Considering Alternatives to the Spacetime Model of Reality

Where do quantum observations "occur"? Do they occur within a 
four-dimensional structure (i.e., within spacetime)? 

We know that a brain in a vat can experience a 3D world "out there." But where exactly does this perceived, 3D world "exist"? (Does it exist somewhere "inside" a four-dimensional framework?)

As we know, the "spacetime" model (i.e., representation) of reality is very useful. However, when discussing consciousness and the strange "world" of mental phenomena, it might be more useful to consider alternative representations of reality.

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The Set-theoretical Model

How do the quantum observations of two people relate to one another?

Let us consider two individuals, Ann and Betty. In the spacetime model of reality, Ann's observations relate to Betty's observations in a particular way: Their observations are defined as "3D slices" of a common, 4D space (i.e., spacetime).(1)

In this article, I consider an alternative model of reality: The set-theoretical (ST) representation.(2) In the ST model, observations do not exist within a common physical space.

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Let us consider our observer Ann. During the course of her lifetime ("L(A)"), Ann perceives a succession of 3D images.

However, according to quantum theory, there are many alternative sequences of 3D images that she can observe over the period L(A).

Let the symbols a1, a2, a3, etc. represent these various sequences of 3D images. Together, a1, a2, a3, etc. make up a set that we can call "Set-A."

Thus: Set-A = {a1, a2, a3, etc.}.

Quantum theory permits Ann to observe any one of these sequences over the period L(A).(3)

Betty, our second observer, has a lifetime L(B). Betty observes a succession of 3D images over the duration L(B).

However, according to quantum theory, there are many alternative sequences of 3D images that she can observe over the period L(B).

Let the symbols b1, b2, b3, etc. represent these various sequences of 3D images. Together, b1, b2, b3, etc. make up a set that we can call "Set-B."

Thus: Set-B = {b1, b2, b3, etc.}.

Quantum theory permits Betty to observe any one of these sequences over the period L(B).

Suppose Ann observes the sequence a2 over the duration L(A); and suppose Betty observes the sequence b3 over L(B).

Then we can define Set-O as follows: Set-O = {a2, b3}. This is the set of "sequences of 3D images" that are actually observed. Set-O consists of the elements a2 and b3.


Extending the Model

The set-theoretical model described above can easily be extended to represent any number of observers. For example, we can add two more observers, Chris and David. So we now have a reality consisting of four observers: Ann, Betty, Chris, and David.

L(A) represents Ann's lifetime. L(B) represents Betty's lifetime. L(C) represents Chris's lifetime. And L(D) represents David's lifetime.

In this scenario, we have a total of five sets. Here are the first four:

1. Set-A = {a1, a2, a3, etc.}

2. Set-B = {b1, b2, b3, etc.}

3. Set-C = {c1, c2, c3, etc.}

4. Set-D = {d1, d2, d3, etc.}

(Note: Ann can observe any one of the sequences in Set-A over the duration L(A). Betty can observe any one of the sequences in Set-B over the duration L(B). Chris can observe any one of the sequences in Set-C over the duration L(C). And David can observe any one of the sequences in Set-D over the duration L(D).)

Let us suppose the following: Ann observes a2 over the duration L(A); Betty observes b3 over L(B); Chris observes c1 over L(C); and David observes d3 over L(D).

Then we can define the fifth set (Set-O) as follows:

Set-O = {a2, b3, c1, d3}. This is the set of "sequences of 3D images" that are actually observed. This set represents reality as it is experienced by the above four individuals over the course of their lives.

We can combine elements from the first four sets in many different ways to create the fifth set, Set-O. The set of all such combinations constitutes a class, Class-T.

The elements (i.e., quadruplets) in Class-T that are permitted by the laws of quantum theory constitute a class, Class-P. Class-P is a subclass of Class-T.(4)


Notes

1. The spacetime model makes the following three assumptions: a) Many observers exist; b) each individual makes his or her own observations of reality; c) the observations of several individuals "fit together" to form a "self-consistent network of observations."

2. I do not know if the set-theoretical model described in this article resembles Professor Hitoshi Kitada's theory in any way.
(http://groups.yahoo.com/group/time)

3. Quantum theory describes a strange reality of "wave-particles," "uncertainties," and "probabilities of events." "Four-dimensional spacetime" might not "belong" in this world of quantum concepts. We should consider abstract alternatives to the spacetime model of reality.

4. Class-T is the totality of possible quadruplets. Class-P is the class of quadruplets that are permitted by the laws of quantum mechanics.

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Time Travel

Scenario S1

Let us suppose the following:

-- Ann observes a sequence of 3D images [I(A)-1, I(A)-2, I(A)-3].(1)

-- She perceives these images over the course of a few moments of subjective/psychological time.(2)

-- Each image contains an observable clock.

-- The clock in image I(A)-1 indicates 2010AD.

-- The clock in image I(A)-2 indicates 2000AD.

-- The clock in image I(A)-3 indicates 2020AD.

