June 12, 2011

Thank you FQXi, but I have concerns ...

My essay "Our Non-Deterministic Reality Is Neither Digital Nor Analog: Experimental Tests Can Show That Decoherence Fails to Resolve the Measurement Problem" was accepted for the FQXi Essay Contest "Is Reality Digital or Analog," and I am grateful to them for that. My previous post about the article, focussed primarily on the scientific content I presented, generated many comments. There were various prizes offered, and I did not win any (announced June 4.) OK ... I realize readers may therefore take my critique of the process with a grain of salt, but what I have to say ultimately stands or falls on its own. On June 1 I sent an email about my concerns to  FQXi Administrator Brendan Foster. I also told him I planned to reprint it unless told not to. I am taking no response as tacit approval, but reprinting it here instead of as a comment at my Essay or the discussion thread. (I did link here from the contest forum noted below.) The content is quoted below. I have not yet received a reply, which is also disappointing (yet I realize that administrators are busy at the end of the contest.)

I also made some comments at the forum for discussing the contest in general. I and some other commenters expressed some disappointment about there not being award/s for non-professional or amateur submitters (a possibility expressed in the rules for the contest.) However, my concerns go well beyond those issues, as seen below. So, tell me what you think, suggestions, etc. (I am trying to separate discussion of the scientific issues from Essay Contest issues, but I realize they might intermingle: especially since one of my concerns was the inadequate credit given papers - like mine - that proposed experimental tests, the few of them standing out "like sore thumbs" in a field of arm-chair fancy.

Read more »


June 6, 2011

The Born Ultimatum

Hello folks, I'm going to try something different here. The immediate purpose is to provide an outlet for those who want to continue the debate from Chad Orzel's post on the Born Rule in quantum mechanics. A very good reason for continuing elsewhere: comments there are closed now! This post is also for anyone just interested in that subject, and in particular whether we can properly derive the BR from the many-worlds concept.

Well, quantum mechanics is weird so this post will work in a weird way: I first just make this basic outline of the purpose. Then, as time goes on, I will update the post substantially (not just the customary corrections and minor addenda.) So, it will grow along with comments and the development of my thoughts. However, I will put and retain a demarcation line below to show where my initial contribution ended.