The Nature of Time Essay Contest
Reality - an emerging representation of the world by Martin A. Green
Some unique source - the world, W - must underly all the information realized in the universe throughout time. Perceived reality, R, is a progressively emerging representation of W in the form of the geometrical universe. Time corresponds to the process of emergence. When first represented in R, information about W is expressed in a non-localized, quantum manner. As the emergence proceeds, most information becomes inaccessible (entropy), supporting the robust, redundant encoding of accessible records. The past is encoded in and inferred from present records; the anticipated future will preserve present information and reveal unpredictable new information about W. Emergence of the future demands non-unitary reduction of quantum states and increased Kolmogorov complexity of the quasi-classical records in terms of which the quantum states are known. Given the limited information content of records, the quasi-classical universe lacks fine details; whereas the future must be uncertain to admit new information.Author Bio
Martin Green received his PhD in theoretical physics at the University of Toronto in 1980. After many years R&D on electrical power systems and nuclear reactors his focus shifted to computing, networks and information security. He moved to senior information security roles in the financial sector and now e-health. For the past five years he has resumed his research on foundational problems in physics, on a part-time basis, at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics.Download Essay PDF File
Dear Dr. Green,
I enjoyed the approach to describe the emergence of our representation of the world, by experiments and perception, which you presented in your essay. Please allow me to present you some modest ideas that can be viewed as complementary to your approach: I present briefly in one section of my essay how we can represent the world as a mathematical structure (detailed in http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/archive/00004355/), as well as a mechanism of collecting information by quantum observations, and its relation with the free-will.
“Flowing with a Frozen River”,
Thank you for reading my essay and for your comment.
While I believe that the ultimate structure - the world - is inherently mathematical, I believe that it is at a different level of abstraction (level-1) from our perceived reality (level-2). In seeking an understanding of the structure of the world, my objective has been to follow Einstein's lead and strip out all that is arbitrary or superfluous - hence my elimination of geometry, fields and restrictions on global connectivity in arriving at a generic 4-manifold (the topoverse). Time thus disappears from level-1 and first appears in level-2, as the hierarchical nesting of representations.
Assuming our perceived reality is indeed a progressively emerging representation of the world, it may prove intractable to find a comprehensive, mathematically rigorous, characterization of this representation. So we are left to develop mathematical models (level-3) that characterize aspects of perceived reality with varying degrees of fidelity.
Your "world theory" may serve as a general framework for our level-3 models of perceived reality. I am open to any models that are fully compatible with our perceptions and that are applied within their proved domain of applicability. I don't expect any model to be perfect; I will value the models that most efficiently and reliably organize our observational knowledge. Understanding the conceptual relationship of leve-3 models to the higher levels should guide our use, further development, and integration of these models.