Thursday, February 9, 2012

Schrodinger's Cat & The Universe....Heavy Stuff!!

OK, my cousin and I have this battle going on about what is reality and what is not reality. We are both right and both wrong. We still love to talk about it and have a good laugh at our own expense. I thought I would write a little bit about it, because I find it amusing. I also like the fact that neither of us can prove the other one right or wrong and since the totality of existence is only here for me, I am right and he is wrong. If he has consciousness, which I'm not positive that he or anyone else does, I'm sure he he is right for the sake of his own "movie". And, that's all this life really is. It's just a movie or a ride. It's all for YOU. When you expire, NONE of this stuff that you fret over, care about, love, hate, or whatever will never have mattered an iota. You will be gone, with no way to think back on it, or observe it. It's over. As Hitchens said, the party doesn't end, you just don't get to be there any longer. The next time you get pissed about someone cutting you off in traffic or some little piece of nothing like that, just think how at some point, you will cease to exist. Will getting cut off in traffic mean anything then? So why should it mean anything now?

Alright. I've already blown your mind, haven't I Sherman? The universe is vast.......huge......gigantic.......enormous....gargantuan....ginormous....

Skip that. There is NO word for the size of the universe. There are literally (or, "lit trully" for fans of Parks & Recreation, on NBC, Thursday nights) billions (actually infinite) of galaxies, stars....blah, blah, blah. 

What if, there were no life anywhere? What if there was no conscious life ANYWHERE? Would the universe still exist? I say no. Cuz says yes. 

My logic is this; in our observable solar system, we have not found conscious life. So, let's just say that's true. If life on earth were suddenly extinct, would this solar system matter as a tangible entity? I say no. If there is nothing to observe it.... If there is nothing to consider it..... If there is nothing to try to make sense of it.... it doesn't exist. Not in any sort of practical reality. If nothing can consider it on any level, it's not there.

Now, my cousin, (we'll call him "Chris") says, of course, it would still be there physically. Now, yes, I know that to be true. But it's not REALLY there, right? No living thing can consider it in any way at all. There is nothing that can claim to look at it, hear it, smell it, taste it, live on it.....nothing at all. No way at all to know it's there, because there is nothing to know that it knows nothing. Something can only exist if there is something else that can consider it in some way. 

Say we put a cat in a sound proof box that we can't see into (there's a name for this theory....Schrodinger's Cat) with a poison tablet and close the lid. Is the cat dead or alive? We don't know. So, the cat is both alive AND dead. It has not been observed, so no matter what has happened in the box, whether the cat has eaten the poison or not, it hasn't really happened, because it's not been observed.

Walla......up yours "Chris"!!!

You can respond on your own blog. Oh, that's right, you don't have a blog. Therefore, if no one can observe your response, it must not exist. 

I win!!

It's confusing and crazy, but I love quantum theories!!!

Here we go, droppin' science
droppin' it all over
Like ridin' around town
drivin' a Range Rover
Sound of Science--Beastie Boys



  1. Interesting (and funny), but incomplete. On one hand, the whole reason for science is to explain with the purpose of prediction. We understand how something works so that we can see it work the same way again. While we really don't know if the cat is alive or dead in a given instant, we will know that if the box is unopened for 2 weeks, when it's finally opened, the cat WILL be dead. Sooner, if the box is air-tight. What does that tell us about the universe? That the point of existence is not in instant observability, but in the possibility to be observed in the future. As long as there's universe with a possibility of life out there - it exists. Even if there is a moment in time when there is no certainty if it existed or not, say prior to Big Bang. Do other universes(multiverse) exist if we're the only life and cannot see them?

    On the other hand, define perception? Define knowledge? Photons striking your eye, sending excitations along the optical nerve, so patterns can form in collaborative networks of your neural cells? These networks can then excite your puscle to grab a pen to type it, so that the radiation from the screen will pass your neural patterns to me and cause a sympathetic formation of patterns in my brain? Knowledge? Shared conscience? How do you fundamentally define life? If knowledge is nothing more than computation remembered, then don't you think that in a universe without humans or any other "conscious life" when 2 rocks collide, and dent or explode each other, and certainly cause change in trajectory, this is knoeldege as well. The universe can then be said to be alive and having memory of past events. These very collisions, on atomic level even, are perception. And undoable chains of events such perception causes is universal memory.

  2. Thanks for the reply Greg. I really get what you are saying. It's ALL so large in concept that I wanted to keep it light and shrink it down to simplicity (as much as that can be done). I'm approaching this mostly from a "conscious" level and pretty close to an immediate interpretation. More of a late night, too much to drink or smoke angle. You have given me a couple of things to think on. Thanks for that and I hope you keep reading!! FREDDY

  3. I was in the middle of typing a rather lengthy reply before I realized that I'm horrible at organizing my thoughts into text. So, I will save this for a one on one conversation in the future. But I will say that I couldn't disagree more. Simply because something cannot be observed or witnessed does not rationalize the statement that it does not exist. The only thing that does not exist is your knowledge of that particular event. That's the magic of the universe...something is ALWAYS happening. Whether it be conscious or not, or something consciously witnessing it or not..."physically" it exists...therefore it is.

  4. Does it matter if it is, if nothing is there to observe it? :-) How could you be sure it's there if nothing can observe it? If nothing can hear a tree fall in the woods, did it make a sound? If only that sound can be heard by ears, and there are no ears....was there a sound? :-) Chew on that and then get back to work, my man. hahahaha.... FREDDY

  5. @Freddy:
    >>Does it matter if it is, if nothing is there to observe it?
    Watch a movie called "Perfect Sense". It ends on this very FREAKY note.... Kept me up all night thinking about it (I have very vivid imagination). :-)

    >>"physically" it exists...therefore it is.
    Define "physically" and "is", please? You missed the whole point of Schrodinger's experiment, I think.
    What if time-space fabric is a computational grid, and physical existence is a series of computational effects of system's components (nodes) on each other through operations and joins (edges). What if there is no parallel computing in this system in a sense that everything updates and is perceivable at once, what if upddates are sequential. I.e. if I move, there's an update in the system, and then it reaches you, and then you are aware that this had happened. And I'm not just talking about the delay of the light getting to your eyes - we know there's THAT delay too. But I mean even at atomic level, what if every particle is a computation occuring sequentially? What is physical existence then? What is knowledge? I venture to say that for something to exist is for that something to be perceived... even by the effects of itself upon itself (see my reply above). On the quantum level, to exist is to have that which will collide and have impact and will pass through the Higgs boson field to gain mass. To exist is to leave perceivable impact. Just because you can't see a particle changing its trajectory as "perception" and limit the definition of the word you particles in your brain changing trajectories and behaviors (senses,memory,thought), that's a problem of semiotics, not a good philosophical argument that if there was nothing to perceive then the universe would still be there. I think not. :-) Something might be there, but not the time and space as we know it.

  6. Dammit Greg....why do you have to understand this so well? :-) I will look out for that film. I love movies I have to give some attention to when it's over.

    Fun stuff, ya know!!!?