other pages where time travel is discussed
I am going to talk about Time Travel. But, before I get to that most mysterious of subjects, there is some groundwork that must be dealt with first. This will be a series of notes that will appear at this place on the Web, one section at a time. I will add new stuff as often as I can, so that, little by little, there will be more and more until we get into the fun part, so please be patient. It is not a subject that can be rushed. The point is that I have little time. I have my work, I have my research, and also I am looking for avenues that will enable me to change from research in "recognized areas" to the "leading edge new problems" - and this involves seeking out those who are willing to finance the work necessary to develop completely new science and technologies. Thus, I simply cannot devote to these pages as much time as I would otherwise like. Nevertheless I feel it as a kind of an imperative, or duty, to work on this project - even if the tempo of new material arriving on the net will be slow and unequal....
The purpose of writing these notes and making them available through the Web is twofold:
1) I want to provide the non-expert Reader with first- hand information about the present state and possible future development of theoretical physics - mainly in relation to the material provided in the Cassiopaean sessions , but also to make comments on information from other "mysterious" sources - all through the ages.
2) I want to get as much feed-back as possible concerning all kinds of problems and questions discussed in these notes. I will appreciate all kinds of information, sharing of ideas or just receiving questions concerning topics that are not sufficiently (or not at all) discussed here.
A little about myself: I am a theoretical/mathematical physicist. For those interested in credentials - my data , curriculum vitae and list of publications are available through the Internet, at this website and others.
This being said I owe you, dear Reader, a warning and an explanation. I am considered to be AN EXPERT, but many of my views are not shared by other experts. I believe that my mind is more open than the minds of many of my colleagues. On the other hand, some of these colleagues believe that my mind is TOO open. So I have to hide from them many of my beliefs and not speak to them about a lot of things that I know. In this way I can publish papers in mainstream journals, speak at conferences, organize conferences and have a pretty good reputation. But to preserve this reputation I need to be very careful - just making a hint here and there that what I do publish is not all that I would like to tell....
I think I really need to tell you these things so that you will NOT get an erroneous idea that all physicists are of the same opinion. They are not. University physics is pretty conservative - which is not a bad attitude at all. We do need to be conservative - this distinguishes science from poetry and daydreaming. But, being too conservative has, in the past, been a great barrier and hindrance to scientific revolutions. If being conservative and "scientific" was the only correct approach, then we would have solved all the mysteries of our existence in the past several hundred years of the "age of science!" The truth is: we are only at the beginning.
But, perhaps I AM too open minded.... Perhaps my colleagues are right in being skeptical about anything that is not "established science." I try to keep an open mind about THAT, as well!
What I want do on these pages is be open-minded and yet conservative. That is, all I write here will be presented in a moderate and conservative mode. Moreover, as you can see for yourself on my other web pages, I am of the opinion that physics must be always based on mathematics - the only reliable tool and a truly universal language. Without math we can talk about many things - but we are just TALKING. It is not yet science! And even if I believe that the domain of physics needs to be essentially extended, that it has to connect with - or even embrace - biology and psychology - that it has to become much less "physical" - it does not mean it needs to become less precise!
But still, no amount of math can take the place of the right inspiration. The study of physics consists in peeling away the layers of the outside appearances of things to reveal their hidden nature and meaning, and very often this inner nature is so deep and hidden that only mathematics can describe it. But, if there is no inspiration as to what might be the objective of the search, the peeling away process might end up being rather like an onion - when the layers are all gone, there is no longer anything there!
The new physics needs to be based on math - to an even greater degree than the old physics. It will be a new math, sure, but it will a rigorous math - a math of equations and algorithms and probabilities - a nonlinear math of complex structures and of transitions between these structures. The math of today is difficult and abstract, and the math of tomorrow might be yet more difficult to grasp, even if our computers will be able to do more and more of the abstract work for us. On the other hand, the new math may be incredibly simple and elegant - this could be the reason it has eluded the understanding of physicists today - that the most abstract of ideas are concealed behind a veil of utter, simple logic. This is why professional training is so important: it gives us tools, it teaches us the rigor of abstract thinking, it teaches us the logic of proving assertions, and it shows us the limits and uncertainties of mathematics itself. As we know from Bertrand Russell and Kurt Goedel: math has its paradoxes too!
Let me, first of all, share with you my views on the state of physics today. More on this subject can be found in my lecture Bioelectronics As Seen by a Theoretical Physicist. Even though this lecture was given at a bioelectronics symposium more than ten years ago, nothing really has changed since that time, and part of the predictions given there have already come true, so I am only repeating here much of what I said then. (I plan to post this entire lecture as soon as the translation is complete.)
Physics is what physicists do. And physicists do what they are paid to do. This is one of the reasons why so many of the brightest minds work on a short-time-scale reward basis, doing what is fashionable at a given time. This is the main reason why there is no progress at all in the fundamental areas. The clash between Einstein's relativity theories - which describe classical gravity at macro-scales, and Bohr-Dirac-Heisenberg-Schroedinger quantum theories, providing phenomenology of micro-phenomena, - this clash is today even more dark and scary than it was seventy years ago.
There is no real progress.
