Reply To: God knows where all the particles are!


OK, yes, let’s wrap up. I appreciate your comments and they actually help me understand your view better. But I guess I would have to summarize by saying two things. One, you’re making a big fuss (as Dustin already pointed out) about the kinds of things (like schematic treatments of pointers and associated implied decoherence assumptions) that any quantum mechanical treatment of these issues will have to involve, at least for the forseeable future. Sure, we can all agree that it would be nice to have more realistic quantum mechanical treatments of macroscopic objects, with certain qualitative (but strongly motivated) assumptions about decoherence, etc., replaced by hard theorems. But it seems silly to me to think that there is going to be any kind of fundamental surprise here, and also silly to act as if these sorts of things are somehow uniquely or especially problematic for Bohm’s theory. And then two: it seems that the things that, in my opinion, Bohm’s theory does genuinely add to more orthodox treatments, you basically just dismiss with a shrug, on the grounds that, for you, the alleged problems that these alleged advances allegedly address, were never actually problems in the first place. I’m thinking here in particular of your remark that “operational QM does not have a measurement problem”. In so far as that’s true, it can only be true because what you mean by “operational QM” literally involves no attempt whatsoever to say what is actually going on physically in the quantum world. And to me it is just an expression of a very boring and stale and unscientific philosophy (think Osiander here), rather than some kind of insightful criticism of Bohm’s theory, to say that you elude all the problems that supposedly plague Bohmian mechanics simply by refusing to even try to aim at providing a realistic description. That’s not deep and it’s not insightful… it’s just a “betray[al of] the great enterprise”.

Anyway, that’s how I see things after this interesting exchange. Thanks again for your participation and, it being your thread, I think you should get the last word if you want it.

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