical physics models is the common thread connection PQM to GR. QM and SR both violate Wigner’s action-reaction principle restored by Rod Sutherland in his fully relativistic weak measurement Bohm pilot-wave/particle Lagrangian able to handle many-particle entanglement in a completely local retrocausal “zig-zag” manner that dispenses with the need for higher-dimensional configuration space. Sutherland has also applied this idea to field theory in his paper “Naïve Quantum Gravity.”]
Wheeler sent Sarfatti a preprint of his 1974 Oxford talk, for example, complete with its “participator” stick figure and self-actualizing universe cartoons, and it made a deep impression on Sarfatti. He began to cite it and build on its ideas even before Wheeler’s essay had appeared in print.29 Sarfatti aimed to stitch these diverse ideas together. … Sarfatti took the point that everyone’s consciousness participates in shaping quantum processes, both by deciding which observations to make and by collapsing the multiplying possibilities into definite outcomes. Sarfatti recast Wigner’s main argument in terms of action and reaction. Surely matter can affect consciousness—LSD and other psychedelic drugs had made that lesson clear enough—so why not posit an equal and opposite reaction of consciousness on matter? To Sarfatti, such a move paid double dividends: it opened up a possible avenue for understanding psychokinesis, and it offered hope that Age of Aquarius students might come back to physics classrooms, finding new relevance in the subject.30 Most mental contributions to the behavior of quantum particles, Sarfatti continued, would be “uncoordinated and incoherent”—that is, they would each push in different directions and, on average, wash out. But, as Uri Geller seemed to demonstrate, certain talented individuals might possess “volitional control” such that they could impose some order on the usually random quantum motions. Some “participators” seemed to be more effective than others. Moreover, thanks to Bell’s theorem, these individuals could exercise their control at some distance from the particles in question. In short: perhaps Geller could detect signals from far away or affect metal from across a room because the quanta in his head and the quanta far away were deeply, ineluctably entangled via quantum nonlocality. Bizarre? No doubt. But was it really any more outlandish than Wheeler’s giddy flights?31 Sarfatti’s first effort to bring Geller and psi into the rubric of quantum physics appeared as the lead article in the inaugural issue of a brand-new journal entitled Psychoenergetic Systems. Brendan O’Regan, whom Sarfatti first met at the Stanford Research Institute psi lab before departing for Europe, helped launch the journal to feature just this kind of reasoned—and, granted, speculative—investigation into effects beyond the usual boundaries of science. ...
In September 1975, Jack Sarfatti gave a presentation to the group on “Bell’s theorem and the necessity of superluminal quantum information transfer.” A month later, Herbert followed up with his own presentation on “Bell’s theorem and superluminal signals.”5 That December, Berkeley physicist and Fundamental Fysiks Group member Henry Stapp also weighed in. As he put it, “the central mystery of quantum theory is ‘how does information get around so quick?’” To Stapp, Bell’s theorem and the landmark experiment by group member John Clauser led to the “conclusion that superluminal transfer of information is necessary.”6 And so the agenda was set. The question of superluminal information transfer, and whether it could be controlled to send signals faster than light, would occupy Herbert, Sarfatti, and the others for the better part of a decade. Their efforts instigated major work on Bell’s theorem and the foundations of quantum theory. Most important became known as the “no-cloning theorem,” at the heart of today’s quantum encryption technology. The no-cloning theorem supplies the oomph behind quantum encryption, the reason for the technology’s supreme, in-principle security. The all-important no-cloning theorem was discovered at least three times, by physicists working independently of each other. But each discovery shared a common cause: one of Nick Herbert’s remarkable schemes for a superluminal telegraph. Little could Herbert, Sarfatti, and the others know that their dogged pursuit of faster-than-light communication—and the subtle reasons for its failure—would help launch a billion-dollar industry. Like Nick Herbert, Jack Sarfatti was quick to appreciate some of the practical payoffs that a faster-than-light communication device would bring. In early May 1978, Sarfatti prepared a patent disclosure document on a “Faster-than-light quantum communication system.” The document was the first step in a formal patent application. In addition to filing his disclosure with the Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks in Washington, DC, he sent a copy to Ira Einhorn, scrawling across the top: “Ira—please circulate widely!” (This was a year before Einhorn would be arrested for murder; his “Unicorn preprint service” was still in full swing.) [Sarfatti’s talk] began by citing Clauser’s experimental tests of Bell’s theorem, before citing a preprint of Henry Stapp’s paper on superluminal connections, which Sarfatti most likely received directly from Stapp at one of the group’s weekly meetings.7 Sarfatti began to pull out of his downward spiral in the early 1980s. Perched at his regular location (Caffe Trieste, North Beach, San Francisco), he had fallen in with a curious crowd: politically conservative thinkers who were drawn to certain New Age ideas. Chief among them was A. Lawrence (“Lawry”) Chickering. A graduate of Yale Law School, Chickering worked for the conservative magazine National Review before returning to his native California