Quantum Theory is supposed to be the greatest invention in science since the beginning of the study of deeper realities. The greatest success of Quantum Theory is considered to be Quantum Field Theory, such as the theory of a quantized electromagnetic field (photons) in interaction with quantized charged matter (electrons). The problem is, this theory is mathematically inconsistent. It involves wishful thinking rather than rigorous science! The only quantum field theories (in four dimensional space-time) that ARE free of contradictions, are so-called trivial ones; that is theories that describe particles that do not interact at all. These theories are mathematical exercises involving particles that are "dead," that will never form atoms. It seems to be that a universe that is governed by quantum field theories that are free of contradictions would be a dead universe, a universe of no interaction.
One can build a non-trivial quantum field theory, which may even describe something real or interesting, but then it would necessarily contradict Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity; it would be a non-relativistic one.
This is the dilemma. If you want to have both Quantum Field Theory AND Einstein's Theory of Relativity, then you've got a problem.
Thus, nontrivial relativistic quantum field theories in four space-time dimensions are divergent - they lead to infinities, and are mathematically inconsistent. Searching for the cure in fancy formal math (supersymmetry, superstrings, quantum groups) just does not work. New - fundamentally new - ideas are needed. Quantum theory is not understood at all - everyone is trying to "cook" by "changing" the recipes to suit the ingredients they have on hand, and this very often results in "Rock Soup."
Part of the present-day problem is that Niels Bohr succeeded in molding the minds of so many theoretical physicists into the "no need to understand" mode and this has done a great disservice to the science, the new generations of scientists, and most of all, to humanity. In this day and time, it could be said, that we more desperately need to understand the Order of the Universe than ever before!
Yet there is hope. There are areas, even in the "recognized physics" where NEW is still possible. And, it is possible because more and more physicists understand how little they understand about quantum theory. Physicists are realizing, little by little, that even in such established areas as macroscopic electrodynamics there are problems that need major new rethinking: railguns, exploding wire arcs, sonoluminescence, present us with problems that are not easily answered within the standard paradigm and need, perhaps, a major re-thinking of the foundations.
Some of the problems are that we do not really understand the physics of conductivity and superconductivity. We realize that macroscopic quantum effects are more common than we ever thought. Sure, it is evident to everyone who goes to Circuit City that technology is progressing pretty fast in these areas; but the same cannot be said about our understanding!
What about gravitational physics?
Many of the important questions are still unanswered. The old Mach principle is still a subject of serious debate and we do not know what to do with singularities like black holes. They badly need quantum physics, but, once again, quantum physics becomes inconsistent when married with gravity. So we really do not know where we are.
We do not know if gravity is a fundamental force or, perhaps, it is a collective and composite phenomenon. Some physicists want to explain electromagnetism in terms of gravity. Others want to derive gravity from electromagnetism.
There is a lot of talk about antigravity or gravity shielding at the most fundamental levels and perhaps "antigravity" or gravity shielding is a real effect? No one can agree, and little progress is being made except to disagree. You would be amazed at the battles that rage in the ivory towers of academia!
We do not even know (at least not from textbooks or physics journals) if antimatter is attracted or repelled by matter. Perhaps tachyons - particles travelling faster than light - do exist? Perhaps space-time can have causal loops and telephoning into the past is possible? Perhaps quantum tunneling phenomena involves sending information faster than light? Perhaps magnetic monopoles exist and play an important role in biological systems? Or, perhaps, the fifth dimension is more than just a mathematical device of providing a unified description of gravity and electromagnetism?
All these topics ARE discussed in professional journals, but with no conclusion, no agreement, no cigar.
Too much research is in "safe" areas - producing nothing but "papers." The truth is that, Physicists, to make their living, must produce papers, must be "quoted;" and so they quote each other; colleagues quote colleagues and produce graduate students who quote their masters, after which they become masters, quoting each other, and producing graduate students who quote them, in an endless cycle of life in the aforementioned ivory towers.
And this is not something unique in physics. Not at all! It is true in other fields of study, too. But in physics the results are really bad: there has been no apparent progress in our understanding of Nature for seventy long years.... And nature REALLY needs to be understood, because things are getting a little out of hand out there in the "real" world.
Well, perhaps it is not THAT bad!
We all know that there is a lot of progress in certain areas, especially in technology based on quantum physics. We also know that certain areas are so sensitive that any progress therein is so closely monitored that it hardly finds its way to journal pages. And also, it is the physicists who have more open minds than others that move to new, interdisciplinary, areas of research, putting pieces of the puzzle together, blazing some isolated new trails for others. So, perhaps, after all, it is not THAT bad?
Well, I think it is bad enough. But, as Bertrand Russell pointed out ,
This is what "they" declare : that "they" - The Cassiopaeans - 6th density Unified Thought Form Beings of Light - are us in the future. What a bizarre concept. Or is it?
Is that possible? Can such a statement find a place in accepted theories? Or it is in an evident contradiction with everything that we - that is, physicists - know about Nature and its laws?
