Monday 28 March 2011

Quantum Solipsism Conundrum

I've been pondering some issues regarding the existence of life.

Not about the existence of life on this earth as such. Nor the Drake Equation, which gives a formula (which looks increasingly less "optimistic," if that is the right word). I mean the existence of life, at all.
And I'm not talking about the weaker versions of the Anthropic Principle, that says that the universe is fine-tuned for the existence of life. Or not so much. This may or may not be true - and you could put that down to God or gods or a multiplicity of multiverses in the Pooliverse.

But the concept that I'm really interested in is the Participatory Anthropic Principle - that this universe can only exist if there is an observer - even if that observer is in the future of the point at which the multitude of potential universes collapse into the wave form for the one and only universe that makes it through the universe selection process. And I'm wondering whether, if for this universe to exist one future observer were required, logically that one observer might be me.

This is a matter of not insignificant importance. Firstly because it would confirm me in my normal view that the universe rotates around me. But also for the rest of you. Because if the observer in a Quantum Solipsistic Universe that is required for its existence is me - then the day I cease to exist, maybe you lot won't either. The wave form will be up for negotiation again, and anything can happen.

Or something. I really could do with a drop of that port.


  1. Worried about quantum stuff4:14 am, March 29, 2011

    It has also been said that the act of observation causes changes in both the observer and the observed.*

    So are we changing you or are you changing us...?

    *A good example of this being the famous 'venetian blind' experements with lenses where the act of recording the data caused the result to change. In the case of the observed the results changed depending on if they were being recorded or not. In the case of the observers - they grew demonstrably more annoyed as they realised they couldn't explain the former.

  2. Na, a universe like that would be too good to be true, just imagine, close your eyes and all those annoying "other drivers" suddenly all disappear.

    Mind you, drive with your eyes closed and you are likely to hit a tree so I guess the cosmos balances itself out again in the end.


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