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The World Hologram: The Holographic Universe is Everett's Relative State – The Measurement Problem is a Category Error of Logical Type

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This explains the origin of the dualism of fundamental dynamics in quantum mechanics. The relevant distinction is not scale, micro or macro, but the type of physical frame of reference. They are domains of different logical types in the unitary system, Everett's absolute and relative states. The evidence is the holographic universe, the cosmology of the relative state.
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The World Hologram
The Holographic Universe is Everett's Relative State
The Measurement Problem is a Category Error of Logical Type
Andrew Soltau
Abstract: The key to the measurement problem is the entity at the
heart of Everett's formulation, the state of the memory, defined as the
record of observations. In humans, the integrated synthesis defines a
projective, three-dimensional representation of the world, the 'world
hologram'. This conscious point of view is the mind in Lockwood's
interpretation, the 'phenomenal perspective'. As Everett demonstrates,
the collapse dynamics operates only judged by the state of the
memory; the physical observer remains in a superposed state. An
operational mind-body property dualism is defined.
This field of information is multiply instantiated in the many worlds
of the unitary wave function. As these are superposed and coincident,
the net result is a single world hologram. The physical frame of
reference on this view is the superposition of the class of instantiating
worlds, a second-logical-type phenomenon. By definition determinate
only where defined by observations, this is the physical ontology of
Everett's relative state. Collapse on observation is inherent.
The evidence is the retrodiction of the holographic universe. This is
the cosmology of the relative state. It is determinate solely where
defined by the world hologram that delineates the outer boundary.
Entropy is defined solely by this surface. The quasi-classical world is
the cosmology in the absolute state.
The incompatible dynamics of quantum mechanics operate in these two
different types of physical frames of reference. The linear dynamics is
the time evolution of quasi-classical worlds. On observation, judged by
the state of the world hologram, the class of instantiating worlds is
redefined, becoming the class of worlds in which the observed outcome
occurred. Collapse effectively operates. The holographic universe of
the mind updates. The dynamics operate at different levels of logical
type. The measurement problem is a category error.
1 Unmodified Quantum Mechanics
Unmodified quantum mechanics has passed every empirical test we
have been able to devise In light of progress over the last four
decades on the theory of decoherence, and of progress over the last
two decades in understanding probability in the Everettian setting,
EQM [Everettian quantum mechanics]—more than ever—appears to
be the most natural way to understand contemporary quantum
physics. It is time to pay attention to its lessons in ontology.
(Wilson, 2019)
Here it is shown that the dualism of the dynamics of quantum mechanics is due to
the different types of frame of reference inherent in the physics. There is a dualism
of ontologies, as expressed by the absolute and relative states in Everett's
formulation that operate the linear and collapse dynamics respectively. They exist
at different levels of logical type in the unitary system. The measurement problem
is resolved within the context of standard unmodified quantum mechanics.
It is clear that there are two very different types of frame of reference in the
cosmology of the new physics, but the full significance has been elusive:
the development of relativity theory and quantum mechanics has
taught us that we must carefully distinguish between two different
views of a mathematical structure:
The bird perspective or outside view, which is the way a
mathematician views it.
The frog perspective or inside view, which is the way it is
perceived by a SAS [self-aware substructure] in it.
(Tegmark, 1998, p. 23; emphasis in original)
The objective outside-view world follows solely the linear dynamics, producing all
possible quasi-classical worlds. This defines the absolute state.
n the inside view,
in the world of the SAS, the relative state, the collapse dynamics is encountered.
There is only one wavefunction, and it evolves smoothly and
deterministically over time without any kind of splitting or
parallelism. The abstract quantum world described by this evolving
wavefunction contains within it a vast number of classical parallel
storylines (“worlds”) … observers perceive only a tiny fraction of this
full reality, and they perceive the splitting of classical storylines as
quantum randomness. (Tegmark, 2007, p. 3)
Decoherence has been proposed as the explanation of collapse but as described in
Section 5 this is untenable. Thus the measurement problem remains unresolved, as
does the preferred basis problem. The nature of the SAS is the key to the solution.
2 The World Hologram
The inside view of the world is the perspective defined by the information
perceived. This is the perceptual reality familiar to all perceiving subjects. In
humans this takes the form of a virtual-reality representation of the world:
Our brain constructs a three-dimensional model. It is a virtual reality
in the head. (Dawkins, 1998, p. 276)
This is literally the inside view, the field of information, produced by the sensorium,
that is directly experienced as reality:
What we experience directly is a virtual-reality rendering, conveniently
generated for us by our unconscious minds from sensory data (Deutsch,
1997, p. 120)
This is the nature of each observation made. The current three-dimensional
rendering of the environment perceived is recorded in memory.