in the early 1970s to direct the statewide Office of Economic Opportunity under Governor Ronald Reagan. Near the end of Reagan’s term, Chickering founded a new political think tank in San Francisco, the Institute for Contemporary Studies, and convinced such leading conservatives as Edwin Meese and Caspar Weinberger to join the Institute’s board. Chickering quickly became known as the intellectual leader of the “New Age Right.” Where others had seen only left-leaning collectivist ideas on display at Esalen or in the Eastern mysticism craze, Chickering discerned a strong element of “personal responsibility.” Borrowing from est and the human potential movement, Chickering tried to hone anew “therapeutic vocabulary,” as he explained to a journalist: some new means of discussing contentious political issues in a way that emphasized each faction’s common ground. When Reagan was elected president in 1980, and Meese and Weinberger joined the new cabinet, Chickering suddenly had the ear of the White House. Sarfatti, in turn, had the ear of Chickering.7 Chickering sent memos to highly placed bureaucrats in Reagan’s Defense Department touting Sarfatti’s work and lobbying for funds to support further research. At a March 1982 dinner in Washington, DC, hosted by Secretary of Defense Weinberger—until recently a board member of Chickering’s think tank—Chickering struck up a conversation with the undersecretary of defense for research and engineering. He followed up with a long letter a week later, to describe in more detail “the work of a physicist friend of mine which just might have profound implications for certain aspects of the technology of warfare.”8 Chickering mentioned the CIA memorandum from 1979 that had expressed some interest in Sarfatti’s ideas, and then made his pitch. “Jack says that if in fact we can control the faster-than-light nonlocal effect,” then one could make “an untappable and unjammable command-control-communication system at very high bit-rates for use in the submarine fleet. The important point here is that since there is no ordinary electromagnetic or acoustic signal linking the encoder with the decoder in such a hypothetical system, there is nothing for the enemy to tap or jam.” “I know this sounds like science fiction” or even “occult ‘sympathetic magic,’” Chickering admitted, “but no one honestly knows for sure at this point.” Wouldn’t it be in the nation’s interest to invest a little of the Pentagon’s discretionary funding to test Sarfatti’s hypothesis, rather than ignoring the idea until some rival country ran with it instead?9 … Chickering introduced Sarfatti to a whole new network of people. Around the time of his memo to the Pentagon, for example, Chickering and a friend (the wife of the Reagan administration’s new ambassador to France) met in Paris with physicist Alain Aspect, right in the midst of Aspect’s groundbreaking experiments on Bell’s theorem, to convey messages from Sarfatti.13 When an editor of the journal Foundations of Physics compared Sarfatti’s unusual position to that of another “rogue” physicist who also sought to challenge physics orthodoxy without a stable institutional position, Sarfatti was quick to draw a distinction. “The difference is that I am now getting a sympathetic hearing at the highest levels of President Reagan’s Administration …" … Newly immersed in Chickering’s circle, Sarfatti’s political leanings swung solidly to the right. He began to write with characteristic ire about the leftist excesses of people and groups with whom he had enjoyed close relations only a few years earlier. A typical rant dismissed “charlatans and ‘New Age’ anti-rationalists of the drug-crazed and meditation-glazed ‘counter-culture,’” with their “pop-Eastern mysticism.”15
[Sarfatti Comment March 8, 2017 Here Kaiser makes a mistake confounding cause with effect. He did not realize that my earlier memo of 1981 that got to Reagan via Paul Nitze and also Cap Weinberger Jr contained the words “rendering nuclear weapons impotent and obsolete.”]
His ideas harnessing quantum entanglement likewise began to reflect the latest political hues. For example, Sarfatti imagined fulfilling Reagan’s famous call to render nuclear weapons “impotent and obsolete”—the phrase Reagan used in March 1983 when announcing his new Strategic Defense Initiative, or Star Wars program—by shooting entangled quantum particles at enemy missiles from space-based battle stations. The particles would induce harmless nuclear reactions inside the warheads, rendering the fissionable material inert. Unlike many of his other brainstorms about Bell’s theorem, this one made it into print, appearing in the journal Defense Analysis in the mid-1980s.16
“The application to deep space communications is obvious,” Sarfatti concluded: messages could be relayed instantly across vast, cosmic distances. Benefits would accrue closer to home as well, such as “giving instant communication between an intelligence agent and his headquarters”—that is, espionage. Clearly his prior experiences with Harold Puthoff, Russell Targ, and their remote-viewing experiments at the Stanford Research Institute had left their mark. “In this case,” Sarfatti clarified, “we would not use the above system but would use the same principle using e.g. correlated psycho-active molecules, such as LSD, affecting the neurotransmitter chemistry.” Presumably the image of CIA agents doped up on LSD, communicating instantly with operatives half a world away via correlated brain impulses, seemed no more far-fetched than the parapsychological effects in which Sarfatti had been immersed for years.9"
[Sarfatti Comment - indeed they are not as shown by Hal Puthoff and Russell Targ.]
Kaiser, David (2012-07-16). How the Hippies Saved Physics: Science, Counterculture, and the Quantum Revival . Norton. Kindle Edition.
view post as summary