The New Culture
We stand on the brink of a momentous change to our understanding of reality. When the paradoxes of the new physics are unravelled they show we have been living under two false assumptions of extraordinary significance. The first is the nature of the world, and the second is the nature of ourselves. By taking on the empowering new worldview that is revealed, we can restore the humanity missing from so much of our global human culture, and now so desperately needed. The completion of the physics revolution engages a profound transformation in human nature, and so provides the resolution of our seemingly intractable problems.
In this section of the site we explore the amazing implications with regard to the world and how it works. One is strangely connected to the world at large, and this means we are far more relevant to the events we witness than we could possibly have imagined. The aim is to communicate how we can take these ideas and live our best possible lives, and also transform our human world. Who we really are is another wild ride into the unknown as described in The World Hologram.
How can we resolve our mounting global crises? Climate Armageddon is just one of ten human-caused global catastrophic risks facing our entire species with possible annihilation. As stated by John Holdren as scientific adviser to President Obama:
The way I like to put is is that we’re driving in a car with bad brakes in a fog and heading for a cliff. We know for sure now that the cliff is out there, we just don’t know exactly where it is. Prudence would suggest that we should start putting on the brakes. (Friedman, 2008, 160)
Since these are all self-induced there is one type of solution that resolves them all, and will also stand the test of time. In other words, this transforms the chances of our survival as a race. As stated by Alexander King, the pioneering environmentalist who co-founded the Club of Rome:
Any durable solution to [humanity’s] external and internal problems can only come from evolution beyond the egoism that motivates every individual. The wisdom we desperately require can only come through inner transformation. (2006, 22)
Given history to date this seems like pie in the sky, but precisely such a transformation arises from the meaning of the new physics. The world is personal, determinate only where observed, and once this is fully understood the evolution King describes is exactly what is produced.
The physics is described in Quantum Theory & Reality. Very briefly, there are two main rival theories, quite different types of world defined in the new physics. Along with the standard ‘quasi-classical’ world there is the ‘relative world’. This is ‘determinate’ meaning physically real, only where observed. Quantum Bayesianism, now QBism, shows that this strange, personal type of world is the one in which one lives, and on which we do experiments. As the authors demonstrate, this type of world is the resolution of the paralysing paradoxes in the comprehension of quantum theory.
It is certainly weird, but experimental physics has recently produced direct evidence of this type of world. This, however, has not halted the earnest debate about which type of world is the real one. Here it is shown that both types of world are real. This means that the current scientific worldview is perfectly correct. No problem. But there is a plus one. And the weird, relative one is the one you are actually living in, a personal ‘superworld’. From here on we will take this fantastic-sounding explanation of the experimental physics as a given, and see what QBism mean for us in everyday terms.
The Personal World
The huge adjustment is that the real physical world ‘out there’ is personal. It is unique to you because it is only real where you have observed it, and everything else is unreal. As the authors state:
This means that reality differs from one agent to another. This is not as strange as it may sound. What is real for an agent rests entirely on what that agent experiences, and different agents have different experiences. (Fuchs et al., 2013, 3)
Of course, this cannot make sense in our current worldview. But as I have demonstrated, the reality each person lives in a quite different type of world. As described in Logical Types, the personal world is a ‘superposition of quasi-classical worlds’, a ‘superworld’. This is the nature of your world.
In a domain of this nature, observation is of extraordinary significance because this alone defines the physical reality. And this is where the surreal effect in our day to day lives arises. The effect is extraordinary, but the mechanism is quite ordinary.
Confirmation bias means that you see what you expect to see, something we all tend to do in one way or another. This means that the observation is unconsciously altered to be more in accord with the expectations. As Mo Constandi reports:
A new study now shows that visual working memory can influence our perceptions, so that mental images in the mind’s eye can alter the way we see things. (2011)
In an ordinary world, all this does is produce a rose-tinted view of the world, thinking things turned out how we expected. But in the personal superworld the situation is very different, and the implications of confirmation bias are truly astonishing. It is the biased observation that becomes part of the definition of your physical reality.
Let’s say you have been looking forward to an event. Then you go past the notice board where it is listed, and it has a cancellation notice across the bottom. But your picture of the future overrides the meaning of the sensory input, and instead you see a confirmation notice. In this kind of word this means that you now live in the version of the world where the event is going ahead. (It is not quite that simple because it is a matter of ‘Bayesian probabilities’, but you get the idea.) This is a direct implication of the physics the relative world, defined solely by observations.