The integrated synthesis of the record of these observations forms the complete
definition of the virtual-reality model. This is the known world of this individual,
meaning the perceptual reality in its entirety. This is the virtual-reality representation
of the whole of the world known from observations. This is the field of information
automatically referred to when considering situations elsewhere.
As Deutsch goes on to describe, quoted in Section 11, this three-dimensional
virtual-reality representation is mentally projected onto the physical world so as to
match up precisely. This is here called the 'world hologram', meaning the spatially
distributed representation of the integrated synthesis of the record of observations.
Counterintuitively, this subjective information is key to the dynamics of physical
science. The record of observations is the definition of the state of the memory, the
core component of Everett's formulation. As he demonstrates it is only “Judged by
the state of the memory” (1957, p. 462) that there is the effect of collapse, 'Process 1':
It is found that experiences of the observer … are in full accord with
predictions of the conventional "external observer" formulation of
quantum mechanics, based on Process 1. (1957, p. 455)
As will be shown, the experiences completely define the SAS on the inside view.
This is the mind in Lockwood (1996), the 'phenomenal perspective' i.e. the
perceptual reality. The terms world hologram, mind, individual and perceiving
subject are here used interchangeably for this protagonist of the collapse dynamics.
The term observer is used exclusively for the physical body, the machine that makes
observations: “... a recording device” (Everett, 1957, p. 457). Objectively, the
observer is the obvious definition of a self-aware substructure, but here the terms
self-aware substructure or SAS are used exclusively to refer to the world hologram.
3 The Metaworld
The physical reality of the world hologram demonstrates the ontology of Everett's
relative state. As Tegmark (2003) describes, there is inevitably a great number of
identical copies of a specific observer in the universe. Thus a specific world hologram
is multiply instantiated. In the many-worlds universe the instantiating worlds are
coincident and superposed. In this case there is only a single instance of this specific
world hologram: identical and coincident copies of a structure of information cannot
be other than a single instance. Therefore, not only is this the inside view of all these
worlds simultaneously, crucially, the physical environment on this view is their
superposed sum. The net result is a 'class-of-worlds-as-a-world', literally a metaworld.
This is the quantum-mechanical frame of reference of the inside view.
Only what has been observed is determinate because only the observed is the
same in all the different versions of the quasi-classical world superposed. All else is
the superposition of all the possible states in which it could be, concomitant with
the world hologram. In other words, the record of observations defines the
determinacy of this type of physical reality: this metaworld is determinate only
where defined by the world hologram. This is the physical reality of the relative
state, determinate only where correlated with the SAS by the observations made.
This explains the dynamics of the relative state. As the physical environment is
determinate only where defined by the world hologram, the effective collapse of
the wave function described by Everett is inherent. Naturally, the making of an
observation only changes the definition of the world hologram, just the
representation of the world, the appearance. The missing explanatory principle is
that this changes the definition of the class of worlds that instantiate this world
hologram, to all those in which this specific observation was just made.
This is the collapse dynamics. It is a set-selection phenomenon. The record of
observations is the basis on which worlds are included in the class of worlds
superposed to form the metaworld. Schrödinger's (1935) cat is an ideal example. A
cat in a chamber has a 50-50 chance of being killed by a quantum device. Before
the experimenter observes the result, his class of superposed worlds subsumes two
different classes of worlds, dead-cat and alive-cat. After, only half these worlds are
included in his metaworld, the class in which one specific outcome occurred. One
of the two resulting relative states becomes his physical reality.
The paradox of Schrödinger's cat arises because of the assumption of an
ordinary quasi-classical world as the domain of the experiment. As Russell (1908)
demonstrated, category errors of logical type inevitably produce nonsense results
and paradox. This is the origin of the absurdity that Schrödinger illustrates.
Logically, dead and alive can only be a second-logical-type phenomenon.
4 The Measurement Problem
if one supposes that measuring devices are ordinary physical
systems just like any other, constructed of fundamental particles
interacting in their usual determinate way (and why wouldn't they be?),
then the standard theory is logically inconsistent since no system can
obey both the deterministic and stochastic dynamics simultaneously.
This is the measurement problem. (Barrett, 1999, p. 15)
The solution is that these are the dynamics of different types of frame of reference.
Naturally, physical measuring instruments can follow only the linear dynamics of the
absolute state. However, as Everett (ibid) demonstrates, it is not the measuring
instrument that is the protagonist of the collapse dynamics but its product, the
experiences, the world hologram. He resolves the measurement problem by showing
that collapse occurs only with respect to this protagonist, i.e. in the relative state. Thus
the incompatible dynamics operate simultaneously in the absolute and relative states.