This scenario (S1) seems logically possible in the set-theoretical model.(3) However, S1 does not seem possible in the spacetime model.(4)


Notes

1. Quantum time travel is discussed at the following site:

http://tph.tuwien.ac.at/~svozil/publ/2005-tt.pdf

2. For an analysis of subjective time, please see Section IV of my paper "Temporal Passage":

http://www.kjf.ca/61-TAAND.htm

3. The set-theoretical model places no restrictions on what individuals can perceive.

We can use the laws of quantum mechanics to predict what people actually observe in various circumstances.

4. Logical inconsistencies arise in the spacetime model because observations exist within a common 4D space.


Part II

Ann perceives a subjective, virtual world that we can call "V1." Betty perceives a subjective, virtual world that we can call "V2." V1 and V2 resemble each other. But why? Why do these two worlds resemble one another? One explanation is this: The two worlds determine each other. (V1 determines V2, and V2 determines V1.(1))

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Let us consider the following proposition ("P"):

P: "Ann determines Betty's world (V2), and Betty determines Ann's world (V1). Ann determines V2 by restricting Betty's experiences. Betty determines V1 by restricting Ann's experiences."(2)

I suggest that this proposition is true.

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Restrictions

Here's how Ann restricts Betty's experiences:

If Ann experiences the sequence a1, then Betty is restricted to SetB_1, a subset of SetB. (Betty is only allowed to experience the sequences in SetB_1.)(3)

If Ann experiences the sequence a2, then Betty is restricted to SetB_2, a subset of SetB. (Betty is only allowed to experience the sequences in SetB_2.)

If Ann experiences the sequence a3, then Betty is restricted to SetB_3, a subset of SetB. (Betty is only allowed to experience the sequences in SetB_3.)

Etc.

Here's how Betty restricts Ann's experiences:

If Betty experiences the sequence b1, then Ann is restricted to SetA_1, a subset of SetA. (Ann is only allowed to experience the sequences in SetA_1.)

If Betty experiences the sequence b2, then Ann is restricted to SetA_2, a subset of SetA. (Ann is only allowed to experience the sequences in SetA_2.)

If Betty experiences the sequence b3, then Ann is restricted to SetA_3, a subset of SetA. (Ann is only allowed to experience the sequences in SetA_3.)

Etc.

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Three Sets

Let SetT = the following set of ordered pairs: {a1b1, a1b2, ... a2b1, a2b2, ... a3b1, a3b2, ... etc.}.(4) The ordered pairs in this set can be placed in two categories: Category 1 and Category 2. The Category 1 pairs satisfy the "restrictions" listed above. The Category 2 pairs do not satisfy the restrictions.(5)(6)

Let SetP = the ordered pairs in the first category and SetQ = the ordered pairs in the second category.(7)


Extending the Model

The set-theoretical model described above can be extended to represent any number of observers. Let us consider a scenario with three observers: Ann, Betty, and Chris. There are three principal sets in this scenario: SetA, SetB, and SetC.

Here's how the three observers restrict one another:

If Ann experiences the sequence a1, then Betty is restricted to SetB_1 and Chris is restricted to SetC_1.(8)

If Ann experiences the sequence a2, then Betty is restricted to SetB_2 and Chris is restricted to SetC_2.

Etc.

If Betty experiences the sequence b1, then Ann is restricted to SetA_1 and Chris is restricted to SetC_3.

If Betty experiences the sequence b2, then Ann is restricted to SetA_2 and Chris is restricted to SetC_4.

Etc.

If Chris experiences the sequence c1, then Ann is restricted to SetA_4 and Betty is restricted to SetB_4.

If Chris experiences the sequence c2, then Ann is restricted to SetA_5 and Betty is restricted to SetB_5.(9)

Etc.

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Let us consider the ordered pair a1b1.

Does this pair satisfy the requirement in restriction R? (See below.) In order to answer this question, we need to know whether b1 is a member of SetB_1. If b1 is an element of SetB_1, the answer to the question posed above is "yes." If b1 is not an element of SetB_1, the answer to the question is "no."

Restriction R: "If Ann experiences the sequence a1, Betty is restricted to SetB_1, a subset of SetB. (Betty is only allowed to experience the sequences in SetB_1.)


Notes

1. V1 determines V2 in such a way that V2 resembles V1. V2 determines V1 in such a way that V1 resembles V2.

2. This is just another way of saying that V1 and V2 determine each other.

3. The restrictions listed are all "If ... then" statements.

4. SetT combines each element in SetA with every element in SetB.

5. We can refer to the list of "restrictions" as a list of "requirements."

6. The ordered pairs in Category 1 satisfy the requirements. The ordered pairs in Category 2 violate the requirements.

7. SetP and SetQ are subsets of SetT.

8. Note: Subsets of SetA: SetA_1, SetA_2, SetA_3, SetA_4, etc.
of SetB: SetB_1, SetB_2, SetB_3, SetB_4, etc.
of SetC: SetC_1, SetC_2, SetC_3, SetC_4, etc.

9. In a restriction, the "If" portion of the "If ... then" statement can refer to more than one person. In the following example, the "If" part of the restriction refers to two people:

Restriction R1: "If Ann experiences the sequence a1 and Betty experiences the sequence b1, then Chris is restricted to SetC_5, a subset of SetC."


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