Dear prof. Henry
I am glad to see you writing one more essay, as our views are quite similar; still we have a few differences in some details. I included links to your essays some time ago in my list of references on the links between quantum physics and consciousness, in a try to gather and advertise similar efforts in this direction from currently isolated individuals, unfortunately...
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Dear prof. Henry
I am glad to see you writing one more essay, as our views are quite similar; still we have a few differences in some details. I included links to your essays some time ago in my list of references on the links between quantum physics and consciousness
, in a try to gather and advertise similar efforts in this direction from currently isolated individuals, unfortunately without much effect until now. A few times I also tried writing you but got no reply, I wondered why.
I agree with you that, fundamentally, there is no physical reality, as reality is mental. But I differ by the way of describing it (and I think we need such another description for the sake of conceptual clarity, to form a scientifically precise statement): that the physical is a non-fundamental reality. Precisely: the physical universe is a part of the mathematical universe that is distinguished by the circumstance of being consciously perceived. Physical reality emerges as a combination of two more fundamental realities : the mental and the mathematical. I found this description remarkably efficient to explain quantum physics : at every conscious time, the state of the physical universe is the mathematical projected image, in the Hilbert space, of the universal conscious memory of past physical perceptions. So, each observation "collapses the wave function" as it is added to this universal conscious memory from which the state of the physical universe is defined. This was one of the main points of my essay, updated here
, in the last fqxi essay contest. As I essentially gave there all the main ideas I had to share in such topics already, I did not see the point to repeat participation this time.
Like you I feel the usual courses of relativity and quantum mechanics largely unsatisfactory, and consider that nature must be elegant, so that some simple and natural way is needed to properly picture it. Sorry I did not find interest in your current propositions on this issue, which did not appear clear to me. I wrote my own propositions on this in my site, as I intensely focused on this issue I since teenage, though I still did not finish cleaning up that presentation, since I then reoriented my focus to other topics. I especially focused on digging into the foundations of mathematics, which logically come first, and whose presentation I almost finalized in recent times. I see these foundations as also providing crucial materials for the goal of clarifying physics, for reasons I sketched in this general introduction to my work
, section "From physics to mathematical logic".
I agree with your remarks on how unintelligent is the human specie. You know what ? I already pointed that out in other words during the last fqxi essay contest
, and how those terrible flaws of people's minds happened to lead bad essays to win such contests against good ones. As expectable, for telling this I was hated in this very space.
I also see interest in your question "How can aims and intention give rise to mathematical laws ?", though as a mathematical Platonist I consider that mathematical laws usually preexist any mindful aims and intentions, thus are essentially independent of such. However I see a number of links between mindful intentions, mathematical laws, and adventures of wandering towards goals, as follows.
The aim of the job of computer programming, that is among the most well-paid jobs on the market, is to formalize mathematical laws governing how computers should work to best fit some given human goals. Still I see programmers wandering quite long without much success towards the goal of planning a really optimal and successful online social network (I worked to define such a plan, which takes quite a deal of mathematical skills to make it right).
The laws of quantum mechanics can be explained as a remarkable choice of mathematical laws that fit the double goal of creating mathematically well-defined laws of a universe combining some mentally wonderful mathematical elegance, with the opportunity for consciousness to actually live and continue shaping the content of that universe by expressing its free will. But I have no idea how long it took for the universal consciousness to wander towards that goal before discovering and picking up that mathematical structure. I also see a strong philosophical link between this and the job of computer programming, as I pointed out in the last page of my essay.
Despite generations of focused intention, many philosophers are still wandering in vain with lots of bad ideas in metaphysics, by lack of solid background in mathematical logic and in the mathematical laws of physics. Similarly by lack of mathematical skills, utopists wandered in vain with bad ideas of what an ideal society should look like and how it can be implemented.
The life of mathematicians is full of adventures of wandering towards goals of finding rigorously formalized proofs of some initially vague intuitions of beautiful mathematical truths, a work which takes quite a deal of focused intention to achieve.
From the initially vague intuition of mathematical Platonism to an actually precise formulation and justification of what this intrinsic, independent reality of mathematics consists in and how it is structured, mathematicians have wandered quite a long time. Still nowadays some scientists such as Carlo Rovelli, express strong skepticism to the existence of such a mathematical reality, which they cannot figure out, having not seen a clear exposition of it.
Near the completion of that goal, mathematicians stumbled on the surprising discovery of the famous Incompleteness theorem, which revealed the possible existence of mathematical truths understandable by minds but not verifiable by machines, thus a possibly demonstrable fundamental difference between the activities of minds and machines even in matters of ability to understand the mind-independent mathematical reality itself.
The intuitive possibility to finally form one of the best and clearest arguments justifying the claim of a fundamental difference between minds and machines, on the basis of this theorem, has motivated Lucas and Penrose to write lenghily on the topic. However they only happened to wander in vain towards that goal, and utterly failed at it, according to the consensus of experts in mathematical logic (a skill they visibly did not properly master). More carefully examining the foundations of mathematics, led me to propose a quite different version of such an argument, hopefully much more solid.
Similarly, the discovery of the mathematical law of quantum mechanics immediately inspired many people a strong intuitive feeling that reality is mental rather than material ; however, that impression still did not suffice to form a rigorous and scientifically defensible justification of that conclusion. Wigner, motivated for a long time by this intution of the fundamental role of consciousness in physics, still failed to formalize a proper understanding and justification of it, thus letting many skeptics unconvinced, himself included: he abandoned that view at the end of his life, while lots of physicists would keep wandering in vain towards their own goal of trying to fit that theory with their materialistic views.
I also undertook myself to fill that gap, developing a precise formulation of the articulation between metaphysics and quantum physics, with precise arguments against naturalistic interpretations of quantum physics. Still, regardless the quality of arguments one may give, the flaws of both human nature and our still primitive information network, may let so many people keep wandering in vain with bad ideas and wrong research directions, uninformed for a long time about any good arguments that individuals away from the main spotlight may already have discovered.
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