Putting aside for the moment the issue of whether existence in a pure state of consciousness is possible, is travelling in time possible, even if only in theory? Is sending and receiving information from the future or sending information into the past allowed by our present theories of relativity and quantum mechanics? If information can be sent, does this also imply that physical matter can be "sent," via some sort of TransDimensional Remolecularization? And if so what are the laws, what are the restrictions? What are the means?
Well, frankly speaking, we do not know, but we may have a clue. Kurt Goedel, after he became famous for his work on foundations of mathematics, went on to study the Einstein general theory of relativity and made an important contribution to physics: he discovered a class of otherwise reasonable cosmological solutions of Einstein equations - except for one point: they contained causal loops!
At first these Causal Loops were dismissed by relativists as being "too crazy". The arguments against these model universes even became rather personal, commenting upon the state of mind of the inventor! (A not terribly unusual phenomenon in the heated debates within so-called "ivory towers" of academia.)
A "Causal Loop" means the same thing as "Time Loop." It can be described as going into the future and ending up where you started at the original time and place. It is called "Causal" because, in Einstein's Theory of Relativity, Time is a relative concept and different observers can experience Time differently, so the term "causal" is used to avoid using the term "time."
But, little by little, it was realized that causal - or Time - loops CAN appear in other solutions of Einstein equations as well - usually they correspond to some kind of "rotation" of the universe.
Causal loops make time travel not only possible, but probable. But then, causal loops lead to unacceptable logical paradoxes, and physics does not like such paradoxes at all - they are a serious problem!
But, the subject of communicating with the past or receiving information from the future IS being discussed in physics even in terms of the flat, not-curved-at-all space-time of Lorentz and Minkowski. Hypothetical faster-than-light particles - tachyons - can serve as the communication means. They make an "anti-telephone" - a telephone into the past - possible.
But do tachyons exist? Or CAN they exist?
Well, that is still a question that has not been answered definitively for some.
And, the truth is that paradoxes must never be ignored. They always indicate that some important lesson is to be learned; that some essential improvement or change is necessary. The same holds true for the paradoxes involved in the idea of receiving information from the future. We cannot simply go back into Saturday and tell ourselves the winning lottery numbers of Sunday. If this were possible, then it should also be possible for some future, future, self to tell a future self NOT to tell! Thus we have a paradox: we, in the future, have intervened into the past making our communication from the future impossible!
A paradox: if we communicated, we have not communicated, and if we do not communicate, then we have communicated! Impossible in a linear, non-branching universe!
Is there a possible escape from the paradox, an escape that leaves a door open, even if only a little - for our anti-telephone?
Indeed, there is, and not just one, but several ways out.
First of all - the evident paradox disappears if we admit the possibility that the communication channels are inherently noisy; that is a normal situation when we deal with quantum phenomena. So, if the communication into the past is a quantum effect - we are saved from evident paradoxes. Quantum Theory can be useful!
Sending a signal into the past, we are never 100% sure if the message will be delivered without distortion. And conversely, receiving info from the future we are never 100% sure if this comes from an authentic broadcast or is a spontaneous and random creation of the receiving end. If this is the case, and if certain quantitative, information - that is, theoretic relations between receiving and transmitting ends are secured to hold - then there are no more paradoxes even with reasonably efficient information channels.
In other words: there CAN be broadcasts from the future to the past, but there will be few "receivers," and of those few, even fewer that are properly tuned. And even those that are properly tuned may be subject to "static." Even if there is no static, those receivers that can receive pure information will experience the static of "non-belief" and distortion after the fact.
There is also another aspect of such an information transfer which is that the probabilities involved are connected with a CHOICE EVENT; with the choosing of one among many possible futures.
It may happen that branching of the universe corresponds to each such event. Branching of the universe into an infinite tree of decisions has been discussed within quantum measurement theory - it even has the name of "Many Worlds interpretation of quantum theory."
Two of the well-known physicists who consider the many worlds interpretation more than just an exercise in theorizing are John Archibald Wheeler and David Deutsch and you may wish to obtain their books for a deeper understanding.
The Many Worlds Interpretation has one serious weakness: it has no built in algorithm for providing the timing of the branchings. Thus it is a certain framework rather than a complete theory.
There is, however, a theory that fills in this gap in the Many Worlds Interpretation - and this theory I know quite well, and in fact I know it better than most others for the simple reason that I developed it in collaboration with Philippe Blanchard (University of Bielefeld ) in the last six or so years as an integral part of the Quantum Future Project. It is called Event Enhanced Quantum Theory (EEQT for short notation). (A complete list of references and much more info on this subject can be found on my "Quantum Future " project page).
The fact that our generally accepted theories of the present do not prevent us from thinking that time travel is, perhaps, possible, does not necessarily imply that we do know how to build the time machine!
On the other hand, it is perhaps possible that the time machine already exists and is in use, even if we do not understand the principle of its work, because it goes much too far beyond our present theoretical and conceptual framework. It is also possible that some of the machines we think are serving a totally different purpose do, in fact, act as time machines. Many things are possible...
Now, back to superluminal communication, or "channelling" in general and the Cassiopaeans in particular: the fact that sending information into the past is possible does not necessarily imply that any information that pretends to be sent from the future is such indeed!
