The Platonic Interpretation

I think that modern physics has definitely decided in favor of Plato. In fact the smallest units of matter are not physical objects in the ordinary sense; they are forms, ideas which can be expressed unambiguously only in mathematical language.


I have become fairly convinced that the best way to understand Quantum Mechanics is in a platonic sense, much like Heisenberg hinted at. To expand this out in a speculative way, it has some similarities with both relational interpretations (Qbism/RQM) and the Bohmian interpretation. It’s a fairly simple starting point, which is that all physical properties are a representation of something more fundamental. I would use the term ‘form’ in a Platonic sense as it fits well once you build it out using logical steps. 

To start with, I’ll define space as a brane (or plane) of representation. What I mean by this is that we group the three dimensions of space as being categorically the same. We then need a plane in which the forms themselves exist, which could be seen as quantum or classical – as you will see the distinction disappears, which is one of the great things about looking at things this way. For arguments sake we could call this a plane of extra dimensions. You could say this representational nature of physical properties from a more fundamental plane is what gives the impression that extra dimensions are ‘rolled up’ as per Kaluza-Klein, however in reality it’s simply that the two planes are only connected at the point where a form is representing to another form. Because there is continuous representation, space has a continuous existence. However everything in this space (ie. the physical properties) is relational along two axes, in terms of the subject the image is presented to, and the more fundamental properties of the object form (more ‘be-ing’ than relation). We could perhaps describe gravity in terms of the energy required to represent at any point in space, creating a gradient which we then describe as the curvature of space. Any substantial interaction between forms, results in a representation of the form as physical properties. A subset of this is what we call observation, but more properly it could be called an entanglement. In effect, observations create an image of the form – which contains some information of the form, but is not the forms itself.  

It’s worth clarifying what this means in terms of a simple slit or experiment. In this case, there are multiple entanglements between the emitter, the particle, the slit housing, the screen and the detectors. All these happen at the same time, but the physical properties only appear between each entangled form. It’s also worth saying that there is a distinction between particles combined into a macro form via the normal forces (‘physical contact’), and particles entangled in the usual quantum sense. Nonetheless, when you have two entangled particles, it’s effectively a sharing of a single form.

Because the physical quantum properties are just an ‘external’ image of the actual form, you naturally have the appearance of strange observer influence, as those properties ARE the observation itself, not the form. However at the macro scale, these average out to give the appearance of a classical, objective and physical object. The object does have an objective reality, it’s purely the assumption that the object consists of these physical properties that is a slight misunderstanding.

Because the wave function is like a translation between these planes, it’s describing a potential mapping at any point in time, which of course will only become actual in the case of an entanglement (or measurement), at which point the form will represent as an image/properties. Because these two planes are only in effect connected at the point of representation, you have the wave front of all potential locations spreading through space. There is nothing magical about this, it’s just the possible relationships between the planes, which becomes actual at measurement. Most of the strange stuff seems to me to become natural, including the ‘no go’ experiments.

I may of course be wrong with this, the fact no physicists see this distinction between form and representation should be a red flag. Nonetheless, the more I hear physicists discussing the existing interpretations, the more natural this one sounds to me.

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Dark Matter

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Dark Matter is a place holder for an anomaly, essentially for a problem where galaxies spin faster than they should (according to our normal laws that serve us well day to day).  The leading theory to explain it is a ‘new’ type of matter – one that only interacts weakly with normal matter.  Theorists like this solution because it helps explain other things such as the way galaxies are seeded and the general ‘clumpyness’ of the structure of the universe.

However it may just as well be that we misunderstand how gravity works on larger scales.  We tend to think of atoms a bit like solar systems, the old Rutherford model.  But in some ways they are more like mini galaxies, with stuff held within ‘arms’ of strange stuff moving around in strange ways – certainly strange if you want to see particles as fixed balls of stuff.  In fact, with particles things are so strange that most physicists have stopped trying to understand it.  The fact that the maths is so reliable and drives the modern world of mobile phones etc has lead to a famous response to those trying to understand whats actually happening of “shut up and calculate”.

Its possible that galaxies behave differently simply because of their scale (just as atoms behave differently at the very small scale).  The combination of the supermassive black hole at the centre (still something of a mystery itself) combined with the sheer mass of the galaxy produces its own dynamics.  Maybe the whole thing pulls space itself around due to some critical limit of gravity.  Or maybe there is some version of fluid dynamics where the stars and planets are a bit like water molecules in a whirlpool.

The area I find compelling to explain dark matter (and a couple of other areas) is extra dimensions. The maths of string theory point this way, although they can be tweaked in so many ways that the physics gets lost. The fact that gravity is so weak would make perfect sense if it leaked between dimensions. Galaxies could spin so fast if matter/energy in other dimensions was ‘holding them together’ in some way. And there other speculative hints around, such as quasi crystals.

Maybe even areas of quantum mechanics such as entanglement can make more sense with extra dimensions (although this is considered a ‘hidden variable’ interpretations which many view as ruled out). To me it seems like there is some kind of connection between extra dimensions and Bohm’s enfolded holographic universe. Logically these are opposite theories – but they could also be two sides of the same coun.

We sometimes have trouble understanding where we stand as observers – but I will save diving into ontology and epistemology for another time.

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The Flood

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Having just watched the film Arrival (where times arrow is a bit more of a loop), and currently reading a book which includes an “Ark”-like spaceship called the Gilgamesh, I started thinking about the various stories of a global flood in history, from the earliest right through to Plato’s Atlantis.

There must have been many great floods in the past, whether caused by earthquakes or landslides, rain or astroid impacts.  However we have legends and stories of a single great flood that covered the whole world. The biblical story of Noah adds a promise from god not to flood the whole world again.  The strange thing of course is that the whole world does not seem to have been flooded at the same time.

So if we for a moment take these stories out of the allegorical context they are often placed in, is “the whole world” more a reference to the end of the ice age as the waters rose – surely explosively at times ?  There do seem to be events such as the breaking out of the ice age Black Sea that could account for these stories (as the known world for many was indeed flooded).  At the time most settlements would be on coasts and next to low lying rivers, and so the whole ‘known’ world to these people would literally sink under water as the post ice age world melted.

However the thought of time as a river (where the start and end can be seen by an observer above) gave me another option – of these accounts of floods being more like prophesies.  Suddenly these stories of a global civilisation, advanced in technology but also in ‘loose morals’, becomes our times, with global warming being just one of the many ways we are causing problems to the planet and its wildlife.

If you narrow in on the biblical story, Noah creates the Ark which symbolically saves all the animals and specifically saves some of the people – those trying to live for something more dignified than self gratification.  Those saved become the twelve tribes of Israel.  Anyone who knows the bible will know how god makes an original promise to these twelve tribes and their descendants, but then says this promise will be renewed and opened to the whole world – the “new covenant”.    This is the “new jerusalem” – part of a new heaven and a new earth.  Whereas the old covenant was written on stone and kept in a temple, the new covenant is written on the hearts of all who are ‘born again’ in Jesus. This is a birth to and of the spirit, but it is also linked to a baptism in water.

Quite a verge into speculation there and I have no idea whether it works consistently, but there is something compelling in it.

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