Aug 17Liked by Ulrich Mohrhoff

A very interesting post, I never read Franz's text.

First on a technical level:

"Nor does the wave function represent a physical process connecting outcome-indicating events. There are several reasons why this notion, too, is absurd, among them the fact that the wave function of a system with N degrees of freedom would “exist” or “propagate” in an N-dimensional space. (Even the wave function of a system made up of just two particles “propagates” in a 6-dimensional space, rather than between the respective positions of the particles in 3-dimensional space.)"

This reaches absurd levels in QFT where the wave function is a function over the infinite-dimensional space of classical fields, but for technical reasons the classical fields can't be functions but distributions and arcane technicalities of Lesbesgue theory, equivalent to physicists' renormalization, are needed to render the measure on this infinite dimensional space well defined.

How one can think a complex function over a space of Schwarz tensor/spinor distributions coupled with a pathological Lesbesgue measure are real I don't know.

Now more general:

I love your quantum physics writing, but you are right in the last part. When you realise how quantum theory redefines the scope of physics it does sort of return you back to the living world and puts physics in a secondary place. It's a bit sad that this isn't realised and that instead:

"All of this appears to exceed the comprehension of most of today’s public-facing physicists. What is worse, the incompetent pronouncements of these popular figures on philosophical matters are lapped up like manna from heaven by the public, which apparently can’t be disabused of the superstition that theoretical physics holds the key to ultimate metaphysical truth — a superstition these physicists do little to discourage"

In addition increasingly their pop science books include almost a "self help" section about the author's advice for living in a materialist world. The cynical part of me wonders if some of these media physicists are sort of making a self-help industry where they dispense the "truths of materialism" or similar. I think years from now it will be interesting to sociologists of science as to why people fought against our most successful physical theory for so long when the rough (and even fine) contours of its implications were known from the beginning.

Anyway I am thinking and thinking about your writings on and off and I hope you don't mind if I came back with some observations and comments in a few months.

Thanks once again.

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Aug 17·edited Aug 17Liked by Ulrich Mohrhoff

What you had to say about QM, important as it was, you said it loud and clear twenty years ago. But then there is a certain economy of words and joining of dots standpoint, that no artífice can do without, and only a handful of people are given the privilege by either Nature or Time. I think of Kepler without Brahe, of Russell without Frege. We can only thank you for coming this far.

As for what is regularly practiced in the talking departments and editorial boards, paraphrasing von Neumann’s unfortunate dictum: “whatever can be said, it ought to be said”. This makes perfect sense in a world without limits. Sadly, that’s not the world we live in.

Just a side note, I presume you meant to say “objects” here: “and as subjects that exist in it”.

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