QR1.2.5. Quantum Realism

Quantum theory implies that the quantum world follows its own rules, not those of the physical world. This is expected if the physical world is a virtual reality, as what creates a video game doesn’t have to follow the rules of that game. In The Matrix movie, one physical world was simulating another, but this isn’t possible because to compute one electron wave function that spreads over a galaxy then collapses to a point in it is beyond physical computing [1]. Only quantum processing has the power to produce the effects we see, and it can’t be physical. Nor can we be dreaming because if I am dreaming you, then you don’t exist, leading to solipsism

In this view, quantum reality generates the physical world as an interface, so there is a real world out there but it isn’t the one you see. You see an image of the real world, which is quantum. This is what quantum theory implies, that physical events arise when quantum waves interact. The interaction is mutual, so when we observe a photon, it also “observes” us, hence the observer effect in physics. Unlike solipsism, in this theory a tree can’t fall in a forest unseen because the ground it hits “sees” it [2]

Quantum realism is a monism like physical realism except now the only reality is quantum. It is based on quantum theory, that physical events arise when quantum waves interact. The interaction is mutual, so when we observe a photon, it also “observes” us, as evidenced by the observer effect in physics. Unlike solipsism, this theory is universal, so a tree can’t fall in a forest unseen because the ground it hits “sees” it.

One can compare the reality options in computer game terms as follows:

  • Physical realism. A game that booted itself up, with no-one in charge.
  • Dualism. A game that was booted up but the programmer is now struggling to regain control.
  • Solipsism. A single player game, that exists only for one person.
  • Quantum realism. A massively multi-player game, where even a photon is a “player”.

Figure 1.2 compares the reality candidates using Wheeler’s self-observing eye universe. In physical realism, matter somehow observes itself, although it has no ability at all to observe. In dualism, a higher reality observes the physical, although it isn’t clear how it does so. In quantum realism, quantum reality is observing itself using a virtual reality, which is possible because it can inherently observe

Figure 1.2. Comparing the reality options.

The options are that only physical reality exists so it must observe, that physical and mental realities exist at the same time, so the latter observes the former, or that only quantum reality exists and it is the basis of all observation. These options are now evaluated based on the scientific evidence.

[Note 1] A Milky Way volume of 1.6 x1060 cubic meters divided by a Planck volume of 4.2 x10−105 cubic meters is about 551 bits, which for a 10-43 seconds Planck time is over 5×1045 Hertz of processing power for one quantum event. Even our best supercomputers are only just breaking the PetaHertz barrier (1015Hertz), so to calculate even one quantum event is beyond all our best computers.

[Note 2] Knox’s limerick on solipsism was: There was a young man who said, “God, must think it exceedingly odd, if he finds that this tree continues to be, when there’s no one about in the Quad.”  The anonymous reply was: “Dear Sir: Your astonishment’s odd: I am always about in the Quad. And that’s why the tree, will continue to be, since observed by yours faithfully, God.”

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