writing chapter 5.1
so this morning i started writing paraphrases of the research notes. and developed them into conversations where it seemed likely. and then i moved the paragraph of research to the bottom of the document, and started on the next paragraph. sometimes i could just add a sentence to a paragraph i’d written, and get rid of a whole paragraph of research, other times i had to transpose it into almost as many words as i had when i started. but it’s a start, so here it is.
the beginnings of chapter 5.
You probably know that a classical computer bit is 1 or 0, right? Duh. Sorry, stop me when you get lost, then. Cool. So, okay, I’m working with quantum bits, which are continuous complex variables rather than on-off switches. In classical computing, you have two outcomes for any operation, but with a qubit you combine the rotations of at least two superimposed quantum states and get vector angles θ and Φ. A momentary frown crossed Nathan’s face, but he nodded for Kurt to continue. The rotations of quantum states changes the information in a qubit, and what you get is a direction, an indication, rather than on or off, yes or no, 1 or 0. It’s yes and no. Like warmer, colder. Nathan’s only experience with that game resulted in a drenching when his dad directed him into a pool.
So you’ve got all these superpositioned subatomic particles, and you don’t know where any of them are precisely, you just have a wave function extending out into space. It’s this fuzzy cloud of possibility where everything is occupying every position all at once. But the moment you measure it, observe it, hell, even just think about it, the wave function describing this endless possibility collapses down into the thing you observe in the very place you observe it. You never see the other possibilities, the wave function. But it sees you. It knows when it’s being observed, it knows when to collapse. Why does it collapse at all? He waved imaginary pixy dust. Measuring forces the particle to choose the state that gets measured. And the observer’s expectations determine what state the particle chooses to be measured in. But why would it care? Why alter its behavior when you look at it? It’s not a dog.
We’re living under these intertwined illusions about space and time. like that it’s smooth and continuous, when it’s all quantized at quantum scales. nothing like smooth or continuous. but reality… it’s a lie. stay with me here.
empty space isn’t empty. But the atoms in your finger never actually touch another solid thing. It’s all interaction of electrical fields that repel each other a long way from the actual object.
space changes, and shrinks so much at speeds close to the speed of light that the universe becomes only a few feet across. space and time mutate. distance between objects mutates according to various factors, so there’s no such thing as a fixed measurement by which everything else can be measured. Things we thought were constants, like the fine structure constant that governs the strength of force between particles, turns out to be different in other parts of the universe.
the idea of separation between things is also wrong, because quantum entanglement links every particle to every other particle. the only reason we see separations between objects, that we see separate objects, is that we’ve been conditioned to see it this way. so what is space? good question. Is the glass half empty, half full, or imaginary? space has no meaning at all for entangled particles. maybe it’s empty. maybe it’s not empty – maybe it’s full of energy. maybe it’s all in your mind.
As for time, if we’re in a block universe, then we exist as fuzzy four dimensional tubes. Like gummy worms in a jello mold. At one end you experience being a kid, at the other end you’re an old man, and at each point you accept that as your whole being. The past, present, and future are all there at once, but your consciousness tends to move only one way along the forth dimensional timeline. Because you’re conditioned to. But it’s only a convention, according to quantum physics. Who’s doing the conditioning? That’s a different question. You might as well ask who’s we? That too.
there are weak measurements you can take, ways of observing without observing, because you fuck up the experiment when you take a measurement, and you’d like to avoid collapsing it from a quantum state to a classical state, you’d like to get wave interference rather than points. one of those ways is postselection, where you impose conditions on an experiment after it has already run without your interference. You can, in effect, choose the result and then reach back into the past to force your photons to follow your choice.
add and then square, or square and then add.
when we deal with the world as we imagine it to be, ‘in here’ rather than out there. possibility-waves are a figment of our mind. we don’t deal with possibility waves.
possibility-waves add up to either cancel or reinforce each other. adding possibility-waves and then squaring them to get probability-curves / outcome probabilities.
but when we deal with the world outside of our minds, reality, out there.
squaring the possibility-waves and then adding the resultant probability-curves, which don’t cancel out, but add up to produce a single probability curve / outcome probabilities
when do we add probability-curves and when do we add possibility-waves? squaring all possibility-waves allows us to make sense of the world. study up on that, willya, and get back to me. “mind squares possibility-waves to get probability-curves / outcome probabilities, which produce probabilistic effects in the real world.”