Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Indra's Net


A little philosophical tidbit about reified nonlocality: According to D. Bohm's nonlocal hidden-variables theory (sounds almost contradictory), all particles in the universe at all times can exchange instantaneous info with each other.  It's like Indra's Net, but only superficially.  According to classical mechanics, the instantaneous exchange of particle-information would violate special relativity.

So something called the "transactional" theory has been proposed, which postulates that statistical-probabilistic quantum histories are temporally bidirectional, i.e., they go backward and forward in time.  But ironically, the transactional approach is a reversion to another kind of Newtonian spatiotemporal absolutism. 

The many-worlds, the transactional solution, and so on, in my opinion are inadvertently like the Schrödinger’s Cat argument; they are reductio ad absurdum. They reduce to absurdity, viz., that epistemological realism, materialism, and classical mechanical paradigms cannot account for nonlocality. The missing ingredient is the conscious agent, i.e., consciousness. 

So the special and general theories are at the apex of classical mechanics, because they don’t require the postulation of consciousness to account for why they work, like doing applied math; but when it comes to doing the foundations of math, for example, consciousness in all eventuality elbows its way in, because pure math is a castle in the sky; math is sustained by consciousness, by Nous, by Mind. That’s why math has no inherent bottom, no inherent hypostasis; that’s why Cantor inadvertently conjured the axiom of choice, that’s why the old Hilbert programme failed, that’s why Russell and Whitehead’s proof that 1+1 = 2 failed, that’s why Gödel was able to concoct the incompleteness proof. And so on.  Those Pythagoreans had one horn of the dilemma right. 

Applied math empirically works, the special and general theories of relativity empirically work. With utmost precision. But the empyrean cannot be ontologically extrapolated from the empirical; the empirical is a continuum with infinitely fuzzy borders; the borders fuzz out because there's a complex dynamic at work, beyond the empirical per se.  There's no bootstrapping into Being; everything simply is, by default, like space; but that's not all there is to it.  Quantum theories have to do with the foundations of the empirical world, and as such, like mathematics, the empirical alone cannot account for its own inherent foundation; without the conscious agent, everything becomes absurd, like the probabilistically dead and not-dead cat, the infinite proliferation of probabilistic trajectories of universes, particles traveling instantaneously backward in time to exchange information, and so on. 

As an aside, von Neumann’s establishment of the mathematical foundations of quantum mechanics led to his theoretical conclusion that the collapse of the wave-function cannot be accounted for without the conscious agent. Ironically, by taking his argument one step further, mathematics and physical apparatuses alone can’t account for quantum mechanical conundrums. 

The foundation is both matter and Nous, the foundation is the phenomenal and Mind. Mind is all-pervasive, embraces all, and like Indra’s Net, everything is simultaneously, hologram-fractally interfused, interpenetrated. I'm not arguing about the ontological priority of Nous, however. I’ve heard of the “downward causation” argument, and this is another kind of covert theology, and implicit theogony. We don’t need this, it’s yet another kind of Cartesian Manicheanism. I view Mind and matter as non-dual and nonlocal; Mind and matter are interwoven fabrics of reality.

When Mind and matter are viewed in terms of nonlocality, their all-pervasiveness makes us appreciate everything as precious. Everything participates in amazing infinitude, and it’s all there, inherent in absolutely everything, because everything is Mind, and Mind is everything. There is no room for scientific or ideological hubris in this world. The only proper attitude is that of gratitude. Gratitude for being alive, of being aware, nonlocally aware, to witness the splendor of the universe and everything therein, as the domain of our consciousness, and as our very own Mind.