What's happening ?!?!
Mankind and Planet Earth appear to be
heading for disaster. If we manage to avoid nuclear
and biological war, we might survive the 21st century. Computers
offer one ray of hope to humanity; science offers another.
As long as we use our new powers wisely, we may strive for, and obtain, a strong, unified and harmonious
world under a FREE-WHILST-FAIR system of justice and government.
When I came back from Afghanistan in 1978, I used to tell everyone that I loved the formidable and dignified Afghani people.
Then look what happened. Over 26,000 innocent civilians have been killed in 40 years of misguided and disastrous wars.
World Travel to Five Continents
Scotland*, England*, Ireland, Wales, France, Germany, Holland, Belgium*, Luxemburg, Austria, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Czechoslovakia,
Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark*, Spain, Portugal, Andorra, Italy*, Vatican City, Monaco, Malta, Yugoslavia, Greece, Bulgaria
Kingston, 1974 .. and 2012
South West Asia:
Afghanistan, Pakistan, India*, Sri Lanka*
Canada, USA (Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida,
Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland,
Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey,
New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania,
South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wyoming)
Mexico, Jamaica*, St Kitts, Dominica, Grenada, Barbados, St Lucia*, St Vincent, Antigua, Trinidad
* Resided for over 1 month
There is no way back to simple materialism.
Newton himself was not a materialist but his theories have led to a materialist philosophy acccepted implicitly, if not explicitly, by most of the Western world. Now we have to look to the new physical theories for our understanding. These theories, in particular quantum theories, have replaced Newton's theory of matter. They are unbelieveably successful in terms of their experimental precision and leave no way back to the old ideas by any plausable interpretation.
Many, including Einstein, put their faith in some as yet undiscovered "hidden-variable theory" which would bring back the old certainties of materialism. There now appears to be little hope of that even though every time an example of such a recidivist, reactionary theory is proposed and refuted another is proposed in its place. This is what Bohr called "telling God what to think".
There is no way back to simple separability.
Experiments have confirmed a theory which involves "passion at a distance" - a correlation between separate events with no deterministic link.
Even given new dimensions in space-time, or tubes connecting black and white holes, or some new as yet unknown
M-theory, physicists assume a quantum understanding.
Reality has a new meaning.
Eventually modern physics will be assimilated into our popular understanding and will lead to the adoption of a radically new conception of reality.
Virtual reality, as conceived in modern gadgetry such as the Occulus Rift or
has already loosened our old solid notion of reality.
Quantum theory goes much further and leads to a paradigm shift, perhaps as significant as any of those that have happened since Newton in physics, since Aristotle in cosmology or since Jesus in a religious understanding of nature.
We live in a radically new world.
We spend hours sitting in front of our screens. You can't help but notice some of the new devices that now surround us. Since the invention of the transistor in 1949 great things have happened on the tiny scale. All our gagets are shrinking in size and becoming more powerful that we could ever have imagined.
How long will it be before we all have implants that define our public identity, determine our spending power and modify our behaviour? There are many ethical debates pressing for appropriate answers.
The future has many exciting possibilities.
Science fiction books are substituted by sci-fi films and various degrees of semi-scientific fabulous speculations on the Internet. Even current pure science can look like mathematical metaphysics. There seems no limit to the human imagination, and that wonderful imagination is already producing an Internet of actual things at a
fantastic rate of knots ;-)
There is real cause for optimism.
In the last 50 years physics has discovered two new fundamental theories that have the potential to change our world as much as the theory of electromagnetism has. These theories are called electro-weak theory and quantum chromodynamics. Both have been tested to incredible precision - the discovery of the Higgs particle being the latest verification.
There is also real cause for concern.
20th century nuclear physics has provided sufficient understanding of our world to enable foolish men to destroy civilization. We must not allow world-destroying weapons to exist. No one has the right to threaten the existence of life on this planet, and yet that threat does exist. It is bad enough that we are plundering the finite resources of the Earth without restraint, but creation of apocalyptic weapons in the name of security is absolute insanity, and having them activate by the click of a mouse is unbelieveably dangerous.