As Everett describes, the linear dynamics is the sole causal process. Collapse is
a subjective epiphenomenon of the linear dynamics.
As he shows, it is the “...
subjective appearances” (1956, p. 9; emphasis in original) that account for the
stochastic dynamics; but he defines no ontology.
Thus his
explanation apparently
must fail due to the physicalist requirement for psycho-physical parallelism. As
Neumann makes clear, it is a fundamental requirement of the scientific viewpoint
… that it must be possible so to describe the extra-physical process
of the subjective perception as if it were in reality in the physical
world - i.e., to assign to its parts equivalent physical processes in the
objective environment, in ordinary space. (
p. 418)
As Barrett demonstrates in exhaustive detail, it is not possible to find a physical
process in the objective physical environment that corresponds to a single unique
outcome of an observation in the experiences of the observer that Everett describes.
In other words, subjective experience cannot account for collapse.
This, however, is true only on the outside view. On the inside view there is the
effect of collapse as Everett states. This is the result of the set-selection phenomenon
that redefines of the class-of-worlds-as-a-world, and thus the wave function. This
extra-physical process cannot be described in the objective environment because it
is a second-logical-type phenomenon. It means that actual psycho-physical
parallelism is a one to many relation: world hologram to class of worlds.
n the extra-physical domain of the metaworld, the relative state,
this extra-
physical process is ontic. Collapse is a subjective epiphenomenon of the linear
dynamics, but on the inside view
this redefines the composition of the physical
and thus its quantum state. Effectively, in this second-logical-type world,
collapse of the wave function operates. A dualism of ontologies is defined.
5 Unilateral Ontological Dualism
On the outside view the world hologram that defines the inside view is defined
by the physical form in which it is instantiated. The physical is ontic. On the inside
view, however, this information is ontic both with regard to the definition of
physical reality and its time evolution.
There are dual unilateral relative onticities:
The central point of the concept of relative onticity is that states and
properties of a system, which belong to an epistemic description in a
particular domain, can be considered as ontic from the perspective
of another domain. (Atmanspacher & Primas, 2005, p. 19)
This resolves the quantum puzzle. Passive observation altering the objective
physical reality is an obvious nonsense result. The problem is not the physics but
the presupposition of a quasi-classical world. The incompatible dynamics operate
at the different levels of logical type. They cycle as defined in the von Neumann-
Dirac formulation (1955): ψ is the wave function of the class-of-worlds-as-a-world
Process 1: The discontinuous change brought about by the observation
of a quantity with eigenstates φ1, φ2, , in which the state ψ will be
changed to the state φj with probability |(ψ, φj)|2.
Process 2: The continuous, deterministic change of state of an isolated
system with time according to a wave equation ∂ψ/∂t = Uψ, where U
is a linear operator.
Process 2 is the linear time evolution of the superposition of worlds comprising the
relative state. Process 1 is the fission of the relative state into multiple relative states.
probability represents the quantity of worlds containing a specific outcome.
Figure 1 (Lockwood, 1989, p. 231; adapted)
illustrates the time evolution of the
Schrödinger's cat
. Process 2 is progression up the
diagram. Process 1 is the differentiation into two relative states.
Class of dead-cat worlds Class of live-cat worlds
Process 2 Process 1
Figure 1: Fission of the relative state on observation.
6 The Preferred Basis
The paradigm shift to a dualism of ontologies seems
if the view is
taken that decoherence resolves the problem. This, however, does not work as
Bacciagaluppi describes in The Role of Decoherence in Quantum Mechanics:
One often hears the claim that decoherence solves the measurement
problem of quantum mechanics … it is not the case: while decoherence
does explain why we do not observe superpositions of measurement
results, it does not explain why we do observe measurement results in
the first place. … To put it crudely: if everything is in interaction with
everything else, everything is generically entangled with everything
else, and that is a worse problem than measuring apparatuses being
entangled with measured systems. (2020; emphasis in original)
Furthermore, the basis on which decoherence operates, how exactly the world is
defined, remains unresolved. This is the preferred basis problem:
this is the problem, we do not really know what basis would
make our most immediately accessible physical records, those
records that determine our experiences and beliefs, determinate in
every world. The problem of choosing which observable to make
determinate is known as the preferred-basis problem. (Barrett, 2008)
Naturally, taking the records of experiences themselves as the basis in operation
resolves this problem. This is Lockwood's solution. This: “… in a sense is the
primary observable” (1996, p. 185; emphasis in original). This is the basis of the
relative state. Wigner's (1961) friend, now confirmed in experiment, provides the
evidence. Wigner's friend makes an observation with a determinate result, but for
Wigner the outcome is indeterminate. Their physical realities are relative states:
Massimiliano Proietti at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh and
his colleagues performed an experiment designed by Brukner and
tested Wigner’s Friend Paradox by entangling six photons. They
proved that two contradictory realities could coexist. Eugene Wigner
was right; the quantum reality is observer-dependent. (Poltorak, 2019)
Nonetheless, a physical basis is self-evident, h
ence the quasi-classical worlds:
“... classical states are simply those that are most robust against decoherence”
2003, p. 9).
