Arcadian Functor

occasional meanderings in physics' brave new world

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Location: New Zealand

Marni D. Sheppeard

Monday, November 13, 2006

For Rae Ann

Rae Ann made a comment on Motl's blog in response to a posting about this book, which was mentioned in the last post here. Rae Ann appeared to think that the mind connection sounded anthropic. Matti Pitkanen corrected this misconception on his blog, but I thought I might make a brief remark on this point myself.

Rae Ann, the problem with String Theory (and the Standard Muddle) was that it used a universal observer kind of mathematics, just like when you were at school and they made you graph functions using Cartesian coordinates, which you pictured as labelling some space Out There. Humans were thinking of the cosmos as if they were such universal observers.

Fortunately, we now know how to get around this problem and define the notion of observer properly, so that humans can be both within and without reality.


Blogger Rae Ann said...

Kea, thanks. But I'm still kind of confused as to why it isn't anthropic to make the human mind and consciousness so central to understanding the universe. If you are saying that it is natural and expected that our minds would operate in much the same manner as the rest of the universe, I can understand that. But the problem I see is when people start talking about such things as 'if our minds do this, then the universe must also.' That doesn't necessarily work. I'm really sorry if I'm wasting your time with my confusion. I think I'm better off just thinking about cute kittens! ;-)

November 14, 2006 3:40 AM  
Blogger Kea said...

You have a point, Rae Ann, and I agree with you. The way I do the physics, a proper understanding of Mind is way, way down the track. We need to start with simple structures like SM particles. But the idea of a unification between physics and biology is very real, and we can see this in the mathematics.

November 14, 2006 11:16 AM  
Blogger Kea said...

On the other hand, technology moves fast these days!

November 14, 2006 11:17 AM  

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