But, if we generally accept that extraterrestrial life is possible, and we use all of our knowledge and resources to search for life beyond our Earth, then we also need to include the understanding that receiving information from the future is equally possible. With this perspective, science should search for any traces of such information.
But, what kind of information channels are to be monitored in search of such broadcasts? What kind of antenna arrays do we need? How must we direct them into a particular "future time"? Say, into the year 3000? Or 30,000? Or 300,001?
My answer is: nothing like that is necessary. All that we need we already have, namely OUR MINDS.
And indeed, assuming that the knowledge and technology of the future is (or CAN BE) much more advanced than ours, then it is only natural that any broadcast from the future will be addressed directly into the mind.
Even today there are techniques of acting directly on our minds. They are not always used for our benefit; nevertheless they do exist. But if communications from the future are possible, why don't we receive these broadcasts on a daily basis? If our minds can serve as receivers, then why aren't we all aware of the transmissions?
This is a legitimate question and we will address it somewhat later as there is a more urgent topic to be addressed first: what PHYSICS has to say about MIND?
If You, the Reader, have your own point of view that supports or contradicts the view presented below - please let me know it. I do welcome any comment or suggestion.... So, feel free and e-mail me at: email@example.com .
Isn't "mind" a domain of philosophy, psychology and cognitive sciences?
Or, is mind just a function of a brain; and isn't the brain just a computing device?
There is no easy answer. There are a lot of interesting theories; a lot of controversy; a lot of "true believers" in this or that idea. There are "new age" physics books, Penrose bestsellers, Sarfatti's site on the internet, mail-lists and newsgroups discussing the subjects of MIND and CONSCIOUSNESS and so on.
I want to give here my own small perspective, based on my own research, my own experiences, my own conclusions.
First of all: why does it seem to me that I am qualified to discuss the subject?
The answer is pretty simple. The fact is, all my work on EEQT was directed toward one end: to make Quantum Theory as OBJECTIVE as possible; to eliminate any trace of "observer" from its (that is: Quantum Theory) dictionary; to formulate - reformulate - Quantum Theory in such a way that "observers" and "observables" and even "measurement" would be replaced by precise and totally objective concepts. I wanted to eliminate "Mind" entirely from the equation.
By doing this I was really pursuing John Bell's programme - a programme that he did not have enough time to carry out to a conclusion due to his untimely death - a crusade to discover an exact mathematical formulation describing both micro and macro phenomena so as to produce either a real synthesis of quantum and relativity theories, or to be able to construct a viable alternative to one or both of them. You might want to have a look at his published book Speakable and Unspeakable in Quantum Theory, and also his papers Against Measurement and Towards exact quantum mechanics.
Our theory, EEQT, was presented at the conference "Quantum Theory Without Observers", held in Bielefeld, Germany, in July 1995. (Those of you who wish to go deeper can read a review of this subject from the point of view of Bohmian Mechanics: the recent paper by Sheldon Goldstein at Rutgers.) Our presentation was accompanied by a computer simulation of a run of a "measuring device" coupled to an individual quantum system. Our Event Generating Algorithm produced a sequence of "clicks" that were accompanying "quantum jumps" - without any intervention of an "observer". Moreover, the standard "quantum measurement postulates" can be derived from EEQT's "objective algorithm." In our papers - see the bibliography - we have stressed repeatedly that "mind" and "consciousness" and "observer" are not needed by quantum theory. Quantum physics can do without these concepts!
So, you see, I AM qualified to discuss the problems of mind and consciousness and their importance to physics - because I spent years trying to get rid of them!
Did I succeed?
Yes and no. My views started to shift after having an extensive discussion with H.P. Stapp. (You can easily find links to some of his papers available through the internet via the Sarfatti link , but you can also try to read his other papers, especially his most recent paper - for the X-th Max Born Symposium "Quantum Future" that we (Philippe and myself) organized, in Wroclaw September, 1997 - the paper is available from his site at LBNL. Stapp has published a book Mind, Matter and Quantum Mechanics - a collection of his papers on the subject.)
In a long series of e-mails, I tried to convince him that quantum theory does not need "mind" or "observer" - at least not any more than any other branch of physics. He insisted that it is MIND that is responsible for all that HAPPENS. It is MIND that is responsible for each and every final act of reduction of the "wave packet," for each and every "event," for each and every "quantum jump." And he pointed out the weakest place in our new quantum measurement theory (EEQT), namely: our theory worked well at the "phenomenological level" but could not aspire to become a "fundamental theory." Indeed, our theory assumed that a part of the world is "non-quantum," a part of the world had to remain "classical;" and it was this part that was surely related to the measuring device, to "perception," to "mind."
We could not find anything else in all of physics that would have to remain classical, unquantized.
So, willy-nilly, I started to study Stapp's papers again - but now with a more positive attitude; namely, with the idea of applying the powerful mathematical machinery of EEQT to the Mind-Matter interface. But this is another story; it is part of the current Quantum Future Project.
