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Posted by / 24-Oct-2016 06:31

Which level of reality do you care about / want to load with positive affect, and which level do you want to denigrate?

This is not like picking a race horse, in the sense that there might be no future discovery or event that will tell us who was closer to the truth.

As it happens, I’d been toying since the summer with a huge post about my views on each major interpretation, but I never quite got it into a form I wanted.

By contrast, it took me only an hour to write out a reply to Atreat, and in the age of social media and attention spans measured in attoseconds, many readers will probably prefer that short reply to the huge post anyway.

If you had to bet on which interpretation was closest to the truth, which one would you go with?

Many people have asked me some variant of the same thing.

But the basic split between Many-Worlds and Copenhagen (or better: between Many-Worlds and “shut-up-and-calculate” / “QM needs no interpretation” / etc.), I regard as coming from two fundamentally different conceptions of what a scientific theory is supposed to do for you.

Is it supposed to posit an objective state for the universe, or be only a tool that you use to organize your experiences?

So without further ado: Dear Atreat, It’s no coincidence that you haven’t seen me put my cards on the table with a favored interpretation of QM!

Anyway, as I said, MWI is the best interpretation if we leave ourselves out of the picture.

But you object: “OK, and what if we don’t leave ourselves out of the picture?

By all means, let’s test QM on larger and larger systems, among other reasons because it could tell us that some such theory is true or—vastly more likely, I think—place new limits on it!

(People are trying.) Then there’s the de Broglie-Bohm theory, which does lay its cards on the table in a very interesting way, by proposing a specific evolution rule for hidden variables (chosen to match the predictions of QM), but which thereby opens itself up to the charge of non-uniqueness: why that rule, as opposed to a thousand other rules that someone could write down?

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If we dig deep enough on the interpretation of QM, aren’t we ultimately also asking about the ‘hard problem of consciousness,’ much as some people try to deny that?

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