This is the basis of the physical reality on the outside view:
Essentially, the position basis gets singled out by the dynamics
because the field equations of physics are local in this basis, not in
any other basis. (
1997, p. 3)
The preferred basis problem is resolved by the dualism of ontologies. The basis in
operation is different on outside and inside views: hence incompatible dynamics.
7 The Holographic Universe
The class-of-worlds-as-a-world is the ontology of the relative state. The evidence
is the precise retrodiction of the effect of the holographic universe:
What’s happening in space is, in some sense, all described in terms of
a screen outside here. The ultimate description of reality resides on
this screen. (Dijkgraaf, 2019)
This is the physical reality of the metaworld. The intersection of the class of worlds
superposed – the only attribute of the world common to all – is the observed surface.
So this effective screen is the only determinate attribute of the physical reality.
In the strong version, t
he holographic principle means that in effect there is
nothing there beyond the surface. In t
he weak version the screen is all there is:
the holographic principle states that the most succinct description
that can be given of the part of the world that lies on the other side of
any surface is actually a description of how its image evolves on that
surface. … The problem is that it describes the world in terms of things.
we are mistaken to think that the world consists of Things that
occupy regions of space. Instead, all that there exists in the world are
Screens, on which the world is represented. (Smolin, 2000, p. 177)
The evidence for the weak version is that the entropy of ordinary mass is proportional
to surface area and not volume, as Bekenstein describes, which would mean that:
volume itself is illusory and the universe is really a hologram
which is isomorphic to the information "inscribed" on the surface of
its boundary. (2003, p. 59)
The paradoxical nature of the holographic universe effect lies in conceiving of the
quantum cosmology as a surreal description of the quasi-classical world. The effect is
natural and inherent in the metaworld of the relative state, a second-logical-type
phenomenon. This is indeterminate except for the intersection of the class of worlds
superposed, the observed surface, thus the entropy is entirely defined by this screen.
The holographic universe is not a surreal spherical causal shell at the outer limit of
the cosmos but simply the observed surface of the physical environment.
Effectively, the relative state is made of information as proposed by Wheeler
(Bekenstein, 2003, p. 1) but physicalism is correct also, for each quasi-classical world.
The metaworld is a superposition of quasi-classical worlds, each one a three-
dimensional volume of the arrangement of matter and energy. This is the physical
reality of Everett's relative state. The holographic universe describes the net effect
exactly but this is nonetheless a real physical world. Volume is not illusory.
8 Micro/Macro
It's always bothered physicists that there is one set of rules for the
microcosmic, quantum mechanics, and another for the macrocosmic,
the theory of relativity. It doesn't make sense that there should be two
different and incompatible groups of mathematical formulas at work
in our universe. Physicists assume there must be some way to bring
them into harmony. (
As he describes, different units of information, and different forms, define the
different cosmologies. The building blocks of relativity are ordinary units of
information, 'bits', which exist in three dimensions. This is the domain of the linear
dynamics. As Tegmark (ibid) states, in environment-induced decoherence the
position basis gets singled out. Taking position as the basis, the linear dynamics
defines the time evolution of the three-dimensional, x, y, z, layout of matter and
energy, with respect to the time parameter t. Thus the formula of the linear dynamics
defines the four-dimensional, x, y, z, t, space-time matrix of the matter and energy
events in the relativistic universe. This defines the quasi-classical relativistic world.
The building blocks of the holographic universe in quantum cosmology are quite
different, 'qubits', units of quantum information. Qubits exist in two dimensions: each
qubit is a complex vector defined by two ket values, resulting in a range of possible
indeterminate values. As they are flat, the qubit description of the world forms a zero-
depth surface at the boundary, hence the form of the holographic universe as he
explains. The great puzzle is how to integrate the two, building up macro from micro
and thus deriving the macroscopic cosmology from the quantum cosmology.
It works the opposite way. Superposed quasi-classical relativistic worlds form the
class-of-worlds-as-a-world. This gives rise to the effect of the holographic universe
of quantum cosmology. The intersection of the class of worlds superposed is the
observed surface, defined by the world hologram. Since this is the only net
information in the system, the quantum information defines the observed surface of
the environment. As the value of a qubit changes depending on the value of its
entanglements, the system changes holistically with the addition of each new
correlation established. Collapse operates. The stochastic formulas apply.
