Avant Garde Science
We stand on the brink of a momentous change to our understanding of reality. There has been a major scientific revolution, but it is incomplete. The final step is to understand the meaning of the new physics we have discovered. As stated by Chancellor of Physics Hans von Baeyer:
Flawlessly accounting for the behavior of matter on scales from the subatomic to the astronomical, quantum mechanics is the most successful theory in all the physical sciences. It is also the weirdest. … Physicists have grappled with the quantum world’s apparent paradoxes for nine decades, with little to show for their struggles. The deep confusion about the meaning of quantum theory will continue to add fuel to the perception that the deep things it is so urgently trying to tell us about our world are irrelevant to everyday life and too weird to matter. (2013, 47)
As shown here such perceptions are utterly false. The things the science is trying to tell us are without question very weird, but also highly relevant to the life of every individual.
A Severe Loss
The enormity of the changes to our understanding of the world is not widely appreciated. Very few people understand the implications of what we do know. As stated by Heinz Pagels as head of the New York Academy of Sciences:
We live in the wake of a physics revolution comparable to the Copernican demolition of the anthropocentric world – a revolution which began with the theory of relativity and quantum mechanics in the first decade of this century and which has left most educated people behind. (1982, 347)
It means that down at the submicroscopic level of the quantum, the fundamental building block of all physical reality, the world is determinate, meaning physically real, only when it is looked at. That is the Copenhagen interpretation, the standard textbook worldview. Yes, it does not make sense. In other words, when it comes to the full meaning of the new physics, and therefore how we understand the nature of the reality we actually live in, this revolution has left everyone behind, even the greatest scientists. As the remarkable physicist Richard Feynman said:
I think I can safely say that nobody understands quantum mechanics. … Do not keep saying to yourself, if you can possibly avoid it, “But how can it be like that?” because you will get “down the drain,” into a blind alley from which nobody has yet escaped. Nobody knows how it can be like that. (1965)
Basically physicists have suffered a severe loss: their hold on reality (1971).
This is not for lack of expertise. The physicists of the world have a very keen grasp on objective physical reality. Physics is a superb science. It is the physical reality one actually encounters, which is not quite the same thing, that they have lost their hold on. In truth no one ever had it, although we were quite sure we did. It is a new discovery of considerable significance. As explained here, the physical reality one actually encounters is a completely different type of thing to objective physical reality as usually understood. As described by QBism, the latest interpretation of quantum theory, the world is personal. This resolves the great paradoxes, but the reason is astonishing. As in the Copenhagen interpretation the world is determinate only where observed, but only where observed by you. That is what quantum theory means in practice, as the authors show. In other words, the physical reality ‘out there’ beyond what you actually experience is not all solid and real as we automatically think it is. It is not all there, waiting to be seen. It works like a virtual reality that is only rendered when you go to look at it. It could hardly be more weird. And it could hardly be more relevant.
QBism does resolve the great paradoxes, but the big problem is that this directly contradicts the current paradigm, the well-established and generally-accepted scientific worldview. This holds that we live in what is essentially an ordinary physical world – obviously. The solution is that both are true, as explained here. And this resolves the paradoxes.
The ordinary physical world is one of a vast number of worlds. As stated by the cosmologist Max Tegmark, there is no question that we live in the universe of all possible worlds. As shown in World Superposition you are living in a great number of these worlds, all at once. The net result is the QBism-type of reality. Thus we have the explanation of the QBism world, based on exactly the same fundamental structure of the world as the current paradigm. It is not incompatible with it, as it appears it must be, it is simply a different view of the same physical universe.
As shown in Everett’s many-worlds theory, the universe is all possible worlds, all here and now. The resolution of the great paradoxes is that one is living in a whole lot of them, all at once, a world superposition. The net result is the QBism-type world. That is what quantum theory actually means. This is here called the many-worlds reality. By definition, it is determinate only where you have observed it. The physics is explained in detail in the section headed by Overview.
The Deep Things
All the concepts presented here are based on the well-established principles described by leading experts. No new physics is proposed. Avant Garde Science is a work of applied epistemology. This is simply uncovering the vitally important implications in the existing science of the new physics. The new approach is analysis in terms of ‘logical type’. As explained in Logical Types , this is the explanatory principle which demonstrates the fundamentally different types of phenomenon involved. This reveals the full meaning of the new physics.
The implications are staggering. We are like pilots asleep at the wheel. In the QBism world, one is constantly biasing the way things in the world are likely to be experienced going, globally, very slightly. This happens because the path of this kind of personal world is constantly moving toward the version of the world you imagine and expect. The science of this weird phenomenon is described in Interactive Destiny. It all works a lot better when you know you are doing it because so much of what one instinctively tends to do is highly counterproductive in the broader picture.
It means that there is an inherent morality in the personal world because in effect, the way you treat the world is the way it treats you. This is the longstanding idea of karma. Of course, this seems obviously absurd in the light of our modern scientific understanding of the world, the current paradigm. The cosmos does not react to one individual. But in the personal world, in effect, this is exactly how reality operates. The world you actually encounter, the many-worlds reality, is determinate solely as defined by your memory of experiences. And the extraordinary truth is that this field of information is the same thing as the personal unconscious. It is who you are. The whole thing is fairly terrifying. All this is the direct consequence of the QBism world, a world defined solely by your observations.
The New Age
Once understood, the inherent morality tends to produce enlightened self-interest, doing good for one’s own benefit. Thus the new worldview forms the basis of a self-sustaining and successful human culture because the egoistic motivation of each person is subtly altered. In mythic terms the world gradually returns to being sacred. We evolve from Bilbos to Gandalfs. It is a long journey for most of us. On the other hand, going by the evidence of no less than ten self-induced global catastrophic risks, it is this journey or no journey. The way the new view resolves the issues is described in Race Survival Intelligence.
An inherent morality may seem unwelcome but this is the very wisdom we have been seeking for all this time. Things are not what they seem, not in the reality actually encountered. In ordinary, objective reality, as defined by the objective science of physics, things are exactly what they seem. But in the personal QBism world, it is the record of experiences, and the resulting expectations, which effectively incline the future of the individual to involve different versions of the way events play out in world. Certain spiritual principles turn out to have a clear and simple scientific basis. These are powerful insights of our ancestors, which in the new scientific form enable us to develop far more effectively, both individually and as a race. It is all good news. As described in the section headed by Universe Consciousness, individuals in QBism worlds are immortal. All together this is the transformation suggestively glimpsed in so many avenues of our culture, ancient and modern. This is Human Being 2.0, the final consequence of the new paradigm.
The contents of this site are grouped in seven general categories as listed below.
Home – The Conceptual Revolution
The meaning of all this, and how it affects us all in everyday life
How science changes – and sometimes does not
Carry on here if you are interested in the culture of science and how the new paradigm fits in
The technical concept at the heart of the new paradigm
Start here if you want to know what sets these ideas apart from previous concepts and theories
A simple description of the nature of the real world
Start here if you want to understand who you actually are and what life can really be like. Pages in this section cover the nature of existence and the implications for ourselves and our culture.
Executive summary of the principles of physics involved
Start here if you want the popular science stuff
The scientific explanation of the extraordinary implications
Start here if you want to know how the ‘law of attraction’ works – it is probably easier to understand if you have read the popular science stuff.
How reality actually works. How immortality actually works
Start here if you are at the stage of life where you are getting more interested in the next life than this one
Will begin when required
External links are underlined, internal links to other pages on this site are plain.