Speaking of the "Mind," we - physicists - do not know where or how to put it into our equations. Some of us deny that such a necessity exists. Klaus Hepp at ETH Zurich, for instance - one of the best mathematical physicists some twenty years ago - became totally engaged in brain research. He believes neurophysiology has a beautiful and promising future and, after we learn more and more about the functioning of the nervous system, the necessity of using the term "mind" will become less and less requisite - the understanding of the workings of the physical structure will obviate the necessity for looking outside physiology for an abstract, non-physical "entity."
On the other hand, Nobel Laureate John Eccles believed that there is more than just one "physical world". In Self and its Brain, co-authored by Karl Popper, we find an extensive discussion of three different WORLDS; only one of them being the physical world that is studied by physics. The idea of the three different worlds, World I, II and III - belongs to Popper rather than Eccles, but Eccles is sympathetic to the idea, and the title of his other little book, " How the Self Controls its Brain " is suggestive by itself. The book reproduces his paper, co-authored with a German physicist, F. Beck, Quantum Aspects of Brain Activity and the Role of Consciousness . Well, in my own opinion the paper is rather speculative and inconclusive, but its very existence gives us some idea about the debates in which physicists and neurologists (but also the artificial intelligence community) are engaged about "mind," and whether it is a physical artifact or a pre-existent state of consciousness.
Much of this discussion can also be found on the internet - you may like to visit quantum-d archives . This list, VERY active at one time, has become quiet lately. But it has seen lot of hot discussions - especially concerning the Penrose-Hameroff ideas about making gravity and microtubules responsible for all the fantastic deeds of the consciousness.
A lot can be said about this Penrose-Hameroff theory. It has been criticized by many, and some of this critique is expected to appear in the proceedings of the "Quantum Future" symposium mentioned above . It is not my intention to discuss this topic here as it would become too ponderous and lengthy.
Let me just say this: I do believe that gravity is the most fundamental of all interactions; I do believe that it is related to consciousness and quantum phenomena, but I do not think that the Penrose-Hameroff theory is a step forward. Even so, I enjoy reading the books by Roger Penrose. I enjoy them and - at the same time - they induce sad feelings in my heart... How is it possible that having such bright minds, such nice ideas - we understand so little, the progress of our understanding is so slow - if there is any progress at all!
Summing up: even if we are not yet 100% sure that mind and consciousness must be included into a consistent scheme of quantum theory, my own work toward elimination of these concepts has shown me, at least, the limitations of "pure physical" theories.
Thus, at present, I am searching for ways to integrate mind and consciousness into physics - be it on the basis of an extended EEQT algorithm, or some other, more radical approach.
We need now to return to our question: if communications from the future are possible, why don't we receive these broadcasts on a daily basis?
If our minds can serve as receivers, then why aren't we all aware of the transmissions?
I think that the answer has to do with multiple realities and branching universes, and perhaps any civilization which would receive messages from the future on a daily basis has ceased to exist because communication through time is a very dangerous game. You produce paradoxes and these paradoxes remove the paradoxical universes from the repository of possible universes; if you create a universe with paradoxes, it destroys itself either completely or partially. Perhaps just intelligence is removed from this universe because it is intelligence that creates paradox. Perhaps we are very fortunate that even if we can receive some of these messages from the future, we still continue to exist.
Suppose our civilization were to advance to the point where everyone can communicate with themselves in the past; they have a computer with a special program and peripheral device that does this. It becomes the latest fad: everyone is communicating with themselves in the past to warn of dangers or upcoming calamities or bad choices, or to give lottery numbers or winning horses. But, what is seen as a "bad choice" or "calamity" for one, could be seen to be a "good event" or "benefit" to someone else!
So, the next step would be that "hackers" would begin to break into the systems and send false communications into the past to deliberately create bad choices and calamities for some in order to produce benefits for themselves or others.
Then, the first individual would see that false information has been sent and would go into their system and go back even earlier to warn themselves that false information was going to be sent back by an "imposter" and how to tell that it was false.
Then the hacker would see this, and go back in time to an even earlier moment and give false information that someone was going to send false information (that was really true) that false information (that was really false) was going to be sent, thereby confusing the issue.
This process could go on endlessly with constant and repeated communications into the past, one contradicting the other, one signal cancelling out the other, with the result that it would be exactly the same as if there were NO communication into the past!
There is, also, the very interesting possiblity that the above scenario IS exactly what is taking place in our world.
It is also possible that, whenever a civilization comes to the point that it can manipulate the past and thereby change the present, it would most probably destroy itself, and probably its "branch" of the universe, unless there comes a cataclysmic event before this happens which would act as a kind of "control system" or way of reducing the technological possibilities to zero again, thus obviating the potentials of universal chaos. In this way, cataclysmic events could be a sort of preventive or pre-emptive strike against such manipulations, and may, in fact, be the result of engineered actions of benevolent selves in the future who see the dangers of communicating with ourselves in the past!
So, the probability is this: if there IS communication from the future, it MAY, in fact, be constantly received by each and every one of us as an ongoing barrage of lies mixed with truth. Thus, the problem becomes more than just "tuning" to a narrow band signal, because clearly the hackers can imitate the signal and have become VERY clever in delivering their lies disguised as "warm and fuzzy" truths; the problem becomes an altogether different proposition of believing nothing and ACTING as though EVERYTHING is misleading, gathering data from all quarters, and then making the most INFORMED choice possible with full realization that it may be in error!
