Monday, 11 August 2008

VIRTUAL REALITY - (A Post In Which Miss Dreamy says not to worry - she doesn’t know what any of it means either...)

The language of physics is pre-eminently mathematical - the necessary foundation of all other enquiries. Speculation takes a new direction. Propositions become self-evident. Necessity precedes analysis. If therefore necessity anticipates and conditions thought, it is not perhaps surprising to find that when logic by its force or use of necessity precedes and conditions reality, reality should be seen to assimilate.

And that, precisely, is what I myself mean by virtual reality: the dynamic embodiment of a conclusive idea. The raw material of creative thought one might almost say, rather than a mere interpretative model of the universe. By the simplest possible definition, a particle, such as a photon, can suddenly come into existence out of nothing. Or, in terms of the simplest possible definitive case, the virtual particle
excludes all but the most pertinent aspects of objective reality and material fact. Though it would be rash to assume that such transitory particles - and not just photons, but electrons, protons and all the other ephemera of the
sub-nuclear domain - exist only in relation to the function they perform, we can
hardly doubt that the ‘participatory’ effect of intelligence plays its own
transforming part in the process.

It is true, most educated persons
already know, that owing to quantum indeterminacy, virtual particles can
materialize out of “empty” space as a matter of course. But it should also be
common knowledge by now that the mere mention of quantum indeterminacy implies a
recognition of the interdependence of matter and the pattern of scientific
knowledge thus envisaged. To their credit, scores of physicists treat
intelligence as the ultimate kinetic catalyst. Less imaginative, an “older”
tradition of constituent physics runs the risk of essentially treating
intelligence as the contingent consequence of material facts.

On this distinction, indeed, rests a substantial part of my case.

For the
traditionalist, in denying any participatory quality to quantum-mechanical
theories, and in proving them to be rooted in facts, does not fail to resurrect
a determinism which maintains that intelligence, being nothing more than the
rationalization of a predetermined design, is pure derivation and powerless to
alter the sequence of events. That is as it may be. But the utopia of modern
elementary particle physics has no difficulty in perceiving that virtual
propositions are contingent, perhaps, but not illusory; that they belong to the
conceptual, not the interpretative mode. That, even considered as virtual, it is
nevertheless perfectly proper to say they are ad hoc concept, connected to a
world of reality in a manner in which it becomes essential to the proper
appreciation of authenticity to realize that the inherent dynamism is not in the
thing but in the thought. For the truth is that even though human consciousness
is by no means fully engaged in the intangible details of the action, the
processes of thought are powerfully at work.

Created purposefully and
unmistakably by an idea, it does give the virtual universe a measure of
suggestion that tends to match up to the expectations, the imagery and the
vocabulary of the mind. For even dimensions so remote and inanimate - and that
does not mean illusory - that one is bound to reflect whether they have any
existence at all, do carry in their insignificance the seeds of further
innumerable universes...



Helen said...

So one shouldn't be concerned with low traffic at their blogspot, for even one visitor foretellls the existence of an entire continent? Whew! I was getting that falling tree in the forest feeling.

Selena Dreamy said...

Nicely put, Helen - clearly, you've grasped the principle of the thing.

(...and who said that women are retained only for their high ornamental value?!)

Crushed said...

Ultimately, the laws of thermodynamics imply determinism.

And I would argue an element of consiousness.

Intelligence? Well, I think the universe itself has evolved it, but it the begining it was no more than a primal consciousness driving inexorably to heat death.

Certainly, I think all partcles are basically photons engaged in different forms of dimemsional travels- as in massed partclies are basically high wave function photons trapped in a spacewarp.

One wonders how much longer the Virtual world can be considered vitual...

If we impart our consciousness into it...

mutleythedog said...

I for one cant perceive anything right now as I have drunk seven cans of white lightning....

Selena Dreamy said...

...and Mutley, darling, are you still watching Eastenders?

Stop that, at once!

Selena Dreamy said...

“One wonders how much longer the Virtual world can be considered vitual...”

Excellent point, Crushed.

Reality would not, of course, ultimately, remain a priori in a virtual sense of pre-perception (or logical necessity), but very much a posteriori, having involved the entire materializing function of knowledge...

Very broadly, this is what is sometimes referred to in physics as the weak cosmic censorship hypothesis - or the equivalent (in parapsychology) of being unable to prove the genesis of a “ghost”

Jonathan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jonathan said...

'For the
traditionalist.... does not fail to resurrect
a determinism which maintains that intelligence... is pure derivation and powerless to
alter the sequence of events.'

Exactly, though by traditionalist you mean pre-Quantum perspectivist? I guess you mean post Newton too..which in the larger picture, to me anyway, is still pretty modern.

Yeah it's jolly decent of science to reassure us of what we knew anyway..that our minds are independent of matter...or do I oversimplify in some sweepy way?

Selena Dreamy said...

...let me put it this way, Jonathan: “traditionalists” - by inventing invisible omniscience - are the ones who believe we are all creatures of some anthropomorphic authority who decrees we should go to church on Sundays and not have sex with strangers...

Jonathan said...

Aha..I thought you were talking about epistemological traditionalists (curious concept that that is).

How odd, firstly, to have changed the sabbath from saturday. Odd toor, for certain gentlemen to command other Ladies and Gentlemen regarding what to do with the intimate, private details of their unclothed lives. I would have thought a tactful dose of good advice would be more in line:)

....just thinking out loud, but unless you include sex with family members, everyone that anyone has ever had sex with was once a 'stranger'...well, as we understand the term.

Another thing: are you implying that modernistic relativists cannot in thmselves be tyrants and boots of bossiness?

Jonathan said...

How do you know that invisible omniscience is a purely invented quality?

Selena Dreamy said...

Good point, there, Jonathan - not, perhaps, invented so much as extracted from the subconscious of the species...

Jonathan said...

This implies to you (?) that this 'invisible omniscience' does not exist outside of or independently of - and prior to- mankind, yes? The we preceded it, that it derives only from us?...

God, it's nice to be back in this vividly coloured land...

..and for God's sake, be thankful for the rain!