Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Participatory Universe

What a crazy weekend, between holiday travel delays and a tsunami killing nearly 50,ooo people at last count. Seems the full moon was a quite appropriate back drop. I was in Alabama last night and it was low in the sky and large looming over the houses like a watchful eye.

While I was waiting for my delayed flight, I read some more of "The Fabric of Reality" by David Deutsch. I'm trying to get a basic working knowledge of Quantum Mechanics, at least in regards to the theory. Certainly I'm a ways off from understanding the mathematical equations which back it up. So I happened today upon the third in that series by SETI which I've been following. Deutsch explains it much clearer, or in more layman's terms I suppose. I was actually looking at the full moon and thinking about the photons activities as I squinted trying to tell if the rings around the moon actually turned from blue to green to red as it appeared. I thought of the penumbra and umbra and I tried to make sense of the idea of a "shadow" moon being gazed at by a "shadow" me which might perhaps be seeing an inverted color display, or some other shape than the round full moon I was gazing at.

After reading about the Ekpyrotic Universe, the idea of a fifth dimension of some kind interfering with the four dimensions we recognize, and then wrapping my mind somewhat around these "parallel universes", I suppose it was only a matter of time (?!) before I happened upon the "Participatory Universe" conceptualization.

It would appear that what has "happened" in the distant past in this case may be
determined by what is happening right now even though it is supposed to have "happened" over a billion years ago. The choice of which path, in other words, has somehow been "delayed." One might view this as the Universe playing more the part of an active participant in what is happening rather than just in what has happened in the past in this case. ... Far from being an absolute, time in quantum physics is a not a solid background upon which particles in space change. In quantum physics time is not yet really, in a sense, even there until the "time particles" are measured.

It's amazing to me that in school I always found science to be an insufferable bore. Of course, this is quite a different gambit from memorizing the periodic table, at least to me. It's easier for me to understand a concept then to just memorize data.


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