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Oi - that's *my* theory!
by Simon at 19:34 14/07/04 (Blogs::Simon)
Those folk at FermiLab have picked up on my ideas about the effects of time-symmetric quantum mechanics.

Id est: that the advance wave propagation into the now-future-past from a now-future quantum event is able to influence quantum events in the now-now (= the future affects the present).

Equally, changing the quantum state in the now-now triggers a reverse-causality-related change in the now-past (= the present affects the past).

It is the Universal::ComeFrom statement.


If you don't understand what this is about, ask me sometime :-) Or ask DaveC or JonM - since they've been contaminated by the discussion previously.

I've had an Italian car in the now-past, so it's probably about time I bought a Fiat Lux.

NB: for correct cross-pollination between Universes, it is important that modified quantum states be manifested on a physical scale - ie, you need to express your thoughts either verbally or in text, not just think them.

This is how Ptah was reputed to create the Universe by speaking everything into existence (ref: Memphite theology). (Yes, I know he looks like Gordon.)

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Oi - that's *my* theory! Simon - 19:34 14/07/04
Re: Oi - that's *my* theory! David Crowson - 19:41 14/07/04
"Equally, changing the quantum state in the now-now triggers a reverse-causality-related change in the now-past"

Which was nice... :)


Re: Oi - that's *my* theory! scott wright - 08:25 15/07/04
Well, you lost me!

So the future influences the present?

Go, on explain to me in 100 words how!?

With absolutely no Idea what I am talking about, from a human perspective I think people's pecrceptions of the future alter the present - and the future... look at alvin toffler and howard rheingold and so on... (ok, so they did not have that much influence, but I think you understand me...!) I am sure this is in a totally different field... you are suggesting that there is life on different universes, and that if they write something down it influences life in other universes? I think I am going to need a lot of persuading!!!

They cite articles dating back to the 19th century! Is the theory *new*? I've just been developing my own theory of technology actually - it is a tweak of the technical fix arguments (e.g. John Street Politics and Technology from the 80's).. I will post an explanation later... as I am off to listen to Robin Cook! Yipppeeee.... Butler, Iraq.... can't wait...

I am interested to hear more about this... and if they have nicked your idea - sue them! Or you could talk to them about it first...


Re: Oi - that's *my* theory! Simon - 10:06 15/07/04
OK, in 100 words - here goes :-)

Event 1: An electron collides with a positron (the antimatter equivalent of an electron), annihilate each other and release a photon of electromagnetic energy.

Event 2: A photon of energy disintegrates into an electron-positron pair.

The cause of the photon in 1 is the collision, the cause of the particle pair in 2 is the disintegration - conventional causality.

Imagine you then reverse the flow of time and watch the events backwards. What would you see? First a collision of an electron and a positron (event 2 backwards), then the spontaneous disintegration of a photon (event 1 backwards).


What this boils down to is that you can treat a positron as an electron travelling backwards in time. Similarly for other antiparticles. Anything travelling at the speed of light experiences no 'flow' of time - it's all the same instant to a photon.

So our positron/electron interaction was actually the collision between an electron going 'forwards' in time with one going 'backwards' in time - they just happened to collide in our 'now'.

That's imagining only one electron and one positron, but we know there's an enormous amount of stuff in our now (both matter and antimatter), all of it interacting and giving rise to what we perceive as causality.

If we accept that the interaction of things in our past have consequences in our now and our future, then - by this symmetry - there are large amounts of stuff in our future that are interacting and affecting our now and our past.

We only perceive an 'arrow of time' pointing from our past through our now to our future because of the laws of thermodynamics.

Where it starts to get really weird is at the now-now - because the now-now is affected both by the traditional causality of things that have happened in our now-past and by things that will happen in our now-future.

It's like us dropping a stone into the pond of our now-now and the ripples from the event spreading out symmetrically into the now-past and the now-future. If the ripples going into the now-past from our now-now event interact with ripples from a still earlier event (the stone we dropped in last week) which created its own ripples that have been travelling 'forwards' with us in our now-now, then what we do today can affect what we did last week, which changes the effect of last week's event in the now-now.

Clear? :-)

Re: Oi - that's *my* theory! scott wright - 13:48 15/07/04
I think I understand it as well as I can, given my lack of natural ability when it comes to physics! I don't think I can agree however... I am sure this all makes sense at the level of physics but I worry about this statement:

'If we accept that the interaction of things in our past have consequences in our now and our future, then - by this symmetry - there are large amounts of stuff in our future that are interacting and affecting our now and our past.'

I am not sure I do accept it - the past shapes the present and the future undoubteldy, but I dont see it as "interacting" with the present and the future as such (matter of characterisation) I don't think say for example whether I chose to stay on at UEA or take a job elsewhere is interacting with my future - it is shaping it - but not interacting with it - because this is only one event that is shaping the future and there might be external events outside of my control which in turn shape the future. There is no certainty about what the future is that it will be interacting with...

