Overview provides a general introduction to the technical basis of the extraordinary significance of the individual. On this page the history of this kind of approach is briefly addressed.
As you might be thinking, the concept of the world being defined by the individual is way too simple an explanation to have not occurred to the physicists who work in the field, some of the smartest people in the world. It has. The seeds of such ideas have been present in our culture for at least thirty years. This is a form of ‘many minds’ theory. As the mathematician and philosopher Matthew Donald states:
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. (1998)
Naturally, it is not difficult to see why the physics community have not been inclined to take this idea seriously. What has mind got to do with objective physical reality? Obviously nothing. On the other hand, it is true that this resolves the great paradoxes of the quantum theory. Just as the QBism world resolves all the problems, so too does the many-minds concept. In both cases, if the world is only determinate where defined by the information in the brain of the observer, the famous measurement problem does not arise. Above all, however, there has been no explanatory principle, no reason why this should be the case. But now there is. As explained in The Indeterminate World, the world hologram of the individual is present in a great number of worlds, and the result is the world superposition.
There are two central points to be made here. The first is that the mind has to be defined in such a way as for this to make sense. The second is that an explanation has to be found of why the world of the mind should be different from the world of the body.
Nowadays the mind is considered to be simply and solely an operational property of the body. The mind is the information processing system of the neural network, the operating system of the body if you like. So it is not something in any way different to the body. The two are simply attributes of a single phenomenon, which is why the term body-mind is used here to refer to the physical entity. This entity is the observer in physics.
Everett gives a very precise definition of the observer, as described in Many Worlds. The observer is the mechanism that makes observations, taking the information from the sensory apparatus, formulating a view of reality, and recording it in memory. It is the product of this process, the state of the memory, the integrated synthesis of the record of observations, that forms the perceptual reality, here the world hologram. As described in detail in the pages here, this is the entity that defines the frame of reference at work in the dynamics.
Many World Holograms
If we call the world hologram the mind, the ideas presented here are a continuation of the development of many-minds theories. But not only is the mind an idea which has no very clear definition in a lot of contexts, it is vital to be clear that it is the record of observations, and that alone, that is relevant to the dynamics in the physics. The whole situation is more correctly a many-perceptions theory, which is exactly what it is called by physicist Don Page (2011). As he states: “I regard the basic conscious entities to be the conscious experiences themselves”. This is the approach used by philosopher Michael Lockwood in his many-minds theory. He defines the mind as the record of observations.
Of course, the world hologram is technically part of the mind in any ordinary definition because the memory is taken to be part of the mind. Here, however, the world hologram is taken to be the product of the mind, and a different type of phenomenon. This is the perceptual reality. This is what is actually directly experienced, and it is all that is actually experienced. This is the head-up display of reality produced by the neural network. It is in a very special kind of relationship to the physical world. And the rest of the mind is indeterminate except where observed, just like everything else in the world. As described in Identity, on the inside view only that defined by the world hologram is determinate.
Objectively, the world hologram is simply and solely a structure of information in the body-mind of the observer. But it is the world hologram that forms the virtual reality representation of the world in which one actually lives. And as described in The Indeterminate World, the world is determinate solely where defined by this world hologram. What is more, as explained in Identity, the world hologram is the individual on the inside view because on the inside view, in the subjective frame of reference, all else is effectively indeterminate, even including the body-mind of the observer in which this structure of information is instantiated. Effectively, in reality, we are world holograms, that live in body-minds.