Re: Faster than Light

Eliezer Yudkowsky (
Thu, 06 Feb 1997 01:54:30 -0600

[John K Clark corrects:]
> Actually, Bell's inequality has been experimentally proven to be false,
> just as quantum mechanics predicted and contrary to what classical physics
> or any local theory predicts.

Yeah, yeah, you know what I mean. I mean that "The conclusion drawn
from the thought experiment known as "Bell's inequality", that there are
no inequalities, has been experimentally confirmed." Slip of the

> Relativity doesn't say that nothing can go faster than light, only that
> matter, energy or information can not, and this is none of those things.

You and William Seager. Quantum collapse is "noncausal but
information-laden", says Seager. Relativistic constraint only applies
to causality, not information. Or maybe it's the other way around? You
should read his "Consciousness, Information, & Panpsychism" sometime.
He also uses reasoning that seems pretty similar to that flowchart of
consciousness you drew once.

I must say that I find rather attractive the idea that you can exert a
causal influence without transmitting information. (For various
reasons, I prefer to reverse Seager's conclusion.) *Even if you can use
it to communicate, you can still argue that you're not really
transmitting information. You're only influencing probability
amplitudes; the quantum collapse itself disrupts the causal continuity
of the information by interposing a random, fundamentally non-causal
event.* [Idea in asterisks my own.] As an explanation, it has the aura
of inexplicable but internally consistent weirdness that often
characterizes the truth about basic physical reality.

William Seager, "Consciousness, Information, & Panpsychism"
Journal of Consciousness Studies, Vol. 2, No. 3, 1995, pp. 272-88.

--       Eliezer S. Yudkowsky

Disclaimer:  Unless otherwise specified, I'm not telling you
everything I think I know.