Von Neumann's Blunder

John K Clark (johnkc@well.com)
Wed, 29 Jan 1997 21:03:05 -0800 (PST)


On Tue, 28 Jan 1997 Omega <omega@pacific.net> Wrote:

>I will grant that his [Von Neumann's] mistake was one of physical
>intuition and not mathematics. But that still does not change the
>fact that something that was accepted as gospel truth for almost 30
>years was a proof that in the words of Bell: "falls apart in your

Yes, I think that is a perfectly valid criticism of the Physics community.

>>If it's [Cramer's idea] true then right now we are causing things
>>to happen in the Vergo cluster of galaxies before the Earth even
>>existed. how could you get more non-local than that?

>Actually, the virgo cluster of galaxies from "before the Earth
>even existed", to the extent that it is on our past light cone

If we can see it then it's in our past light cone.

>is not in any way non-local. Things that are separated by a zero
>spacetime interval are local by definition within Einsteinian
>relativity. It only seems non-local because your semantic definition
>of local does not agree with the one used by Einsteinian relativity
>that, so far as we know, describes the reality in which we live.

I agree that there is no way, absolutely no way Einstein would say there was
" a zero spacetime interval" between Earth and the virgo cluster, but what
about Cramer? If Cramer were to say there was a zero time difference between
earth and what we see in the Virgo cluster then time does not change, it also
stops being a useful concept, but I still see the symbol "t" , for time in
his equations, and he sure doesn't treat it like a constant equal to zero.

If the spatial distance to the Virgo cluster is zero then the concept of
distance never changes and is always equal to zero, but you see the symbol
"L" for length in his equations and he sure doesn't treat it like a constant
equal to zero.

If there was " a zero spacetime interval" between Earth and the virgo cluster,
then all of spacetime would be a single mathematical point, points have no
internal structure so the idea of spacetime would not be a useful concept.

>The reason QM is so mysterious is that we have yet to fully adjust
>our thoughts and semantic definitions to fully reflect the reality
>described by Einsteinian relativity.

I don't agree. Relativity is a little odd but Quantum Mechanics is utterly
bizarre. The Twin " paradox" of Relativity is not a paradox at all, it's just
something unusual that happens when things move very fast. If you want a
true paradox look for Schrodinger's Cat, and Quantum Mechanics is the

John K Clark johnkc@well.com

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