|To:||"[ontolog-forum] " <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>|
|From:||Kathryn Blackmond Laskey <klaskey@xxxxxxx>|
|Date:||Sun, 09 Dec 2007 21:18:13 -0500|
For the record, I do not mean to subscribe to the opinion that the storytelling is a meaningless game. I was stating it as an attitude some people might adopt. As I understand it, that was Bohr's attitude -- he thought it meaningless to pursue an ontology for quantum theory because he thought it was unknowable.
Indeed, in the following paragraph I explicitly contrasted this attitude with exactly the attitude John puts forward -- it's good to have a diversity of stories because they influence the experiments. But the stories must agree with the math.
John, thanks for stating it more succinctly.
Along these lines, Pat mentioned Henry Stapp and his quantum ontology in which conscious agents cause (some, but not necessarily all) collapses. Pat finds Henry utterly unconvincing. I find Henry's ontology intriguing, and give it as much a chance of being right as any ontology out there. I personally find it more congenial than the transactional interpretation, primarily because in Stapp's interpretation efficacious conscious choice is a real aspect of the physical world, and has an explicit role in the mathematics of quantum theory. According to Stapp, my experience of myself as an agent making choices that have effects on the physical world is accurate. There is an explicit place in the mathematics of quantum theory for "decide and act." On the other hand, I can't wrap my mind around retarded waves retarded and advanced waves doing handshakes.
But that's just dueling stories. The proof is in experimental confirmation.
Efstraos Manousakis claims to have found support for Stapp's theory in experiments he conducted on switching times in binocular rivalry experiments. These are experiments in which different images are presented to the right and left eye and subjects report their perceptions. A draft of Manousakis' paper is posted on arxiv: http://arxiv.org/abs/0709.4516. Henry Stapp has been working out the mathematics of a theory of binocular rivalry intended to explain Manousakis' results: http://sts.lbl.gov/~stapp/QNeuroscience.pdf
Whether or not this particular theory of binocular rivalry pans out, and whether or not it ultimately is considered to lend support to Stapp's ontology, it illustrates quite well what John is talking about. People who are partial to a particular "story" try to develop empirical predictions that distinguish their "story" from others, and test those predictions in experiments. That's how science progresses.
At 7:22 PM -0500 12/9/07, John F. Sowa wrote:
Paola, Antoinette, and Kathy,
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