Computing the Ineffable [was Re: OT: Quantum Computing -- NOT]

From: Ken Clements (
Date: Sun Aug 13 2000 - 14:40:00 MDT

Franklin Wayne Poley wrote:

> <snip> If such a computer is operating beyond the physical limits of
> the universe, is it metaphysical? Is it doing metaphysical computing?

Dear Franklin,

A great deal of discussion of this topic has happened on this list over the last four years. If you
start looking around in the archives at you can follow many
ineffable and qualiatative threads. Unfortunately, the threads are not indexed very well, so you are
on your own.

No one understands, yet, exactly what is going on at the quantum level. We have plenty of
experimental data that allow us to infer some rules, and we have made the "Standard Model" which has
worked well for the last 20 years. As we make models that have predictive power, we gain the ability
to use quantum properties to make devices. Whatever is happening at the tiny scale of quantum
mechanics, is happening in the physical universe, it is just that at the scale of our daily lives the
physical universe looks much, much, simpler than it really is. It turns out that reality is stranger
(and richer) than metaphysics, so who needs metaphysics.


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