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This would help explain A LOT

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitalism

A number of physicists began to advocate vitalism. Niels Bohr was one of the first to suggest that special laws not found in inanimate matter might operate in organisms. He thought of these laws as analogous to the laws of physics except for their being restricted to organisms. Erwin Schrödinger supported similar ideas, as well as the physicists Walter M. Elsasser and Eugene Wigner.[25]

Physicists by day, superstitious kooks by night.
 I have a constant obsession that I will drop dead while working on a problem and not finish it. This leads to a compulsion to post whatever half-baked level of thought I have at the moment, so at least that won’t be lost. It used to be much worse.

That this is due to my fear of leaving an unfinished problem, due to death, is a clarifying insight after many years of self-observation. By that I mean this explanation for the compulsion may actually be correct.

Misfortune

Unfortunately, if I get this right, I still won’t write a paper, due to my disability. I’ll just make a summary available to people who can write papers. We could use more laypeople writing scientific papers, though.

The difficult part, which I have not seen done by anyone, is how to make correlation due to phase more intuitive without forcing the reader to revert to the mind-picture of a classical field. Little known may be that it is insufficient to produce the right numbers; you must convince with geometry. This goes against the romantic picture of ‘self-correcting’ science; the force of your argument depends on how you speak.

My brain pain, and my back pain

Hofer’s argument in geometric algebra can be more intuitively given in the conformal model of space and by using coordinate systems less. Also his presentation uses questionable (though probably not uncommon) GA terminology and has at least two ‘shortcuts’ given without explanation. I plan to reformulate, as soon as I figure out one or two things. Well, really, it’s how best to fill in one of those shortcuts.

Meanwhile I have back spasm. Not fun.

On the other hand, the burn on my arm seems to be healing.

Feynman

BTW I imagine the late Dr. Feynman as one of the majority of physicists who don’t understand QM but also don’t care enough to worry about it. I saw some of his lecture statements today and they were of the ‘I don’t understand this and don’t think anyone does’ variety, without any ideology laden upon that. Also his own contributions to physics are renowned for their contrived character and desire mainly to get the answer as easily as possible, from what I have read.

As so often is the case, it’s the philosophers we really have to worry about. (For this dispute, their main technique is Special Pleading. I think d’Espagnat was illustrating the method at its finest, though for some reason he wrote in florid free verse.)

Hypothesis confirmed

I was curious to verify my prediction that the author of the postmodern poetry at http://arxiv.org/pdf/quant-ph/0302167 would be a kook, and was not disappointed: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernard_d%27Espagnat

What I did not predict was that he would be a kook of a little stature, who has even been published in Supersticious American.

( :) I unsubbed from Scientific American many years ago, having tired of its ‘balanced journalism’, ‘he said, she said’. Have they reformed, or by now are they publishing ‘Intelligent Design’ articles to balance out the paleontology reports?)

Surprise, surprise!

I had been trying to remember who it was, and when I found him again (http://www.liv.ac.uk/~whofer/) it turned out he too recently used geometric algebra to make an argument against ‘non-locality’.

This actually shouldn’t surprise me, even though it does; geometric algebra is increasingly popular in physics as a substitute for the vector algebra we used when I was in school. (Whether GA has made inroads in the electromagnetic engineering field [pun intended] I do not know.)

Looking over Joy Christian’s paper, I see she seems to give Bell’s ambiguous notations a different reading that IMO does not apply to his Lyons-Lille example, so IMO probably she is reading them incorrectly, or alternatively the Lyons-Lille example was a poorly devised analog for his argument about EPR. (Bell wrote several papers, sometimes using very poor notation.) But that would merely change where the math error manifests, given that no matter how you read Bell he arrives at the wrong result. She’s going to argue (I peeked ahead) that he assumed the products of functions of the ‘hidden variables’ in the ‘local’ theory had to be commutative.

Hofer’s article looks more interesting, because it seems he’s actually claiming something like a new interpretation for the quantum mechanics; he seems to be blaming Bell’s error on discounting a phase component (in the ‘local realistic’ case) because in QM it was represented by imaginary numbers. In geometric algebra it can be represented by real numbers and given a visualizable geometric interpretation.

Wish me luck.
See http://arxiv.org/abs/quant-ph/0703179.  The math in it is geometric algebra, which I happen to be working with at the moment anyway, so it is fresh in my mind. Therefore, it is a good time for me to read this paper, especially as I am in a programming rut (partly due to migraine).

One type of response to this kind of argument is that it doesn’t strive to provide a model for that actual experiment. This response is entirely irrelevant, though it is understandable how it would appeal to physicists. If you write a simulation, for instance, it is necessary not only that the simulation disprove the argument, but that it look as much like the published experiments as possible. Thus we have papers like this one: http://arxiv.org/abs/quant-ph/0105034

(An error in application of Bayes’ rule is just one of the ways the problem can be characterized, and happens to be the first on record and probably the one most accessible to non-specialists. Lots of people know probability theory, and some of them actually trust it to give the right answers if you strictly follow its rules.)

Watching Mister Ed

I am not the biggest advocate of television, but watching Mister Ed is a far superior use of one’s time than speculating on the philosophy of a brain in a vat. That horse hasn’t seen a mitzvah he can’t violate and try to make up for later.

(It is an obvious fact that every healthy, living brain already is in exactly the type of vat that would be necessary! Just do scientific research, and refer the philosophers to a psychiatrist.)

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