What is important here is this: we can't prevent hackers from hacking. But, what we can do is make every effort to prevent them from hacking into OUR systems by erecting barriers of knowledge and awareness. Hackers are always looking for an "easy hack," (except for those few who really LIKE a challenge), and will back away as you make your system more and more secure.
How do you make your computer (or yourself) immune to hackers?
It is never 100% secure, but if all preventative measures are taken, and we constantly observe for the signs of hackers - system disruption, loss of "memory," or energy, damaged files, things that don't "fit," that are "out of context," - we can reduce the possiblity of hacking. But, we can only do this if we are AWARE of hackers; if we KNOW that they will attempt to break into our system in the guise of a "normal" file, or even an operating system or program that promises to "organize" our data for greater efficiency and ease of function or "user friendliness," while at the same time, acting as a massive drain on our energy and resources - RAM and hard drive.
As a humorous sidenote: we could think of Windows Operating system as the "ultimate hacker from the future" who, disguised as a sheep, is a wolf devouring our hard disk and RAM, and sending our files to God only knows where every time we connect via the internet!
And of course, there are viruses. Whenever we insert a floppy disk or CD into our computer, we risk infection by virii which can, slowly or rapidly, distort or destroy ALL the information on our computer, prevent ANY peripheral functions, and even "wipe" the hard disk of all files to replace them with endless replications of the viral nonsense.
The human analogy to this is the many religions and "belief" systems that have been "programmed" into our cultures, and our very lives, via endless "Prophet/God" programs, replacing, bit by bit, our own thinking with the "dogma and doctrines of the faith."
Enough of the computer analogies. I think that the reader can imagine any number of variations on the theme and come to an understanding of how vulnerable we are to "disinformation" in the guise of truth from either the future, the past, or the present.
Before entering into the next subject - the Anthropic Principle and its ramification - let me first make some comments concerning some peculiar recent developments on my personal plane. I want to talk about these things, because they bear a direct relation to these pages.
In 1998 I removed all my web pages, mostly dealing with the Quantum Future project, from the web server at my home institution .
Because a colleague and director of the institute there decided that I must not link my Quantum Future pages to this particular subject that you are reading now.
For what reason?
Let me quote him: "You may have your personal views on quantum mechanics, but your personal views concerning the question of who or what are the Cassiopaeans should not be found on the Institute's page, similar to your personal views concerning Snow White."
He even forbade placing any - even indirect - link to related subjects!
I wrote him back that "my personal view on quantum theory is such that one must not ignore the question that, if transmissions from the future are possible, can the Cassiopaean transmissions be investigated from this point of view?"
Apparently the very thought about time loops and their possible consequences scares SOME "serious scientists" to death; their brains start to shake like jelly; they simply refuse to even discuss the problem; they ban it without any discussion.
Andrei Dmitrievich Sakharov, a Russian physicist who spent many years in the Siberian Gulag wrote: "Intellectual freedom is essential to human society... Freedom of thought is the only guarantee against an infection of people by mass myths, which, in the hands of treacherous hypocrites and demagogues, can be transformed into bloody dictatorships." (Progress, Coexistence, and Intellectual Freedom; secretly circulated in Moscow, 1968, tr. N.Y. Times, July 22, 1968)
Fortunately SOME physicists are open-minded. John Bell, David Deutsch, Henry Stapp, John Archibald Wheeler, Brian Josephson, Roger Penrose, all of them have put forward, at some point in time, their brilliant ideas and have blazed the trail for others.
A Physics News service to which I subscribe brought the following:
Number 360 February 25, 1998 by Phillip F. Schewe and Ben Stein ANTHROPIC COSMOLOGY. An anthropic argument is one which suggests that certain physical conditions, such as the oxygen content of the atmosphere or the Earth's distance from the Sun, are not inadvertently beneficial to intelligent life, but might actually be especially fine-tuned for life. This viewpoint has been slow to gain acceptance among scientists because anthropic logic seems to defy the arrow of time: was not the universe here long before man evolved? Yes, but there may be more than one universe (as some theories predict), or the universe we are in may have many domains, each with different physical parameters. And we would, according to these arguments, find ourselves in that domain that had just the right physics ingredients, just as cold-blooded reptiles thrive only in warm climates. Physicists at the Bartol Research Institute at the University of Delaware (contact Stephen Barr, 302-831-6883) and the University of Massachusetts (John Donoghue, 413-545- 1940) consider what the anthropic principle has to say not about atmospheric oxygen and Earth orbit, but about parameters of even more fundamental importance: the mass of the Higgs boson (the hypothetical particle that endows all other particles with mass), the cosmological constant (essentially the energy density of the universal vacuum), and the Planck mass (the energy scale---thought to prevail in the very early universe---associated with gravity, and the energy at which all known physical forces would have been equivalent). (V. Agrawal et al., Physical Review Letters, 2 March 1998.)
So, you see, physicists are discussing seriously what is called the "anthropic principle"... At least some physicists. Some others, (like my colleague JL, mentioned above), try to use whatever power they still have to ban such discussions. History repeats itself ... nihil novi under the sun.
