Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Wisdom of THHGTTG (The Hitch Hiker's Guide To The Galaxy)

I have found quite a few subjects of interest between the many pages of Douglas Adam's series THHGTTG also known as the "Guide." Science fiction may be fiction, but it sure harbors a ton of fact! The perspective that Adams frequently shows us is one of a pandimensional, intergalactic omniversal kind. He does not shy away from using the ridiculous to point us to the unknown. Often times we are more receptive to learning new things if we can first; reject them, laugh at them and quietly be influenced by the idea of them. My favorite quote in Adam's second installment of the "guide" series ("The Restaurant At The End of the Universe ," Chapter 6, p.174) is as follows: "The Guide is definitive. Reality is frequently inaccurate." The joke often points to a grain of truth. Reality, or rather its perception is by its very infinite nature completely impossible to grasp. First we find one loose thread, so to speak, then another and soon the entire menagerie unravels like a house made of yarn. Yet the house of yarn is functional, even in its own dysfunction. The universe need not be real (in a classical Newtonian sense) in order for it to be functional. All that is required is that it be (or appear to be) functional. As we go through our daily lives, we are mostly unaware of the gaps, the flaws and the unravled ends that make up our tattered reality matrix. This matrix or tapestry is continually built upon by the higher, more discreet functions of our mind and the shared mind we all interact with (society, both micro and macro) Any discrepancies are quickly labeled as "paranormal" in nature or "painted" over by higher functions of our mind. If we were to see clearly the higher order symmetries that are responsible for our world and others' existence (the raw program code, of sorts) we might deduce that reality, at least as we know it, is in fact very inaccurate after all!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

The Measurement Problem?

Ask any physicist today what scares them the most. Undoubtedly their answer will relate to something called the measurement problem of Q.M. (Quantum Mechanics.) The measurement problem arises whenever we try to observe a system at the quantum level. We know that particles like electrons have a waveform nature and that they exist in a unique "superposition" such that every possible position is realized at once, they "should" appear as an indeterminate cloud. Instead, when we observe them, they instantaneously appear to take on one of their infinite number of possible positions. This jump into a definite position is known as a quantum probability waveform collapse. The measurement "problem" is the key to understanding why our universe isn't exactly what it should be, and also the key to understanding what lies beyond our universe. The big question is why does the act of observation by a person affect the observed state of the particle? This seems ridiculous, beyond even the scope of the most fanciful science fiction, nevertheless it remains true.
Perhaps if we plug in the element of consciousness into the equations of the universe, things might make more sense. When we run into problems, paradoxes or conundrums it usually a flaw in our perception or understanding that quickly resolves the matter. It took us many centuries to realize the the world was round, rotated around the sun and was one of many other heavenly bodies. Once we recognize the fact that consciousness is linked to both matter and energy, as the third primordial element then the problem of measurement makes sense, and the long battled arguments over dualism become resolved. We are forced to admit that we are inexorably linked to the systems we reside in, if our consciousness were removed from this universe (this world) it would be different because of our departure. If all consciousness were to disappear, the universe would collapse and disintegrate. We are made out of a complex process that temporarily fuses these three elements together. As conscious beings we are part of the system we are trying to understand and observe, this is bound to cause some difficulty. How are we to gain the lofty vantage point by which we might see clearly the world we live in? The Measurement Problem isn't really a problem at all! It is one of the many sign-posts pointing to the solution, (a solution I am confident will one day free mankind from the world and existence we now live in.)