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science = determinism? (Schrodinger: algorithm or phenomena?)

Peter da Silva peter at abbnm.com
Fri Nov 26 23:12:34 EST 1999

In article <ey3vh6oiyse.fsf at lostwithiel.tfeb.org>,
Tim Bradshaw  <tfb at tfeb.org> wrote:
> * Peter da Silva wrote:
> > At some point I suspect that they're going to decide that causality
> > violations are the simplest solution.

> I doubt this.  Causality violation is absolutely toxic, in the sense
> that if you have a causality violation you basically have no laws at
> all -- or alternatively any rules you want!

They used to think the same thing about negative numbers, and irrational
numbers. We're already secure with the rules breaking down at one kind of
singularity, and there's even a mechanism by which that singularity can
be exposed... I see no reason why a limited singularity in *time*, with
limits on its range, can't be similarly accepted.

People don't like singularities, but they can work around them.

For example, the causality violations implied by FTL travel are still
perfectly capable of being described by space-time diagrams. You don't get
a situation where *anything* can happen, you just get a more complex model
of time. The sort of total collapse of *everything* is no closer in these
thought experiments than the "possible but unlikely" situations in QM where
(for example) all the air molecules in the room accidentally end up in the
corner and everyone suffocates.

It's *possible*, but you neglect that case in your calculations because it's
so fundamentally unlikely.

In hoc signo hack, Peter da Silva <peter at baileynm.com>
 `-_-'   Ar rug tú barróg ar do mhactíre inniu? 
  'U`    "And now, little kittens, we're going to run across red-hot
	  motherboards, with our bare feet." -- Buzh.

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