But back to physics: we are on the Internet now, and we are free to discuss ALL implications of ALL things, (Well... up to a point, of course because, being responsible, we bear in mind that although "Knowledge Protects, Ignorance Endangers, " knowledge can also be used for evil purposes.)
I am not quite sure who invented the "anthropic principle" or who coined the term. I suspect it all started with Wheeler and Dyson. If you are interested in the subject, there is a book by Barrow and Tippler, The Anthropic Cosmological Principle . There is also a book by a well known relativist and cosmologist George Ellis, Before the Beginning . George Ellis is a well known relativist and cosmologist, past president of the International Society for General Relativity and Gravitation, a well known co-author (with Stephen Hawking) of "The Large Scale Structure of Space Time, " and Fellow of the University of Cape Town. You can also visit his home page at the Mathematics Department of UCT.
In Before the Beginning , Ellis discusses the "fine tuning" of the physical parameters of "our" universe, analyzes the apparent "coincidences" (if one of the several important parameters had a value even slightly different from the actual one, then life in such a universe would be impossible), and comes to the conclusion that there are five possible explanations for these parameters to be conducive to life: (for more about anthropic principle in general, and about George Ellis in particular see the files ellis.html , anthcoi.html , anthro8.html at Al Schroeder site.)
This material on the subject of the anthropic principle has been discussed at such length so that you will know that there IS a very deep issue in the study of physics which has not been solved no matter how many ways have been tried in approaching it. Now, once we know there IS some problem, once we know some physicists do feel somewhat uneasy without admitting it, let us see if we can add something new to all this discussion. Let us see how the problem relates to OUR problem, namely to the possible existence of - quoting from Cassiopaeans - "us in the future;" to the problems of time loops, time travel, branching universes and complexity of creation...
First of all I do not think that the "fine tuning" of physical parameters has anything to do with "an intelligent Creator." I do know that there are some - even many - people trying to use the facts of physics to "prove the existence of God." I do not think it is a good thing to do. It does no good - neither to Physics nor to God - the main reason being that, while Physics deals with, or at least tries to deal with, what is outside of us, the question of God is our internal question - to which the answer should be sought inside us. (If you are interested in my opinion on this subject, you can read the exchange that I had, on this subject, with Tom Elliot from Anchorage, Alaska).
Let us discuss the first four possibilities listed above.
"Pure chance" we can discard as being no explanation at all: the lazy way out. The "probabilities" in question are so small that we can safely discard the "pure chance" hypothesis.
The next in order: "greater probability despite the seeming unliklihood..."
Yes, indeed, there is such a possibility. Assigning probabilities is a tricky business. Thus it MAY happen that an event which, at present, seems to us be very unlikely, after the discovery of one new fact or relation that we were not aware of before, becomes not only likely, but also unavoidable.
Can it be the case with "fine tuning" of physical constants and parameters of our universe? In principle, YES, it can be so.... For instance if, and ONLY if, explanation 5 is the correct one! Thus, it is a circular argument.
Thus, let us move to the next possibility: "logical necessity."
Again, this is no explanation all. Indeed, why there should be any "logic" in the universe? The very fact that there ARE any laws of nature, the very fact that there IS logic itself, is already a puzzle.
And so, what remains is the "ensemble theory" - there are many universes.
We are just in one of them. Some of them are lifeless, some others are short-lived ones; no one will ever wonder about them, because they will never create any form of intelligence. And there are also some endowed with life forms - all kinds of life, the possibilities being endless.
This does look like a good start for an "explanation". Or better, as a good start for a path full of adventures and leading we-have-no-idea where.
And this is the path we have to travel. This path will force us to think in new categories; it will force us to open our minds to new ways of thinking - about ourselves, in particular, and about life in general.
Just to give a moderate example of where such a concept can lead, let me quote from " Life in the universe " by Peter Dunsby:
"[In a paper by Ellis and Brundrit (1979) they have developed] some of the consequences of spatially homogeneous universes with infinite spatial sections (as in the usual low density and critical density universe models). In any such universe, in a large enough volume not only is the probability of life unity, but the probability of existence of an identical being to each of us is also unity (because the genetic code is a finite code). But there are an infinity of such volumes in an infinite universe, so we should then each have an infinite set of identical twins - leading to the further implication that in this infinite set there should be some of our twins with arbitrarily close histories to ours .... and so on. The point here is that we often glibly talk about spatially infinite universe models, without really taking in the implications of that situation. This example makes clear how strange they can be."
And this excerpt makes clear how strange the science of physics can be!
So, is there extraterrestrial life in the Universe? Let us first quote from the "official sources."
(Note: as of August 11, 1999 this page is not accessible any longer, even if there is still a link.) "What is the U.S. government doing to investigate UFOs "; from NASA FAQ's page
At the same time NASA lists " Some Intriguing Emerging Physics ":
So, what we learn from these official sources is not much.
Perhaps extraterrestrial life exists, but it is not the business of NASA.
