The quantum ontology problem

by Jon Sullivan - 2023-08-03 - Jonism

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I put my faith in science, and more specifically in the scientific method as a dogma. But it's complicated.

If someone asks me "what do you believe in" they should either, depending on my mood at the time, expect to get laughed at or listen to an hour plus of incoherent babbling. And I would call such a narration of my belief system "incoherent babbling" because while I feel I 100% know what I believe in, I struggle to articulate it. Said another way - I feel like I am too stupid to form a real understanding of my faith/beliefs. I'm not trying to appear modest. I'm pretty sure I'd need several cross discipline graduate degrees to make it coherent. Just a simple example - I've always believed that we humans and the universe are all one across time and space. And quantum physics, with it's spooky action at a distance, is one potential scientific proof of that singularity. But...... you can't just put the words together using proper grammar and have it taken as truth. Science demands a disprovable theory leading to reproducible results. Since we have one universe/reality we're forced to use a sample size of one, and reproducibility is off the table.

Said another way - If my "faith" is that my conscious self is part of and arises from the fundamental nature of both physical and quantum physics across all spacetime, how could that be tested? Mystical ideas about my mind being connected to events a million years ago and a million light years away are popular but not supported by formal studies. Telepathy and remote viewing might seem to make sense under my cosmology, BUT non cherry picked studies trying to find evidence for such things fail to find anything beyond randomness and charlatans.

But..... but...... but..... We may try to hang our "religion" on the quantum nature of reality - The established science of the quantum wave function. Which would be the mathematical definition of a particle across all space and time. And according to the Internet - Quantum entanglement is the phenomenon that occurs when a group of particles are generated, interact, or share spatial proximity in a way such that the quantum state of each particle of the group cannot be described independently of the state of the others, including when the particles are separated by a large distance. Which opens the door to the idea that quantum particles in my physical brain which lead to self/consciousness are entangled fundamentally to all other quantum particles in the universe. Which gets us to theories about quantum monism - The idea that the fundamental layer of reality is not made of particles as it's just the universe itself. Not the sum of particles making it up but rather as a single, entangled quantum state. Said another way - The idea that there is one single mathematical formula which defines and instantly creates everything that is, was, and ever will be.

It's complicated. Or, more to the point, it's way too complicated for me to describe, even if I have complete faith in it. And it leads to me to get lost in shit like this. Go ahead. Try reading that. I fucking dare you.

So.... What do I believe? I believe in some Heinlein hippy shit that I hope science will manage to validate before the heat death of the universe. For now we are stuck with quantum monism and it's implication that all physical reality, all thought, all being, is nothing but the ethereal rainbow of a vast math formula refracting through a true quantum state. Which means we're back to Plato's Allegory of the cave as a real explanation of reality? What a fucked up mess to believe in. Top people are working on the science. Top people.

I guess the take away is to not ask me what I believe in. Because while I know, I completely don't know. Other than to know that knowing is impossible.

It's also possible that I just need to get on a more healthy sleep schedule.

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