I guess these means I am a believer in thermodynamics, which I always thought had to do with flask technology! ;-)


Quantum stuff is counter-intuitive :-) Simon - 16:01 15/07/04
Einstein disliked the 'spooky action at a distance' property of certain QM effects (you may've heard of the scientists who are 'teleporting' photons around a lab by 'entangling' them? It's an application of that spooky action at a distance property) so you're in good company if you (like me) can't get your head round most of its concepts!

It's very hard to use macroscopic analogies for QM effects, precisely because QM doesn't manifest itself at the macroscropic scale. If it did, the world would be considerably weirder than it already is.

So when I say 'interact', I'm talking about the net influence of all possible causal effects (both forward and retroactive) - even the ones we don't have explanations for right now. Your choice of the word 'shape' instead is just as valid, so if you prefer we could say that the past shapes the present which shapes the future.

The time-symmetry effects (which are mathematically valid solutions, and even have practical applications in things like semiconductors) just mean that the future can shape the present which can shape the past.

So a fear of the future can shape courses of actions in the present - where it gets tricky is when you start considering tangible things in the future being able to affect the present and the past.

Dom's example of changing our self-history to alter our current selves is a nice illustration.

Re: Quantum stuff is counter-intuitive :-) Dominic Search - 17:43 15/07/04

Interestingly it seems that all physical theories are time-symmetric, with the notable exception of thermodynamics which states that energy will always dissipate. To quote the P.J.Carroll book I mentioned earlier -

"There is good reason for this: there are many more future states in imaginary time which correspond to dissipative futures than to non-dissipative futures. For example, there are many ways for an egg to break but only a few in which it can stay in one piece. This is what makes unbreaking eggs so difficult. There seems to be a similar but longer-term mechanism at work that favours the development of information-rich systems, such as living beings, simply because such systems have a larger range of possible future states than less interesting systems. Thus, an imaginary time dimension will explain the otherwise inexplicable predilection this universe has for increments in both entropy and information content, which we experience as a one-way flow of time and evolution."

'Imaginary time' is Carroll's / Chaos Magick Theory's term for an extra time dimension that contains all possible pasts and futures, and can be identified with the parallel universes that appear as a consequence of the Quantum Physics wave equations. These equations use 'imaginary numbers', hence the naming of 'imaginary time'. CMT uses the term 'pseudo time' to refer to ordinary time "created by memory and expectation which has no real existence apart from the moment of the present".

Re: Quantum stuff is counter-intuitive :-) Simon - 18:42 15/07/04
Fascinating - there's a fundamental law at the root of all this, I'm sure.

Why would the Universe 'care' about favouring information-rich systems - is it just that the repetitive application of the same simple rules implies an increase in complexity? How many rules do you need, and how many times do you need to apply them?

Where's a mathematician when you need one...

Re: Quantum stuff is counter-intuitive :-) Dominic Search - 21:56 15/07/04

The universe doesn't 'care'. In this case it's a matter of probabilities... information-rich systems "have a larger range of possible future states" and so are more likely to be selected for us to experience :)
Re: Quantum stuff is counter-intuitive :-) scott wright - 09:31 17/07/04
sorry, but I've not been able to log in - it was not going from teh redirect page to here... I am at home on a dial up, which may explain it (I had forgotten what a horrible experience this is!!!)

Anyway, I thnk some of this went beyond me... it seems to be a matter of comprehension: I find it hard to comprehend such things. I dont think is just because of a lack of knowledge; some people just have minds which are better able to do this.

"where it gets tricky is when you start considering tangible things in the future being able to affect the present and the past." So the millenium bug - was a (perceived at least) tangible future problem that people reaacted to. The question is, are these tangible things actual things that we know that are going to happen (e.g. an election etc) or do we not have to "know" that they will certainly happen or even that they are going to happen at all - ie. is this independent of consciousness? It seems that these "bits" bumping around might have a "life" of their own as well...

The nearest I ever got to this was reading Philip Pullman!


Redirects Simon - 19:02 17/07/04
You've got your browser set to disallow what are called 'client redirects', which are used to get your browser to go from page to page automatically. Have a poke in your settings - you should be able to configure it to allow community.novacaster.com to use redirects, if you're worried about enabling them globally.

In one way, yes, the prospect of an uncorrected millenium bug was a possible future that affected its own past - but this theory extends to 'inanimate' objects as well as thinking beings, and that's the hardest concept.

So yes, in a strictly scientific sense it's independent on consciousness. In a philosophical sense, it depends on whether you admit to some kind of overarching universal consciousness.

But really, we're talking about a bunch of electrons, protons, quarks and stuff bumping into each other, turning into other stuff and emitting energy and matter all over the place and throughout all time.

We don't really have a good idea of 'time' - we perceive it passing at a rate of 1 second per second, and always in one direction (past -> present -> future). Other things (ie bits of stuff) 'perceive' time differently, at least we think they do, based on relativity.