Perhaps time loops do exist, and NASA is even looking into the theories that deal with creating special space-time configurations (warp-drive, wormholes, tachyonic and negative matter generated gravity effects), but NASA is interested in these theories only from the point of view of building new efficient propulsion systems.
Is there anybody interested in other possible consequences of the new physics?
Perhaps. Perhaps these are privately funded organizations (like SETI). Perhaps, (and almost certainly), other government agencies that can finance more risky programs, with other goals in mind than just space travel.
And here we come to the point where I have to share with you my own position - position of an open-minded theoretical physicist. I consider myself open-minded enough to listen to everybody, but independent enough to make my own final judgements. After surfing through the net I have found that some of my views have already been spelled out by a somewhat kindred soul: the "theatrical physicist" (as he used to call himself), Jack Sarfatti. I share with him many of the same interests; we have some common friends and heroes whom we like to quote (David Bohm, David Deutsch, David Finkelstein, Henry Stapp), but apparently he is much more active in the business of public relations while I spend all my time on working and on active research.
So, what is my point of view?
First of all it seems to me, and in fact I am even pretty sure, that what we know, our present "science," is not even the tip of the iceberg of what might be known or maybe even what IS known in certain circles. We know very little and we understand even less. We are so much constrained in our perception, our thinking abilities, that we can see and process only one side of a multi-faceted reality; and even so, with a lot of distortion. Some of our concepts are pretty good and objective, some others are of poor quality and subjective. But even those that are sound and objective (like atoms, light, energy), even these are grasped by us only partially, with much more veiled from us due, it seems, to our own genetic restriction.
So, I think that Reality is multi-faceted and multi-leveled and we are consciously experiencing only one (or a few) of the existing levels and/or facets. The multi-leveled and multi-faceted Realit includes: many worlds, many realms, parallel and perpendicular universes, higher dimensions, higher levels of intelligence and of perception, and very likely a consciousness of which we cannot even conceive.
Some of these concepts have already been integrated into theoretical physics (many worlds, parallel universes, higher dimensions), and can be studied - at least theoretically - with mathematical rigor; while those dealing with mind, consciousness, intelligence, are yet to be integrated. Once that is done, once we admit and realize that that material existence is not all that can be thought of and dealt with using mathematical rigor - new vistas, new hopes and new goals will appear on the horizon. And by doing this, WE will take charge of the evolutionary development of life. BY doing this we will choose to obey our own call from the future. By doing this we will make real what is now only virtual.
I believe that the Universe has Purpose, that it is much like a computer program of great complexity, and that "we" - the IGUS-es - have a role in its evolution. For a while our role can be described simply as "debugging units." In short, my present answer to the question "why are we here?" reads: DEBUGGING THE UNIVERSE.
Universes without life, without feedback from the "observers" have only virtual existence, their future is closed; while "our" future, as well as the future of "our universe," is in my opinion, to large extent, OPEN.
The question of existence of other forms of life is, in particular, one of these tricky questions whose answers are "open". YOU, the Reader, can choose to live in a universe with a "no" answer, but you can also choose to live in a "yes" universe.
I am not saying the choice is going to be easy, or possible at all. Every choice needs an effort. The more important the choice, the more effort it needs. Without making this effort we are simply machines, and then the choices are being made for us - either by pure chance or by others.
So, what I am saying here relates, to some extent, to some of the ideas expanded in Jung's " Flying Saucers. A Modern Myth of Things Seen in the Skies ." Let me quote from an article by John Fraim :
[Bell 87] Bell, J. "Speakable and unspeakable in quantum mechanics", Cambridge University Press, 1987
[Bell 89] Bell, J. : "Towards an exact quantum mechanics", in "Themes in Contemporary Physics II. Essays in honor of Julian Schwinger's 70th birthday", Deser, S. , and Finkelstein, R. J. Ed. , World Scientific, Singapore 1989
[Bell 90] Bell, J. : "Against measurement", in "Sixty-Two Years of Uncertainty. Historical, Philosophical and Physical Inquiries into the Foundations of Quantum Mechanics", Proceedings of a NATO Advanced Study Institute, August 5-15, Erice, Ed. Arthur I. Miller, NATO ASI Series B vol. 226 , Plenum Press, New York 1990
[Eccles 77] Eccles, J., Popper, K.: "Self and its Brain", Springer , New York 1977
[Eccles 94] Eccles, J.C.: "How the Self Controls its Brain", Springer, Berlin 1994
[Ellis 73] Ellis, G., Hawking, S.: "The Large Scale Structure of Space-Time", Cambridge University Press, 1973
[Ellis 93] Ellis, G.: "Before the Beginning", Bowerdean/Marion Boyars, 1993.
[Gold97] Goldstein, S. : "Quantum Theory without Observers"
[Jung64] Jung, C.G.: "Flying Saucers. A Modern Myth of Things Seen in the Skies." Vol. 10 & 18. The Collected Works of C.G. Jung., Translated by R.F.C. Hull. Bollingen Series XX. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1964
[Stapp 93] Stapp, H.P.: "Mind, Matter and Quantum Mechanics", Springer Verlag, Berlin 1993
Last updated November 6, 1999
Last modified on: June 27, 2005.