Reply To: Quantum Oblivion and Hesitation


Dear Mark,
I am suggesting what most people try to avoid: Let there be a higher time parameter along which history may be rewritten.
Let’s deal the immediate concern first: Wouldn’t that higher time necessitate yet another higher time and so on ad infinitum? I suggest not to worry too much at this stage. Here is a soothing hint from cosmology: The big bang model says that spacetime was created, right? Here too you have a temporal notion ascribed to spacetime itself. People avoid it either by invoking some primitive “pre-geometry,” or dismissing as meaningless questions like “what happened before time was created”, “what lies outside of space”, etc.
An infinity of times can be similarly avoided when you invoke Becoming. Consider a moving universal “now”-front, proceeding from past to future. On one side you have fixed past events, world-lines, curvatures, etc., just like in Block Universe. On the other side of this “now” front, however, not only there are no events, but there is no spacetime either! Recall Mach: Where there are no events, there are no and time either. So you add this growth of spacetime into the future, to the standard expansion of the universe according to the Big Bang.
Now let’s deal with this “now”-front. Does it have to be extended along some absolute simultaneity plane? Certainly not. Different regions may have various rates of Becoming. Very likely, gravity plays an important role here, as well as special-relativistic effects. How exactly? I don’t know, and again we don’t have to worry about it yet. Suffice it that SR and GR offer us new degrees of freedom that may be helpful not only for a better quantum theory, but, no less important, better understanding of the relativity itself!
Moreover, this “now”-front is by no means smooth. At the microscopic level, there may be several narrow “cracks” extending backwards to the past. These are quantum particles which remain isolated and haven’t yet interacted with the rest of the universe. In other words, “superposition” is now defined as the state of a particle or even something larger like Schrodiger’s cat, that, not having yet interacted with its environment, did not undergo Becoming yet. “Collapse”, then, would be the interaction with the environment that would make Becoming go backwards and fill the “crack”.
The transactional account of EPR now naturally follows. These are two connected cracks that remain empty while the rest of the environment undergoes the normal becoming. Upon measurement, becoming proceeds backwards into these cracks, even a few times back and forth, until all boundary conditions are satisfied, a-la Cramer.
One more suggestion, which I offered both to Cramer and Kastner, and I hope they’ll consider it. Consider a case in which a photon goes through a beam-splitter towards two detectors: One close and other distant. The first one does not click, namely IFM. There is still plenty of time until the other half of the wave-function reaches the distant detector. What can you say about the photon’s state during this time interval? According to Cramer’s initial Block Universe version, there are two confirmation waves coming from the future, somehow negotiating between them in some “meta-time” initial agreeing which detector will remain silent and which is going to click. However during the time interval you still seem to have the freedom to interfere with the future interaction. So you have to invoke “no free will” and other maneuvers to avoid that. My suggestion, in contrast, is much simpler: Just as there is a confirmation wave, there should be a rejection wave which accounts for non-clicks.This makes TI compatible with Becoming.
More will follow shortly.
Yours, Avshalom

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