The unilateral ontological dualism of the absolute and relative states lays to rest
the micro/macro puzzle. The distinguishing parameter is not scale but the logical
type of the physical frame of reference. The relativistic quasi-classical universe is a
specific attribute of the absolute state. The holographic universe is a relative state, a
second-logical-type phenomenon.
The incompatible groups of formulas are those of
these different types of frames of reference.
They enact different operational
principles, hence the different cosmologies.
9 Perpendicular Times
The ontological dualism accounts for the two different types of time in the new
physics. In relativistic physics, other times are other moments in space-time. In the
quantum concept of time: “Other times are just special cases of other universes.”
(Deutsch, 1997, p. 278). As he describes, each universe is a 'snapshot' of the physical
state of the whole world, defined by a specific quantum state: a point in Hilbert space.
Each snapshot defines a specific space-time array of matter and energy events,
the x, y, z, t layout of the linear dynamics, as symbolised by each space-time
worldline image in Figure 2. With respect to the inside view each snapshot is that
of a holographic universe, the class-of-worlds-as-a-world of the SAS. The two
types of time cycle as described in the standard formulation.
The linear dynamics operates within the context of a specific snapshot. Within
this frame of reference the definition of the positions and states of physical elements
change with the advance of the time parameter, as the wave function dictates. The
effect is the movement of the viewpoint of the SAS along the world-line into the
future, as symbolised by the white arrows: the time evolution of the inertial frame of
reference. This is experienced as the passage of relativistic proper time.
The expanding blobs symbolise the growing quantum indeterminacy. At the point
in time where an observation is made the world hologram changes, thus the SAS is
defined as existing in a different class-of-worlds-as-a-world, one in which this event
has determinately happened, as shown in Figure 1. Thus the viewpoint passes to a
different snapshot as shown by each black arrow. This is a different type of
phenomenon to the linear dynamics, operating in the quantum state space: “... a new
dimension running, so to speak, perpendicular to time and space.”
(Lockwood, 1989,
p. 232).
Effectively, in the progression in quantum time, the quantum state changes
and the wave function collapses.
This is experienced as events happening.
Figure 2: A sequence of quantum mechanical frames of reference.
(The diagram is eternalism. The arrows are presentism. The red dots are possibilism.)
10 The Mind
The concept presented here spells out the ontology for Lockwood's (1996)
many-minds explanation of Everett. The world of each mind, the relative state, is
defined by the correlations established by observations as Everett describes. The
missing key is that correlation with the SAS defines an entire class of worlds.
Lockwood's definition of the mind is quite different to the common usage of
the word, generally taken to mean all the information processing attributes of the
brain. It is solely the subjective component which he calls the phenomenal
perspective, also a 'maximal experience' and 'a complete state of consciousness'.
Here this subjective component, the reality of the sensorium, is defined as the
world hologram. The rest of the mind as conventionally defined is here taken to be
the self-management system that operates in the neural network of the observer
machine: the operating system of the hardware of the physical body.
The phenomenal perspective, the world hologram, is the product of a specific
subsystem of the operating system. This is what Block calls 'access consciousness',
which he defines as the answer to the question: “What makes neuronal
representations available for thought, decision, reporting and action?” (2003, p. 8).
This is the operational subsystem that produces the perceptual reality in real time.
The world hologram is the cumulative product of access consciousness, the known
world. This integrated synthesis of everything known is the basis on which the
thought, decision, reporting and action of the individual operate.
As with the physical reality generally, the body is only determinate where
observed. The many bodies that instantiate the world hologram in the class of
worlds superposed include every possible variation of physical definition
concomitant with the world hologram. Thus only that which this defines is
determinate because all else is the superposition of all possible variations.
The state of the neural operating system of the hardware is also indeterminate
except where observed. As Mitra describes, in the many-worlds universe:
any particular state of consciousness should be consistent with a
large number of computational states. (2012, p. 4)
As with the body, the state of this information processing system is the superposition
of all the possible states it could be in, concomitant with the world hologram.
1 As Tegmark (1999) describes, it is not possible for the physical brain to act as a
quantum computer, but in the metaworld such a phenomenon appears inevitable. On the
inside view it is a class-of-brains-as-a-brain, and thus it is operating all possible
versions of its computations in superposition. If the SAS can be shown to produce
results that could not possibly be the result of standard neural functioning, this could
stand as evidence. Thus the concept of the metaworld is potentially testable.
11 The Self-Avatar
Everett's formulation categorises two classes of observations, external and internal.
