(urth) 5HC : Skinner, Turing

Iorwerth Thomas iorweththomas at hotmail.com
Fri Feb 4 05:38:57 PST 2005

>From: Maru Dubshinki <marudubshinki at gmail.com>
>I don't like the Copenhagen interpretation in the least bit: anything
>which requires you get rid of elegance like unitary wave evolution,
>accept things which are completely muddled and really, metaphysical,
>and introduces a bunch of paradoxes like Von Neumann's Catastrophe, or
>Wigener's Friend, is a bad thing in my book.

Ah, but the Copenhagen interpretation isn't metaphysical - not in its 
original form.  All it involves is acceptance of the fact that QM provides a 
description of the probabilities of events and no description of what's 
really happening because there's no way we can access that level.  The 
trouble is that that is somewhat unsatisfactory, so people badly staple the 
metaphysics to a framework that isn't really intended to support it, and as 
a result you get wierdness like John Wheeler's 'participatory Anthropic 

The modern equivalent of the original Copenhagen interpretation is Chris 
Fuch et al's Baysian subjectivist interpretation, which I think has quite a 
bit going for it, though I'm not entirely convinced.

>We need a better solution, in QM as well as psychology.  WIth QM
>you've got multiverse models you can switch to, but what alternatives
>do we have in psychology and philosophy?

Myself, I tend to regard the multiverse interpretation as slightly 
extravagant (and there are some technical problems with it and the related 
'consistent histories' approach).   I tend to prefer (in no real order, but 
the least deterministic ones are more favoured at the moment) Penrose's 
objective reduction (which needs work), the Baysian approach (a bit 
conservative), Cramer's transactional account (which does peculiar things to 
time) and non-local hidden variables (a touch deterministic).

I guess that the solution to a lot of these problems is to be very clear 
about what you're doing, the tentativeness of your conclusions and to shoot 
overenthusiastic pop-sci authors on sight [1], because they'll only add to 
the confusion.


[1] Apologies to any popular science authors reading this.  But there is a 
tendancy within the genre (particularly in physical and biological pop-sci) 
to latch onto eye catching ideas that are probably bollocks.  There are 
exceptions to this rule.  Roger Penrose, for example is always careful to 
state when he's being speculative.

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