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Collapsing The Wavefunction

I’m in the process of reading a third book on quantum physics. It’s called “The Self-Aware Universe”, and it is written by physicist Amit Gotswami. According to Q-physics, no localized object exists until a conscious observation is made. The universe is comprised of non-localized, infinitely distributed “waves” described by Schrodinger’s wave function equation. The wave function equation characterizes the “waviness” of matter and it displaces Newton’s F=ma as the universal law of motion. Even though Newton has been convincingly dethroned as the king of “materialistic reality”, Q-physics is consistent with Newton’s classical physics for “big” objects, which are all comprised of quantum waves. Thus, for (almost) all practical purposes, Newton’s laws can be leveraged in the macro world to “control” and enhance our environment to some extent.

When a subjective and conscious observation is made and discrete objects are “detected” at a point in space and time, the instantaneous collapse of the wave function occurs. The figure below woefully attempts to graphically depict this mysterious and miraculous process. On the left, we have “no”-things, just an infinite collection of waves. On the right, we have a bunch of (supposedly) independent “some”-things after the collapse. If, as most rational and educated people think, conscious observation is subjective and person specific, then why is there so much consensus on the post-collapse appearance of the world? In other words, why do most people see the same set of objects after they each independently and subjectively collapse the wave function? If you’re thinking that I have an answer for this subjective vs. consensus enigma, then you’re mistaken. I’m dumbfounded but enamored with the mystery of it all. How about you?

Wavefunction Collapse

Suppose that you and I separately “collapse the wave function” and (miraculously?) agree on the appearance of the external world the engulfs us. Referring to the example above, assume that we transcend the first communication barrier between us and we agree that a post-collapse triangle exists, a rectangle exists, a pair of ellipses exist, etc.

Now assume that the group of objects that we’ve manifested (created ?) is comprised of people and some type of observable behavior emanating from that group is “bothering” us. Also, assume that we want to influence the group to change it’s behavior so that we are less distressed. What do we do? We consciously form a personal System-Of-Interest (SOI) and we try to understand what’s causing us the distress. We try to make sense of the dynamic interactions taking place between those people encircled in our own personal SOI and then we act to change it. Here’s where our original consensus starts to diverge. Since, as the figure below illustrates, our personally created  SOIs will most likely be different, our interpretation of who and what is causing us our distress will be different. Thus, our ideas and thoughts regarding corrective actions will be different.

SOIs

Note that even though we initially agreed on the number and types of objects=people present in our collapsed wave function worlds, the number and nature of the connections between those people are likely to be different for you and me. In the SOI example above, my SOI on the left contains three people and yours on the right only contains two. My SOI on the left doesn’t include the pink ellipse in the “problem” sub-group but yours on the right does. Your SOI doesn’t include an interface ‘tween the gray ellipse and blue diamond but mine does. Thus, our interpretations of what ails us will most likely differ. Add a third, fourth, fifth, etc., SOI to the mix and all kinds of diverging interpretations will emerge.

Now, apply this example to a work environment. If I’m the “boss” and you disagree with my interpretation of the problem situation, but are “afraid” of speaking truth to power because of standard stifling corpo culture norms, then you may just go along with my interpretation even though you’re pretty sure that your interpretation and solution is “right”. Since I’m the boss, all knowing and all powerful, I’m always “right” – even if I’m not. 🙂

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