He defines the observer as a machine, a device that records: “... sensory data and
machine configurations” (1957, p. 457). In humans, the integrated synthesis of the
sensory data forms the world hologram, the three-dimensional real-time representation
of the world. The integrated synthesis of the machine-configuration data forms the
three-dimensional real-time representation of the self at the centre, the 'self-avatar'.
The term
is used here for the integrated synthesis of all the
observations of the self, the complete mental construct produced over time. This
includes the self-concept, the self-image and the body schema. All together this
forms the known self. This is a three-dimensional virtual-reality construct at the
centre of the world hologram, a real-time representation of the whole of the self as
known to the self.
The direct experiences of the body through proprioception and enteroception
form the immediate observations of machine configuration. The integrated synthesis
forms the internal aspect, the body schema. External observations of the self form
the socially-facing physical self-image, the external form of the avatar. Thoughts,
feelings and emotions are the observations of the overall state of the neural network
and the endocrine system that form the psychological aspect of the self-concept.
As with the rest of the world hologram, the self-avatar at the centre is precisely
projected onto that which it represents, the three-dimensional body of the observer
at the centre of the perceived world. As Deutsch describes:
Consider the nerve signals reaching our brains from our sense
organs. Far from providing direct or untainted access to reality, even
they themselves are never experienced for what they really are
namely crackles of electrical activity. Nor, for the most part, do we
experience them as being where they really are inside our brains.
Instead, we place them in the reality beyond. We do not just see blue:
we see a blue sky up there, far away. We do not just feel pain: we
experience a headache, or a stomach ache. The brain attaches those
interpretations – 'head', 'stomach' and 'up there' – to events that are in
fact within the brain itself. (2011, p. 10; emphasis in original)
Thus all experiences of the body's sensations are actually the projected experiences
of the neural definition of the self-avatar figure. In other words, the body directly
experienced is the self-avatar, a field of information generated by the brain. As all
else is indeterminate this is the only determinate identity on the inside view, as
described in the next section.
On the outside view the familiar definition of human
identity is naturally correct, the physical entity as a whole.
12 The Functional Identity
If I am the agent, the objective world is everything outside my
mind―including other agents and even my own body. All of that I
may, if I chose, treat quantum mechanically and describe by wave-
functions. (von Baeyer, 2016, p. 154)
The metaworld provides the ontology. On the inside view the body is indeterminate
except where observed, and the same is true of the system of intelligence that
operates the body outside of conscious awareness. The mind, the world hologram,
defines the only determinacy.
The whole of the functional identity is defined in the world hologram, as is all of
the character. As Everett states of the physical observer, defined as an autonomous
machine, the functionality is defined in the state of the memory:
… the actions of the machine at a given instant can be regarded as a
function of the memory contents only, and all relevant experience of
the machine is contained in the memory (1957, p. 457)
Naturally, every aspect of the decision-making capability of the observer is contained
in the memory, the record of observations because this is the repository of the data
produced by the access consciousness for this purpose, as Block (ibid) describes.
By definition, all conscious mental experiences, external as well as internal,
operate in the virtual-reality representation of the world. As
Deutsch goes on:
Every last scrap of our external experience is of virtual reality. And
every last scrap of our knowledge including our knowledge of
the non-physical worlds of logic, mathematics and philosophy, and
of imagination, fiction, art and fantasy — is encoded in the form of
programs for the rendering of those worlds on our brain's own
virtual-reality generator. (1997, p. 121)
On the inside view these programs are determinate only where their effects are
observed, thus again the only determinacy is defined by the world hologram. This
therefore defines all the attributes of the functional identity, such as experience,
beliefs and criteria, and the habitual thoughts, behaviours, routines and practices.
The world hologram defines both the functional identity in operation, and the
determinacy of the physical body. This is the whole of the definition of the
autonomous self-aware substructure in reality on the inside view. Objectively, the
world hologram is a vital but minor part of the organism, the whole trillion-cell
physical entity with its sophisticated neural system. On the inside view, however,
the world hologram defines the whole of the determinacy of the conscious
individual, the perceiving subject.
13 The Unconscious
The three levels of the human psyche in Jung's (1969) classification are also
clearly distinguished. The conscious mind is the immediate awareness of
experience, meaning the current image in the virtual reality. This is the observation
being experienced at each moment, as it is added to the record of observations. The
rest of the world hologram is the 'personal unconscious' in Jung's classification
quoted below: the contents once in consciousness that have been forgotten or
repressed. This is the record of observations, the recorded experiences not in
immediate conscious awareness, including all the attributes of the mind so defined.