You might have heard of the experiments that send atomic (very accurate) clocks off in high speed jets around the globe, then bring them back and see if they still have the same time as an identical one left behind on the ground? It turns out that the one that went off in the fast plane ends up a bit behind the one that stayed still - that's a simple demonstration that there's no 'absolute' time - time is relative (lunchtime, doubly so).

The faster you go, the 'slower' time seems to pass for you relative to someone who's not moving. When you get to the speed of light, if the person who stayed behind uses a powerful instrument to look in on you, then you appear to be not experiencing the passage of time at all. This is why I said earlier that it's all the same instant for a photon.

So, if you travelled away from earth in a spaceship at the speed of light for a while, stopped, turned round and came back, then you would appear to have aged less than those who stayed behind - it's called the 'Twin paradox' in relativity.

Here's where it gets even more confusing :-) Relativity and quantum mechanics are mutually incompatible theories - relativity breaks down at the subatomic level, and qm doesn't work at anything other than the subatomic level - but they *both* produce accurate models and allow scientists to predict stuff that can then be tested experimentally.

One of the biggest problems facing physics since the start of the 20th century has been to reconcile these two theories - and that's why people are searching for some kind of 'Grand Unification Theory' that encompasses the All.

With all these fundamental questions, which demonstrate clearly that we really don't know what's going on (:-)), popping in the concept of a backwards-acting causality is an interesting approach, especially since the equations that model the behaviour of the very fast, very tiny stuff in qm don't depend on 'time' going in any particular 'direction'.

At the fundamental level, some of the latest thinking is that there's a kind of weird vibrating, foaming, something that's the underlying fabric of the Universe. At this infinitesimely small scale, it seems possible that matter and energy (eg electrons, photons) 'pop' in and out of existence constantly - it's even been measured in the lab (it's called the Casimir effect, or 'zero point energy').

Who can say what kind of odd interactions there may be between the tiny bits of stuff that make up my brain and the tiny bits of stuff that make up everything else in the Universe - certainly I can travel 'backwards' and 'forwards' in time in my mind - ie I can remember the past and imagine the future.

Part of the fun I get out of ideas such as these is that there's much going on in the field that each new discovery might overturn the whole 'Standard Model' of physics, and we'd have to replace it with something completely different. That'd be very exciting indeed!


Re: Oi - that's *my* theory! Dominic Search - 14:05 15/07/04

Of course the practical application of all this has been known by magi throught the ages as Retroactive Enchantment, which can be used to change the now/future by altering the past. In it's simplest form, one changes one's own perception of self history in order to become a different person in the future.

Chaos Magick emerged in the 1980's in an attempt to produce a theoretical framework of magick based in part on quantum physics and probability functions. You may find the works of Peter J. Carroll rather illuminating...

for correct cross-pollination between Universes, it is important that modified quantum states be manifested on a physical scale - ie, you need to express your thoughts either verbally or in text, not just think them.

And you need to do so in a state of Gnosis (one-pointed consciousness) for the thought to break free of your Psychic Censor.

Ting! Of *course* Simon - 15:41 15/07/04
... and ta for the link to Carroll's work.
Some more Simon - 10:29 15/07/04
Didn't want to make the first reply any longer, so thought a second comment was in order.

It's not a question of sueing :-) It's a natural consequence of my having explained my idea to a couple of friends a few years ago that the effects of that have travelled backwards in time and affected the Universe in the past.

The effect I perceive now is that someone else has nicked my idea, but they haven't. In fact, I've probably only had the idea in the first place because someone 'upwhen' from now has managed to have such an impact on the Universe that the ripples travelling 'downwhen' from there have interacted with my consciousness.

Interacting consciousnesses across all time, if you like.

Our suspicions about possible future consequences of actions (both ours and others) definitely affect our behaviour in the present - it's a second order effect of the same theory. ie:

Until the point of decision, any future is possible and we may in fact be perceiving the backward-travelling ripples of an upwhen Universe where we took decision A. If we take those ripples on board (ie by interacting with them) and change our mind and pick decision B instead - there's a concrete example of the future affecting its own past!

Bigger ideas seem to manifest themselves further back in time, so (picks example out of the air) the idea of 'fire' is so big that it affected humankind about 2 million years ago.

The recently arrived concept of a Big Bang commencement to the Universe *may* be such a big idea that its initial effects were felt 15 billion years ago, and in fact caused the Big Bang itself. There's a pleasing circularity to it all. Eddies in the space-time continuum, you know :-)

Final thought - I don't conceive of Universes as being separate from one another as such, they are all interacting constantly across all time and space.

I have a suspicion that we are all collectively thinking the Universe into existence every instant, though from time to time I wonder if someone else is doing the original thinking and we're just specific thoughts in their matrix.


Re: Oi - that's *my* theory! Gordon Hundley - 20:08 15/07/04
Appropriate fiction:


Re: Oi - that's *my* theory! Simon - 17:45 16/07/04
Another one for the list :-) I particularly like books which attract Amazon reviewers that don't 'get it'.
Strange time-symmetric effects Simon - 18:08 13/02/05
Random Event Generators appear to predict the future.