Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Many-Worlds Interpretation

The many-worlds interpretation is a quantum-theoretical argument that dispenses with the need of a wave-function collapsing conscious agent; the MWI of course has purported to be the end-all deterministic answer to all reductio ad absurdum epistemologically-realist, non-Nonlocal Gedankenexperiments such as the EPR paradox and Schrödinger's Cat.  Orthonormal branches of probabilistically observable universes proliferate into the gajillions in the MWI ontology, to make for an observer-free paradigm that takes us back to the good ol' days of knuckle-dragging, mechanistic classicism.

Observer-object entanglement was used in H. Everett's argument contra the need of postulating wave-function collapse, and, for that matter, the subject who is the observer was tossed out the epistemic window.

Let's grant, for a moment, the MWI's grabbing one horn of the quantum dilemma as a sheer pragmatic alternative; since it does away with wave-function collapse, it does away with the subject, because it assumes that the subject-object superposition is a consequence of the act of measurement; inasmuch as there is always the element of consistency in observations, and because the MWI does away with wave-function collapse,  the postulation of the subject becomes theoretically (and practically) superfluous.  But the primacy of Consciousness as ontological a priori is elusive as well as evasive; the superposed state of subject-object implies the ontological simultaneity of observer and observed in every instance of observation.  It would be difficult to subsume the observer in the observed, if we were to take into consideration the epistemic speed-limit of the Uncertainty Principle; there is a threshold to"objectivity."  At best (or worst, depending on the point of view), the entangled blur does not logically preclude the subject.

It seems to me that it's only for strictly pragmatic reasons that theorists choose their universe of discourse to suit their needs.  And this is understandable, even though the ontology of  the quantum world eventually, literally, splits into (at least) two mutually exclusive extremes.  But who is doing the theorizing here?  The theories?  No, the theorist.  Even by mechanistic argument alone, the "objective" world implodes on itself, even as the world of observation, vis-a-vis realist materialism, is the synergistic, epiphenomenal arising from an infinitude of confluences of photonic, cellular, cerebral, biological, and physical matter.  Such being the case, what we observe is an interpretation, filtered through all of our receptive filters.  In which case the postulation of an "external reality"  (let alone infinitely proliferating parallel universes) of matter would be a leap of faith.  My my, such lengths to go to, to maintain the medieval status quo.     

As an aside, instead of positing the branching-off into multiverses as the reason for  the particle-wave issue in the double-slit experiment, isn't it easier to assume (albeit classically) that there is wave-displacing dark-matter interference?  But that doesn't matter, so to speak.  My hope is that classicist thinking will eventually be completely subsumed in the supra-paradigm of the primacy of Consciousness, since the latter also embraces the subject-object superposition, and it can still do hard science without having to leave the subject behind.