Von Neumann's Blunder

Reilly Jones (70544.1227@compuserve.com)
Mon, 27 Jan 1997 17:36:30 -0500

Omega wrote 1/27/97: <Actually Cramer's transactional interpretation does
not necessarily imply non-locality so much as the fact that local causal
principles propagate (on themicrocausal level) symmetrically
bidirectionally through time.... [P]hilosopher Huw Price in his book
'Time's Arrow and Archimedes Point' also makes the point that the
temporally symmetrical bidirectional causality on the microcausal level
could also have been anticipated by some of the problems Boltzmann was
having with his work...>

This makes little sense to me. What makes sense is "the fact that local
causal principles propagate (on the microcausal level) asymmetrically
bidirectionally through time." There are more propagational degrees of
freedom in the future than in the past, not in the energy/space aspect of
existence but in the matter/time aspect.

Omega: <The big question in my mind, and area of greatest interest, is
what... is going on in macrocausality.>

The question is the same one that Plato posed, where does coherency and
intelligibility come from? David Lindley's "Where Does the Weirdness Go?"
(1996) and David Wick's "The Infamous Boundary" (1995) both delve into this
crucial question of how we get from the small to the big.

Omega: <...such a world is one in which microcausality is hopelessly lost,
which for me, is about as illogical as we can get.>

John Clark: <I know of no law of logic the demands that every event have a

Omega: <Technically I would agree, BUT such a statement amounts to a
sweeping and profound metaphysical statement.>

Having been on a fruitless trip to the ontological cellar with John C.
before, and finding that I'm in agreement with your first statement, I
would like to reiterate that:

a) I have never seen a rational case made for information as an ontological
primitive, the knowing entity always gets dumped;

b) I have never seen a rational case made for the current physics
group-think "paradigm" of Big Bang (creation ex nihilo) to random activity
(QM) to Big Crunch (or Heat Death, take your pick), everything gets dumped.

The current metaphysical presupposition of orthodox physics can be
characterized as: from nothing in the beginning, to nothing in the middle,
to nothing in the end. (The concept "randomness" has utility within
mathematical semantic technology but, of course, has no meaning
ontologically.) Perhaps "group-think" physicists lack imagination as well
as reason. They certainly don't lack emotions, however, witness the howls
of rage over the SSC being cancelled, they get emotional when Uncle Sam
tells them they can't play in taxpayer-funded sandboxes.

Reilly Jones - Reilly@compuserve.com