The operating system of the body external to the world hologram defines the rest of
the human psyche, and this corresponds to the 'collective unconscious':
The collective unconscious is a part of the psyche, which can be
negatively distinguished from a personal unconscious by the fact that
it does not, like the latter, owe its existence to personal experience
and consequently is not a personal acquisition. This collective
unconscious does not develop individually but is inherited. It consists
of pre-existent forms, the archetypes. (1969, p. 43)
This is outside of the mind, part of the objective world in von
Baeyer's dictum
. This
explains the profound difference between personal and collective unconscious. On
the inside view only the former is determinate because the latter is indeterminate.
As Jung describes, the human psyche embodies three distinct cybernetic layers.
The conscious mind is the identification with the immediate awareness, the current
observation, and the ego, the known self. The rest of the world hologram is the
personal unconscious of the mind, the major part of the purely individual psyche on
the inside view. The collective unconscious is outside the individual identity, thus
not part of the mind, a locally-hosted attribute of the human cultural phenomenon.
This embodies the intelligence of the operating system of the physical organism that
generates the world hologram along with managing many other functions.
2 Dennett (1991) proposes a 'multiple drafts' theory of mind, potential trains of thought
running in parallel in the unconscious. In the metaworld all possible drafts must be
present in the class-of-brains-as-a-brain, the effective quantum computer. Mental
creativity is explained as a natural internal interplay between the order of the known
world and the chaos of all possible thoughts and ideas superposed.
3 It is so named because this psychic component is shared among all beings of the same
species. Thus members of a species share not only DNA but also certain archetypes,
universal psychological traits developed over evolutionary periods of time. Observing the
demagogic politics of the 1930s, Jung compared mass political movements to mass
psychoses in which people uncritically channel these unconscious archetypes, which are
being directly manipulated outside of conscious awareness. Here we see that all this is
literally outside of the SAS, the conscious individual on the inside view.
14 The Missing Subject
The great paradoxes arise because of the exclusion of the perceiving subject from
the physics. An entire type of frame of reference is missing from the science:
The leading interpretations of quantum theory introduce concepts
that are extrinsic to its equations (“observers”), or even contradict
them (“collapse of the wave function”). The relevant literature is
famously contentious and obscure. I believe it will remain so until
someone constructs, within the formalism of quantum mechanics, an
"observer," that is, a model entity whose states correspond to a
recognizable caricature of conscious awareness; and demonstrates
that the perceived interaction of this entity with the physical world,
following the equations of quantum theory, accords with our
experience. That is a formidable project, extending well beyond what
is conventionally considered physics. I assume, perhaps naively, that
this project can be accomplished, and that the equations will survive
its completion unscathed. In any case, only after its completion might
one legitimately claim that quantum theory is defined by the
equations of quantum theory. (
This is the world hologram. It cannot but accord with experience: it is the conscious
awareness, the phenomenal perspective. The "observer" is a physical entity, a class-
of-bodies-as-a-body but the net result is their intersection, a mind. In other words,
the functional identity of the "observer" is the mind, a field of information.
The interaction of this entity with the environment follows the equations of
quantum theory precisely. That is Everett's explicit conclusion as quoted in Section
The superposed bodies of the "observer" follow the linear equations of the
absolute state.
As this "observer" as a whole is defined by the world hologram, the
sum of the experiences. as each observation is made, this changes its definition, and
this changes the class of instantiating worlds, a second-logical-type phenomenon.
The effective collapse of the wave function is experienced.
The equations are
unchanged. As Lockwood (1989, p. 230) describes, adapting Deutsch (1985), the
stochastic probabilities arise from the percentage of worldlines that contain the
various outcomes for this mind. Thus on the inside view the Born (1926) law
operates. The body and the mind of the "observer" operate the dual dynamics.
This "observer" is only explicitly distinguished from the body in Lockwood, but
it was Everett who derived the operation of the record of observations as distinct
from the physical entity. Mind-body dualism is the inherent explanatory principle.
Physicalism naturally excludes this as meaningless. Everett's resolution of the
measurement problem is thus incomprehensible, as Barrett (1999, 2008) describes.
15 Many Minds
The quasi-classical world is the natural assumption, but as demonstrated in
experiment by Proietti et al. contradictory
realities coexist
This result lends considerable strength to interpretations of quantum
theory already set in an observer-dependent framework and demands
for revision of those which are not. (2019, abs)
Just such a cosmology
is inherent in the physics of the Bekenstein (2008) bound, the
screen of the holographic universe. This defines a relational ontology, a universe of
observer-dependent subsystems. This is the inside-view cosmology:
Perhaps the first person to realize the radical implications of the
Bekenstein bound was Louis Crane. He deduced from it that quantum
cosmology must be a theory of the information exchanged between
subsystems of the universe, rather than a theory of how the universe
would look to an outside observer. This was the first step towards the
relational theories of quantum cosmologies. (Smolin, 2000, p. 175)
The world must be a network of holograms the holographic
principle is the ultimate realization of the notion that the world is a
network of relationships. Those relationships are revealed by this new
principle to involve nothing but information. (p. 178)
This is the basis on which relative states operate.