The result is that you are actually doing a jump into a slightly different version of physical reality than would otherwise have been the case. What is extraordinary is that this phenomenon applies to everything in your world. In other words, it affects which version of events you are likely to experience with regard to all events, everywhere. If you had misheard someone saying the result of a major election, you might now be living a version of the world with a different result. That is the extraordinary difference between the reality of a superworld and the reality of an ordinary physical world. When an observation is modified by confirmation bias, this produces a change in the destiny of your world. I call it ‘interactive destiny’.
In the reality of Newtonian mechanics the world is as predictable as clockwork. We might not know enough about some physical situation that we can predict exactly what will happen in the future, but it is utterly predetermined. In other words, the destiny of the world is fixed and certain. But the superworld is very different because it is defined solely by what has been observed. So if an observation is altered the future is changed. This is described in detail in Interactive Destiny.
As a result one is effectively interacting with the destiny of one’s personal world. The physics of the personal world is therefore a very big deal. You are the unconscious pilot of this world, your reality. And you always have been. Not that everything is your fault. We are dealt a hand at birth and this determines many things – sometimes even epigenetic things we now discover. But one is constantly steering the way everything goes, very slightly, with one’s beliefs and expectations.
There are three rather vital learnings from this. Firstly, it means that positive thinking is absolutely essential for a happy and productive life. We want to make sure we are steering our personal realities in the most positive direction possible. Secondly, we can take charge of this dynamic, and actively make the kinds of events and occasions we want to experience more likely. Thirdly, it means that there is an inherent morality in the personal world because of the way the interactive destiny operates, as described in Quantum Karma. Altogether this has the potential to bring about the great cultural shift so desperately needed just as King describes.
Survival and Prosperity
As Thomas Friedman expresses in clear and practical terms in his book Thank You For Being Late, what is required is not more science or better technology but a sea change in human nature. The survival of the human race depends on it:
The fact is, for our survival as a species, our very notion of “community” has to expand to the boundaries of the planet (2016, 352)
As Gus Speth famously describes, the problem of ecodestruction is not any lack of scientific and technical expertise, but “selfishness, greed and apathy” (2016). These are the primary expressions of egoism. This is what egoism looks like in terms of behaviours. As he goes on, we need a cultural and spiritual transformation, and the scientists don’t know how to do that. But just such a transformation arises from adopting the literal meaning of the new physics.
In the personal world, all the things we do have a direct effect on the quality of our personal worlds, in a non-local holistic manner. But this is not something we are likely to notice unless we are looking for it because the effect is spread all over the personal world. And this, of course, means we can put all that down to psychological processes. If my world seems nicer lately, the obvious explanation is just that I am seeing it that way. But if the concepts are correct something else is going on as well. In the QBism type of world, we are constantly piloting our personal worlds for better or worse. Metaphorically we are the trim tabs on the rudders of our worlds, constantly interacting with the destiny of the whole personal physical environment. Personally I find this disturbing in the light of how my world is doing, but I am intensely focused on better futures for all.
As explained in Quantum Theory we are the worlds we experience, and the only way for us to be truly healthy is to treat our worlds well. This realisation enables us to take responsibility, and take charge. The further incentive to come to grips with the new worldview is the extraordinary glimpse of immortality, as described in Quantum Immortality. And as described in Quantum Karma, the nature of life after death is what gives the whole idea a bit of bite.
With this new worldview people more naturally adopt a moral way of living. If one adopts the logic, the only sane position is enlightened self-interest, doing well by doing good. Egoism, me first, still operates, but now on a different agenda that encompasses everyone. Exactly what Friedman is calling for. And this recreates the force of cohesive community that propelled the human race to dominate the planet. This now re-emerges at a global level. Consequently a new race intelligence emerges, and a new efficiency permeates the human culture.
This is the next step. As King describes, evolution beyond raw egoism is the only durable solution. Understanding the immediacy of one’s relationship with the whole of the world brings about this transformation. One is reconnected with nature in all its forms, and life is imbued with meaning in a manner impossible in the narrow egoistic framework. Thus we have the means to produce a new age in which human potential can truly flourish.
All references given in References