Re: Interesting Article
Wed, 23 Sep 1998 03:41:41 -0700

--On Wednesday, September 23, 1998, 1:43 AM -0500 "Joe E. Dees" <> wrote:

> Date sent: Wed, 23 Sep 1998 15:49:09 +0000
> From: Damien Broderick <>
> Subject: Re: Interesting Article
> To:
> Send reply to:

>> At 04:57 PM 9/22/98 -0700, Kathryn wrote:
>> >I was thinking of such theories as Alexei Starobinsky/Alan Guth's
>> >universe' theory, in which a false vacuum spot creates a wormhole with a >> >bubble wall on the end of it that pops off to create another universe. Or
>> >Alexander Vilenkin's 'eternal inflation' theory, which posits repeat 'big
>> >bangs' that duplicate our own. Or Andrei Linde's 'self-reproducing' theory
>> >that involves additional universes in other dimensions.
>> The connection with string or M theory strikes me as tenuous.  Re-entrant
>> wormholes at the particle level, maybe - but that's within a single
>> As for the budded cosmoses - Smolin's is a nice current version, and David
>> Deutsch told me that his QT multiverse theory (the Cat is definitely both
>> alive and dead) is not inconsistent with Smolin's, although they seem
>> disjunct on an analytical level - both might be true, or one, or neither.
>> Damien Broderick

> Okay, so the definitely dead cat model (and likewise the definitely
> alive cat model - one and the same) is out. This leaves the neither-
> alive-nor-dead model and the both-alive-and-dead model, and the
> strong probability that within the Standard (or any presently feasible
> nonstandard) Model and given both practical and theoretical
> measuring constraints, which one is correct may be Godelianly
> undecideable without involving us in Heisenbergian observer-
> participant tainting. This reminds me of the argument whether God
> is hermaphroditic or asexual; what difference could it make to
> anything else, since we can't use differences in anything else to
> decide it? The absence (or presence) of the invisible is difficult to
> detect; the location of the omnipresent is difficult to isolate.

I had a lot of trouble with deciding what to believe about Schrodinger's cat, and found myself most supportive of the ideas that involve consciousness (the cat really is neither dead or alive, and looking at it really makes it one or the other because of the power of being conscious of a fact). Then last year I came across an explanation called "the transactional approach", which completely resolved it for me. The most mysterious thing it involves is waves travelling backward in time - which is a feature of QED anyway. I don't know if you can find a good web page about the transactional approach, the book I read which argued it very convincingly though was "Schrodinger's kittens", by John Gribbin.

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