What we need to understand...
- There is no way that physics, as normally understood, is able to account for consciousness because inanimate objects (like bricks) are categorically different from subjective ideas (like hunger). Could quantum mechanics be very different in some fundamental way?
- No amount of matter, as commonly understood, can conceivably become aware (which means the brain harbours a great secret). Is this still inconceivable with a quantum understanding of matter?
- No arrangement of matter, as it is commonly understood, can generate mind as we experience it (which means we are altogether missing some essential aspect or characteristic of the brain). Could quantum mechanics surmount this long-standing hurdle or misunderstanding?
- Nothing in physics, chemistry or biology, as they are currently understood, is capable of explaining our subjective experience of awareness (which means that our science is missing something important). Could science ever pin down or elucidate subjectivity?
- Our current scientific understanding is inadequate to provide a useful foundation for genuine artificial intelligence other than simply providing fast algorithmic processing. Does genuine intelligence presuppose consciousness?
- Psychedelic drugs might do more to reveal the nature of mind than any traditional laboratory experiment in psychology. Can we believe that certain drugs might enhance awareness and improve intelligence or is this necessarily unimaginable?
- Everyone should desire to be wiser because wisdom is our highest expression of understanding and wisdom has no known limitations. Could understanding quantum mechanics truely make us wiser?
- Understanding ego is not really the primary goal. The goal is to understand the foundation or origin of ego. Can you imagine that physics and psychology could be intimately connected through quantum mechanics or relativity?
- We are in the midst of a revolution in our thinking (which means that powerful reactionary responses are to be expected). Where are our minds destined to reach when complex functions replace the homely numbers of arithmetic, or differential manifolds suprecede the simple straight lines of geometry?
- I think we must look to a radical interpretation of quantum matter for a theory of mind because it is the best universal theory we have and it is fated to replace our mechanistic world view.
- I don't know the ultimate significance of quantum field theory (or general relativity). However, Kochen and Specker proved that it is impossible to embed ordinary classical logic inside a quantum logic, although the reverse is possible. Therefore reason, as currently understood, must be superceded by some higher reason which one day we shall understand, appreciate and embrace.
- I am not advocating irrationality (as has been approved and adopted by some postmodernists). Rather I am suggesting there is a better way to think and understand, beyond the propositional logic or first or second order logic that has gripped scientific thinkers to date. This is what I mean by "beyond reason", which is yet to be properly clarified.
- I don't know how to view the world except as a patently evident, authentic, indubitable, real presence. However, some study of modern physics together with some study of classical metaphysics, of logic, ontology and epistemology, lead me to believe in a world of wave functions which take all three classical notions of logic, ontology and epistemology, and combine them intimately into a new consistent whole that is proving hard to interpret, but which fits the scientific evidence like a glove.
- We have become very familiar with an essentially arithmetic and geometric world. Now the world is to be seen through new mathematics. The world is to be understood in terms of quantum wave functions - complex vectors in Hilbert space - rather than objective properties - real numbers on lines.
- Real numbers do appear as a result of the application of mathematical operators, representing observables, acting on wave functions, representing the state of the world, so the real world has not exactly gone away. However Heisenberg's uncertainty principle appears immediately from the way that these operators combine with one another, by application of one of the most fundamental inequalities in mathematics, the Cauchy-Schwarz inequality. The world beyond the real is complex and more liquid than before.
- Geometry probably appeared quite opaque when first laid out in Euclid's axioms. Now functional analysis must be assimilated before a world described by complex state vectors can become familiar. Just as Euclid does not become completely redundant but is surpassed by curved Riemannian geometry, so the classical world of the rationalists is not completely redundant but is surpassed by complex Hilbert space. This is what I mean by "beyond reality", which is yet to be properly clarified.
If you can just see that there is only one consciousness, yours, and the outside is what we refer to as physical reality, then I believe that you can appreciate the possibility of a very different perspective for quantum understanding. We need this new perspective to save the world from disaster by restoring individual responsibility.