Spring at last.
The few Ravens that we have up in the Scots Pines on the nearby hill have started making funny noises; less raucous crawking, more gentle cooing, hopefully they’re making more Ravens.
As the autumnal Mandrakes at Chateaux Chaos spring into inactivity by shedding their foliage and going to sleep for summer, the pond receives an influx of amphibian guests, toads, frogs, and newts. Herewith a menage a trois of frogs. I later saw six males clamped onto that female. The following day I saw her pale and dead at the bottom of the pond. She has left a mass of spawn, but her tadpoles will face the dragonfly larvae lurking in the depths.
Einstein famously asked if the Moon continues to exist when nobody looks at it.
I can now answer this with a (heavily qualified*) Not Necessarily.
An interesting example of this strangeness cropped up during some collaboration with a terrestrial correspondent upon Hypersphere Cosmology.
If cosmological redshift depends only on distance, then it has to remain indeterminate until measured.
See the graph below in which observed frequency (blue) decreases with distance travelled across the universe. This leads to an asymptotically increasing redshift of wavelength (red).
Note that as frequency decreases directly with distance travelled fo = fe (1-(d/L)) see: -
We cannot define what frequency a photon ‘would have’ at any point on a journey between two points, we can only calculate and confirm by measurement what frequency the photon has when we actually observe it. This means that the ‘counter-factual’ - the frequency that we do not observe, cannot have a definite but unknown value.
To take a simple example with rough figures: -
In Hypersphere Cosmology the antipode to any observer in the universe lies almost exactly 4 Gigaparsecs away, (1.23 E26 metres, 13 billion light years).
Imagine two distant galaxies ‘A’ at 2 Gigaparsecs, and ‘B’ at 1 Gigaparsec distant from an observer, with both laying roughly in the same direction. Light from A will have lost half of its frequency when it arrives at the observer. Light from B will have lost a quarter of its frequency when it arrives at the observer. This all accords with calculation and observation.
If we stopped the light from A at B, then we would find that it had lost a quarter of its frequency.
But what about the light from A as it flies unobserved past B? We cannot assign any value to its frequency that remains commensurate with the loss of a quarter of its frequency per Gigaparsec and a half of its frequency over 2 Gigaparsecs!
Plainly we have a quantum effect at play here. The frequency does not become defined until we stop the light and measure it, or equivalently it hits something and acquires a definite value.
Of all the interpretations of quantum mechanics, only Cramer’s Transactional Interpretation seems to offer a ‘reasonable’ or visualisable account of how this can happen. In this interpretation, retro causal advanced waves have to complete a quantum handshake across spacetime in any emission-absorption event before it acquires a definite value.
If, as in standard cosmology, the cosmological redshift arises from recession velocity in an expanding universe, then it can have a classical explanation that preserves the idea of a definite state of the unmeasured light at any point along its path.
I suspect that recession velocity and hence the expanding universe model became selected precisely because it preserved a classical description for cosmological redshift.
The orthodox standard cosmological model, the LCDM Big Bang theory, remains purely classical and relativistic. Hypersphere Cosmology, at least in respect to cosmological redshift, incorporates both General Relativistic and Quantum Mechanical perspectives.
Counterfactual Indefiniteness has interesting metaphysical implications. Does the mind have a definite state when it does nothing for example? Anyone for Zen?
*We can assume that the Moon may continue to exist in some definite form when we don’t look at it, but only because of the zillions of quanta there interacting with each other and with the rest of the universe tend to keep it in a fairly definite form on the macroscopic scale.
Nyarlathotep – Aiwass.
It now seems generally accepted that the alien entity Nyarlathotep posing as Aiwass inspired Aleister Crowley to write the abominable Book of the Law and to found a cult based on slavish obedience to its spittle flecked rantings. Many other messiahs, prophets, ideologues, and demagogues seem to have drunk from the same source in search of power. Nyarlathotep also finds amusement in provoking sentient creatures to explore all manner of antinomian scientific, technical, and political extremes. It expects us to either learn from our mistakes or to destroy ourselves, and it remains indifferent to the outcome, as H P Lovecraft realised.
The universe contains countless sentient species, some will transcend themselves, some will auto-destruct. Nyarlathotep enjoys stirring them to do either, it wears many masks. Sometimes it takes an occultist to see through the metaphors within the metaphors.
AC fell for it. HPL saw through it.
Despite the diplomatic niceties, President-Dictator Xi of China has visited Putin in Moscow with the air of a man inspecting the goods on offer in a fire sale. Plainly he sees no prospect of Putin winning the war and will not send him any armaments. Plainly Xi looks forward to heavily discounted fuel from Russia. Xi probably contemplates the prospect of exporting the full panoply of the technology of repression to Russia. Plainly he must now contemplate what sort of new regime in Russia he will soon find himself dealing with.
Putin runs out of friends, only fear motivates his remaining associates. Keep those conjurations coming: - https://www.specularium.org/blog/item/349-putin-s-war
Scottish Independence RIP. The election of Humza Yousaf as SNP leader probably represents the final nail in the coffin of the secessionist movement. Hurrah! The Scottish secessionist movement stands revealed as an economically illiterate project led by careerist political incompetents, and now even the ethnic tartan romanticism has gone.
Despite occasional outbreaks of Artificial Stupidity, ChatGPT can apparently compose poems and essays that can fool university professors. It only seems a matter of time and computational power before we iron out the issues of humour and nuance.
I intend to feed an AI with all my works, let it absorb my style and ideas, and then sit back and enjoy all the books I haven't had time to write, and collect the royalties.
The royalties will fund an immortal AI version of myself to comfort my relatives and engage my readers after I die.
But until further notice these blogs will continue to originate from the Meatware version of myselves.