The result is a network of
coexistent holographic universes that interoperate through communication of
information, as when Wigner's friend updates him on the result of the experiment.
elationships are defined by the correlations established by observations.
The result is akin to solipsism. The only determinacy is defined by the mind of
the individual, the world hologram. The self is the only reality. As Everett (1956, p.
6) states, solipsism is perfectly in accord with quantum mechanics. H e rejects it
because of the implicit exclusivity, but this is the nature of each relative state. Each
one is an idiosyncratic holographic universe. The ontology is a
For two individuals standing next to each other and making essentially the
same observations, their physical realities are of course the samewith regard to
that environment at that moment. Their relative states are overlapping classes of
superposed worlds, idiosyncratic
holographic universes, each one defined solely by
that individual mind. Many-minds theory is retrodicted
Many-minds interpretation of quantum mechanics extends the many-
worlds interpretation by proposing that the distinction between
worlds should be made at the level of the mind of an individual
observer. (Donald, 1998)
16 Conclusion
The incompatible dynamics of quantum mechanics operate at different levels of
logical type in the unitary system. There is a dualism of unilateral relative onticities.
These are Everett's absolute and relative states. These frames of reference operate their
signature dynamics alternately as described in the standard von Neumann-Dirac
formulation. The measurement problem is a category error of logical type.
As Wilczek describes, the missing key is the protagonist of the dynamics, the
"observer". This is not the physical observer. As Everett demonstrates, only with
respect to the state of the memory, defined as the record of observations, does
collapse operate. In humans, the spatially distributed field of information formed
by the integrated synthesis constitutes the perceptual reality, the world hologram,
the mind in Lockwood's formulation. There is an operational property dualism of
body and mind because they operate the different dynamics, linear and collapse.
The ontology of Everett's relative state is realised in the physical reality of the
world hologram. This is the superposed sum of the class of quasi-classical worlds
that instantiate it, a metaworld. It is determinate only where observed because all else
is the superposition of all physically possible concomitant states. Collapse on
observation is inherent because this changes the definition of the class. The relative
state is a second-logical-type phenomenon, which is why it operates differently to the
quasi-classical world although it is made of nothing but quasi-classical world.
The holographic universe is the evidence.
Determinacy is defined solely by the
world hologram, which also delineates
the surface of the outer boundary. This
observed surface is the intersection of the worlds in the class, the only common
determinacy, hence the effect of the holographic universe. As all else is
indeterminate, entropy is completely defined by this surface. This is the cosmology
of the relative state. The quasi-classical world is the cosmology in the absolute state.
The linear dynamics is the sole causal principle, defining the dynamical behaviour
of all physical objects. As this time evolution progresses, the three-dimensional
arrangement of matter and energy changes as defined by the wave function of the
superposition of the class of worlds. At the point in time where an observation is
made, the definition of the class is altered. The collapse of the wave function
effectively operates. The holographic universe of the mind is redefined. This is an
epiphenomenon of the linear dynamics but it is nonetheless ontic on the inside view.
The world hologram is Wilczek's "observer". Its perceived interactions with the
physical world follow the equations of quantum theory. In this light, with the
operational cycle of the incompatible dynamics fully accounted for in the physical
reality of this self-aware substructure, it may perhaps be legitimately claimed that
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Full-text available
I show that the notion of a physical world is problematic. The known laws of physics should be taken to give an effective description of a math-ematical multiverse. In this setting there is no room for any postulates.
In der zweiten Hälfte des vorigen Jahrhunderts war aus den großen Erfolgen der kinetischen Gastheorie und der mechanischen Theorie der Wärme ein Ideal der exakten Naturbeschreibung hervorgewachsen, das als Krönung jahrhundertelangen Forschens und Erfüllung jahrtausendealter Hoffnung einen Höhepunkt bildet und das klassische heißt. Dieses sind seine Züge.
Major revision of the previous article published on the same website: 'The Role of Decoherence in Quantum Mechanics', in E. N. Zalta (ed.), The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2003 Edition), [under the editorial responsibility of J. Norton] (25pp.).
F. Dyson, in a very thoughtful article,1 points to the everbroadening scope of scientific inquiry. Whether or not the relation of mind to body will enter the realm of scientific inquiry in the near future-and the present writer is prepared to admit that this is an open question-it seems worthwhile to summarize the views to which a dispassionate contemplation of the most obvious facts leads. The present writer has no other qualification to offer his views than has any other physicist and he believes that most of his colleagues would present similar opinions on the subject, if pressed.